In this image provided by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment orca Takara helps guide her newborn to the water's surface at SeaWorld San Antonio, Wednesday, April 19, 2017, in San Antonio. (Chris Gotshall/SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment via AP)
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The last orca has been born in captivity at a SeaWorld park in San Antonio just over a year after the theme park decided to stop breeding orcas following animal rights protests and declining ticket sales.The mother, 25-year-old Takara, was already pregnant when SeaWorld announced in March 2016 that it had stopped breeding its orcas. The gestation period for orcas is about 18 months.SeaWorld said mother and calf both appear healthy.SeaWorld decided to stop breeding orcas, and phase out its world-famous killer whale performances by 2019, after public opinion turned against keeping orcas, dolphins and other animals in captivity for entertainment.All the orcas are expected to remain on display and available for researchers for years to come in Orlando, San Diego and San Antonio.The calf will be visible to visitors either in the orca stadium pool at the San Antonio park or in two adjacent pools.SeaWorld has not collected a wild orca in nearly 40 years, and most of its orcas were born in captivity.
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