News About SeaWorld Orlando’s Beluga Whale


July 7, 2017

The SeaWorld Orlando team confirmed earlier this year that Whisper, a 17-year-old beluga whale, was pregnant and due to give birth this summer. For many months, the SeaWorld family has been anxiously awaiting and preparing for the arrival of this new beluga calf. 

Earlier this week, the animal care team, who had been on 24-hour watch with Whisper since April, saw signs that she was going in to labor. After a short labor Whisper delivered her calf.

Unfortunately the unusually weak calf surfaced only briefly before sinking to the bottom of the pool. The animal care and veterinary teams reacted quickly and were able to reach the calf and begin emergency care. Despite their best efforts and expertise, we are saddened to confirm that the calf did not survive.

Whisper received routine ultrasounds and health assessments to monitor her and the calf’s progress throughout the pregnancy, which progressed as expected. Additionally, there were no obvious signs of complications during labor and everything other wise appeared to progress normally.

The teams will conduct a full post mortem examination, including laboratory testing to better understand why the calf died. It will take several weeks before results are finalized.

The calf was surrounded by the dedicated team that had spent several months, and even years, caring for Whisper. While this loss was unexpected, both Whisper and the calf received the same world-class care that all our animals receive. Although this is a difficult time for the SeaWorld family, our attention now turns to ensuring Whisper continues to receive the care and attention she needs.  

Whisper is active and alert and the teams will continue to monitor her 24/7 until they are sure she is in good health and has returned to her normal daily activities. Thank you to all of our fans and supporters for your wishes as we continue to care for Whisper and all the animals that are a part of the SeaWorld family.  


Questions/Answers

When will I be able to see Whisper on the habitat? 

The animal care and veterinary teams will continue to monitor Whisper in a back pool at the beluga habitat at Wild Arctic until we are certain that she is in good health and has resumed her normal daily activities. This pool serves as a critical care facility where we can continue to monitor her and continue any necessary medical treatment.

How long as Whisper been a part of the SeaWorld Orlando family?

Whisper was born at SeaWorld San Antonio in 1999, and arrived at SeaWorld Orlando in November 2010

How is Whisper doing now? 

Whisper is active and alert and being monitored 24/7 by the animal care and veterinary teams. The teams will be conducting a physical exam and full evaluation to determine if any additional treatment is needed. 

Where can I learn more about Beluga whales?

You can learn more about beluga whales by visiting the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) website.

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