BIG NEWS! Takara Gives Birth to Baby Orca!
SeaWorld has welcomed the newest member of the SeaWorld family of killer whales. Takara, the 25-year-old matriarch of the SeaWorld San Antonio orca pod, gave birth to the calf at 2:33 p.m. central time, April 19, 2017.
A team of veterinarians and killer whale trainers witnessed the historic birth and are continuing to monitor Takara and her new baby 24-hours a day to help ensure a successful start.
Guests at SeaWorld San Antonio will have the opportunity to visit and observe Takara and her calf during select times.
Although this will be the last opportunity for guests of SeaWorld to see a baby killer whale up close as it grows and matures, SeaWorld will continue to have orcas at its parks for decades to come.
“This is an exciting and emotional day for us at SeaWorld and we are all so proud to share this new killer whale calf with the world, after a year and a half of planning, and observing and providing all the special care,” said Chris Bellows, Vice President of Zoological Operations. “Takara is a great mom and immediately began bonding with and caring for her new baby. Everyday she inspires SeaWorld’s guests to learn more about and do more to protect animals in the wild. She is a true ambassador.”
Trainer Julie, who has been with Takara during her last three births, could barely hold her excitment: "Nothing can prepare you for that moment when mom helps the calf get to the surface for its first breath. The second the calf is born, Takara is 100% focused on its care and well-being. She knows exactly what to do. It is amazing,” said Sigman.
The gender of the calf will be confirmed at a later date. According to Julie, “We take our lead from mom. Takara will let us know when she is ready for us to meet the calf and begin developing a trusting relationship, just like we have with Takara. In the meantime, we let Takara be the awesome mom she is caring for her baby’s every need.”
Guests will have the amazing opportunity to see Takara and her calf in the coming days, but here's a photo to help get you by until then!
Meet Takara, the oldest member of the San Antonio pod
She was born at SeaWorld San Diego and relocated to SeaWorld Orlando in 2004 as a 12-year-old adult, along with her first calf Kohana, to ensure social diversity within that pod. Five years later, in 2009, she was transferred to SeaWorld San Antonio, where she has resided ever since as the matriarch of the pod. Takara has a desire to learn challenging new activities during her daily interactions and developed a large repertoire of complex behaviors and sequences.
Takara enjoys spending time with her two youngest offspring, Sakari and Kamea. She can often be found swimming with them and giving them a lot of attention. She continues to teach her daughters through enrichment activities like puzzle toys.
Have you heard the news? Takara, the matriarch of SeaWorld San Antonio's orca pod, is pregnant.
The SeaWorld family has big news, and it’s due in a few weeks. Did you know - the gestation period for a killer whale is about 18 months? That means, Takara has been pregnant for almost a year and a half! We’ll keep you updated over the next few weeks as we all prepare for the arrival of the killer whale calf, and be sure to check back often, and on our social media channels, for the latest updates, including amazing photos and video. Learn all about Takara on the latest blog, but first, check out some of the research being done during Takara's pregnancy and how this will help scientists for years to come.
- Born: July of 1991
- Weighs 4,700 pounds
- Measures 17 feet
- Distinguishing Physical Characteristics: she has a distinctive brown birthmark on her lower rostrum
- Research involved in: hearing, pre and postnatal studies, circadian and cortisol studies
Amy, Supervisor at Shamu Stadium
I began my career at SeaWorld in 1998 and started training animals in 2003!