Thirty-year-old female orca whale Kayla died this week at the Orlando location of doomed entertainment park SeaWorld. Though the cause of death was not disclosed, SeaWorld said the orca’s health deteriorated in the days before she passed away. Immediately following her death, SeaWorld’s stocks dropped by 3.5 percent. Kayla is the fourth orca to die at SeaWorld during the course of two years. In August 2017, 41-year-old Kasatka died of lung disease at the San Diego park. One month earlier, three-month-old baby Kyara died of pneumonia at the same location—the last orca born in captivity before the park agreed to end its orca-breeding program in 2016. That same year, 35-year-old Tilikum died from a bacterial lung infection. In the wild, orcas have an estimated lifespan of 60 to 70 years for males and 80 to over 100 for females. SeaWorld’s orca shows came under criticism following the 2013 documentary Blackfish, which depicted orca Tilikum’s life in captivity. Since then, the company’s financial reports have consistently showed decreased profits, attendance, and stock values. In March 2018, SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby resigned after the release of the company’s fourth-quarter earnings report.
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