How did Orca Amaya die? Death of 6-yr-old in SeaWorld San Diego sparks outrage

How did Orca Amaya die? Death of 6-yr-old in SeaWorld San Diego sparks outrage
Killer whale Amaya, 6, unexplained death at San Diego SeaWorld has caused outrage (GoogleMaps/SeaWorld)

SeaWorld San Diego is receiving a lot of backlash after a 6-year-old killer whale in its care died on Thursday, August 19. The female orca named Amaya which translates to 'night rain' has left the specialists who were looking after her heartbroken. The exact cause of her death was not known immediately and a post-mortem examination is underway to determine the same, results for which may take weeks to come. The aquarium and theme park has been facing a lot of backlash after the death of the youngest orca at the facility. 

Of animal deaths that have caused a stir in the recent past, Statler the bat at Bat World Sanctuary died last month leaving hundreds of thousands of fans gutted. One of the most playful bats, Statler, had lived a long life and died of age-related complications in the midst of his caregivers who loved him dearly. In July, Pudgy the 'Owa Owa' Tiktok dog died as well following a canine attack. The news was shared by his owner Malachy James through his Instagram. Last year, an LA zoo euthanized two lions Hubert and Kalisa together so the 'soulmates' didn't have to live without each other. They were put to sleep because of age-related issues and declining health. 


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Who owns SeaWorld San Diego?

According to their website, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc., a publicly-traded company. The company owns/licenses a portfolio of brands including SeaWorld, Sea Rescue, and the Busch Gardens. The company owns 12 regional and destination theme parks located across the States. SeaWorld operates theme parks in Orlando, Florida; San Antonio, Texas (Aquatica); San Diego, California (Aquatica); Tampa, Florida (Adventure Island), and Williamsburg, Virginia (Water Country USA). The Company operates water park attractions in Orlando, Florida (Aquatica); San Diego, California (Aquatica); Tampa, Florida (Adventure Island), and Williamsburg, Virginia (Water Country USA). 

SeaWorld released a statement a day after Amaya's death saying, "Amaya began showing signs of illness on August 18, and animal care specialists and veterinarians began treating her immediately. Despite her care team’s efforts, Amaya’s condition continued to decline rapidly. Her death was sudden and unexpected." The statement continued, "This is a very difficult time for those who knew and loved Amaya. She inspired millions of guests to appreciate and learn more about this amazing species."

Amaya spent time with her parents Kalia and father Ulises at the park. "Amaya is one of the most playful whales in our pod and loves interacting with her animal care specialists. She has helped us gather and share critical information about calf development for researchers studying wild populations," the site said about her. The business had announced they were putting an end to its orca breeding program in March 2016 following years of backlash and also announced they would end the killer whale shows at their parks. All of that damage-control has gone for a toss following Amaya's death and people on the Internet are slamming the business for the death.

"Stop using wild animals as entertainment ⁦@SeaWorld The youngest orca at SeaWorld San Diego just died suddenly #emptythetanks #dontbuyaticket #animalrights" a tweet read. "@SeaWorld you stole this creature from its life, family, and the world, imprisoned it, and made it dance for your paying ignorant guests until it died, shame on you," wrote another angry user.

"Screw you ⁦⁦@SeaWorld ⁩! You’re nothing but a parasitic corporation. A mere cancer in the theme park industry. The day that you close your gates for the last time can’t come soon enough!" read another tweet. "As someone born and raised in San Diego it's always been F-CK SeaWorld and all animal captivity in this city," another tweet read.





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