A beluga whale born last week at SeaWorld Orlando has died.
The “unusually weak calf surfaced only briefly before sinking to the bottom of the pool,” SeaWorld officials said Friday in a statement about the calf’s death.
Park staff gave the newborn emergency care, but were unable to save it.
“Despite their best efforts and expertise, we are saddened to confirm that the calf did not survive,” according to the statement.
SeaWorld will conduct a full post-mortem examination to try and determine why the baby whale died, but results won’t be available for several weeks.
The mother whale, a 17-year-old named Whisper, had a normal and healthy pregnancy, according to park officials.
“Whisper received routine ultrasounds and health assessments to monitor her and the calf’s progress throughout the pregnancy, which progressed as expected,” officials said.
“Additionally, there were no obvious signs of complications during labor and everything other wise appeared to progress normally.”
But something went wrong.
Whisper is “active and alert,” SeaWorld officials said, but she us undergoing around the clock monitoring so staff can make sure she’s healthy.
Sandra Nortunen contributed to this report.
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