ORLANDO, Fla. — SeaWorld Orlando said a rescued pilot whale named NOAA 301, or Fredi passed away after battling chronic health issues.
Officials said Fredi had “persistent health concerns since being rescued” and “had been undergoing an aggressive anti-microbial treatment to treat a persistent infection.”
Fredi was part of a mass stranding of 23 pilot whales near Cudjoe Key in 2011, officials said.
Rescuers said eight whales initially survived the rescue operation, including two who were returned to the ocean. Thirteen whales perished on the beach, officials said.
“For whales and dolphins that strand, full recovery is not always guaranteed,” SeaWorld said in a release.
Fredi lived at SeaWorld for eight years and was seen by millions of visitors, park officials said.
Officials said they do not believe Fredi’s infection was contagious, but they are monitoring the rest of the pod.
There are four rescued pilot whales at SeaWorld Orlando, according to a release.
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