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Amazing sight: Killer whale born at SeaWorld San Diego

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
February 18th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The little shaver weighed in at 350 pounds. That's the report from SeaWorld Sand Diego, in California. A killer whale was born at the park's Shamu Stadium, making it the sixth time a killer whale has been born at the park in its 49-year history.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The moment was captured on video. The baby whale is seven feet long, and was born after an almost 18-month gestation.

The birth took place under the watchful eyes of the SeaWorld's zoological team members after more than an hour of labor.

The baby whale instinctively swam to the water's surface to take its first breath seconds after being born.

The park's zoological teams members report the mother and baby appear to be healthy, but as with any newborn, the first few days are critical. The calf's sex is yet to be determined

"The mother and baby appear to be doing very well and our initial observations indicate this is a strong healthy calf," Vice President of Zoological Operations Mike Scarpuzzi says.

According to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, the killer whale, also referred to as the orca whale or orca, and less commonly as the blackfish, is a toothed whale belonging to the oceanic dolphin family. Killer whales are found in all oceans, from the frigid Arctic and Antarctic regions to tropical seas. Killer whales as a species have a diverse diet, although individual populations often specialize in particular types of prey. Some feed exclusively on fish, while others hunt marine mammals such as sea lions, seals, walruses, and even large whales. Killer whales are regarded as apex predators, lacking natural predators.

Killer whales are highly social; some populations are composed of matrilineal family groups which are the most stable of any animal species. Their sophisticated hunting techniques and vocal behaviors, which are often specific to a particular group and passed across generations, have been described as manifestations of culture.

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