The killer whale was born at 6:33 a.m. at Shamu Stadium and appears to be healthy, according to SeaWorld. The mother, Kasatka, who about 37 years old, spent about an hour in labor.
The calf is the sixth to be born at SeaWorld, which now has 10 killer whales. Four have been born to Kasatka.
“The mother and baby appear to be doing very well and our initial observations indicate this is a strong, healthy calf,” said Mike Scarpuzzi, vice president of zoological operations at the park. “As with any newborn, the first few days are critical. We’re looking forward to the continued bonding of mom and calf and the baby beginning to nurse.”
Moments after birth, the calf instinctively surfaced to take its first breath. SeaWorld said zoological team members report the mother and offspring appear to be healthy, but the first few days will be critical.
Orcas have an 18-month gestation period.