Amaya, youngest orca at SeaWorld San Diego, dies suddenly
SAN DIEGO, California - A beloved 6-year-old orca at SeaWorld San Diego passed away Wednesday.
According to CNN, Amaya was the name of the youngest orca at the theme park.
Her illness and resulting death occurred quickly. The news outlet says she started showing signs of an illness on Wednesday, so animal care specialists and veterinarians began treating her.
Almost 24 hours later, SeaWorld said Amaya died with her animal care specialists by her side.
SeaWorld said, "Despite her care team's efforts, Amaya's condition continued to decline rapidly. Her death was sudden and unexpected."
The exact cause of death is unknown at this time. SeaWorld says a post-mortem exam is being performed and results may take several weeks to process.
Amaya lived at SeaWorld with her mother and father, Kalia and Ulises, and was said to be one of the most playful whales in the pod.
SeaWorld says her name 'Amaya,' which some believe is of Japanese and Basque origin, means "night rain."
Orcas are sometimes called, 'killer whales' and are the largest members of the dolphin family.
They're also counted among the fastest marine mammals, and can be found in every one of the world's oceans.
SeaWorld San Diego is currently home to nine orcas.
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