Kyara, an orca calf died at Sea World. In this photo, killer whale 'Tilikum' appears during its performance in its show 'Believe' at Sea World in Orlando, Florida, March 30, 2011. Getty Images/ Gerardo Mora

A three-month-old orca, the last killer whale to be born under the breeding program of the amusement park Sea World in San Antonio Park, California, died Monday after its health continued to decline despite being treated by veterinarians.

The late orca calf was a female named Kyara, born of San Diego-born killer whale Takara. The former was conceived in captivity, long before Sea World was forced to close down its artificial breeding program in March 2016, after facing heavy criticism from animal rights activists.

“Kyara had a tremendous impact on the entire zoological team, not to mention all of the guests that had the chance to see her,” San Antonio trainer Julie Sigman said in a statement, the Seattle Times reported. “The heart and support that has gone into caring for her throughout Takara’s pregnancy until today have been amazing. As animal caregivers, we dedicate our lives to these animals, and this loss will be felt throughout the entire SeaWorld family.”

Sea World
A general view of the atmosphere at the premiere of Sea World San Diego's 'Turtle: The Incredible Journey' in San Diego, California, June 21, 2011. Getty Images/Jerod Harris

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Regarding Kyara’s cause of death, Sea World has posted a detailed statement on their website: “While the official cause of death won’t be determined until the postmortem exam is complete, through monitoring Kyara’s behavior, and a physical examination, SeaWorld’s veterinary and animal care teams identified that she had an infection, likely pneumonia, that they were aggressively treating.”

Before anyone can point a finger at the possibility that Kyara might have died due to negligence on the part of Sea World, the amusement park has made it clear that the orca’s death was not due to staying in captivity but because, “Pneumonia has been identified as one of the most common causes of morbidity or illness in whales and dolphins, both in the wild and in aquariums.”

Sea World has come under fire for not only inseminating their animals against their will but also the way they have been treating them for the amusement of audience and making a profit. According to Sea World Of Hurt, a site created solely to document the amusement park’s cruelty toward animals, dolphins and killer whales are often kept in isolation or among incompatible groups. They are also frequently transported from one park or aquarium to another over long distances, leading to stress or anxiety among the marine species.

Dolphins and orcas can also get skin infection since Sea World encourages human-fish interactions by inviting visitors to touch or hold the fishes without ensuring that they have washed their hands first, Sea World Of Hurt stated. In 2014, Dr. Heather Rally, a veterinarian, visited SeaWorld San Diego said: “I observed several training sessions with guests, and guests were never instructed to wash their hands before interacting with the dolphins.”

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The backlash against the amusement park became more widespread after a documentary called “Blackfish” was released in 2013. It delved into the circumstances that led the orca Tilikum to kill its trainer Dawn Brancheau in Orlando in 2010. Tilikum dragged Brancheau into the pool as a shocked audience witnessed the incident toward the end of “Dine with Shamu” show.

Former San Diego SeaWorld trainer and critic John Hargrove, who appeared “Blackfish” has written a book that provides insight into the kind of animal cruelty inflicted by Sea World on the animals it holds in its captivity, local news outlet Times of San Diego reported. After the death of Kyara, Hargrove posted a series of tweets condemning Sea World for the lack of regard for animal life.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) also condemned Sea World for allowing Kyara to die under their care.

In honor of Kyara, the One Ocean shows at the Sea World have been canceled on July 24. Visitors have been asked to keep an eye out for the revised schedule on their website.