Killer whale calf born at SeaWorld San Diego - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Killer whale calf born at SeaWorld San Diego

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A killer whale was born at SeaWorld San Diego Tuesday, and both mother and baby appear to be healthy, park officials said.

The 10-year-old whale named Kalia gave birth around 12:30 p.m. under the watchful eye of her own mother, Kasatka, according to SeaWorld.

"This is the seventh successful baby killer whale born right here at SeaWorld San Diego and I've been so fortunate to see four of them," said Kristi Burtis, supervisor of animal training. "It gets more and more exciting each time."

The calf was born following a 17-month gestation period. SeaWorld estimates the as-yet unnamed whale weighs between 300 and 350 pounds, and is 6 to 7 feet long. Its sex is unknown.

SeaWorld said that the calf surfaced quickly to take its first breath and appears to be healthy, but trainers and veterinarians will keep a close watch.

"It will be crucial for us to look for signs of mom and baby bonding, and also the beginnings of nursing," Burtis said.

The most recent birth at the park was last year, when Makani was born to Kasatka. Makani and his brother, Nakai, were both in the pool at Shamu Stadium to watch the birth of their sister's calf, according to park officials.

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