SeaWorld veterinarians euthanize sick orca

Kasatka, Kalia, Ken Peters
FILE - In this Nov. 30, 2006, file photo, four killer whales, including Kasatka and her calf, Kalia, leap out of the water while performing during SeaWorld's Shamu show in San Diego. (AP Photo/Chris Park, File)

SAN DIEGO (AP) – SeaWorld says that veterinarians at its San Diego park had to euthanize an orca estimated to be nearly 42 years old.

The company said in a statement that the killer whale named Kasatka died Tuesday evening “surrounded by members of her pod, as well as the veterinarians and caretakers who loved her.”

SeaWorld says Kasatka had been battling lung disease in recent years.

The company says veterinarians made the difficult decision to euthanize her after her health started to decline in recent days despite treatment.

SeaWorld says the treatment included a custom-built inhaler that allowed the medicine to go directly to her lungs.

Kasatka was the company’s second oldest orca and the second death of a killer whale in a month at one of its marine parks.

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