It was a great Valentine’s Day down at SeaWorld San Diego as the staff experienced the miracle of birth up close when a killer whale gave birth to a newborn calf. The astonishing moment was caught on video as Kasatka gave birth to a 7-foot-long baby killer whale after an almost 18-month gestation.
The newborn whale, which weighed 350 pounds, was born Thursday morning at the Shamu Stadium, attended to by SeaWorld’s zoological team after more than an hour of labor. This marked the sixth successful killer whale birth in the waterpark’s 49-year history. The team said that the mother and its baby appear to be healthy, but they will keep a watchful eye on the newborn as its first few days remain critical.
Seconds after giving birth, the baby swam up to the surface of the water to take in its first breath of air.
Kristi Burtis, the animal training supervisor, said the team was given the “best Valentine’s Day present ever.”
The team said that a veterinary team and animal trainers will be monitoring both the mother and the baby. Kasatka’s newborn baby marks her fourth child since her time at the waterpark. The gender of the baby hasn’t been determined yet.