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30-year-old orca dies at SeaWorld park in Orlando

A 30-year-old orca has died at SeaWorld's Orlando park. SeaWorld officials said Kayla died Monday after a brief illness.

SeaWorld officials said a cause of death won't be known until a post-mortem examination is conducted.

Kayla began showing signs of discomfort on Saturday, and veterinarians began treating her based on what they found from a physical exam.

SeaWorld Whales
In this March 7, 2011, photo, a trainer works with Kayla the killer whale in Orlando. Phelan M. Ebenhack / AP

Park officials said her condition worsened on Sunday and she was given around-the-clock care until her death. Kayla was among the last orcas at SeaWorld's Orlando park, as well as parks in California and Texas.

"While today is a difficult day for all of us at SeaWorld, Kayla inspired generations of guests and employees to care and learn more about this amazing species," the company said in a statement.

SeaWorld announced in 2016 that it had stopped its orca breeding program.

SeaWorld has 20 orcas left at its parks. There are five in Orlando, five in San Antonio, and 10 in San Diego.

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