A killer whale at SeaWorld Orlando died Sunday from complications that arose while she was giving birth, officials said.
The park said Taima, a 20-year-old orca born at SeaWorld Orlando in 1990, died late in the afternoon, approximately 20 hours after going into labor Saturday evening.
The calf was stillborn.
"Everyone is very saddened by the loss … Everyone is reeling," said Dr. Chris Dold, vice president of veterinary services for Orlando-based SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. Taima "was a member of the family."
Taima was one of eight killer whales at SeaWorld Orlando. She had successfully given birth to three calves in the past.
Dold said Taima's fetus was in an unusual position in the birth canal during the delivery process. The orca also experienced a condition in which the placenta was delivered before the fetus itself.
After Taima was unable to deliver her calf, park veterinarians attempted to assist. But SeaWorld said the complications ultimately proved too severe.
Dold said SeaWorld has not had a mother killer whale die while giving birth in more than 25 years. The company, which operates SeaWorld marine parks in Orlando, San Diego and San Antonio, says it has recorded 26 successful killer-whale births since its first in 1985.