SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A 20-year-old orca died Thursday night at SeaWorld San Diego due to an infection.
According to the entertainment company, Nakai died surrounded by the animal care and medical teams who took care of him for 20 years.
“Veterinarians and health specialists had been actively treating an infection, but aggressive therapeutic and diagnostic efforts were unsuccessful,” the park said.
“He’ll be remembered as a curious and quick learner, often picking up behaviors just by observing the other whales in his pod.”
Nakai was born at SeaWorld San Diego in 2001.
“I have been professionally and personally invested in the welfare of Nakai since he was born in our park, and the bond we shared was very strong. He was very friendly and an overall playful guy who loved to interact with people. It was a joy to care for and learn from him and I will miss him greatly,” said one member of the team charged with caring for Nakai.
“He was a huge part of my life and of our family here at SeaWorld San Diego. We appreciate the support of the community as we grieve his loss together with his loyal fans everywhere.”