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Killer whale dies at SeaWorld in San Diego; orca shows canceled

September 7, 2010 |  5:05 pm

Sumar

Sumar, a 12-year-old killer whale, died mysteriously Tuesday at SeaWorld in San Diego, forcing cancellation of the orca shows at Shamu Stadium, officials at the park said.

The male orca began acting lethargic on Monday and was given antibiotics by park veterinarians. But his condition worsened and he died at about 1:45 p.m. A necropsy is planned.

The show will resume Wednesday.

Sumar, approximately 15 feet long and 5,300 pounds, had been at the San Diego park since 1999. He was born at the SeaWorld park in Orlando, Fla., on May 14, 1998, and spent some months at the SeaWorld park in Ohio before being transferred to San Diego.

While still a calf, Sumar's mother, Taima, attacked him during a show at the Orlando park. The two were separated permanently, and other female orcas acted as Sumar's surrogate mother.

In San Diego, Sumar was a star of the orca shows and was considered a possible candidate for breeding. Six orcas remain at the park.

-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Sumar. Credit: www.orcahome.de

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