A pilot whale at SeaWorld Orlando died on Saturday following years of medical issues.
In a blog post, SeaWorld Orlando confirmed the death of Fredi, one of 23 stranded pilot whales that the SeaWorld Rescue Team and partners responded to in 2011, near Cudjoe Key, Florida.
“When Fredi was deemed non-releasable by NOAA Fisheries after rehabilitation due to her very young age, SeaWorld provided her with a permanent home, where she has received outstanding care for the past 8 years,” said Dr. Erin Fougeres, Marine Mammal Stranding Program Administrator for NOAA Fisheries.
In addition, SeaWorld Orlando said in a statement that Fredi had battled “health issues” since 2011.
“For whales and dolphins that strand, full recovery is not always guaranteed. This pilot whale faced continued health issues since her initial stranding. In recent months her condition progressed, requiring advanced monitoring and care by the SeaWorld veterinary and animal care teams,” the statement read. “Despite that full effort, her health and quality of life declined recently and she was no longer responding to treatment.”
In recent months Fredi had been showing signs of fatigue and loss of appetite, according to the blog post. “Through a physical exam and diagnostic samples, veterinarians discovered that had an infection. Despite recent round the clock care, her health and quality of life continued to decline sharply,” the blog post explained, adding that she had been “undergoing an aggressive anti-microbial treatment to treat a persistent infection.”
Fredi’s death marks the second time a whale died at the Florida park.
An orca named Kayla died unexpectedly at age 30 in January of unknown causes.