A baby beluga whose father is owned by the Vancouver Aquarium has died at San Antonio SeaWorld.
Two-year-old Stella was born at the Texas location in 2013, and died Friday.
SeaWorld took to Facebook to deliver the news in a post that has since been removed, but remains live on the company’s website.
In the post, the company says it is “deeply saddened” by the death, and asks for “support for Stella’s trainers and care staff, who are dealing with the loss of one of our family.”
Cause of death
While it’s not clear yet what caused the cetacean’s death, SeaWorld says Stella was under treatment for signs of gastrointestinal distress.
It says it is closely monitoring the remaining seven belugas currently living at the facility, all of whom are acting normally.
A full post-mortem examination is now underway, with results due in six to eight weeks.
READ MORE: White Beluga whale Nanuq dies
Captive breeding controversy
Stella’s father Imaq was captured near Churchill Manitoba in 1990, and was transferred on breeding loan to SeaWorld Texas in April of 2011.
Stella is not the first of Imaq’s offspring to die at SeaWorld San Antonio this year. Earlier this summer, another baby beluga died at the facility after being born premature and underweight.
The Vancouver Aquarium owns several other belugas on loan to other aquariums. They include Grayson and Qinu, on loan to the Georgia Aquarium, and Allua on loan to SeaWorld San Diego. Earlier this year, Nanuq, on loan to SeaWorld Orlando, died of a jaw infection.
The Aquarium says its cetaceans on loan are all at accredited facilities “that are required to have the highest standards of care for their marine mammals.” It says it plans to bring the animals back to Vancouver once it completes an expansion.
In 2014, the Vancouver Park Board voted to ban the breeding of captive cetaceans at the Vancouver Aquarium.
That move sputtered after the NPA captured a majority of Park Board seats in the 2014 civic election.