“I have spent the past several years with Kasatka and was truly blessed to be part of her life,” orca behaviorist Kristi Burtis said.
“Although I am heartbroken,” she added, “I am grateful for the special time we had together and for the difference she has made for wild orcas by all that we have learned from her. I adored Kasatka and loved sharing her with millions of people. I will miss her very much.”
>> RELATED: Famed orca whale Tilikum of SeaWorld has died
Earlier this summer, Kyara, a 3-month-old orca that was the last born in captivity, died, which came on the heels of SeaWorld San Antonio losing Tilikum, the notorious whale that had killed a SeaWorld trainer, back in January.