SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- After showing signs of illness, a 6-year-old female orca died at SeaWorld San Diego, the park said Thursday.
According to a statement from park officials, Amaya died with her animal care specialists by her side.
"The entire SeaWorld family is saddened by the loss," SeaWorld said in a statement.
Amaya started showing signs of illness on August 18, and animal care specialists and veterinarians began treating her immediately.
"Despite her care team’s efforts, Amaya’s condition continued to decline rapidly. Her death was sudden and unexpected."
The 6-year-old orca was the youngest at SeaWorld, according to the park's website. The whale's official cause of death has not yet been determined, pending a complete post-mortem examination.
"This is a very difficult time for those who knew and loved Amaya. She inspired millions of guests to appreciate and learn more about this amazing species. The specialists who cared for her at SeaWorld are heartbroken."