SeaWorld Orlando veterinarians and animal care experts are caring around the clock for Ava, an estimated four-year-old female pilot whale diagnosed with a bacterial infection. Ava was rescued during a mass stranding of pilot whales in September 2012. At the time she was estimated to be about 6 months old. The federal government determined that Ava was too young to be returned to the wild, so she came to SeaWorld Orlando who provided her with a home.

Over the weekend, Ava began showing signs of fatigue and loss of appetite. The veterinary staff and animal care teams have been closely monitoring her. Through a physical exam and analysis of diagnostic samples, veterinarians suspect Ava has an infection from a bacteria called Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae. This bacterium is common in the marine environment and can cause serious illness in both wild cetaceans and cetaceans in zoological care. In some cases it can even be fatal.

SeaWorld Orlando is extremely happy to announce that Ava the pilot whale is showing signs of improvement, and it appears that she is on her way to making a full recovery. Ava’s appetite is increasing today, and we’re excited to say that she is now interacting with our trainers and the other whales.

Ava is a special part of the SeaWorld family, and beloved by all -- especially those who saved her life back in 2012 and care for her every day. SeaWorld appreciates all the positive thoughts and support.

PHOTO: © 2015 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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