(SEAWORLD/ANIMALS IN CAPTIVITY) SeaWorld San Diego’s oldest pilot whale, Bubbles, has died after spending her entire life in captivity, sparking outrage on social media.

After Marineland of the Pacific closed in the 1980s, Bubbles was transferred to SeaWorld San Diego and became a celebrity of sorts as one of the park’s most beloved animals for nearly 30 years.

She was estimated to be in her 50s, which is still far short of the average lifespan of 63 years for female pilot whales in the wild. SeaWorld announced Bubble’s passing late Thursday but gave no cause. A necropsy will be performed to determine the cause of death.

Continue reading and view the video clip below to learn more about Bubble’s story and see how the public is reacting to the news of her passing. — Global Animal

Bubbles (pictured) had been at SeaWorld San Diego in California for almost 30 years. Photo Credit: SeaWorld San Diego via Mirror
Bubbles the pilot whale had been at SeaWorld San Diego for nearly 30 years. Photo Credit: SeaWorld San Diego via Mirror

Mirror, Sophie Evans

A beloved SeaWorld pilot whale has died after spending more than five decades entertaining visitors.

The creature, named Bubbles, had been at the firm’s park in San Diego, California, for nearly 30 years after being transferred there from Marineland of the Pacific.

She died on Thursday aged in her early-to-mid-50s, park officials said, adding that the whale ‘inspired and amazed more than 100 million guests’ during her lifetime.

Today, Bubbles’s passing was sparking outrage on social media, with many users remarking that the animal was forced to perform ‘stupid tricks’ up until her death.

Twitter user Quad Finn wrote: “RIP Bubbles: SeaWorld’s oldest captive still died far short of average lifespan of 63 years for female pilot whales.”

Another commented: “RIP Bubbles. U were ripped away from your family & forced to do stupid tricks 4 stupid humans, you are finally free.”

A third user wrote: “Just sad. Sad life. Sad death,” while a fourth said: “Heart breaking news as yet another animal dies at SeaWorld 🙁 CaptivityKills.”

Many agreed that the whale – who was reportedly captured from her wild family in 1966 before being thrust into the spotlight -‘deserved better’.

In a statement yesterday, SeaWorld San Diego said it was ‘saddened’ to announce the death of whale, describing her as ‘one of the world’s most beloved animals’.

It said: “In her early- to mid-50s, Bubbles was the oldest pilot whale in a zoological park. She has inspired and amazed more than 100 million guests for nearly 50 years.

“Loved by her trainers and veterinarians, Bubbles had been a member of the SeaWorld family for nearly 30 years.

“She was one of several pilot whales and a dozen dolphins that have participated in various shows at Dolphin Stadium since the late 1980s…

“While Bubbles will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her, she has helped generations of park visitors gain a better appreciation for all animals and the ocean environment.”

The park added that a necropsy will be performed to determine the cause of Bubble’s death.

Bubbles, who passed away late on Thursday, was transferred to SeaWorld after Marineland closed in the late 1980s.

More Mirror: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/bubbles-dead-seaworlds-beloved-whale-8168729