LOS ANGELES - Bubbles, a female pilot whale at SeaWorld in San Diego that was believed to have been the oldest animal of her species in a zoological park, has died, according to the company.
In an online posting, SeaWorld Entertainment Inc did not provide the animal's exact age, saying she was her early to late 50's.
"SeaWorld San Diego is saddened to announce the passing of one of the world's most beloved animals, Bubbles the pilot whale," the company said on its website (www.seaworldcares.com).
A necropsy is planned to determine the cause of death. The company's statement did not say when Bubbles died.
Pilots whales, which have rounded heads and mouthlines that curves upward to resemble a smile, are in the dolphin family and are smaller than orcas, or killer whales.