Five stories that have North Texas talking: Last killer whale born at SeaWorld; construction continues on Katy Trail pedestrian bridge; Neiman Marcus popovers are No. 1; and more.
The last orca was born in captivity at SeaWorld in San Antonio on Wednesday. The birth comes just over a year after the theme park decided to stop breeding orcas following animal rights protests and declining ticket sales.
SeaWorld hasn’t named the calf because the veterinarians haven’t yet determined whether it was male or female, according to The Associated Press. The calf’s mother was already pregnant when SeaWorld announced in March 2016 that it had stopped breeding its orcas. The gestation period for the whales is about 18 months.
The Orlando-based company plans to phase out its world-famous killer whale performances by 2019, after public opinion turned against keeping animals in captivity for entertainment. The backlash intensified after the 2013 release of "Blackfish," a documentary critical of SeaWorld. The company has said it plans to introduce new "natural orca encounters" in place of theatrical shows. [The Associated Press]
- Students at UT Arlington on Tuesday voted in favor of a referendum that would make the school a “sanctuary campus.” The referendum is advisory; President Vistasp Karbhari makes the final decision. According to The Shorthorn, the student newspaper, “this referendum would create a written policy that restricts the access of student information exchanged between university officials and government officials, such as Immigration Customs Enforcement, without a warrant or a subpoena.” In February, Karbhari said he didn’t want a label to cause the school to lose funding. [The Shorthorn]
- Portions of Mockingbird Lane will be closed overnight for work on the pedestrian bridge. Eastbound lanes of Mockingbird Lane east of Central Expressway will be closed between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. Friday as construction continues on the Katy Trail pedestrian bridge. Dallas CultureMap reports: “Drivers will be detoured along the northbound Central Expressway access road, and make a big loop: east on Lovers Lane, to southbound Greenville Avenue, and back to Mockingbird Lane.” Contractors will be installing the first of three tower supports for the bridge. [Dallas CultureMap]
- Neiman Marcus popovers have been deemed Dallas’ most iconic dish. For three weeks, visitors to D Magazine voted in a bracket that came down to the popovers against Fletcher’s corny dogs. Here’s more on the victor: “The baked good was created in 1955; guests would wait an hour or so to be seated for lunch at The Zodiac (which opened in 1953), and the kitchen knew they had to get something on the table immediately. Helen Corbitt came up with the recipe. The warm and crisp starter is a tradition for many people—so much so that Neiman Marcus bakes approximately 40,000 popovers a week at their restaurants across the United States.” [D Magazine]
- Twitter wants this Texas couple to get back together for the sake of their dog, Apollo. Rebecca Hernandez on Monday tweeted pictures of her dog receiving its annual birthday card from her former partner, Frankie. High school sweethearts, the couple got married right after college, but have been separated for two years now. They adopted the puppy when he was a month old and when they were still together. Apollo lives with Hernandez, but Frankie’s still a part of his life. People were so moved by the story, they encouraged the couple to give it another go. [Buzzfeed]
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