Sea World of Texas Saturday announced the birth of a killer whale and expressed guarded optimism for the 300-pound calf's progress.

"Both the calf and mother appear to be in excellent condition," said Glenn Young, vice president and general curator for the marine park.The calf is about 61/2 feet long and weighs about 300 pounds. It was born shortly after noon in the 7 million-gallon killer whale breeding facility at the 250-acre park.

Sea World officials first suspected the 7,000-pound whale Namu was pregnant several months ago.

Previous successful killer whale births at Sea World include one in Florida on Sept. 26, 1985, which became the first killer whale to thrive in the care of man, another born last Sept. 23 at Sea World of California and one at Sea World of Florida Nov. 4.

"The knowledge we have gained from the first successful birth has helped us in preparing for subsequent killer whale births," Young said.