SeaWorld Announces No New Generations of Orcas at Parks
In an announcement on its company website, SeaWorld announced that the current Killer Whales at their parks will be their last.
In an effort to adapt with the times and the changing mentalities on animals in captivity, SeaWorld will no longer use Orcas as an attraction after the current generation that is under their care. SeaWorld's Orca population became a controversial subject after the 2013 CNN documentary 'Blackfish' profiled the deaths caused by one of the company's whales, Tilikum. According the the company's announcement,
Why the big news? SeaWorld has been listening and we're changing. Society is changing and we're changing with it. SeaWorld is finding new ways to continue to deliver on our purpose to inspire all our guest(s) to take action to protect wild animals and wild places.
The orcas will continue to live at SeaWorld for many years to come, inspiring guests in new and natural ways. They will continue to receive the highest-quality care based on the latest advances in marine veterinary medicine, science and zoological best practices.
SeaWorld will also be partnering with the Humane Society to advocate ocean wildlife protection. U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman of California has sponsored legislation to help protect Orcas and praised SeaWorld's decision,
I am thrilled to see the wave of opposition build to where SeaWorld finally has done the right thing and ended their captive breeding program of orcas.
While some have praised SeaWorld for their plans, PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk said that its not enough,
PETA has campaigned hard and today there is a payoff for future generations of orcas. For decades orcas, dolphins, beluga whales, seals and many other animals have suffered in SeaWorld confinement, and to do right by them now, SeaWorld must open the tanks to ocean sanctuaries so that these long-suffering animals may have some semblance of a life outside their prison tanks. SeaWorld has taken a step forward but more must come.