It was a huge announcement from SeaWorld this morning as they announced that the company will end all orca breeding as of today. The company which has inspired generations to care and help for animals in the wild has decided that it will also phase our all orca theatrical shows.
SeaWorld will continue their commitment to the environment and to animals in the wild and will make a stronger effort to inspire a new generation through more educational opportunities for its guests. The orcas will continue to live at SeaWorld for many years to come, inspiring guests in new and natural ways.
“SeaWorld has introduced more than 400 million guests to orcas, and we are proud of our part in contributing to the human understanding of these animals,” said Joel Manby, President and Chief Executive Officer of SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. “As society’s understanding of orcas continues to change, SeaWorld is changing with it. By making this the last generation of orcas in our care and – how guests will experience these beautiful animals, we are fulfilling our mission of providing visitors to our parks with experiences that matter.”
The killer whales that are now in the care of SeaWorld will be the last generation of orcas at the parks and will continue to receive the highest-quality care based on the latest advances in marine veterinary medicine, science and zoological best practices. The majestic orcas in the care of SeaWorld will not be released into the ocean, nor confined to sea cages. They could not survive in oceans to compete for food, be exposed to unfamiliar diseases or to have to deal with environmental concerns – including pollution and other man-made threats.
“The work done by zoological facilities like SeaWorld is critical for the protection of animals in the wild, especially marine mammals. To that end, SeaWorld has committed $50 million over the next five years to be the world’s leading marine animal rescue organization, to advocate for an end to the commercial killing of whales and seals and an end to shark finning.” said Manby.
SeaWorld will now begin the phasing in of programs that will introduce guests to the orcas in a new habitat and program that will focus on the whales natural behaviors that can be seen in the wild. The change will begin with its park in San Diego next year and then will be followed by San Antonio and then Orlando in 2019.
SeaWorld is committed to education the 20 million plus visitors to its parks on how they can take action to help animals in the wild.
My concern with the ending of the breeding program of orcas at SeaWorld parks would be the implications that could arise from this when it comes to other breeding programs at other Zoological institutions. Zoological institutions as well as SeaWorld provide educational opportunities for the public when it comes to seeing animals that they may never be able to see in the wild. This education leads to a general awareness of taking care of the environment and helping animals in the wild who may need help. I hope that SeaWorld can remain succesful in their endeavor to educate and help animals in the wild as they are one of the largest organizations to do rescue and rehabilitation.