Time to Swim Free


by Brianne Bowles

SeaWorld released a statement on their company blog that they “will introduce new, inspiring, natural orca encounters rather than theatrical shows, as part of our ongoing commitment to education, marine science research and the rescue of marine animals.”  Three years ago a documentary, Blackfish, was released that put a vast damper on SeaWorld’s Killer Whale show. This documentary shows the orca’s lives in captivity and the severity of captivity, along with the death of trainer Dawn Brancheau by their own whale Tilikum who had killed two other people before.

Since this documentary SeaWorld has received a lot of hate, and many people have voiced opinions about SeaWorld wishing they would stop its breeding programs. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA),an organization for the love and health of all animals, has a directed page toward SeaWorld and all concerns of the issue called “ SeaWorld Of Hurt.” On that page PETA released an article titled “BREAKING: PETA’s SeaWorld Campaign Wins Round One—Orca Breeding to End!” Just by reading the title PETA is rather excited about SeaWorld’s release of their earlier statement on no more theatrical shows and this round of orcas is the last to be bred in captivity, which for PETA seems to be a victorious win.

In this article PETA gives SeaWorld some credit for this decision but still sticks the knife in and turns it up a notch more by saying:  “Today comes the payoff. For decades, orcas, beluga whales, seals, and many other animals have suffered in confinement at SeaWorld. And while this decision is a step in the right direction, to do right by the orcas now, SeaWorld must move these long-suffering animals to ocean sanctuaries so that they may have some semblance of a natural life outside their prison tanks.”

This is a topic for discussion that will continue until it is proven and for SeaWorld also plans to end theatrical shows. SeaWorld released a statement on their “SeaWorld Cares” website expressing “No longer a theatrical show, these programs will focus on orca enrichment, exercise and overall health. Our existing show pools and viewing areas will be redesigned into a more naturalistic setting and we will continue to present the whales at scheduled times before a guest audience. This exciting transformation will start in our San Diego park next year, followed by San Antonio and then Orlando in 2019.”

Knowing this change will not happen overnight, SeaWorld is moving towards a future that will ultimately result in orcas no longer being included.

Photo Courtesy of: http://media.npr.org/

SeaWorld cares SeaWorld. “Educational Encounters.” Educational Encounters. N.p., 2016. Web. 08 Apr. 2016.

SeaWorld  Allen, Greg. “SeaWorld Agrees To End Captive Breeding Of Killer Whales.”NPR. NPR, 17 Mar. 2016. Web. 08 Apr. 2016.

PETA PETA. “BREAKING: PETA’s SeaWorld Campaign Wins Round One-Orca Breeding to End! – SeaWorld of Hurt.” SeaWorld of Hurt. N.p., 17 Mar. 2016. Web. 08 Apr. 2016.