Sea World makes Major Announcements; ending Orca Breeding
Sea World just made the major announcement on Thursday that they will end their orca breeding program. The 56 year old marine entertainment company says the killer whales that are being taken care of at their parks will be the last generation that will inhabit Sea World and orca breeding will end immediately. According to Joel Manby, President and CEO of Sea World Entertainment, more than 400 million guests have been entertained by orcas and have provided a better understanding of the species to the human guests that have come to the shows. While the company says it has not collected orcas from the wild in 40 years, a lot of their orcas were born in human care.
The orcas that currently live at SeaWorld will continue to do so, including Takara, who became pregnant last year and they will receive high quality care with zoological best practices. Guests can visit the orcas at any park’s “educational encounters” and viewing areas in the existing habitats. Sea World says they have a deep commitment to the protection of wildlife animals, especially marine mammals and they will spend $50 million over the next five years to be a world leading animal rescue organization. They will focus on advocating the end of commercial killing of whales and seals and shark finning.
To provide more detail on Sea World’s educational encounters, the parks will offer natural encounter exhibits rather than theatrical shows as part of their commitment to education and research to marine science and rescue of marine animals. Everything in this regard will focus on the natural habitat, research and education of the animals. With the theatrical shows being phased out, the show pools and viewing areas will be redesigned to a more natural setting and will present the whales at various times to audiences. The change will take effect in San Diego next year, then San Antonio and finally Orlando in 2019.
Sea World is also teaming up with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to focus on the health of oceans and the animals that inhabit them. The joint partnership will partner to preserve wildlife animals and the places they live. Sea World and HSUS will work together to help end commercial killing of whales, seals and other marine mammals as well as shark finning. The two entities will also partner to protect the coral reefs and the marine life that inhabit in the environment from the commercial collection of wild-caught ornamental fish. Additionally, all seafood served at Sea World parks will be sustainable and will be accompanied by other food offerings that provide animal welfare awareness like crate-free pork, cage-free eggs and more vegan options.
The huge announcement was also accompanied by an open letter written by Manby, which was published in the Los Angeles Times. After years of controversy and protests, this is the first major step that has been taken at the collection of parks. It’s certainly a step in the right direction to ensure that the precious animals that bring delight and entertainment to guests will be able to live healthy and happy. Tell us: what are your thoughts on Sea World’s announcement? Are you happy with their plans and does it change your opinion of them? Let us know in the comments below and on our socials!
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