The Whale Sanctuary Project has been met with enthusiasm and relief by animal advocates, scientists and people everywhere who understand not only that it is impossible for orcas and other marine mammals to thrive in concrete tanks, but that it is fundamentally immoral to use them in this way.
While we applaud the SeaWorld decisions to end immediately their captive breeding program and to phase out theatrical shows by 2019, we cannot in good conscience allow the misrepresentations in your new advertising campaign to go unanswered and unchallenged.
We emphatically reject your mischaracterization of seaside sanctuaries as “sea cages”.
SeaWorld’s announcement that it will stop breeding captive orcas is a step in the right direction.
But sooner or later the company is going to have to bite the bullet and admit that coastal sanctuaries are the only practical and ethical solution to its dilemma.
SeaWorld announced today that Tilikum, the orca at the center of the Blackfish documentary, is suffering from a drug-resistant lung infection and is close to death.
The emotional outrage being heaped upon SeaWorld for its exploitation of these animals is fully justified. But the ongoing charade perpetuated by theme parks about the welfare of captive cetaceans also demands a response.
A soft drink commercial that features a strange chimeric creature called the PuppyMonkeyBaby (a beast that combines human baby legs, a monkey body and a pug dog’s head) premiered during Super Bowl 50. The weird animal is supposed to represent the “awesome” combo of Mountain Dew, juice and caffeine, but many people call it “creepy “, “scary” and just downright “disturbing “. The idea of a dog-monkey-baby makes for one horrifying creation.
But chimeras aren’t just the stuff of soft drink advertisers; they’re being produced in laboratories around the world. And for these animals, it’s a life of confinement, exploitation and invasive procedures that invariably ends in death.
On December 13th, Dr. Lori Marino of The Kimmela Center and Dr. Naomi Rose of the Animal Welfare Institute, presented a day-long public workshop entitled Sea-Pen Sanctuaries: Progressing Toward Better Welfare for Captive Cetaceans.
The workshop focused on key issues relevant to developing and maintaining a coastal sanctuary for formerly captive and injured/sick whales and dolphins. There are sanctuaries for other large highly social and wide-ranging mammals, such as the Performing Animal Welfare Society, but there are none anywhere in the world yet for dolphins and whales.