Tag Archives: SeaWorld

As Tilikum Ails, Questions for SeaWorld

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.

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There’s Nothing "Natural" About SeaWorld’s New Plan

It didn’t take long for the major media to figure out that the latest announcement from SeaWorld was largely smoke and mirrors.

Yesterday, in the wake of mounting protests over its treatment of animals and hemorrhaging revenue from its downwardly spiraling public attendance, SeaWorld announced it would end the “theatrical killer whale experience” in San Diego by the end of 2016.

SeaWorld’s chief executive Joel Manby said:

“We are listening to our guests, evolving as a company, we are always changing. In 2017 we will launch an … Continue reading There’s Nothing "Natural" About SeaWorld’s New Plan

Orcas Are Not Thriving at SeaWorld

In a September 4, 2014, guest column titled “SeaWorld Responds” published in Florida Today, SeaWorld veterinarian Dr. Chris Dold said:

“[I] can unequivocally state that our whales, along with every other animal in our parks, are thriving, both mentally and physically.”

But how do you define “thriving”? According to Thomas White, who teaches ethics at Loyola Marymount University:

“Full, healthy growth and development of the traits, skills and dispositions that allow a being to have a satisfying and successful life as a member of that species.”

Thriving has … Continue reading Orcas Are Not Thriving at SeaWorld

Next Steps for the Orca Welfare and Safety Act

On April 8th, at the California legislature, the Orca Welfare and Safety Act went before the Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee. Passage of the bill would require the phasing out of captive breeding of orcas and their continued use for entertainment purposes.

After hearing testimony from scientists and advocates for the orcas, including from Dr. Naomi Rose of the Animal Welfare Institute and Dr. Deborah Giles of University of California, Davis, and then from SeaWorld officials and lobbyists, the committee requested an interim study and undertook to revisit … Continue reading Next Steps for the Orca Welfare and Safety Act