SeaWorld Ban on Breeding
April 8, 2016
Filed under News
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As of March 17, SeaWorld will cease the breeding of killer whales due to public reaction from animal activists, regulators, and lawmakers. SeaWorld in San Diego, California announced back in November that killer whale performances will end within the next year, this being the last generation of whales in its theme parks.
The downfall of the theme parks began with the book “Death at SeaWorld: the Dark Side of Killer Whales in Captivity” and the documentary “Blackfish”. Both revealed the treatment of the animals within the parks.
“This year, we will end all orca breeding programs – and because SeaWorld hasn’t collected an orca from the wild in almost four decades,” Mr. Joel Manby wrote to the New York Times in relation to the legislative decision.
Four decades is great without catching a killer whale, great, right? Wrong.
Part of SeaWorld’s breeding program is to breed the strongest whales with the others. Tilikum, the famous whale from “Blackfish”, has fathered 21 calves, 10 of which are still alive. Due to his aggressive nature toward humans, including three trainers the whale has killed, SeaWorld still includes him in the breeding program. Breeding an aggressive gene just creates more trouble for the park and the whales.
Killer whales were once thought to be major predators of the ocean, but in recent years, they have joined elephants in the “adored wildlife” category. They have strong family values, staying in the same pod their entire lives.
The investigation of the park and media popularity has taken a massive toll on attendance at SeaWorld. In 2015, total attendance was 22.47 million, increasing since 2014. However, in the past year, revenue has dropped $1.37 billion.