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Seaworld announces end of all orca breeding, last generation to remain at park habitats

in SeaWorld Orlando

Seaworld announced early Thursday that the orcas currently in their care will be the last generation at their parks and they will cease all breeding as of today.

The company also revealed they will end all theatrical shows starring the killer whales and instead will be introducing natural orca encounters “as part of its ongoing commitment to education, marine science research, and rescue of marine animals.” With new programs dedicated to the safety and well-being of these animals, Seaworld will begin this transition first at their San Diego park next year followed by San Antonio and then Orlando by 2019.

“SeaWorld has introduced more than 400 million guests to orcas, and we are proud of our part in contributing to the human understanding of these animals,” said Joel Manby, President and Chief Executive Officer of SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. “As society’s understanding of orcas continues to change, SeaWorld is changing with it. By making this the last generation of orcas in our care and reimagining how guests will encounter these beautiful animals, we are fulfilling our mission of providing visitors to our parks with experiences that matter.”

In a press release released in conjunction with the announcement, Seaworld also pointed out that they do not take marine animals from the wild and have not collected an orca from the wild in nearly 40 years. The remaining orcas that are currently in their care were either born in captivity or have spent almost their entire lives under human care. Seaworld claims they would not survive in the wild because of environmental concerns.

To that end, they also announced they will be entering into a new partnership with the Humane Society of the United States in a bid to help protect the oceans and marine life as well as educate their guests on animal welfare and conservation issues.

“We are pleased to join with HSUS on the significant issues facing marine mammals and their ocean homes,” said Manby. “The work done by zoological facilities like SeaWorld is critical for the protection of animals in the wild, especially marine mammals. To that end, SeaWorld has committed $50 million over the next five years to be the world’s leading marine animal rescue organization, to advocate for an end to the commercial killing of whales and seals and an end to shark finning.”

Guests at the parks will continue to be able to observe the last remaining orcas under their care through these newly announced “educational encounters” and in viewing areas that are already in existence.

13 Comments

  1. Greg

    It’s amazing how a “documentary” full of lies and misrepresentations – Blackfish – can cause such a change, instead of being really called to the carpet publicly for being so deliberately false.

    1. Monty

      Question. Even if Blackfish is full of lies, do you think the actions Sea World did today are ethically/morally/intrinsically good moves?

      I kinda do. For a long time the whale shows have somewhat bothered me…. I cannot explain why but I have always felt it was somewhat wrong. Admittedly, the first whale show I ever saw was at the Miami Seaquarium, which houses their whales in much older, smaller environments.

      From a business perspective this was the only choice. I love roller coasters, but I have not been over to Sea World in years because besides the roller coaster the rest of the park either disappointed or disturbed me. The park’s actions today have not convinced me to come back, but It certainly has opened the door for that possibility.

      1. EricJ

        “Question. Even if Blackfish is full of lies, do you think the actions Sea World did today are ethically/morally/intrinsically good moves?”

        If they’re done out of fear of an audience disingenuously motivated to hysteria, no.
        SeaWorld’s announcement that “We’ve never taken an orca from the wild, but starting today we’re not going to do it anymore,” is basically and openly ACCEPTING their punishment for an accused crime they didn’t commit.

        If AK decided that their treatment of white rhinos was objectionable to the audience, and decided to end their zoological care of them and let them take their endangered chances in the wild, would that be an ethical move, PC documentary or not?

        1. Monty

          I guess I kinda buried the lead in my comment. Sea World doing what they did was the right business move, because people will view it as a humane or otherwise “good” move.

          I bet their were significant measurable amounts of potential guests who were put off by the shows, and Sea World’s actions today address this problem.

          I am not a animal rights activist, or anything like that, but for some reason Sea World (specifically the whale shows) did not appeal to me (While AK and Busch Gardens did). Is this hypocritical. Yes, quite possibly so. Nonetheless, I was still a potential guest who was not inclined to visit Sea World. Now, after todays news, I am more inclined to go.

          1. Monty

            And no, I have not seen Blackfish because it looked so damn depressing and boring.

    2. Is

      Lies? How do we know what the truth is? Please share, I would love to know.

    3. PC Hater

      All of this because of the Lovable Libs and some one sided film. These magnificent animals are well cared for.

      I would like to take every one of these politically correct lovable libs and smack the fvcking shit out of them.

      I can’t wait until Trump takes over and teaches them all a lesson.

  2. Greg

    Lies, because one of the former Sea World trainers that was featured in the movie, very publicly said that her quotes were taken completely out of context, and when she complained, the producers tried to hush her up. She also said that many of the things mentioned in the film are completely wrong, and the producers knew, because she, if no one else, told them that, BEFORE the movie was released.

    If animals are being abused, I am certainly opposed to that. But I am not aware of proof of that, in regards to Sea World. The people that train the animals are animal lovers, so it doesn’t make sense. If having them in captivity is in and of itself abuse, then fling open all the doors of zoos worldwide – oh and when that is done, you doom many species that are extinct in the wild.

  3. Garaan

    I think it’s an admirable (and honestly, unavoidable) decision on Sea World’s part. The argument over orcas, mainly, is that they’re really too intelligent and too large to be cooped up in a pen. We got rid of the zoo enclosures that were 20 feet on a side; it’s time this sort of pen is phased out too. To be clear, I also think Blackfish was a horribly biased and damaging production and I don’t agree with basically anything regarding how it was made or presented, but it’s out there, lots of people believe whatever drek is dumped in their lap by the media anyway, so the only recourse Sea World has to keeping afloat is to bow to public opinion. Otherwise there’s just more and more people painting them as the cruel bad guys.

    Anyway, as others have pointed out, they don’t NEED to have them anymore. What used to be the main draw of the park has now been replaced by roller coasters, massive interactive displays, and other such fancy things. Honestly, I give them a lot of credit for managing to hang on this long, when similar parks (Marineland springs to mind) have failed years ago. They adapt with the times, and have managed to stay afloat because of it, when other parks have not, and suffered the consequence.

  4. K Webb

    In all due respect I give credit where credit is due.. Yes Seaworld has done amazing things in marine conservation and rescue and as well as scientific research in marine biology.. I give them applause.. HOWEVER … Taking animals out of the wild purely for money making entertainment I have to say goes against their main principles and is very hypocritical!! They have Tilikum now as their cash cow!! Why take from the wild anymore when there is no need. How does making a whale, dolphin and/or seal jump and flip have to do with Marine Conservation or educating the general public on marine animal behaviors and the study there of??? Absolutely NOTHING.. Interesting alone is that these parks are also in operation in two major tourist cities in America?? I’m not that blind or uneducated to use simple process of elimination to understand the bottom line…. And that’s GREED and MONEY! These animals are exploited, and SeaWorld is doing all they can to save their reputation and guest attendance to their parks since the release of Blacklist.. I didn’t need to watch that movie to find and understand all of the underlying facts. As of now these animals are better off where they are, look at what happened to Keiko the orca in Free Willy.. He died when they finally released him back to the wild Why?!! because he kept migrating to human population and contracted bacteria from the exposure. SeaWorld has doomed these animals to a life in captivity and they know this! Hence another motivation to continue generating revenue for their care. Lastly,Tilikum is an aggressive whale point, blank, period. History has proven that. It was tragically inevitable that there was another human fatality involving him.

    In recent reports I read that Tilikum is dying so it is no surprise that they are now announcing this will be the last generation they breed .. I absolutely detest Seaworld ..

  5. Reagan greer

    OK i got to work at seaworld for a couple of years just to pay off my school and apartment and these are all lies they took good care of all the animals gave them the right food and most certain of all they loved the animals. they never treated them like garbage or any thing the loved them like they were part of there family

  6. Dave

    Regardless of everything being discussed Sea World needed to do this or face bankruptcy and possibly liquidation, they have been losing money like crazy the past few years. Manby did what he needed to do to save the company.

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  1. SeaWorld anuncia fim dos shows e reprodução de suas orcas – Expresso Disney

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