SeaWorld Shame: Orcas to Remain Captive Despite Public Condemnation

November 9, 2015: In a presentation handout made available ahead of the company’s webcast, SeaWorld announced plans to phase out the “theatrical killer whale show” at their San Diego park in 2016, with a new orca experience set to make its debut the following year, in 2017. The new experience would be “informative” and encompass a “…more natural setting,”* while apparently ending any hopes that the animals would be moved to retirement sea pens, a move advocated by marine mammal scientists and environmentalists worldwide.

While SeaWorld would like us to believe their motivation is advocacy based, indicating the display would convey a “conservation message inspiring people to act,”* the company has clearly ignored the millions who have already acted and voiced their stance, specifically, that: keeping orcas in captivity is an unacceptable and outdated practice, no matter the exhibit or size of the tanks.

SeaWorld SanDiego New Orca Experience 2017

Source: SeaWorld presentation handout, November 9, 2015

Criticism of SeaWorld’s captive orca display has been mounting since the 2013 release of “Blackfish,” a documentary underscoring the multitude of problems associated with such displays. Just last week, on November 6, 2015, Rep. Schiff Introduced the Orca Responsibility and Care Advancement (ORCA) Act to Phase Out the Display of Captive Killer Whales. This federal legislation would prohibit the breeding, wild capture, import or export of the species. And just last month in October, the California Coastal Commission voted to ban the breeding of orcas at SeaWorld.

Most telling is our featured image: SEAS Admissions Pricing Principles: Establish pricing framework to drive volume and incease [sic] profitability*

The bottom line?  $ Enhance Revenue $ – even if this means the continued imprisonment of their investments, the animals themselves.


*Source: Presentation handout, SeaWorld, November 9, 2015

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About Cara Sands

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It might be true that we don't recall many moments from our early years. However, Cara's first memory of a dolphin had her begging her parents to ask the trainer to let the dolphin go! The problem with captivity was evident to her, even as a 4 year-old child.

A writer by trade, Cara has researched, investigated and documented dolphins suffering in captivity. From documenting dolphins incarcerated in buildings, cut-off from fresh air, sunlight and normal socialization to researching cases of animals imprisoned in solitary confinement, Cara is a dedicated dolphin welfare advocate.

It is her belief that education equals empowerment. The more information shared, the better our choices and knowledge of how to act as a positive and respectful voice for dolphins across the world.

Cara is based out of Canada and makes time whenever possible to observe dolphins in their natural environments. She is writing her first fiction novel but knowing her, the marine world will play a prominent role in her book!

"The use of animals for entertainment is nothing more than an abuse of dominance. Some of the most sentient species on the planet have been exploited to incomprehensible levels, all due to their inherent benevolence. Ironic, considering that we turn to the abused themselves for displays of humanity."
~ Cara Sands

Author: Cara Sands


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