SeaWorld’s Downward Trajectory Continues in 3Q Results

SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. has released its third quarter 2016 results – and again, revenues and attendance are down.

According to a press release dated November 8, 2016, the company reported revenues of $485.3 million versus $496.9 million in the third quarter 2015, a decrease of $11.6 million. Net income was listed as $65.7 million as compared to $98.0 million in the third quarter of 2015, a reduction of $32.3 million. Attendance was stated as “flat,” blamed on a combination of “…adverse weather at the company’s Northeast park locations…along with a decline in international attendance, mainly from Latin America which decreased attendance by approximately 93,000 guests, or 28%, compared to the third quarter of 2015.”*
*Source: SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. Reports Third Quarter 2016 Results

While these results would indicate people are thinking twice before plunking down their hard-earned monies to watch captive dolphin and whale displays, it’s really hard not to notice such staggering numbers: $485.3 million in revenues, and that’s only for three months.

Imagine the investment SeaWorld could make towards vastly improving the quality of life for their performing marine mammals. 


Camp Lumba Lumba dolphin rehabilitation and release center, Indonesia

Camp Lumba Lumba dolphin rehabilitation and release center, Indonesia
Credit: Dolphin Project

Everyone is deserving of a proper retirement, and that includes the dolphins who contributed so profoundly to the company’s revenues. Many lost their lives in the process, and none of the animals were consulted as to whether they wanted to live in manmade tanks. Wouldn’t this alone justify their return to a life they were born to live?

SeaWorld has committed to a new orca encounter, one based on behaviors in the wild. The company’s move away from “theatrical” shows comes at a time when they have been legally mandated to stop orca breeding at their San Diego, California location. In fact, parks in Orlando, Florida and San Antonio, Texas won’t potentially see these changes until 2019. Why wait 2+1/2 years to stop performances? This is absurd, enforcing the belief that SeaWorld is only changing because the public has forced them to.

Bloodied bottlenose dolphins after throwing themselves up against rocks

Bloodied bottlenose dolphins after throwing themselves up against rocks.

When one considers the brutal nature of wild dolphin captures, there can be no question that the mammals are hard-wired to be free, not subservient to human controls. Even captive-born dolphins are subject to the rigorous demands of ‘life’ as circus performers, and are put through stressful and degrading conditioning.

It’s time that “SEA” World lived up to its name, by ending the exploitation of dolphins and putting compassion over profits. 


How to Help

Take The Pledge to Not Visit a Dolphin Show!

Take the Pledge to Not Buy a Ticket to a Dolphin Show 

Featured image: CC 3.0 license, Antoine Taveneaux

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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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