Animal activists have fought to end the use of killer whales in entertainment based marine parks like SeaWorld. Many believe that the cruel practice of tearing calves from their mothers, keeping them in very small environments, and forcing them to perform needs to stop for both the animal’s and the safety of their trainers.
SeaWorld stated that their orcas were exceptionally well cared for and even enjoyed their daily performances. But today, orca advocates received the news they have been waiting for!
SeaWorld has captured orcas and bred them in captivity to use them in their live shows.
Activists have argued that tearing a calf from its mother, raising it in cramped conditions, and putting them under daily mental stress of a live performance was cruel.
SeaWorld states their orcas are happy, healthy, and even enjoy performing. They claim this despite the overwhelming evidence that orcas live up to 20 years less in captivity.
In 2010, trainer Dawn Brancheau was attacked and killed by a captive orca named Tilikum. Blackfish was the high profile documentary of her story, which exposed the public to the cruelty and danger of keeping orcas in captivity.
Once the film was released, the public has turned against SeaWorld and on Monday SeaWorld finally announced that it will be phasing out live orca shows in all of their parks!
This is not the end of captivity for these whales, there are still 24 whales kept at SeaWorld, but it is putting a stop to the performances which will improve their quality of life.
Orca advocates know this isn’t the end of the battle but it’s a major victory and a step in the right direction.
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