Sea World’s Animal Treatment Causes Controversy

Posted on October 11, 2017 by

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Thirty-seven orcas have died at SeaWorld. None of them died from old age. All orcas that have been confined in SeaWorld have died before the age of thirty.

Recent controversy over the reproduction of these giant mammals in captivity has generated a new question: Is SeaWorld’s care for their orcas adequate enough for these animals to live long and healthy lives?

In the wild, orcas can live to be 100. In captivity, however, the average age of deaths at SeaWorld is 13.  The main cause of death for these whales in captivity varies. Tilikum, the infamous Orca, died from bacterial pneumonia. In July, the last Orca that was born in captivity, Kyara, died from the same infection as Tilikum.

These whales can swim up to 100 miles a day in the wild. That would mean that they would need to swim 3,105 lengths around the largest tank in SeaWorld to achieve this.

Animals who are not willing to live together are forced in tight spaces with each other. This causes fights that can turn deadly. The orca Kandu died after attacking another orca. She bled out after colliding with Corky.

Additionally, many trainers in the marine park have had little to no prior training in the marine biology field. They do not educate their presenters about these animal’s social structures, vocalizations, eating habits, intelligence, and many other topics relating to orcas.

Many lawsuits and complaints have been filed in response to evidence showing mistreatment of SeaWorld’s animals. In 2014, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) filed a complaint to the USDA asking to make SeaWorld provide protection for orcas against the hot sun.

In 2012, the USDA issued a warning to SeawWrld for the failure to supply drain covers for some of their tanks. This was the result of a sea lion trapping itself and dying. Many more cases have been brought to light in regards to SeaWorld being unable to care for its animals.

“I believe that SeaWorld should provide the best care possible for their orcas. I do not feel like they should be in captivity as well,” junior Savannah Lopez said.

Posted in: Morgan Althouse