|SeaWorld, Tilikum, Joel Manby, marina mammal, orca, parks, captive breeding, empty the tanks, free willy, black fish, move, mary cummins, animal advocates|
SeaWorld announced the end of their orca breeding program on March 17, 2016 in all their marine parks around the US. They will also stop their "theatrical orca shows" and concentrate more on rescuing marine mammals. From their CEO Joel Manby "We will introduce new, inspiring, natural orca encounters rather than theatrical shows, as part of our ongoing commitment to education, marine science research and the rescue of marine animals." If you read the press release, you can tell that while things will be changing, the changes may not be that dramatic.
They stopped taking baby orcas from their moms years ago because making them with artificial mating and insemination was cheaper. Their main sperm donor Tilikum is on his death bed/tank in Florida. No more Tilikum, no more free sperm. Notice they announced they would stop their breeding program a day after they announced Tilikum was dying. SeaWorld was forced to stop their breeding program in California by the California Coastal Commission. They were forced to stop their breeding program in all SeaWorlds around the US when they announced Tilikum who lives in Florida was dying. The only reason they stopped their breeding program was because Tilikum is dying and the public no longer wants to view their cruel orca shows and exhibits because of the documentary “Black Fish.” The main reason was the almighty dollar.
That said I’m still glad they are stopping the breeding program and the current orca shows. Still, animal activists can’t yet rest. SeaWorld will be doing “educational” shows showing “natural behaviors.” Based on what I’ve seen of “educational” marine mammal shows they will still show them breaching, spyhopping, tail-lobbing, pectoral fin slapping and eating. They will also show them doing all SeaWorld learned behaviors so they can be examined by a veterinarian such as rolling over, swimming up to and on a platform... I’m sure they will still do some parts of their regular shows calling it “enrichment” so they get “exercise and don’t get bored.” All in all I doubt much will really change. They may even have some “oops” babies like other zoos do. Babies bring in the crowds and the money. So do the live “shows.” We need to still keep our eyes on SeaWorld to monitor what they will actually do.
Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates is a wildlife rehabilitator licensed by the California Department of Fish and Game and the USDA. Mary Cummins is also a licensed real estate appraiser in Los Angeles, California.
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