March 17, 2016
SeaWorld has announced that it will stop their killer whale breeding program. The announcement was made through a letter sent to the LA times. Takara is currently pregnant with what will be her 5th live calf. This calf will be the last born at SeaWorld.
This announcement comes with the news that they will be moving away from theatrical shows and moving to an educational format. According to Seaworld they will be transforming their show tanks and view areas (Shamu close up) to a more naturalistic environment. The plan to start construction with SeaWorld San Diego next year. SeaWorld San Antonio will follow and lastly SeaWorld Orlando.
If SeaWorld follows through on this announcement it would mean that they are finally getting away form circus type entertainment and finally becoming a true aquarium/zoo facility. SeaWorld has been claiming for years that they were an educational facility dedicated to conservation. However that simply wasn’t the case while they focused their shows on unnatural killer whale acrobatics.
As a species killer whales are not endangered (even though the Southern Resident population in Washington state is critically endangered). What’s more the captive population is only a few generations away from any paring resulting in an inbreed calf. In fact there are already several whales that are the result of both intentional and unintentional inbreeding. Adan and Vicky (now diseased) who are the result of an intentional half uncle and niece paring (Keto and Kohana) and Nalani is the result of an accidental mother and son pairing (Katina and Taku). Even A.I. could have only ever bought SeaWorld a further 1 or 2 generations. The only responsible thing to do is to stop breeding. I am happy to see SeaWorld deciding to make their actions match their rhetoric of being a facility truly focused on education and conservation.
Source: SeaWorld Cares