killer whales

 

SeaWorld to stop breeding captive killer whales


PUBLISHED Thu, March 17, 2016 - 1:32pm EDT
Credit: SeaWorld


SeaWorld announced on Thursday that it will stop breeding captive killer whales and phase out its theatrical orca shows at all of its theme parks. Animal rights activists had been campaigning for such a move for years. (more)





SeaWorld Entertainment chief executive Joel Manby said the announcement means that the current generation of orcas will be the last in SeaWorld's care, noting that the company hasn't collected an orca from the wild in nearly four decades.

The company said the decision to end orca breeding programs will take effect immediately, but theatrical killer whale shows will continue for several years. San Diego will be the first park to end theatrical shows in 2017, as was previously announced, but the company has now decided to also end the shows at its parks in San Antonio and Orlando, effective 2019.

Instead, SeaWorld promises to introduce a program that allows orcas to focus on behaviors that are more natural, though specific details have not yet been released. It also means that the orcas currently at SeaWorld will continue to live out their lives in captivity.

"Some critics want us to go even further; they want us to 'set free' the orcas currently in our care. But that's not a wise option," Manby said in an op-ed. "Most of our orcas were born at SeaWorld, and those that were born in the wild have been in our parks for the majority of their lives. If we release them into the ocean, they will likely die."

SeaWorld has long faced criticism for its killer whale shows, particularly after the release of the documentary “Blackfish" in 2013, but Manby emphasized on Thursday that people's attitudes about orcas have "changed dramatically" since the first SeaWorld park opened in 1964.

"Orcas, or killer whales, were not universally loved, to put it mildly," he said. "Instead, they were feared, hated and even hunted. Half a century later, orcas are among the most popular marine mammals on the planet. One reason: People came to SeaWorld and learned about orcas up close."

Animal rights organization PETA said Thursday's announcement follows years of campaigning and is a "payoff" for future generations of orcas. "SeaWorld must open its tanks to the oceans to allow the orcas it now holds captive to have some semblance of a life outside these prison tanks," PETA Director Mimi Bekhechi said.





  United States        5 UPDATES

 

LEAVE COMMENTS



HAPPENING NOW


AROUND THE WEB



More Updates


 2 months   Killer whale Takara gives birth at SeaWorld San Antonio

              A killer whale has been born in captivity at a SeaWorld park in Texas, more than a year after the company announced that it would end its orca breeding program. The orca was already pregnant when the decision was made. (more) Read More


  San Antonio, TX        5 UPDATES

 


 5 months   Killer whale Tilikum, subject of ‘Blackfish’, dies at age 36

              Tilikum, the orca which made headlines when it killed its trainer during a show at SeaWorld Orlando and subsequently was the subject of the 2013 documentary "Blackfish", has died after a lengthy illness, the park says. (more) Read More


  Orlando, FL        5 UPDATES

 


 1 yr   Killer whale Tilikum that was subject of ‘Blackfish’ is severely ill

              Tilikum, the orca which made headlines in 2010 when it killed its trainer during a show at SeaWorld Orlando and which was the subject of the 2013 documentary "Blackfish," is severely ill, officials say. (more) Read More


  Orlando, FL        5 UPDATES

 


 

LIVE WIRE

Guatemala earthquake: Strong tremor strikes off the coast     1 hr  

California earthquake: Tremor felt in Berkeley and Oakland      19 hrs  

Police officer stabbed at Michigan airport in ‘act of terrorism’      24 hrs  

Florida Amber Alert: Alanda McCoy abducted from Milton     1 day  

Florida Amber Alert: Jessica Matias-Francisco abducted from Fort Myers      3 days  



.
email alerts



Just want the important news? Sign up now for the fastest email alerts from BNO News. Click here to get started!



Happening Now

Guatemala earthquake: Strong tremor strikes off the coast     1 hr  

Queen’s husband Prince Philip hospitalized with infection     10 hrs  

ISIS destroys Mosul mosque where it declared caliphate     18 hrs  

California earthquake: Tremor felt in Berkeley and Oakland      19 hrs  

Police officer stabbed at Michigan airport in ‘act of terrorism’      24 hrs  



Update List

Killer whale Takara gives birth at SeaWorld San Antonio     2 months  

Killer whale Tilikum, subject of ‘Blackfish’, dies at age 36     5 months  

Killer whale Tilikum that was subject of ‘Blackfish’ is severely ill     1 yr  

SeaWorld San Diego to phase out killer whale show in 2016     1 yr  


More U.S. News

Police officer stabbed at Michigan airport in ‘act of terrorism’      24 hrs  

Judge declares mistrial in Bill Cosby’s sexual assault case     4 days  

Gunman opens fire at UPS facility in San Francisco, killing 3     1 wk  

WATCH LIVE: U.S. Attorney General Sessions testifies before Senate committee     1 wk  

Puerto Rico votes for U.S. statehood in disputed referendum     1 wk