SeaWorld announces end to orca breeding

Posted Thursday, March 17, 2016 8:29 AM | Contributed by GoBucks89

SeaWorld will end its killer whale breeding immediately, the company announced Thursday, after years of controversy over keeping its orcas in captivity. The sweeping change to its business model will also include ending theatrical shows and introducing "new, inspiring, natural orca encounters." That change will start in the San Diego park next year, followed by San Antonio and then Orlando in 2019.

Read a short statement from the company, and more from The Orlando Sentinel.

Thursday, March 17, 2016 8:47 AM

The CEOs of SeaWorld and the Humane Society were on CBS This Morning this morning.

+0
Thursday, March 17, 2016 9:21 AM

I can understand why they finally capitulated. Blackfish and the resulting protests were a crapstorm that failed to subside, no matter how many facts or conservation efforts SeaWorld presented to the public. Better to change now than face constant battles for years to come, like the overreaching zoning boards.

However, I'm guessing we're moments away from PETA declaring that we should end Dolphin Slavery or protesting Busch Gardens for elephant captivity. SeaWorld gave PETA and its affiliates a huge win today, and they are undoubtedly going to use it to demand more changes.

Last edited by Sagretti, Thursday, March 17, 2016 9:56 AM
+0
Thursday, March 17, 2016 9:55 AM

I think the best part of this announcement is that the orcas will no longer be performing circus like theatrical shows, and will instead be on display for more a educational purpose. Those Ringling Bros-esque shows were always what irked me just a bit.

I do have strong views against animal care in many circuses, but I think Sea World has a huge win on their hands here. This news, plus seeing Mako every time I go down Central Florida Pkwy, makes me want to invest in some upcoming visits.

(and yes - PETA will somehow make this a negative and just will increase their already absurd demands)

+1Loading
Thursday, March 17, 2016 9:59 AM

I'll say it again, Blackfish had little impact on the company's performance. Not building anything in Orlando while raising prices, did.

I have mixed feelings about the announcement. The "argument" mixed the morality of captive animals with (false) allegations of abuse, and the latter fueled the former. There is so much projection and personification about what the animals feel that is irrational to me. I will always maintain that these animals would be extinct if it weren't for SeaWorld, because no one would have cared about them one way or another.

+7Loading
Thursday, March 17, 2016 10:07 AM

Bingo. The very success of Sea World in introducing the world to orcas via Shamu has come back to bite them...no pun intended. I like the idea of a "natural" dolphin exhibit vs a show and I suspect I would prefer that with the orcas as well. But, I'm not sure I support an artificial ending of the breeding program. I think Sea World should be allowed (or choose) to let nature take its course. If nature drives them to breed with one another, so be it. But, I don't think they should be specifically working on that as an objective, if that makes sense.

+0
Thursday, March 17, 2016 10:13 AM

Jeff said:

The "argument" mixed the morality of captive animals with (false) allegations of abuse, and the latter fueled the former. There is so much projection and personification about what the animals feel that is irrational to me.

That was my biggest frustration with all of the recent furor. There are legitimate questions about what animals can be kept in captivity, and how to best keep them healthy and "happy." For example, large zoos with the right staff can properly care for elephants, but I'm glad they're no longer being trucked across the country for circus shows. But the recent protests were fueled by people that saw one highly inaccurate, biased documentary and suddenly decided they were animal activists. I nearly crashed my car rolling my eyes at the billboards on I-4 equating whale captivity with slavery.

Edit: Ironically, preventing the whales from breeding will probably be more cruel to them than keeping them in captivity.

Last edited by Sagretti, Thursday, March 17, 2016 10:19 AM
+0
Thursday, March 17, 2016 10:24 AM

The next generation will have no idea what an Orca is or what it looks like. It will become somewhat of a myth few people will ever be aware of. The whole purpose of a museum built in a city center is to expose the people to art and history they wouldn't otherwise have access to. The same can be said of zoo's and aquarium's. They allow people living in a concrete jungle to experience the natural world they would otherwise never see. It allows people to broaden their minds and inspire a love for animals. So this is why I feel killing this program is like throwing the baby out with the bathwater and it sets a backward a hundred years in care for animals.

+3Loading
Thursday, March 17, 2016 10:53 AM

Pathetic! SeaWorld basically gave in to what I consider a domestic terrorist organization.

+0
Thursday, March 17, 2016 11:04 AM

Sagretti said:
There are legitimate questions about what animals can be kept in captivity, and how to best keep them healthy and "happy."

This actually reminds me of a good point one of the vets at Animal Kingdom made to me, when we were talking about the nonsense that SeaWorld was enduring. She put it this way: A lot of zoos and non-profit facilities barely scrape by when it comes to financing their animal care. When someone like SeaWorld or Animal Kingdom have to decide on a medicine or act of care, they just do it. The cost rarely comes into play. I think that's a great example of the commitment that these companies make, and I don't see that as being incompatible with being a profitable company.

+8Loading
Thursday, March 17, 2016 11:19 AM

I'm not sure I'd want to be in charge of putting on the condoms...

+9Loading
Thursday, March 17, 2016 11:22 AM

I'm pretty sure that Magnums aren't big enough.

+0
Thursday, March 17, 2016 12:14 PM

Jeff said:

I'll say it again, Blackfish had little impact on the company's performance. Not building anything in Orlando while raising prices, did.

I'm sure that's true, and the plural of anecdote is not data, but...

...my wife now refuses to attend a Sea World park, and has ever since Blackfish came out. This is a woman who had a Sea World annual pass at one point.

+1Loading
Thursday, March 17, 2016 12:35 PM

I wonder how long it'll be until Greyfish. Dolphins are, by my understanding, as intelligent if not more intelligent as orcas and are kept in similar conditions.

+0
Thursday, March 17, 2016 1:20 PM

Sagretti said:
I'm pretty sure that Magnums aren't big enough.

Wouldn't the Magnums just sink?

+4Loading
Thursday, March 17, 2016 1:31 PM

Brian Noble said:

Jeff said:

I'll say it again, Blackfish had little impact on the company's performance. Not building anything in Orlando while raising prices, did.

I'm sure that's true, and the plural of anecdote is not data, but...

...my wife now refuses to attend a Sea World park, and has ever since Blackfish came out. This is a woman who had a Sea World annual pass at one point.

I know I'm in the minority around here on this, too, but... Blackfish made me pause about Sea World. I know nothing is all good or all bad and I'm intelligent enough to know that a documentary is going to have bias. But I also have a strong reaction to seeing animals suffer in any way. And the scene with the orcas screaming/crying for hours because they were separated from their children...well...it left a mark for me.

Sea World has done a lot of good, no question. But that doesn't mean they haven't done any harm along the way.

+1Loading
Thursday, March 17, 2016 1:45 PM

Couldn't the same be said for when other animals are separated from each other like dogs. You won't hear a push back on not breaking up a dog's family.

+1Loading
Thursday, March 17, 2016 1:49 PM

I'm gonna to take a third, slightly different, stance.

I think the impact of all the contorversy has been downplayed around here too. (and this is only like the gazillionth time I said it)

Sea World spent to much time reacting to all of it. You don't waste that kind of time and effort on something if you don't at least think is affecting you.

It doesn't matter if the claims are valid. Or that SeaWorld isn't doing lots of good. But perception is reality. This reached far and wide. Their declining numbers aren't because they waited too long to build Mako.

+8Loading
Thursday, March 17, 2016 1:50 PM

Bingo. I can't tell you how many people I've heard say they won't go back. And not because of the rides.

+0
Thursday, March 17, 2016 2:00 PM

The "screaming" animals things was outed as fake by, I hate to even admit this, Fox News of all places. If that weren't enough, there has been an awful lot of line blurring about what happened under any particular owners of the animals. The Busch, then Busch-InBev, then stand-alone companies have been very different. The company today isn't the same, and in the cases of legitimate mistreatment, none of that is the fault or responsibility of the current company or Busch variations.

I'm not saying that the film had no impact on the company, but if you look at the timing of poor company results, primarily the first half of 2014, you have a park increasing ticket prices with nothing new to show for it, while Harry Potter and New Fantasyland are out selling. Then in 2015, the bleeding stops, with essentially flat growth in terms of income. If there was a lasting effect, it sure didn't show in the bottom line.

Last edited by Jeff, Thursday, March 17, 2016 2:01 PM
+0

You must be logged in to post

POP Forums - ©2018, POP World Media, LLC
Loading...