SeaWorld has announced this morning that they are ending their orca breeding program.
Instead, the company is creating “new, inspiring, natural orca encounters, rather than theatrical shows, as part of its ongoing commitment to education, marine science research, and rescue of marine animals.” These encounters will revolve around “orca enrichment, exercise and overall health” and will begin in San Diego next year, San Antonio in 2018 and Orlando in 2019.
SeaWorld has partnered with the Humane Society of the United States to achieve these goals and protect the oceans and the marine animals.
Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society, said, “SeaWorld’s commitment to end breeding of orcas is a long-held goal of many animal advocacy organizations, and we commend the company for making this game-changing commitment.”
Joel Manby, president and CEO of SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc., said, “SeaWorld has introduced more than 400 million guests to orcas, and we are proud of our part in contributing to the human understanding of these animals. As society’s understanding of orcas continues to change, SeaWorld is changing with it. By making this the last generation of orcas in our care and reimagining how guests will encounter these beautiful animals, we are fulfilling our mission of providing visitors to our parks with experiences that matter.”
Manby added, “The work done by zoological facilities like SeaWorld is critical for the protection of animals in the wild, especially marine mammals. To that end, SeaWorld has committed $50 million over the next five years to be the world’s leading marine animal rescue organization, to advocate for an end to the commercial killing of whales and seals and an end to shark finning.”
A press release from SeaWorld states that the company “reaffirms its commitment not to collect marine mammals from the wild. It has not collected an orca from the wild in nearly 40 years, and the orcas at SeaWorld were either born there or have spent almost their entire lives in human care. These orcas could not survive in oceans that include environmental concerns such as pollution and other man-made threats.”
News source: WFTV
Photo credit: Orlando Sentinel
Leah grew up in a little farming town in Illinois, right on the Mississippi River. Her Chicago-born husband, David, left the city for her, and they're now raising their three children (Jacob, Jonah and Lydia) just 12 miles from her hometown. As the Senior Editor of the DIS (wdwinfo.com), Leah spends a lot of time writing about, reading about, and discussing Disney. So, it should come as no surprise that one of her family's favorite ways to spend time is going to Walt Disney World and traveling on Disney Cruise Line. She also enjoys shopping, watching movies with her husband and doing crafts with and for her kids.