SeaWorld is an entertainment company that has large aquatic mammals in captivity performing tricks for humans. Their entertainment shows look impressive, but what goes on behind the scenes is rather scary. The good news is that in 2013 this aquatic animal abuse got mainstream attention.
In Canada, the Toronto Star ran an exposé on Marineland (similar to SeaWorld). In the USA a documentary on SeaWorld, Blackfish, has impacted attendance at both companies. Now that people know the poor conditions animals are held in, people have stopped supporting these misbehaving companies.
Seeing these animals can be impressive but we shouldn’t forget what the animals are used to.
In a recent interview, he explained that killer whales, which can cover 100 miles a day in open waters, don’t bother humans in the wild. Indeed, there’s only one documented case of an orca biting a surfer (in 1972), and even that incident was more likely an accident than an attack (the surfer was wearing a wetsuit and may have resembled a seal).
But captivity is a different story. Killer whales are kept in tight quarters, fed a diet of thawed fish, and routinely separated from their calves. These circumstances, according to Kirby, “create stress in these animals,” often to the extent that they lash out.
We also shouldn’t forget the power that even a small group of people can have:
What’s more assured is that, in an era of increasing corporate dominance, a low-budget investigative work can still send shock waves through an established corporation with a once pristine reputation. “SeaWorld used to be the darling of the media,” said Kirby.
Thanks to Jeanette!