Did you hear the news that negative publicity stemming from the movie Blackfish has sunk SeaWorld’s stock so low that Standard & Poor’s has downgraded its credit rating to “junk bond” status and that now SeaWorld has announced a cunning plan in the hope of staunching the bleeding? The company still hasn’t gotten the message that the public overwhelmingly supports retiring the orcas. Instead, the abusement park is sinking millions of dollars into building bigger prisons, complete with flouncy bits on the outside to give visitors the illusion of the sea.
According to the “geniuses” in SeaWorld’s PR department, the new San Diego tank will measure 350 feet long—or just slightly longer than a football field. In their native ocean homes,orcas swim up to 100 miles a day. They’d have to do 1,500 laps to equal that in the new tank, swimming in their own diluted urine and with nothing to see, their sonar unable to work. Moreover, wild orcas dive to up to 1,000 feet. By contrast, their new cage will be just 50 feet deep. Ten orcas live at SeaWorld San Diego, measuring 20 to 30 feet long each. So these highly intelligent, social animals are each getting a space that is, to them, little more than a kiddie pool.
“This is a desperate drop-in-the-bucket move to try to turn back the hands of time when people [now] understand the suffering of captive orcas, and it will not save the company,” PETA’s director of animal law, Jared Goodman, told the Los Angeles Times. “A bigger prison is still a prison.”
Instead of building bigger concrete boxes, SeaWorld needs to spend its millions on creating coastal sanctuaries, where the orcas would have a more natural and less stressful life and where they could feel the tides and waves; see, sense, and communicate with their wild relatives and other ocean animals; and engage in other natural behavior that they are now denied. However, the park instead chooses to stick with the same inhumane circus-style business model that it has used for 50 years, despite all the violent and deadly incidents and evidence of harm to orcas and humans.
What You Can Do
Please, never, ever visit any SeaWorld park and ask SeaWorld to release the orcas to sanctuaries. Watch Blackfish and show it to your friends. Be sure to share your thoughts on Twitter and Facebook, too.