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SeaWorld is an entertainment company that confines animals to cramped concrete tanks at its marine parks across the U.S. Its business is built on the suffering of sensitive, social animals. This week, the business is celebrating its 60th anniversary with the slogan “60 years of SeaWorld. So much more to sea.” And there is more to see: Years of hard-hitting campaigns by PETA and the eye-opening documentary Blackfish have exposed the marine park chain’s lies, revealing that a more fitting slogan to mark its grim anniversary would be “60 years of SeaWorld abuse. So much more behind the scenes.”

Learn more about 60+ animals SeaWorld has harmed over the past 60 years:

1. Corky

Orca Corky was captured in 1969 off the coast of British Columbia, Canada, forcibly and violently separated from her pod, and sold into captivity. From 1977 to 1986, at the now-defunct Marineland of the Pacific in California, she was used as a breeding machine and bred with her own cousin six times. None of her babies survived longer than 47 days.

In 1987, Corky was transferred to SeaWorld San Diego, where her last pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. Her dead baby was found at the bottom of a tank. Today she is locked inside one of SeaWorld’s tiny tanks, where she swims in endless circles. Her siblings and other members of her pod still swim freely in the ocean, but the only life she knows is one of deprivation, suffering, and loss.

2.–25. The 24 dolphins who were shipped around the world to SeaWorld Abu Dhabi in 2022

These victims of SeaWorld’s exploitation include Alice, Haven, and Zip, who were shipped from SeaWorld San Antonio; Tiger, Potter, Tinker, Roka, Dexter, Delilah, Storm, Naia, and Nala, who were shipped from SeaWorld Orlando; Daphne, Venus, Connie, Kali, Blue, and Bodie, who were shipped from SeaWorld San Diego; and Kona, who died at SeaWorld Abu Dhabi when she was just 7 years old.

26. Martha

In 1988, Martha was abducted from her ocean home near Manitoba, Canada, where wild belugas travel into Hudson Bay and river estuaries to give birth. She was then shipped to SeaWorld San Antonio in Texas, where she has been repeatedly impregnated, giving birth to five calves. All but one of them are dead.

27. Tilikum

Tilikum was only 2 years old when he was captured in the ocean near Iceland in 1983. Likely frustrated by his confinement and lack of autonomy, he was involved in the deaths of three humans, including trainer Dawn Brancheau. As a punishment for her death, SeaWorld kept him in solitary confinement for a year.

In addition to forcing Tilikum to perform, SeaWorld has used him as a breeding machine. Workers masturbated him and forcibly impregnated female orcas using his sperm. He’s the biological father of more than half the orcas who’ve been born at SeaWorld.

Tillikum died after 33 miserable years imprisoned in captivity. His tragic life—revealed to millions in the documentary Blackfish—changed the way the public thinks about keeping orcas in captivity.

28. Shamu

When Shamu was violently torn away from her family, her mother was harpooned and killed right in front of her. She was dragged away and sold to SeaWorld San Diego, where she was deprived of food in order to dominate her into submission so that she would learn tricks. She was forced to perform in the first-ever orca show at SeaWorld in 1965.

Shamu was exploited in shows until an incident in 1971 in which a park employee was instructed to ride on her back for a televised publicity stunt. When the woman fell off, the orca clamped her teeth down on her leg and refused to let go. A trainer shoved a pole into her mouth and pried her jaws open. The orca was retired from shows, but she didn’t live much longer.

Shamu died later in 1971 of pyometra (a uterine infection) and septicemia (blood poisoning) at 9 years old. For years, SeaWorld continued to use the name for various other orcas who were forced to perform in its shows.

29.–39. Ten Baby Penguins

 In 2011, SeaWorld took 10 baby penguins away from their parents in Antarctica and shipped them to its San Diego location for “research purposes.”

40. Nanuq

Beluga whale Nanuq was abducted from his home waters and family at 6 years old. SeaWorld staff used him for an artificial insemination experiment, removing him from the water some 42 times so that workers could collect his sperm.

Six of his babies died at birth or shortly after. Nanuq died after his jaw was shattered in an altercation with another whale.

41. Betsy

Betsy, a Commerson’s dolphin, was a baby when she was captured in the ocean and taken first to an aquarium and later to SeaWorld San Diego. There, she and her tankmates were reportedly moved to a tank at the back of the abusement park because they were unpopular with visitors. In January 2016, she was shipped across the country to SeaWorld’s Aquatica Orlando. Just days after the move, Betsy died at age 33.

42. Kasatka

Orca Kasatka was abducted from her family when she was just 1 year old, robbing her of any semblance of a natural life.

She spent most of her life in a tiny tank at SeaWorld San Diego, although she’d lived parts of it at each of the four SeaWorld parks in the U.S.—including the now-defunct SeaWorld Ohio—having been transferred between facilities 14 times in just eight years. Staff forced her to perform in as many as eight shows a day.

Before her death in 2017, Kasatka had been suffering from a bacterial lung infection since at least 2008, and her ailing body was covered in lesions. Even though she was sick and on medication at the time, SeaWorld artificially inseminated her in 2011 and forced her to bear a calf for its parks to exploit.

43. Obie

Walrus Obie spent 18 years confined to a tiny tank that was covered with a thin layer of green algae. The artificial habitat drove him insane. He typically displayed psychological distress by pressing his mouth against the glass and repeatedly regurgitating and swallowing his food. He also suffered from blindness. Eye damage is common in imprisoned pinnipeds, as the tanks to which they’re confined rarely allow for much shade from the harsh sun.

A blind walrus named Obie

44. Bossa

Dolphin Bossa never felt the cool ocean breeze on her dorsal fin or experienced the freedom to explore up to 60 miles of open ocean every day. Instead, she was born at SeaWorld Orlando in 1977 and doomed to confinement in concrete tanks. In 2006, she was transferred from SeaWorld Orlando to Discovery Cove, another SeaWorld-operated abusement park in the same city. There, she gave birth to her first calf—a stillborn who never had a chance to bond with her. She was then shuffled back to SeaWorld Orlando, where she gave birth to her second calf, Haley. In 2014, she went into labor for the third time, enduring another stillbirth, which caused her serious trauma. She died just a few days later.

45. Nakai

In August 2022, Nakai, while reportedly being treated for an infection, became the 44th orca to die on SeaWorld’s watch. He was born into captivity at SeaWorld San Diego, where he was imprisoned until his death 21 years later.

In 2012, Nakai was attacked by two other orcas—due to being housed with incompatible orcas in a tiny tank—and lost a chunk of his jaw, exposing tissue and bone. Following the gruesome altercation, PETA filed a complaint urging federal officials to take action against SeaWorld, alleging that the company had violated the federal Animal Welfare Act by housing incompatible orcas together.

46. and 47. Kandu V and Orkid

Kandu the orca was caught off the coast of Iceland in 1977. Her daughter, Orkid, was born in captivity during a show at SeaWorld San Diego in 1988 in front of a screaming crowd of tourists. Orkid’s father, Orky II, died of pneumonia just three days after she was born.

Orkid spent a lot of time with Corky when they shared a tank, but this may have led to jealousy, and Orkid’s mother, Kandu, attacked her. Forcefully charging Corky, Kandu broke her own jaw, severing arteries in her head. Orkid watched as her mother, only 14 years old, bled to death in front of her.

48. to 60. 12 Dolphins captured off the coast of Chile

In 1983, 12 dolphins were torn from their home waters in Chile to be put on display at SeaWorld. Half of them died within six months.

All the Other Animals Who Have Died at SeaWorld Parks

More than 40 orcas and over 500 other dolphins and whales have also died at these miserable operations, many prematurely.

What You Can Do: Urge SeaWorld to Send Corky to a Seaside Sanctuary

Although SeaWorld ended its orca-breeding program, that does nothing to help animals like Corky, who will continue to swim in circles inside tiny tanks for decades until they die. The company must release these long-suffering individuals to seaside sanctuaries, where they could have some semblance of a natural life. Demand that SeaWorld do the right thing:

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