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SeaWorld is a business built on the suffering of intelligent, social animals who are denied everything that’s natural and important to them. But what horrible things has the abusement park done, specifically? From tearing animals away from their families to breeding and inbreeding them and imprisoning them in small, barren tanks, we’re breaking it all down:

1. SeaWorld exploited an expectant mother for publicity. Employees posted the sonogram of a pregnant beluga whale on social media for views and “likes” in a shameful attempt to lure new visitors to its park in San Antonio. If her baby survives, he or she will never know anything outside of a concrete prison unless SeaWorld releases all suffering whales into seaside sanctuaries.

2. An orca named Shamu performed in the first-ever orca show at SeaWorld in 1965. She’d been abducted from her mother—and during her capture, her mother was shot with a harpoon and killed right in front of her. Shamu died six years later, although SeaWorld continued to use the name for various other orcas who were forced to perform in its shows.

3. In 1978, SeaWorld captured two sharks from the ocean and put them in an enclosure. Within three days, they’d run into a wall, sunk to the bottom of the enclosure, and died. SeaWorld has continued to imprison and kill different species of sharks ever since.

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

5. SeaWorld separated two bonded polar bears—Szenja and Snowflake—after they’d spent 20 years together, leaving Szenja without any other members of her species to interact with. She died two months later—likely with a broken heart.

6. A dolphin named Ringer was impregnated by her own father, and there’s a good chance that her last calf was inbred as well. (She’s had several babies—and all of them have died.)

7. In 2011, the company took 10 baby penguins away from their parents in Antarctica and shipped them to SeaWorld in California for “research purposes.”

8. In 2015, SeaWorld shipped 20 penguins via FedEx on a 13-hour journey from California to Michigan, transporting them inside small plastic crates with air holes and forcing them to stand on blocks of ice.

9. Nanuq, a beluga whale, was abducted from his home waters and family at 6 years old, and he was used for an artificial insemination experiment at SeaWorld. He was removed from the water about 42 times so that workers could collect his sperm. Six of his babies died at birth or shortly after. Nanuq died, too, after his jaw was shattered.

10. SeaWorld continued buying orcas who were taken from their families. Its orca hunter even hired divers to cut open the stomachs of five orcas, fill them with rocks, and put anchors around their tails in order to sink them to the bottom of the ocean so that their deaths wouldn’t be discovered.

11. Abducted at 1 year old, an orca named Kasatka was imprisoned by SeaWorld in a tank for nearly 40 years—until she died. Workers made her perform up to eight shows a day, transferred her to different locations 14 times within eight years, used her for breeding, and took her babies away.

12. Kasatka’s mate, Kotar, was killed after a pool gate closed on his head, fracturing his skull.

13. An orca named Corky was abducted from her family and home as a baby, then impregnated over and over again—six times with sperm from her own cousin. Today, she’s locked inside one of SeaWorld’s tiny tanks, swimming in endless circles, despite the hundreds of thousands of people who have called on the company to release her and her long-suffering orca brethren.

14. Corky’s last baby was found dead at the bottom of a tank. Her family is still out there in the wild, but SeaWorld won’t return her to them.

15. Takara, a 25-year-old orca at SeaWorld, has been artificially inseminated many times, separated from her mother and two of her children, and shuffled from theme park to theme park. She was just starting to build a relationship with her daughter Kyara when the infant died at only 3 months old.

16. SeaWorld masturbated Tilikum over and over and forcibly impregnated female orcas with his sperm. He’s the biological father of more than half the orcas who’ve been born at SeaWorld. More than half of his children have died.

17. Tilikum died, too, after 33 miserable years in captivity.

18. In order to keep orcas’ worn and broken teeth from becoming infected, employees drill out the inside of the teeth—often without any anesthetics or painkillers—and then flush them out daily.


In addition to all these atrocities committed by SeaWorld, the company continues to subject 21 orcas, more than 100 other dolphins and whales, and many other animals to constant confinement and deprivation.

Speak Up for Animals Imprisoned at SeaWorld

It may be too late for Shamu, Kasatka, Kyara, Tilikum, Szenja, Nanuq, and others, but it’s not too late for SeaWorld to start building seaside sanctuaries for the animals still trapped in its tiny tanks. The decades of torment must end now. SeaWorld must stop breeding dolphins and whales and taking advantage of pregnant mothers for profit.

You can help orcas, bottlenose dolphins, and everyone imprisoned by SeaWorld today. Click the button below to demand the release of animals into seaside sanctuaries.

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