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Proving that SeaWorld values orcas’ lives about as much as a box of blue balloons or a pink smoke cannon, the company has forced an orca whose babies are dead or were taken from her to participate in a human couple’s gender reveal.

© Heather Murphy, Ocean Advocate News

The pregnant woman’s mother arranged with SeaWorld Orlando in Florida to paint the words “boy” and “girl” on the walls of the tank that orca Katina is confined to and have the marine mammal reveal the gender of the baby with her nose.

Making Katina—of all orcas—do a celebratory gender reveal is a new level of hypocrisy, even for SeaWorld. She was forcibly abducted from her home and family in Iceland as a baby and sold into a lifetime in captivity as a performer and breeding machine. SeaWorld first bred her when she was only 9 years old—many years younger than she would have been ready to reproduce on her own in nature. She gave birth to Kalina, and mother and daughter were separated when Kalina was just 4 so that the younger orca could be shipped to three other parks. In nature, they would have stayed together for life. Kalina died prematurely of septicemia, blood poisoning by bacteria.

SeaWorld forced Katina to bear six more babies for it, three of whom died prematurely, another who was taken from her and shipped to a different park, and another who was the result of inbreeding with her own son. Since the parks move marine mammals around like game pieces, separating family members and shoving them into tanks with unrelated animals who often don’t even speak the same dialect, Katina sustained a severe dorsal fin injury last year after an altercation with incompatible tankmates.

© Heather Murphy, Ocean Advocate News

Of all people, parents should be able to empathize with the agony of a child who has been forcibly abducted from a home and family that she will never see again. And they can certainly imagine the emotional toll of having baby after baby die or be torn away from them.

Making these abused animals perform a gender reveal for humans who will be able to stay together and raise their children is especially coldhearted.

Demand that SeaWorld retire the orcas and all captive animals to seaside sanctuaries immediately.

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