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“One Ocean”? “Orca Encounter”? It doesn’t matter what SeaWorld calls it—to the orcas who will still be forced to perform meaningless tricks in the same small tanks, captivity is captivity, which is why SeaWorld Orlando’s news about its orca show (that it’s replacing one show that uses orcas with another) means absolutely nothing for the animals suffering at the abusement park.

As long as orcas and other animals are still trapped in cramped tanks at SeaWorld, they’ll continue to suffer.

Instead of blowing smoke, SeaWorld should make an actual difference in these animals’ lives by releasing them into seaside sanctuaries, where they’d feel ocean currents, make their own choices, and never be used to sell theme-park tickets again.

Family looking at orca in tank© iStock.com/benedek

Just like SeaWorld’s 2011 move to replace “Believe” with its “One Ocean” show, swapping “One Ocean” for an “Orca Encounter” show is simple deception.

In SeaWorld Orlando’s new “Orca Encounter,” orcas will still be forced to jump and splash in front of screaming crowds.

They’ll still be confined to the same small, chemically treated tanks. They’ll still be given psychoactive drugs to dull their senses. They’ll still be housed incompatibly, unable to escape the attacks of aggressive animals. They’ll still have nothing to do aside from swimming in endless circles, causing them such frustration that they break their teeth gnawing on the concrete walls of the tanks.

Malia Drilled Teeth at SeaWorld Orlando

“This image shows the drilled and exposed pulp cavities of the first five mandibular teeth on the left side of an orca’s mouth from dental disease or trauma.”
—Dr. Heather Rally

Twenty orcas are still suffering at SeaWorld parks, and more than 40 have dropped dead on the company’s watch (many far short of their natural life expectancy) from causes such as bacterial infections and fractured skulls. Other dolphins at SeaWorld are still being bred—forcibly and, in some cases, after being drugged—and 140 of them are crammed into just seven tanks across the company’s U.S. parks.

Make an Actual Difference for Animals at SeaWorld

In addition to shunning the parks, you can do more to help marine mammals imprisoned at SeaWorld. Click on the button below to urge the company to end all animal acts and release the animals it holds captive into seaside sanctuaries.

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