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On Sunday, nearly 50 of the visitors at SeaWorld San Diego got a small glimpse of how the park’s captive animals live.

An orca whale is swimming in the water.

SeaWorld’s power went out, shutting down its rides and leaving 46 patrons stuck hundreds of feet in the air inside the Skytower, a small enclosed elevator that gives visitors views of the city and the ocean. It took engineers four hours to get the Skytower back on the ground and free the patrons.

No one should have to undergo such a frightening experience—and that includes the animals who are held captive at SeaWorld, confined to tiny cramped tanks, and denied everything that is natural and important to them for their entire lives.

Fortunately, everyone who was stuck inside the Skytower is OK, although some did have to be treated for anxiety. Hopefully, something good can come from their ordeal and they will begin to empathize with captive animals for whom there is no escape.

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