Have you heard the glorious news? SeaWorld has finally decided to end its orca breeding program.
Right before St. Patrick’s Day, the marine theme park announced that its current generation of orcas will be its last. In a recent LA Times OpEd, Joel Manby, SeaWorld’s CEO, said the change was made because the park wants to help contribute “to the evolving understanding of one of the world’s largest marine mammals [the orca].”
In addition to ending its orca breeding program, SeaWorld will also cease to produce and put on its “theatrical orca whale shows.”
This announcement is great–and long overdue. So overdue that we feel comfortable poking a little fun at the park’s announcement by listing 3 other things–albeit fictional things–that the park will also stop doing now that it’s ending its marine-cruelty program.
1. Lower Ticket Prices
There is not a single theme park in the United States that doesn’t expect a ridiculous amount of money to ride attractions that are over in three minutes, or to look at animals that you typically don’t see every day. Well, now that SeaWorld has decided to stop breeding orcas and training them to put on ridiculous stunts for the masses, the park’s entry price will inevitably drop. After all, everyone knows that orca imprisonment is really expensive.
2. Stop Giving Out Free Marine Pets to Park Guests
It seems only natural that a park that keeps large, magnificent creatures hostage would also be thoughtless enough to give away smaller, but equally wonderful creatures to anyone who enters the park. So, in a groundbreaking move, SeaWorld also will stop giving away precious crabs, fish, and other small types of sea life to the park’s guests. So compassionate…
3. SeaWorld, as a Whole, is Going to Stop Functioning as a Park and Will Become a Marine Sanctuary
Yes, sea sanctuaries can exist and help marine life in need. SeaWorld has finally seen the light, listened to its most adamant critics, and decided to stop profiting off the backs of sea creatures. One of the park’s biggest critics is John Hargrove, author of “Beneath the Surface: Killer Whales, SeaWorld, and the Truth Beyond Blackfish” and former senior trainer. A year or so ago, he said the following about the brilliance of sea pens and ocean sanctuaries:
“I’ve spoken with some brilliant-minded people, and I believe sea sanctuaries are a viable solution. They [SeaWorld] should follow the example of the Ringling Brothers, who recently acknowledged that their customers had shifted in their thinking about having elephants in captivity. So by 2018, all of Ringling Brothers’ elephants are going to be retired to elephant sanctuaries. SeaWorld wants to make it sound like it’s impossible. But we’ve been doing sea pens or sea sanctuaries since the seventies. The U.S. Navy had an open-ocean killer whale in a sea pen years ago…”
While we’re obviously trying to have a little fun with this list, we do think it would be great if SeaWorld did begin to use sea pens. Because if the park really did care about marine life, it would do all it could to make all marine creatures’ lives better.
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Image of Sea World show via Asif Islam, Shutterstock