The change Seaworld is promising

Dulce Martinez, Managing Editor

SeaWorld is one of the most well known theme parks known around the world. It opened in 1959 and since then has attracted millions of people. Since the opening, many people have formed their own opinion on whether or not the park should keep animals in captivity for the sole purpose of entertainment.

“I think that the whales should not be held in captivity but I know they have stopped breeding whales and that this is their last generation. I think that is a really good thing,” sophomore Kelly Young said. “I think aquariums are for entertainment, but I really don’t think training whales and bigger animals so they can perform is something that should be done.”

On July 13, 2013 a documentary, Blackfish, came out revealing what lies behind the tanks. Blackfish captured the living conditions that the orca whales lived in, mainly focusing on one whale in particular, Tilikum. Tilikum is one of the most famous whales that belongs to SeaWorld Orlando due to the fact that he has killed three SeaWorld employees in the past. The orcas at SeaWorld more specifically, Tilikum, are said to act out in violence due to the fact that they are frustrated and stressed because of the life they are living.

“They live in a stressful environment and having to be trained to perform in front of an audience isn’t something that is fun so I’m sure that they act out due to these factors,” sophomore Julia Novoa said.

The whales are said to be in little tanks without much room to do anything for most of the day until they are needed for their performance. With this new information many people stopped going to SeaWorld which resulted in the profits of the park dropping by 84%. According to the website, Many organizations that fight for animals such as PETA are “urging SeaWorld to modernize its business by ending the use of all animals and retiring the orcas, dolphins and other animals to seaside sanctuaries, where they can thrive in the enrichment and diversity of the sea while still receiving care, feeding, and veterinary support.”

“If SeaWorld were to set the animals free, they wouldn’t survive because they have no experience in the wild. They would need to be trained on simple tasks such as hunting for food, which is something most of the orcas have no experience doing,” Novoa said.

On Jan. 6, 2017, Tilikum passed away after being in captivity for 30 years. Since his death, SeaWorld has announced that they are changing the orca show to an orca encounter show. The show will be changing the habits and performances of the orcas, while focusing on the orcas natural behaviors while educating children on the animals. Although orcas will still be at the park, the company has announced that this is the last generation of whales that they will breed. While this has satisfied many animal rights activists, they will not stop fighting until all the  animals are set free.  

To find more on the new orca encounters click here: