by MPD
Categories: Animals
Tags: .


Oh, Halle — how could you?

Academy Award winning actress Halle Berry was spotted with her daughter Nahla Aubrey at Sea World on Sunday afternoon.

As many already know, these marine parks are essentially prison for animals and have some pretty shady track records. 

Just last year a dolphin named Sharky (Is that like a cat named Doggy?) collided with another dolphin during a live  performance  at Sea World and died shortly afterwards.

Florida’s Sun-Sentinel recently examined 30 years of federal documents pertaining to marine animals and found that nearly 4,000 sea lions, seals, dolphins, and whales have died in captivity, and of the 2,400 cases in which a cause of death was listed, one in five animals died “of uniquely human hazards or seemingly avoidable causes.”

What do you think about Sea World and other marine parks? Would you take your children? Chime in and share your thoughts!

[Editor note: Perhaps I should add that this picture has been photoshopped (poorly) by yours truly.]

  • erin

    while i understand that the captivity of wild animals is a controversial subject, I think that places like Sea World must exist in order to promote conservation. This provides an opportunity for children from a young age to be inspired to care about the well being of an animal they were able to interact with and learn about at parks like Sea World. Not all animal captivity is created equal, some places are worse than others, but I feel that Sea World does a great job of educating the public as well as conservation outreach as part of their rescue programs. I live in Orlando, Fl, and I have to say that visiting the park as a child has inspired a lifetime of interest in the well being of our oceans.

  • VeggieTart

    But what does one learn, Erin, in watching animals do tricks they are coerced into doing? Sea World is just an underwater circus. Whales have ranges of thousands of miles, and they’re stuck in tiny tanks of chlorinated water for years. If you want to learn about marine life conservation, why not go on a whale-watching tour, which is considerably less disruptive than capturing animals and putting them in tanks to do tricks?

  • Sonia

    I think that there are plenty of other ways to inspire children to care for the conservation of animals. If you are lucky enough to live in places like Florida, couldn’t you just take your child to the beach instead of Sea World. That really doesn’t make sense to me.

    Does seeing a dolphin, whale, seal, etc. doing tricks inspire conservation? Does it make you feel good knowing that these animals live in tiny(for them anyway) tanks as opposed to the ocean, where they can swim freely and be in their natural environment?

  • Sonia

    Could anyone suggest some ways to get my family members to stop taking their children to these awful places? I don’t want to seem preachy.

  • Motherhawk

    What if instead of marine parks “owning” the animals they have them in captivity for a time, then release them. That way kids can get a closer look at these amazing animals. BTW- Not very many families with small children can afford to go on a whale-watching trip, I find that comment fairly elitest. It’s important for inner city and low income kids to be exposed to wildlife, so they can develop a sensitivity for environmental issues that seem far away from cities.

  • selena

    the sea world is wonderful,i hope one day i can enjoy myself there.hehe.

  • herwin

    these places are extreme sad places. if you look at these poor animals that are confined in small swimming pools for the rest of their life its just heartbreaking. many have been taken from the ocean leaving behind their family. and why ? its just entertainment and we really only teach our children that its okay to do with animals whatever we want.
    if you want to eductae your kids about animala and environment take them to the forest, or even the birds in your garden are an excellent tool to teach them.

  • Whoever…


    Well, when someone begins to see the big picture, it’s a bit hard to educate others without sometimes sounding a bit preachy.
    ‘We’ are ‘forcing’ people to realize that maybe their lifestyle and the way they used to think isn’t the best after all.
    That’s why so many people hate activists – they fear us, and thus hate us, because we confront them with an alternative way of life, and that scares the hell out of most people…

    However, you could actually talk to them about this issue and make them understand that animals DO feel, just like us, and that none of us would like to be trapped in a tiny space performing ridiculous tricks for the amusement of others! And if they go there, they’re just perpetuating it. Tell them that the message they’re passing to their kids is that “it’s ok to abuse other living beings if that is amusing to us”! What kind of adults will they become?

    Also, talk especially to the children because they are more open minded and sensitive. Tell them something about those animals – their natural habitat, behaviour, diet, etc. – and why it’s wrong to keep them imprisoned in marine parks. Then ask them if they would like to be in the ‘shoes’ of those animals. I believe you’ll be surprised with their answer. Probably they will never want to go to those places again…

    Be prepared to face the consequences of this though, because if you’re successful some of your relatives may not like this attitude of yours.
    Remember that you’re going to question their ‘beliefs’ regarding marine parks and some of them may not like it!
    But then again, that’s the price a real activist must be prepared to pay if (s)he really wants to change this world for the better!

    Motherhawk …
    “BTW- Not very many families with small children can afford to go on a whale-watching trip, I find that comment fairly elitest. It’s important for inner city and low income kids to be exposed to wildlife, so they can develop a sensitivity for environmental issues that seem far away from cities.”

    So animals should be sacrificed in order for kids to be able to see them? That’s absurd! I’m very sorry but that’s no different from the usual line of reasoning that defends that animals are inferior to us and therefore we should use them as we see fit!
    I never saw a live whale or dolphin and nevertheless I’m an environmentalist and a vegetarian. What I mean is that you don’t need to actually see an animal in front of you in order for you to feel he/she (I hate when people refer to animals as IT) should be protected!

    I grew up in a city and nevertheless I have a very strong connection with animals and plants – much more than many people who grew up in rural places. It all depends on your level of evolution and sensitivity!

  • Larry

    How can any of ya’ll think that these animals are FORCED to be in these parks? It’s not like SeaWorld goes out and CAPTURES(that’s the word that was used by ya’ll) these animals for peoples amusement. The animals in these parks were either part of breeding programs within the parks or were injured animals(THAT WOULD HAVE DIED WITHOUT THE CARE OF MAN). You people sit around and bitch about all these animals while you allow millions of people to die each year in third world countries. Why don’t you help your own species out before you become so concerned about these other species which would likely not be alive had man not stepped in.

    And by the way Michael if your going to bitch about 4000 dead whales, dolphins, and other marine mammals please bitch about the 40,000,000 that have probably died out in the ocean. It’s really only fair that way…..

  • Motherhawk

    Whoever…You are lucky that you have a strong connection- not all urban kids are you. I don’t condone captivity for life or bad conditions, but there are times when research and study of animals has helped Mans understanding of them. I NEVER said we should just do whatever we want with animals. It’s obvious you don’t see the value in kids being able to get up close to animals. Your suggestion: “look at the birds”(really?) even they are dispearing from rural areas. And it’s obvious you don’t know that, when kids go to Better marine facilities, they are taught that the animals are happiest in there natural habitat, details about the animals and that it is a great sacrific that was made so that they could have this opportunity to see an example of these species and to be grateful for that. Involvment in conservation efforts is strongly encouraged. I’ve heard it for myself- true story. You also ignored what I said about releasing them. This is not a black & white issue that will be solved by closing all marine life facilities. Changing the terms and care practices is a great place to start. Kids get inspired in different ways…You never know what future leader you are telling- “you don’t need to see- just listen to me..blah blah blah…”

  • Motherhawk

    Sorry “Whoever” it was “herwin who made the comment about looking at the birds in the garden-

  • Sonia

    There are a variety of books, tv shows, videos(blue planet, awesome) that are very educational and inspirational to children. That’s how I came to love animals, not by going to zoos, but by watching educational tv shows.

  • Sonia

    Oh and thank you whoever!

  • mellie

    As a child zoos taught me nothing about animals. It was my mother later on and my own conscious who taught me to care about conservation. I also don’t believe any company profiting off animals has an integrity towards working toward their conservation either.

    I can teach my kids about whales (and wildlife) by showing them wild animals, not marine animals in little human made pools. We already have the greatest aquarium available to us, the ocean, lakes, and rivers to tell ourselves we can make some place better is ignorant.

  • mellie

    Anyone who advocates zoos or aquariums are the same people with the same thinking that created areas children are living of nearly devoid of wildlife.

    Seriously, stop with the some kids have no access- having no access is a parental choice not a reality of where you live. Giving these same parents an aquarium to take their children is only adding to the problem. No one ever says Sea World or the zoo led to their taking action to help save the environment- NO ONE. That is an over used typical manipulation said by the owners of animal profit facilities to rationalize to people why they exist, half the public believes it as expected.

    Apparently we need independent thinking establishments to take children to also.

  • deena

    This is one of those questions I can’t seem to get a clear answer on. I can see both sides of the coin, education, conservation, but I cannot bear to go to a zoo or these other places. It makes me cringe inside like it does to see a bird in a cage. It aint right.

  • VeggieTart

    Motherhawk, taking kids to Sea World or an aquarium doesn’t teach kids a thing about animals in the wild. How does an animal performing tricks for humans’ amusement “educate” anyone? And these parks also cost money (although not as much as a whale watch, fair enough). But many aquariums are near the coast, so if one can afford to go there, one can surely afford to find a better alternative than an underwater circus.

    Heck, “Finding Nemo” is more educational than any visit to a marine park, and it’s not only fiction, but animated. But remember what Gil said: “Fish aren’t meant to live in a box, kid. It does things to ya.” I imagine this holds true for marine mammals as well.

  • Whoever…


    You’re welcome. Good luck :)


    “there are times when research and study of animals has helped Mans understanding of them.”

    I’m sorry but it’s already consensual in the scientific community that scientists actually learn more about the behaviour of animals when they observe them in their natural habitat.
    After all, animals in captivity don’t behave naturally (most of the times), especially if they don’t have similar conditions to their habitat in the wild.

    “It’s obvious you don’t see the value in kids being able to get up close to animals.”

    I didn’t write that! I know that the impact on children, and adults in general, of seeing a live animal is much more intense than looking at pictures or watching a documentary. What I wrote was that it’s not necessary to see an animal in front of you in order for you to feel he/she should be protected, that’s all!
    However, they will never see the real magnificent nature of animals if they only see them in tanks or cages…

    “when kids go to Better marine facilities, they are taught that the animals are happiest in there natural habitat,”

    Isn’t that a contradiction? “Hey kids, we’re sacrificing this animal so you can see him/her, but remember… they are happier when they are in their natural habitat!”
    Besides, aren’t there field trips? Why not take them to see animals in their natural habitat? Obviously each place has its autochthonous animals. Not everyone needs or will be able to see a whale or a dolphin!
    Also, there are animal parks where animals roam free (this doesn’t include marine creatures). At least they’re better than the conventional ones.


    Where do I begin!?

    “ya’ll think that these animals are FORCED to be in these parks”

    I don’t care if they were forced, bred or rescued!! It still doesn’t make it okay to keep them in tiny unnatural places…


    Oh, now humans are the heroes? Do you have any idea how many tens of millions of animals are hunted, fished, killed in factory farms, tested on and experimented on every year by humans!?
    Do you live in the same planet as the rest of us?
    Have you ever heard of a list of worldwide endangered species? Guess what… humans are the responsible ones for that!!!

    “You people sit around and bitch about all these animals while you allow millions of people to die each year in third world countries.”

    First of all, no one is ‘bitching’, except you!!! We’re debating this issue as civilised people (apart from you of course).

    “while you allow millions of people to die”?

    This argument is so absurd and it’s been used so many times that it’s actually becoming pathetic and only illustrates the lack of valid arguments by those who use it!
    What does one thing have to do with the other?
    Evolved, intelligent people can tackle several issues at the same time.
    Just because we care about animals, doesn’t mean we “allow” people to die!!
    Furthermore, some people are out there saving other people and others are saving animals! So? Each side is doing its best to save lives (human and non-human).

    “Why don’t you help your own species out before you become so concerned about these other species which would likely not be alive had man not stepped in.”

    Probably you can only do one thing at a time and therefore you cannot understand how one can help people and animals at the same time!
    And what are YOU doing to help you own species Larry? It’s so easy to point fingers isn’t it?
    I for one talk about animal issues, but at least I volunteer at the local animal shelter which has hundreds of animals!
    Tell us what you’re doing to help humans Larry!!!
    Oh, and “these other species” would be better off if humans didn’t exist. All the species on this planet contribute to the perfect balance of nature… Wait! No! There’s one that is actually destroying this balance – humans… So maybe “these other species would likely” be better off “had man not stepped in”!!

    Humans must stop being so arrogant! We’re destroying our only home and we’re the ones that ultimately will suffer the most…

    “And by the way Michael if your going to bitch about”
    BTW – (it should be ‘you’re’, not ‘your’!!!)

    If you want to be respected, start respecting others and treating them with the proper respect they deserve, will you? And you’re the one preaching about helping our own species? What a joke you are!!!

  • Tara

    It upsets me a lot when celebrities endorse these kinds of places. It promotes the disconnection between ourselves and animals. They are not on the earth for our entertainment, we have created that.

  • Erin Raw Foods

    Someone wrote me asking if I was Erin (since I too live in Florida (near Orlando) but no I’m not ErinGoesGreen (my site would have to be ErinWentGreenLike20yearsAgo….

    Anyway, I do live near Sea World and would never set foot in that awful place. Forcing animals to perform is not green nor do I believe it’s helping with conservation issues. It’s a money making
    crud hole.

    If they were truly concerned they’d be doing conservation programs in the wild (like non profs do – not this awful concrete theme park in Orlando puleez)

    Also, have any of you ever seen the videos they take overhead with helicopters at night of the animals just lying there not moving depressed and sad? some separated from their mates? (like the whales) they don’t swim or move but just lie there in their concrete enclosures until they are forced to perform for oversized tourists the next day. It’s pathetic, not green and if anything it teaches kids it’s ok to force animals to put on cheap shows. (not to mention there are claims some of their animals who died were abused)

    Take your kids on a nice sail boat and do whale watching in the wild to teach them about conservation. It’s a joke to suggest taking them to that concrete jungle is teaching them anything positive.

    Hell it’s worse than a zoo. At least there they aren’t forced to perform.

    Erin in Florida

  • Yasmin

    Instead of going to these ridiculously expense theme parks, why not take your kids to conservation centers. I live in North Palm Beach County and there is a Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Center down the road for me that is free and they really teach kids about caring for wildlife. You teach your kids by the way you live. I take my kids to free farm tours and Conservation centers as often as possible. Also being vegetarian or vegan teaches kids to be kind to animals. Start them off on the right path.

  • Erin Raw Foods


    Great suggestion. We have one here as well! Two in the area!

    I certainly agree this would help kids more than watching wild animals in captivity perform in over sized chlorinated swimming pools to bad music for long hours.


  • Ami Hughes

    Meh. Animals are tasty. If anything, Sea World needs to add more seafood style food kiosks featuring some of their attractions. There are some things I haven’t even tried yet and that would be pretty cool.

    Worry about the hundreds of millions of people and children dying of starvation or living in poverty before you worry about the comfort of oversized sushi.