newborn dolphin
by Megan Thompson
Categories: Animals, Causes.
Photo: SeaWorld

In spite of a slew of negative press in recent months, animal theme park SeaWorld is continuing to add to its number of captive animals with an active breeding program. Last Tuesday, a thirty-year-old Pacific bottlenose dolphin named Kolohe gave birth to a healthy, forty-pound calf at SeaWorld San Diego. According to SeaWorld, this is the corporation’s seventy-ninth successful dolphin birth.

SeaWorld’s reputation was hard-hit after the release of Blackfish, a documentary which exposed the mistreatment of both animals and trainers at the marine parks and called into question the inhumane practice of keeping some of the the world’s largest animals, whales, in captivity at all. As the documentary continued to air on CNN, SeaWorld park attendance and even the SeaWorld stock began to decline.

Several celebrities showed support for the Blackfish film, including Ewan McGregor, Hugh Hefner, Russell Brand, Olivia Wilde, Ellen Page, and many more. Russell Brand tweeted “Do watch “Black Fish.” Don’t go to SeaWorld, a stain upon humanity posing as entertainment.”

Perhaps the best news for captive animals at SeaWorld is that PETA, a longtime critic of the corporation, has filed a formal complaint with Florida’s State Attorney, calling that SeaWorld be investigated and possibly charged with the felony of animal cruelty. In 1991, SeaWorld purchased a 12,000 pound orca named Tilikum who was removed from the wild as a young animal in 1983. This orca is the largest in captivity and has endured cruel treatment for decades. His frustration and pent-up energy has resulted in the deaths of three trainers and erratic behavior such as floating listlessly and chewing on the sides of his enclosure, but the animal is still kept in captivity and continues to be used in shows.

PETA hopes that the case of Tilikum will be enough to charge SeaWorld with animal cruelty. Florida law “prohibits intentionally causing excessive or repeated unnecessary suffering – and SeaWorld knowingly subjects Tilikum to the constant stress, agitation, conflict, and injury inherent in keeping a far-ranging, highly social mammal in captivity.”

Photo Credit: SeaWorld

About Megan Thompson

Megan is a healthy living and natural beauty advocate who is obsessed with sustainable gardening, food politics, human rights and animal protection. An L.A. native, she loves staying on top of the latest pop culture news and green lifestyle trends. When she is not writing, she loves going to the beach, hula hooping and working on upcycling projects.

View all posts by Megan Thompson →
  • Joe Stebbins

    Why not breed trainers too?

    It’s substantially the same thing as dolphin are now regarded as “non human persons” and wrong for substantially the same reasons.

    As bad as human slavery was, at least we stopped that before starting to breed them, if only because we lacked the technology at the time.

    Breeding (or worse, in-breeding) self-aware cognizant individualistic beings for slavery is exactly the same as breeding humans for slavery.

    Only a sociopathic corporation hell bent on profit at any cost would even propose such a thing as breeding slaves. Yet another reason to shut down every captive entity now! We can easily see where this is going; what their next moves will be and it should scare the living hell out of every being with an ounce of compassion and intelligence.

    Nothing conducive to dolphin, much less humanity itself will come from the breeding of slaves at Seaworld of anywhere else.

    It’s hard to believe that such a thing is even a point of contention in the 21st century; clearly the product of a 5 decade of Seaworld ‘education’.

  • Amy-Jo Randalls

    Yey, yet another little dolphin condemned to live a life of entrapment. When will they wake up and realise that we just can’t learn from having animals there? Or in fact using them as entertainment…

  • pepenature

    horrendous

  • Josie

    I live in the San Diego area and will not buy into the whole “Sea World Adventure” they portray.. Can anyone tell me where all these dolphins that continue to breed go? They don’t have enough room as it is for the dolphins kept there now…..
    Thanks.