SeaWorld plans to open larger orca environments
by Brianne Hogan
Categories: Animals, Causes
Tags: , .

Amid backlash of how it treats its killer whales, SeaWorld announced Friday that it will build new, larger environments for orcas at its theme parks.

SeaWorld San Diego revealed that it plans to double the size of its current orca environment. According to The L.A. Times, the new environment will be called the Blue World Project, and “will be nearly double the size of the current facility,” measuring 350 feet across and 50 feet deep. The new aquarium will also “allow visitors to view the orcas from a 40-foot-tall glass wall below the water line” (because, apparently, that’s just as good as seeing them in the ocean).

In the announcement, SeaWorld also said that it’s planning similar environments for SeaWorld Orlando and SeaWorld San Antonio. In addition, the theme park operator pledged $10 million in orca research, and that it will implement an independent advisory board of scientists to oversee its orca program.

The news comes after the company’s stock sank 30 per cent on Wednesday due to poor attendance and backlash from the award-winning documentary “Blackfish,” which examined the psychological effects of killer whales in captive environment, including SeaWorld’s orca, Tillikum.

The company’s shares, which are at its lowest, rebounded slightly after Friday’s news, which is good news for SeaWorld, but bad news for the orcas. SeaWorld can build all the giant aquariums they want, but nothing short of the actual ocean will do for the proper care and treatment of the whales. Here’s hoping that SeaWorld’s lame — latest — attempt will leave them floundering.

Via NBC News

Photo: Shutterstock

About Brianne Hogan

Brianne Hogan is a freelance writer based in Toronto. She enjoys traveling, drinking red wine, and being around animals as much as possible. Pets trump people in her book. Her byline has been featured on The Toast, The Frisky, Nerve, XOJane, Creative Screenwriting Magazine, TV Rage, among others.

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  • icried4keiko

    Um, you do realize that they tried freeing an orca – Keiko – a few years back and he was unable to survive in the wild after decades in captivity, desperately sought out humans to interact with, and finally died of pneumonia. So let’s set them all free and see what happens?

  • JR Johnson

    While I would rather see animals in the wild than in zoos, truth is that so much of the wild is gone that we have no choice but to put them in zoos and aquariums to keep them from going extinct. With these dolphins, if they can safely release the dolphins back into the wild and if the dolphins can survive in wild oceans, then release them.

    Yes, there must be better standards for zoos and aquariums. I’ve been to the Marineland Zoo Aquarium in Niagara Falls and I believe Marineland takes good care of the beluga whales, orcas and dolphins there though there has been controversy in news. It is better to see animals in wild, but when so much of habitat is gone as has happened with tigers and lions, we need zoos and wildlife preserves to keep them from going extinct. We also need experts in lions, tigers, marine mammals working in zoos and aquariums.