The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) commends SeaWorld for its game-changing commitment to end breeding of the killer whales immediately and phase out theatrical orca shows.
The decision comes nearly three years after SeaWorld put under pressure for its treatment of the Orca whales and their trainers in the documentary called ‘Blackfish’. Heavy pressure come from animal-rights activists and other watchdog groups, to end shows and breeding.
The orca shows will end at its San Diego park in 2017 “followed by San Antonio and then Orlando in 2019, ” SeaWorld said.
SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby said in a statement: “SeaWorld has introduced more than 400 million guests to orcas, and we are proud of our part in contributing to the human understanding of these animals. As society’s understanding of orcas continues to change, SeaWorld is changing with it.”
SeaWorld said it has not collected any killer whales from the wild in more than 40 years, said its orcas will live out their lives at SeaWorld. That includes one pregnant orca named Takara.
“They will continue to receive the highest-quality care based on the latest advances in marine veterinary medicine, science, and zoological best practices. Guests will be able to observe these orcas through the new educational encounters and in viewing areas within the existing habitats, ” the company said.
SeaWorld also Thursday announced a new partnership with the Humane Society of the United States to create educational programs and advocate for the health and welfare of marine life. The company said it would spend $50 million over five years to rescue animals and fight commercial fishing of whales and seals and fight shark-finning.
“SeaWorld’s commitment to end breeding of orcas is a long-held goal of many animal advocacy organizations, and we commend the company for making this game-changing commitment, ” Humane Society of the United States CEO Wayne Pacelle said in a statement.
PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk said in a statement.: “PETA has campaigned hard, and now there is a payoff for future generations of orcas. SeaWorld must open its tanks to the oceans to allow the orcas it now holds captive to have some semblance of a life outside these prison tanks.”
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