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SeaWorld’s ‘Baby Boom’

Written by PETA | May 19, 2010


Two female orcas at SeaWorld Orlando are pregnant—one is expected to give birth later this month or in early June—but we’re not celebrating.

If the calves survive, what do they have to look forward to? Swimming endless circles in barren concrete tanks, doing circus-type tricks, and dying an early death. Twenty-one orcas died in U.S. SeaWorld facilities between 1986 and 2008—an average of nearly one each year for 22 years. Their deaths were caused by severe trauma, intestinal gangrene, acute hemorrhagic pneumonia, pulmonary abscesses, chronic kidney disease, chronic cardiovascular failure, septicemia, and influenza. In some cases, the cause of death could not even be determined, but it is clear that none of these animals died of old age.

The father in both of the pregnancies is Tilikum, the same orca who attacked trainer Dawn Brancheau—ripping off her left arm and part of her scalp, crushing her ribs, and breaking bones throughout her body before drowning her. Despite knowing about the extreme danger posed by Tilikum—including the fact that he had killed humans twice before—SeaWorld refuses to “Free Tilly” most likely because he’s a valuable and prodigious breeder. Tilikum has already sired 13 calves for SeaWorld.

Enough is enough. Please take a moment to write to the Blackstone Group—the company that owns SeaWorld—and ask that it send Tilly and the other animal inmates in its facilities to sanctuaries.

Written by Paula Moore

Commenting is closed.
  • CHRISTEEN says:

    seriously….any progress on getting orcas released into the wild…i’m sure we could get top marine biologists to aid voluntarily..whats the news?

  • Freeorcas says:

    Most male captive killer whales, and some females, have a dorsal fin that is partially or completely collapsed to one side. Several theories exist as to why this happens. A dorsal fin is held erect by collagen, which normally hardens in late adolescence. Scientists from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) have reported that “the collapsed dorsal fins commonly seen in captive killer whales do not result from a pathogenic condition, but are instead thought to most likely originate from an irreversible structural change in the fin’s collagen over time. Possible explanations for this include: (1) alterations in water balance caused by the stresses of captivity dietary changes, (2) lowered blood pressure due to reduced activity patterns, or (3) overheating of the collagen brought on by greater exposure of the fin to the ambient air.”[55] According to SeaWorld’s website, another reason for the fin to bend may be the greater amount of time that captive whales spend at the surface, where the fin is not supported by water pressure.[56] The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society says that dorsal fin collapse is largely explained by captive killer whales swimming in small circles due to the inadequate space in which they have to swim.[57] SeaWorld, however, claims that “Neither the shape nor the droop of a whale’s dorsal fin are indicators of a killer whale’s health or well-being.”

  • Zeda says:

    Hello Everyone, I am an animal lover myself. I adopt all my animals and I rescue rats from cruel labs and snake food, but what you are saying about seaworld’s orcas is wrong. One of the most commonly asked questions is about their fins. It DOES NOT reveal the orca’s unhappiness or health. This happens because of the pressure on the orcas dorsal and prectol fins. this also occurs in the wild. Seaworld breeds orcas not only for the park, but for the education and rescource of the community. I am so sick of people saying they should be in the ocean. Do I believe that orcas should swim in the ocean where they are free? YES! I DO! 100%! I love animals and I wish they were free. But they can’t. THEY CAN’T. do you know why? because they can’t. They can’t because if they were to release the whales, they would DIE. DIE. YEAH, THEY WOULD DIE. That’s because they don’t know how to hunt. What happend with Tilly and Dawn is very sad, but you can’t blame it on the treament on the whales. they are given stimulation, playtime, feeding, the trainers interact with them all day as well as a pod in wich they can play, it is a lie that they can’t be with other orcas. Seaworld’s family of orcas is healthy. Plus, the ‘tricks’ they preform are actually noted as behaviors. What they do in the show they would do in the wild. They are not forced to do what they do in the show. you can’t force a 2-3 ton animal to do what you want! you can’t, there is no way to do it. If an orca won’t come through the gate, if it dosn’t want to, they don’t make it. There are not electrical prods or weapons in this story. It is all positive reinforcement. PETA, i am a strong member and I love what you do. I think you are a wonderful community. I am a vegan as well, But you wonder why people don’t support you. Can you, just for once, publish an article using facts to prove your point instead of just playing on the emotions of the impressionable? PETA,you need to get your facts straight. seaworld cares for their animals well, please, get your facts straight!

  • Kristy says:

    Can you, just for once, publish an article using facts to prove your point instead of just playing on the emotions of the impressionable? And you wonder why you are hated by so many. I am an animal lover myself and I actually agree that what Seaworld is doing is wrong. I understand that its unnatural for an orca to live within an aquarium, and they undoubtedly suffer when they lack the space and social relationships they would get in the wild. Yes “none of these animals died of old age”, but think about it, how many people do you know that actually died of “old age”? The human elderly too die from a severe trauma, intestinal gangrene, acute hemorrhagic pneumonia, pulmonary abscesses, chronic kidney disease, chronic cardiovascular failure, septicemia, and influenza. All I ask is that you have a little bit of confidence in your audience and give us something real for once, its hard for anyone with any sort of intelligence to even listen to you

  • Tracy Carl says:

    The Blackstone Company that owns seaworldowns alot of other businesses like motels financial groups ect. If boycotting seaworlddoing petitionsmarchesor whatever dosnt get results for release we could always boycott their other companys as well.Next time you go on a trip make sure Blackstone dosnt own your motel.Also I beleive since some of these whales that have been in captivity together have already established their own family pods are realeased together they could survive in the wild.They’re Orca very smart.I’m pretty sure they can catch their own fish.Even if they did die it would be better than where they are now.At least they would be free for a minute.

  • gina says:

    I hate to sound so negative but do things really ever change. After the accident with Tilly there was so much publicity . Now it has died down and Tilly remains in the tank. No one actually came forward to mobilize funds to even try to convince sea world to do something else with Tilly

  • STEF says:

    its unbelieveable that people from all over the world visit these kinds of “themeparks” whats wrong with a good old rollercoaster ride for entertainment? we dont need animals for entertainment!

  • Mary says:

    I can’t believe they would have the nerve to use tilikum after what just happened… Have they no respect for the trainers memory at all? And why do they need more whales anyways? Why can’t they use the ones they already have instead of bringing more into the world?

  • Shari says:

    This is very upsetting. More bad news is that Ringling Brothers has announced another baby was born in APRIL named of course April. When will the public start LEARNING about animals instead of being ENTERTAINED by them.

  • Carla Irvine says:

    PETA please keep up the good work

  • Anik says:

    i can’t believe humans enjoy torturing animals for their own entertainment…it’s just wrong.

  • brenda cruz says:

    Seaworld it would be really nice if you can release this poor orcas into their natural habitat if seaworld cares for animals like they say they do they would do the right thing for meantime seaworld is very cruel to the animals of nature very happy to say I haven’t visit seaworld ever in my life and intend not to do so thankyou brenda

  • Alexondra says:

    This is just so depressing. These beautiful creatures that belong in huge vast oceansbeing brought to life will probably never get the chance to experience what living with a pod or family is like the ability to learn independantly mate willingly or enjoy hearing the call of the orcas just like them. Truly depressing indeed. SeaWorld took a life before it was even born. Congrats.

  • Kelley says:

    How depressing.

  • Wendy says:

    These poor creatures are doomed to live in the Sea World “pools” for the rest of their lives I feel so sad for them. People need to stop visiting Sea World and similar places like Ringling Bros. and other circus venues!. Enough is enough!

  • Gloria says:

    never going to sea world again…. disgusted.