The term amusement park has always been surrounded with positive correlations, but in the case I will present today, a certain park has had almost nothing but negatives to be said about it in recent times. SeaWorld has been one of the most well-known and sought out parks for generations. However, would visitors of the park still have the same warm glow on their faces and overwhelming joy if they saw the abuse these sea creatures must endure every day? Would parents even want to bring their children to a facility that, behind closed doors, tortures and degrades these animals? When I was young, I always dreamt of going to SeaWorld. When I eventually went, I fell in love with the park. I remember sitting in the stand of the Orca show, admiring the huge creature right in front of me. As I grew up, I learned the true horrors of it, and now am strongly against the business. While SeaWorld entraps all sorts of sea life, Orca whales are the most discussed in terms of their inhumane treatment. Orcas are forced to learn how to perform several hours a day, which is something that the species is not naturally capable of doing. This puts both Orca whales and their trainers in extreme danger. It is true that SeaWorld has a successful rehabilitation program and gives a large sum of their money to sea life conservation, however it is necessary that a compromise is made that ensures the safety of Orcas as well as their other sea life, if not the total release of them.
Over the years, there have been multiple signs that SeaWorld is abusing their Orca whales and depriving them of a satisfactory life. The corporation is known for kidnapping their Orca whales from their families and natural habitats. SeaWorld is supposed to be a rehabilitation center where they take in strictly injured animals and help them heal, however this is not what is happening with these Orcas. They are being taken against their wills from their families and forced to live in tanks unfit for their sizes, all for a larger profit. On average, an orca can swim 140 miles per day. For an Orca in captivity to swim that distance, it would have to take over 4,280 laps in their tanks.
Despite their popular name “killer whales,” there has only proven to be one attack on a human from a wild Orca whale, and yet trainers of captive whales continue to die or become injured in some way. This is due to the extreme stress and anxiety Orcas acquire while being forced to perform and socialize by means that are not natural to them. The SeaWorld amusement industry is dangerous for both the Orca and the trainers for this reason.
Living in captivity is simply unhealthy for Orca whales. Their dorsal fins collapse due to not having enough space to swim around. They break their teeth from chewing on their tanks’ iron bars and concrete because of how stressed and anxious they are. This may result in painful dental drilling with no anesthesia provided. Orcas are also highly social animals in the wild that travel in stable groups, usually with fifteen Orcas total. Typically, the Orcas stay with their mothers. When in Captivity, they are forced away from them and must live with other whales that speak totally different languages than them and are not familiar with at all.
When contemplating this situation, as a business student, the whole concept appears hypocritical. Businesses, as well as any other person, makes decisions on how to spend their money based on cost versus benefit analysis. SeaWorld claims majority of their profit goes towards sea life conservation, yet they are hurting and putting those same sea creatures in the danger their money is supposed to be preventing. They spend money capturing, housing, feeding, and training the Orca whales, but with what real benefit? They cannot truly be helping the sea life by torturing a portion of it in the process.
I understand that SeaWorld’s amusement park is enticing, children after all have no idea what happens below the surface of their waters. It is important, however, that the adults who do recognize the discrepancy happening and seek change. I am not recommending shutting down the business, due to its potential. I am strongly against the continuation of the Orca shows, for the safety of both the whales and its trainers. Any animals that are not at their “rehabilitation center” for the right reasons should be released. If there is no injury, there is no valid reason to keep the animals in cages or tanks, they deserve freedom just as much as any other human or species does. If SeaWorld truly wants to conserve the oceans, then they will understand taking away the sea life that inhabits them for personal profit is not a solution, it is simply adding to the environmental crisis. SeaWorld claims their mission is to rehabilitate and conserve sea life. What I have stated are ways no ensure those policies, not through the actions they are currently practicing.
SeaWorld has proven to mistreat their Orca whales for the sake of profit. They are kidnapped from their homes and families, deprived of proper living environments, poorly taken care of, and end up living less than half their life span as a result of this. Trainers are in just as much danger, having to deal with these overly stressed and anxious animals. Besides from this, they are keeping animals for longer than needed for rehabilitation, all for show. Animals are meant to live freely, not in a cage or tank.