Featured Image Credit: SeaWorld Cares
By Lindsay Edgar
SeaWorld made an announcement in 2016 – and it was HUGE. We all heard it.
Oh wait… you didn’t catch it? Well here is what you need to know.
The company officially made the decision to have the last generation of orcas in their care. It’s a new direction for the company, who has always inspired and amazed audiences everywhere throughout their orca shows.
The company made the “realization” that society is changing, and they wanted to make a change too. SeaWorld desires to find new ways to continue to inspire their guests to take action and protect wild animals and their environments. After all, we only get one. So what does this mean for SeaWorld? The company will have to find another way to educate and float their audience’s boat.
Dr. Grey Stafford, an animal trainer, zoologist, educator, and former employee of SeaWorld was interviewed on his thoughts about this change. Personally, Dr. Stafford takes SeaWorld’s decision to heart. His career started based on the wonderful relationship he had with killer whales, so it’s difficult for him to lose the nostalgia. He, along with so many others, has dedicated his life to the species. This is an interview YOU NEED to watch:
Prior to the corporate decision, Dr. Stafford visited Congressman Adam Schiff, a Californian who proposed legislation to ban the captive breeding, import, and export of killer whales. The ban, though important to activists, will actually stop the ability to study the whales in captivity. This means that it will be increasingly difficult for SeaWorld to help wild orcas.
Places like SeaWorld take great pride in their conservation and rehabilitation efforts – and SeaWorld definitely leads the fleet when it comes to animal rescues. Since their inception, they’ve rescued more than 30,000 animals.
The first change that will be making waves in 2017 is the new live documentary-like Orca Encounter. The goal is to educate guests about wild Orca behaviors and encourage them to join forces with SeaWorld on the conservation front. The more natural and inspirational experience will be available this summer.
The facility is taking the plunge and trying something they’ve never done before. For that, we give them kudos and 2017 will be both a new year and NEW SEAWORLD.