Image Credit: Ipram – Instituto de Pesquisa e Reabilitação de Animais Marinhos
On Friday, August 15th, SeaWorld unveiled a ground-breaking and breathtaking expansion entitled “The Blue World Project”. This expansion will create a brand new killer whale habitat at all three SeaWorld parks.
Here at AwesomeOcean, we even cataloged how most of the media praised SeaWorld for this bold new expansion.
However, CNN, who owns the rights to the film “Blackfish” (a documentary that has been thoroughly debunked by various news outlets BlackFish Backlash, More BlackFish Backlash, Dissecting BlackFish, 69 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Believe BlackFish, BlackFish White Lies Part 1 -4) decided that instead of critically looking at SeaWorld’s expansion and objectively reviewing it, they would simply re-air the documentary that has been proven to be at best misleading, at worst intentionally deceptive.
And what’s worse? The people who bought into the propaganda put forth by BlackFish aren’t just harming one of the world’s best zoological institutions, they are actually taking attention away from Killer Whales that are dying in the wild.
To prove our point, here’s a catalog of recent tragic Killer Whale deaths that were overlooked by people continuing to focus on Blackfish’s infamous defamation of SeaWorld.
A Killer Whale beached itself. When a team of people tried to immediately return the whale to the ocean, the whale beached itself yet again. Without a strong stranding network or an organization like SeaWorld that could rehabilitate the whale and return it to the wild, it was determined that this whale should be euthanized.
That’s right. They decided to kill the whale. Where is the outrage there?
The video below is heartbreaking. But go ahead and protest SeaWorld’s pampered whales while this one dies.
In the United Kingdom
An Orca from the United Kingdom’s only native pod washed ashore … dead. The entire body was intact with no visible wounds, so scientists will have to perform a necropys to determine the cause of death. With only 10 whales and no calves estimated to live in the waters, this death is troubling and seems to indicate the end of the pod of Orcas native to the United Kingdom. But go ahead and tweet “F*CK SeaWorld, Watch BlackFish” because who needs whales in the United Kingdom?
An Orca beached itself, and while the cause was reported as the Orca purposefully coming ashore to lure prey, Oman has never seen this form of Orca hunting, as is popular in South America. This orca faced an uncertain future as rescuers simply put the orca back into the ocean without a proper medical exam. So whether this Killer Whale lived or died is anyone’s guess. But again, tweet some more… the 27 whales at SeaWorld only have the world’s best medical care and are given restaurant quality fish every day.
In New Zealand
An entire Killer Whale pod beached itself and died back in February, confounding scientists, who could not explain why these nine killer whales all beached themselves on the rocky shores and died. But retweet that angry tweet from an ex-trainer featured in Blackfish who was allegedly fired for kicking an otter.
Whales, dolphins and other animals are dying in our oceans and are at an unprecedented risk of extinction. It is incredibly irresponsible in this day and age to only think of one facet of the problem. There are only 50 Maui Dolphins, 85 Mekong River Dolphins, 200 Vaquitas, and 300 Right Whales left in the wild; to try to shut down a zoological organization that employs over 1,500 animal care experts and is now EXPANDING it’s Killer Whale habitat to twice the current size is a careless move. It is a move that will backfire.
Regardless of what you think of SeaWorld’s past, SeaWorld’s present and future is to play a keystone role in saving our oceans and our planet. The SeaWorld Busch Gardens Conservation fund has projects on every continent, is working to save countless species from peril.
So put down your phone, stop blindly retweeting, and start looking at the real problems with our oceans. It will take a little bit of work since the answer isn’t sending a hate tweet to SeaWorld, but the end result will be a better planet, ocean, and animals saved.