Many Aquariums around the world and marine mammal parks like many in North America are part of a billion dollar industry built on the pain s and suffering of many animals.
Orcas, dolphins and many other live in large, complex social groups and swim vast distances every day in the open ocean. In captivity, these animals can only swim in endless circles in tanks that are the equivalent of bathtubs, and they are denied the opportunity to engage in almost any natural behavior. They are forced to perform meaningless tricks and often torn away from family members when they’re shuffled between parks. Most die far short of their natural life spans.
Fact sheet from mediapeta
The first SeaWorld park opened in 1964 in San Diego, followed by one in Aurora, Ohio, in 1970; in Orlando, Florida, in 1973; and in San Antonio in 1988. The Ohio location was closed in 2000.
During this time, SeaWorld acquired many marine mammals—some wild-caught, some acquisitions from other facilities, and others as a result of captive breeding.
All three current SeaWorld locations have failed to meet minimum federal standards for the care of animals used in exhibition as established in the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has cited SeaWorld for failing to dispose of expired medications and surgical materials; repeatedly failing to provide drain covers, resulting in the death of a sea lion; failing to handle a sea lion expeditiously (the animal died from overheating while being loaded onto a transport trailer); failing to have sufficient barriers between animals and the public; failing to handle animals properly, resulting in injuries to the public; failing to provide sufficient shelter for protection from cold weather; failing to provide
animals with sufficient space; failing to maintain exhibits and other areas that animals may have contact with; and failing to take required water samples and conduct required water testing. Park visitors have been bitten by dolphins during interactive sessions, and a number of employees have been seriously injured while performing with orcas in the water in front of audiences. A senior trainer at the Orlando location was killed by an orca in front of a crowd in 2010.
Many of the dolphins and whales who have died at SeaWorld’s parks were younger than the average age of their wild counterparts at death.
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