Orcas are highly social animals who live in stable social groups ranging from two to 15 individuals. In some populations, children stay with their mothers for life. In captivity, orcas are forced to live with orcas from other family units who speak a completely different language than they do and are constantly moved between facilities away from their calves. When Takara, Kasatka's daughter was taken from her, Kasatka emitted vocals never heard from a whale in captivity... they had a specialist come to study the sounds... The sounds were Kasatka echolocating as far as she could to find her daughter. She hasn't been the same since. Some of the whales have a collapsed dorsal fin which is due to sun exposure and dehydration because their tanks are not big enough, there is not enough water. Most of the orcas peel the paint from their tanks and chew on the concrete, from boredom, causing chronic and painful dental issues which must be maintained by constant pulpotomies.
SeaWorld is a $2.5 billion company who can absolutely afford to build sea pens and have the staff to continue to care for the whales while they live in their as-natural-as-can-be environment. The sea pen sanctuaries are a concept similar to the land sanctuaries that are home to elephants and chimps, however, a sea pen sanctuary would be a large space in the ocean, most likely in a bay or a cove, that is enclosed by nets. Unfortunately, it is un-likely the whales kept in captivity for so long by SeaWorld could actually survive in the wild. Not because they aren't intelligent enough to learn to hunt and survive but because they've been so psychologically damaged by captivity they would not know how to behave like a wild orca socially.
"Dr. Ingrid Visser and her colleagues have come up with a plan to house captive orcas that is nothing short of genius. It is ecologically sound, and would accommodate whales that are not candidates for release to the wild as well as those in the process of being rehabilitated for release.
The plan is stunningly simple and logical, yet incorporates every complex issue involved in maintaining the health of killer whales in a manner that reflects their need for space and stimulation." Candace Calloway Whiting on August 6, 2015
MAKE SURE TO SHARE THIS PETITION AND ENCOURAGE AS MANY PEOPLE AS YOU CAN TO SIGN!!!
You say that SeaWorld is evolving with society as it changes the way it views orcas in captivity. Since the announcement on the suspension of the breeding program and the whales no longer being used in performance shows, I can tell you would like to start taking steps in the right direction when it comes to the over-all quality of life for these magnificent creatures.
YOU have the power to do more! I realize your bottom line is profit. In building sea pens and introducing ALL of your orcas into them you would increase renevue by allowing people to observe the whales in the ocean AND by winning back the patrons you lost from the "Blackfish effect". You cannot deny the documentary had an impact, however advocates speaking out about seaworlds behavior and treatment of the whales did not cause your problems, your treatment of the whales caused your problems.
You can make this right.
You can fix this!
I appreciate your immediate attention to this urgent matter.