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Feb 9, 2013
Seaworld has decided that they will stop orca breeding permanently at all parks, making this the last generation of whales living in their care. Also, theatrical orca shows are being phased out at all parks. People will experience the last generation of orcas in a more natural environment.

Additionally, as of today, Seaworld makes new rescuing partnerships and efforts to help wild animals.

You can read more about the situation here.
Pretzel Kaiser said:
There's nothing that makes me more sad than seeing false information and blatant lies win.
Luckily, most of the whales will be there for a while, and years down the line thaey could go back on this decision.
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Eric said:
Pretzel Kaiser said:
There's nothing that makes me more sad than seeing false information and blatant lies win.
 Luckily, most of the whales will be there for a while, and years down the line thaey could go back on this decision.

But see, that's why we don't want them making these decisions in the first place, because future management could replace what Manby is saying right now. I am so disgusted that activists got their way, and it really alienated SeaWorld's fan base... Now the activists are going to to SeaWorld's side and demand more changes, more provisions, until they prevent any progress and eventually shut down the park. I hope that day never comes, but I will still hold on to hope that it isn't completely over yet
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Won't change one thing. The same people who protested after the doc that aired will still complain. Still want them released knowing full well they cannot survive in the wild and will still condemn and further protest the park in the future regardless of this announcement. Most have to realize these people won't be fully satisfied until SEAS is put out of business or at least that's what I gather from listening to them...
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Even if Seaworld got rid of all its animals, it would not close. Even now all three parks have started to focus more on the theme park aspect. This was a move prompted by the absolute widespread shift in public opinion, spurred by blackfish. OF course(and I don't want to give anyone ideas here) dolphins are very intelligent animals, but nobody has complained about their widespread captivity.

I feel a lot of this is due to how widespread emotional reasoning is. If a person can relate to(i.e. get a sense of personality from) an animal, they tend to prescribe human-like rights to them. I'm not saying that this is wrong, this is actually a very big philosophical debate. What I am saying is that unfortunately, the very shows that caused people to relate to the killer whales, are probably what made the public buy into blackfish; not due to any sort of mistreatment, but due to how effectively the shows demonstrated the capabilities of killer whales.

Of course, seeing how Sea World is the only organization that has this sort of thing it was easy to pinpoint and attack. Should animal rights activists try to get them to ban dolphins for instance, there are hundreds, if not thousands of places around the world that would have to be addressed as well. All the while, I don't think anyone has a problem with shark exhibits, or goldfish bowls, pet reptiles in terrariums, etc.

All of this is much bigger than Sea World. Blackfish caused a general shift in public opinion, one that can't easily be reversed. For Sea World to continue its operations as is, unfortunately, would be counter-cultural. This was very perceptive move from SWPE. They did the right thing. The best way to view this is that a portion of Sea World became obsolete in today's world. Sea World has shown that they are willing to adapt to changing times. Because of this, you can expect to see the Sea World brand continue on into the distant future.

P.S. The last chance nature of this announcement should result in at least a mild boost to Sea World's attendance as the last whales finish their time at Sea World
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Ask SeaWorld did not really answer the question about how they will prevent natural breeding.

"We have the leading veterinary and scientific experts in the world, and we will work with them and other third parties to do this in a way that puts the health and well-being of the whales first. Learn more about SeaWorld’s historical announcements at"
Especially since Orca are endangered species. Other zoos often promote breeding of endangered species. There are entire reserves dedicated to assisting the Giant Panda Bears in reproduction. Without these programs these species will die off and become extinct.
Depending on how SeaWorld addresses the breeding issue, they may be called to action if that becomes a problem.

Zimmy said:
Frankly I am pleased that they are getting rid of the shows, I never liked that particular aspect. [...]

How will this be any better? This will be the same thing without the music and more talking. They will just swim in front of a backdrop. "Project Blue World" is dead, so it seems.

They are not technically endangered. Although some populations ate threatened. That said I think breeding programs are good for research and future conservation efforts.
Its time to all chip in and buy BGW before it gets to the point where these changes start coming to the Busch parks.
I honestly do not believe either BGW or BGT is currently heading in this direction.  On our behind-the-scenes tour, Tim made his commitment to species protection programs very clear.  He has already started bringing in new animals, specifically to support genetic diversity and efforts to save endangered species.  BGT is working to breed Asian Elephants, specifically for this reason, as well.  He said Spike was brought in, because they were looking for genetic diversity.  Of course, they also have a new cheetah cub program.

I think SeaWorld is specifically under the microscope for the lies that have been spread about the orca programs.  Somehow, Busch has flown under that radar.  Honestly, BGW is looking expand its animal programs over the next few years, unless something changed today.
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I do not see where this has been posted.  Apologies if it has.

CEO, Joel Manby has an editorial in the Los Angeles Times today.  I agree with his viewpoint that public perception of orcas (killer whales) has changed greatly in large part due to SeaWorld's efforts over the past decades.  I certainly viewed them as dangerous and malicious after seeing Orca at the theater in 1977.  The op-ed is quite a good read.

Source here.

Americans' attitudes about orcas have changed dramatically. When the first SeaWorld Park opened in 1964, orcas, or killer whales, were not universally loved, to put it mildly. Instead, they were feared, hated and even hunted. Half a century later, orcas are among the most popular marine mammals on the planet. One reason: People came to SeaWorld and learned about orcas up close.

For some time, SeaWorld has faced a paradox. Customers visit our marine parks, in part, to watch orcas. But a growing number of people don't think orcas belong in human care. Lawmakers in Sacramento and even in the U.S. House of Representatives have proposed legislation to phase out orca captivity. Even the California Coastal Commission — a state agency with oversight over land use and public access — moved last year to ban orca breeding at SeaWorld San Diego.

We are proud of contributing to the evolving understanding of one of the world's largest marine mammals. Now we need to respond to the attitudinal change that we helped to create — which is why SeaWorld is announcing several historic changes. This year we will end all orca breeding programs — and because SeaWorld hasn't collected an orca from the wild in almost four decades, this will be the last generation of orcas in SeaWorld's care. We are also phasing out our theatrical orca whale shows.

Some critics want us to go even further; they want us to “set free” the orcas currently in our care. But that's not a wise option.

Most of our orcas were born at SeaWorld, and those that were born in the wild have been in our parks for the majority of their lives. If we release them into the ocean, they will likely die. In fact, no orca or dolphin born under human care has ever survived release into the wild. Even the attempt to return the whale from “Free Willy,” Keiko, who was born in the wild, was a failure.

For as long as they live, the orcas at SeaWorld will stay in our parks. They'll continue to receive the highest-quality care, based on the latest advances in marine veterinary medicine, science and zoological best practices.

These decisions — and the debates that preceded them — are about more than these orcas. Bigger questions are at stake than whether any animals anywhere should remain under human care.

Americans and thoughtful people everywhere need to acknowledge these fundamental problems: More than 3,000 species are endangered, and hundreds are lost every year. Some scientists predict that, within a century, 50% of large mammals will be extinct.

Wild animals and wild places will continue to disappear — biologists call this “the sixth extinction,” comparable to previous cataclysms such as the ice age — unless humans awaken and take action.

In this impending crisis, the real enemies of wildlife are poaching, pollution, unsustainable human development and man-made disasters such as oil spills — not zoos and aquariums.

Governments cannot address this crisis alone. We need concerned individuals to take action, as well as nongovernmental organizations. And, yes, the private sector also has to join in addressing this problem.

SeaWorld takes seriously its responsibility to preserve marine wildlife. That's why we are partnering with the Humane Society of the United States, the nation's largest and most effective animal protection and advocacy organization. Together, we will work against commercial whaling and seal hunts, shark finning and ocean pollution.

Wild animals and wild places will continue to disappear ... unless humans awaken and take action.
The Humane Society recognizes the critical work SeaWorld performs as one of the largest rescue organizations in the world. SeaWorld will increase its focus on rescue operations — so that the thousands of stranded marine mammals like dolphins and sea lions that cannot be released back to the wild will have a place to go.

SeaWorld will also join in the Humane Society's efforts to raise awareness of animal welfare, offering humane food options and serving only sustainable seafood.

Without a critical mass of informed and energized people, humanity will never make the difficult decisions that are necessary to halt and reverse the exploitation of wild places and the extinction of wild species.

By offering our guests enjoyable, memorable and educational experiences, SeaWorld will continue to create the constituency for conservation, just as we helped to inspire the changing attitudes that, in turn, inspired our company's changing policies.

Joel Manby is the president and chief executive officer of SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment.
I have never been a fan of the old Seaworld shows though there is a compromise to this situation and that is to make the animal sections into areas similar to those seen in aquariums and zoos. Make them interactive that way the animals won't be forced to survive back in the wild and new generations can learn about these interesting animals.
While I understand why SeaWorld made this decision I am quite angry about. I also don't know how these things get fixed. For about the past 10 years I have seen a trend in Peta and other animal welfare moving farther and farther to the extreme animal rights side. It saddens me to see SeaWorld join the list of groups that have caved to this pressure. But it also does not supprise me. I mean Ringling Brothers won both a perjury and libel case against the Human Society for false statements under owth in case involving the care of their elephants. Yet the general public was to blind to ever know about it. When it no longer matters what the truth is how do they have any other choice but to give in?????
One good thing that's come out of this SEAS stock which has been a drag since the doc yesterday the stock spiked to their one day biggest since their IPO at 9.4% and ended yesterday at 18.72 and today they are already up another nearly 4.5% to 19.53 so it looks as if the market and investors are reacting positively to this announcement which overall helps the health of the company.
Here's my thoughts on this. I hate caving in to extremists like peta. That said, I think they were losing the public too and that's not good. It was bound to happen after all this negative publicity. The crucial thing going forward is that it stops here. This can't spread to the beluga whales, then dolphins, then seals and finally every last animal is gone. If they can stop the negative press with this and not lose more animals I think this will make the company stronger in the long run.

Another thought I had was this could be a great time to push the brand. Build a new park only without orcas from the start. I know they talked about building overseas. Also I imagine they will eventually condense the orcas into fewer parks as the population drops. I could see San Diego sending theirs out first. This would actually free up a lot of land in a park that has little room to grow.
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Part if the problem I see is that this won't end with the orcas. These same groups targeted circus elephants cause of their size and then moved on to big cats and other animals. They also targeted carriage horses in central park and other locations. Part of the issue are that these victories only serve to make these groups more bold.
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