|We all know that SeaWorld’s business is built on tearing animals away from their families, breeding and inbreeding them, and imprisoning them in tiny barren tanks—but since today is #EmptyTheTanksDay, let’s talk about the disturbing specifics:
- SeaWorld separated two bonded polar bears—Szenja and Snowflake—after they’d spent 20 years together, leaving Szenja without any other members of her species to interact with. She died two months later—likely with a broken heart.
- A dolphin named Ringer was impregnated by her own father, and there’s a good chance that her last calf was inbred as well. (She had several babies … and all of them have died.)
- In 1983, 12 dolphins were captured from their home waters in Chile to be put on display at SeaWorld. Half of them died within six months.
Commerson’s Dolphin | bfurlong | CC BY-SA 2.0
- In 2011, the company took 10 penguin babies away from their parents in Antarctica and shipped them to SeaWorld in California for „research purposes.“
- In 2015, SeaWorld shipped 20 penguins via FedEx on a 13-hour journey from California to Michigan, transporting them inside small plastic crates with air holes and forcing them to stand on blocks of ice.
- Nanuq, a beluga whale, was abducted from his home waters and family at 6 years old, and he was used for an artificial insemination experiment at SeaWorld. He was removed from the water about 42 times so that workers could collect his sperm. Six of his babies died at birth or shortly after. Nanuq died, too, after his jaw was shattered.
- In 1978, SeaWorld captured two sharks from the ocean and put them in an enclosure. Within three days, they’d run into a wall, sunk to the bottom of the enclosure, and died. SeaWorld has continued to imprison and kill different species of sharks ever since.
- An orca named Shamu performed in the first-ever orca show at SeaWorld in 1965. She’d been kidnapped from her mother—and during her capture, her mother was shot with a harpoon and killed right in front of her.
- SeaWorld continued buying orcas who were taken from their families. Its orca hunter even hired divers to cut open the stomachs of four orcas, fill them with rocks, and put anchors around their tails in order to sink them to the bottom of the ocean so that their deaths wouldn’t be discovered.
- Abducted at 1 year old, an orca named Kasatka was imprisoned by SeaWorld in a tank for nearly 40 years—until she died. Workers made her perform up to eight shows a day, transferred her to different locations 14 times within eight years, used her for breeding, and took her babies away.
- Kasatka’s mate was killed after a pool gate closed on his head, fracturing his skull.
- Corky was abducted from her family and home as a baby, then inseminated over and over again—six times with sperm from her own cousin. Her last baby was found dead at the bottom of a tank. Her family is still out there in the wild, but SeaWorld won’t return her to them.
- Takara, a 25-year-old orca at SeaWorld, has been artificially inseminated many times, separated from her mother and two of her children, and shuffled from theme park to theme park. She was just starting to build a relationship with her daughter Kyara, who then died at only 3 months old.
- SeaWorld masturbated Tilikum („Tilly“) over and over and forcibly impregnated female orcas with his sperm. He’s the biological father of more than half the orcas who’ve been born at SeaWorld. More than half of his children have died. Tilly died, too, after 33 miserable years in captivity.
Shamu (Tilikum) | Milan Boers | CC by 2.0
- In order to keep the animals‘ worn and broken teeth from becoming infected, employees drill out the inside of the teeth—often without any anesthetics or painkillers—and then flush them out daily.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. SeaWorld still subjects 21 orcas, more than 100 other dolphins and whales, and many other animals to constant confinement and deprivation.
I’m mad—are you mad?
Everyone needs to know what SeaWorld has done so that we can come together to stop it. Take action for these animals, and spread the word to everyone you know.
Until the tanks are empty,