By: Kyle MacLelland
Producer, Larry King Now
Following years of pressure from animal rights activists and lawmakers alike, SeaWorld Entertainment has formally announced that it will end it's orca whale breeding programs and theatrical shows at all SeaWorld locations. Instead, the parks will introduce "new, inspiring natural encounters" with it's existing orca whales. Additionally, the park announced that it will partner with the Humane Society.
In a more detailed explanation about the decision, the company's CEO Joel Manby said:
"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."
Manby also responded to activists who are asking for the company to set free the orca whales currently living in SeaWorld marine parks, saying "that's not a wise option" and they will "likely die" because their housed orcas cannot live without the human care they've received under SeaWorld's supervision. He continued to say, "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."
The decision is seen as a major breakthrough for animal rights activists and will hopefully encourage positive treatment of other marine wildlife at large.
Orca whales performing in front of a crowd at a SeaWorld park. ( SOURCE: WikiCommons )
In case you missed it, take a peek at Adrian Grenier's 'Larry King Now' appearance where he talked extensively about his animal rights activism.
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