SeaWorld Ends Orca Breeding Program

SeaWorld is still trying to recover from the negative publicity from Blackfish, the 2013 documentary about orca whales in captivity. Now, the entertainment park has announced it will no longer breed orca whales. This is the biggest move since SeaWorld changed its shows, and it gives hope to animal rights activists. PETA tweeted about the decision as well as Ringling Brothers' decision to stop traveling with elephants in its circus. 

SeaWorld reactionSlate is probably right. Pressure continues to mount on SeaWorld: ticket sales continue to decline, and corporations continue to pull partnerships. 

Although the reaction to the news is mostly positive, this still leaves current orcas in captivity, not living in the best conditions. But some experts say there's little other choice: whales bred in captivity cannot easily be released.  

Discussion Starters:

  • Read SeaWorld's "5 Things You Need to Know. . ." Assess the content choices and approach. Who is the intended audience? Would they find this piece convincing? What questions might remain? 
  • Should SeaWorld have made this decision long ago? Why or why not?