Adapted from Death at SeaWorld, Shamu and the Dark Side of Killer Whales in Captivity —David Kirby (St. Martin’s Press, 2012)
Each year, millions of people pay top dollar to visit SeaWorld and other captive orca entertainment parks. But they only witness the glitzy, shiny, happy side of Shamu: the bouncy backflips, cute kisses and splash-soaked finales that are emblematic of a staged killer whale show. The hordes of credulous tourists, for the most part, can be forgiven for leaving the park resting assured that killer whales in captivity enjoy their performances for people and are lavished with “world class” care and living standards far superior to anything found in the “dark, scary ocean,” (an actual term used by SeaWorld executives to defend orca captivity).
But here, on the contrary and for your consideration, are seven reasons why orca captivity has become an outdated and inhumane way to entertain humans. Author David Kirby tells the story from the accounts of on-the-scene SeaWorld workers.