A deep dive Into Sea World: The truth


Mya Schwartz

The Orcas “entertained” the crowd in July 2022.

Splashing in the water, the crowd screaming, the whales whaling. 

SeaWorld first opened on March 21, 1964. There are 3 Sea Worlds located in Orlando Florida, San Diego, and San Antonio. 

Sea World seems like a normal amusement park with rides and animal shows, mainly the Orca shows.

SeaWorld advertises a healthy and positive environment when in reality, it’s really just an advertisement, not the truth. 

So what really happens behind the scenes? 

According to Whale and Dolphin Conservation at least 44 orcas have died at SeaWorld. But why is this number so large? 

We have seen lots of reports of Orcas running into the walls in their tanks, their teeth being drilled into, gates closing on their heads, sexual abuse, etc. 

According to PETA, Shamu, the name of an Orca that performed in the first ever SeaWorld show, was taken from her mother and watched her mother get shot by a harpoon and killed. She passed away 6 years later, however, the park still uses her name for other Orcas. 

During a 13-hour drive from California to Michigan, 20 penguins were kept in plastic crates with small air holes and forced to stand on a block of ice. 

A beluga whale, Nanuq, was abducted at 6 years old, he was used for artificial insemination experiments at SeaWorld. He was taken out of the water at least 42 times so SeaWorld employees could collect his sperm. He died after his jaw shattered, and 6 of his children died shortly after birth. 

They cram the animals into just 7 tanks, breeding them and even forcefully drugging them. 

The abuse doesn’t seem as bad to the audience because it’s pure entertainment for them. Allowing trainers to ride on their backs and use their faces as surfboards.

This did not stop until February 24th, 2010 when an investigation was opened for the incident with the killer whale named Tilikum pulling down Dawn Brancheau, drowning the trainer. 

The court’s administrative law judge ruled that SeaWorld’s “safety program is inadequate”. 

SeaWorld violated its duties by exposing the trainers when working with Killer Whales and must limit one on one contact. 

Not until 8 years ago, SeaWorld was held accountable. 

In 2014 SeaWorld shareholders sued the park for the mistreatment of the animals.

It wasn’t until February 2020 when SeaWorld settled and paid $65 million in lawsuit claims.

Despite the lawsuit and $65 million in lawsuit claims, SeaWorld does not seem to change its tactics or its treatment of these animals. 

In 2022 there are more than one ways to fix these issues and ideas that could help come up with a better solution for the animals.

Biology teacher Shih Wen stated what he thought could implement the issues with treatment. 

“Not using large mammals for entertainment purposes only, making sure that there’s research to preserve the species itself.”

We also got feedback from biology teacher Matthew Ewald on his opinion of systems that could help this issue. 

“What they do is important and okay as long as they do it the right way such as more space, allowing the animals to behave more normally are all things that I think could help for people who work at sea world and for the animals.” 

Overall SeaWorld has positive and negative effects when it comes to animals and entertainment.