Few topics are touchier these days than SeaWorld. It seems every few weeks the marine amusement park is in the news for yet another violation of animal rights, or a new controversy. Unfortunately, there is a lot of basis to these claims, and SeaWorld criticism is often justified. These behind the scenes facts and SeaWorld secrets are just some of the things the corporation doesn't want you to know (along with a few interesting facts that are less controversial, but will still peak your interest.
It’s a known fact, despite what SeaWorld wants patrons and the public to believe, that orcas do not do well in captivity, and nowhere was that idea better illustrated than in the documentary Blackfish, which focused on the fatal accident involving SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau and the orca Tilikum. But what additional secrets doesn’t SeaWorld want us to know? What do orcas eat in captivity? How long do orcas usually live in the wild? What does a floppy dorsal fin mean? How do the powers that be breed orcas in captivity?
These questions and more are answered below, and we warn you – the information we’ve gathered is not always easy to hear. Upvote the SeaWorld facts you think everyone should know and let us know what you think of SeaWorld in the comments section.
After years of criticism, protests, and social media outrcy over their orca-breeding program, Seaworld announced they would end the program in March of 2016. Their current group of orcas will mark the last generation in Seaworld's care.
Despite the park's bad reputation, SeaWorld still remains the place to be if you are an injured manatee. Staff at SeaWorld work with state, local, and federal agencies to rehabilitate sick and injured manatees before releasing them back into the wild. For visitors, they can also get a glimpse of the rescued manatees on a behind-the-scenes tour.
The US Occupational Health and Safety Agency (OSHA) fined SeaWorld $75,000 following trainer Dawn Brancheau’s death, and is working to prevent trainers from getting into the water with SeaWorld orcas ever again.
Trainers in the know report that orcas exhibit human emotions and traits including boredom. Former SeaWorld trainer, John Hargrove, explains that orcas possess a chamber in their brain that humans lack, one that controls emotion.