It’s the reminder no one needed: SeaWorld is beyond out of touch. The abusement park company took to social media on January 11 to flex its speciesist muscles, posting a sonogram depicting the unborn baby of Luna, a beluga whale who has been confined at SeaWorld San Antonio for more than two decades.
The publicity stunt is seemingly a vain attempt to attract new visitors to its park in Texas (where Luna resides in a cramped tank), making it clear that SeaWorld has forgotten (or perhaps just doesn’t care) that no one wants to buy tickets to a place that dooms newborns to a lifetime of exploitation.
Such cringe-worthy abuse is not new to Luna. In order for her to conceive her first calf, workers sexually abused her by forcibly impregnating her with the sperm of Nanuq.
Despite rejecting her calf, Alta (who was one of the first belugas conceived through artificial insemination), Luna gave birth to two more babies—and now she’s been impregnated again, possibly by forced insemination.
Torn away from his family and Canadian home waters when he was just 6 years old, Nanuq was held captive and then made to participate in an intensive, experimental artificial insemination program at SeaWorld: He was shipped around Canada and the U.S. repeatedly and removed from the water roughly 42 times so that workers could collect his sperm.
He fathered 13 babies (including one with Luna), but six died at birth or shortly thereafter. Nanuq died in 2015 while being treated by SeaWorld staff for an infection from a jaw injury that he had sustained while interacting with another animal.
SeaWorld continues to masturbate male dolphins forcibly and rape female dolphins by tearing them out of the water and sometimes drugging them so they can’t fight back while staff shove tubes filled with semen into their uteruses.
Some animals endure this process repeatedly, only for their babies to die or be shipped off to other SeaWorld parks.
SeaWorld Needs to Empty Its Tanks
When not ripped from their natural habitats or born into captivity at places like SeaWorld, beluga whales enjoy exploring thousands of miles of ocean every year.
They are social animals who communicate with each other using a language of clicks, whistles, and clangs. SeaWorld robs victims like Luna and Nanuq of the opportunity to do any of this, and now Luna’s baby, not even born yet, is doomed, too—unless SeaWorld acts, now and fast.
We and countless others have been urging it to empty its tanks for years.
Most recently, after the company ended its wretched orca-breeding program and its demeaning “dolphin surfing” shows (only after succumbing to successful PETA campaigns), we’ve increased our calls for the company to stop breeding other dolphins and whales.
SeaWorld failed Nanuq and so many others, but we hope it will now do the right thing and transfer Luna and her baby to a seaside sanctuary to live as close to a normal life as they can.
SeaWorld should take a page from SEA LIFE Trust and Whale and Dolphin Conservation’s book—in August, the pair proved to the world that seaside sanctuaries are a sure thing when Little Grey and Little White (two female beluga whales) were moved from a marine park in China and released into a seaside sanctuary in Klettsvik Bay in Iceland.
Now it’s time for SeaWorld to end its use of animals, stop breeding all dolphins and whales, and relocate them to seaside sanctuaries, where they could live in large areas of the ocean while still benefiting from human care for as long as they might need.
Please urge SeaWorld to establish a firm and rapid plan to end its use of animals, stop breeding all dolphins and whales, and relocate them to seaside sanctuaries.
And I mean…At least 166 orcas have been taken into captivity from the wild since 1961 (including Pascuala and Morgan).
– 129 of these orcas are now dead.
-At least 166 orcas have died in captivity, not including 30 miscarried or still-born calves.
-SeaWorld holds 20 orcas in its three parks in the United States.
At least forty-nine orcas have died at SeaWorld.
A growing catalogue of ‘accidents’, illnesses, failed pregnancies and premature deaths has helped to show up this industry for the cruel circus that it really is.
Orcas can live anywhere between 50 to 80 years, but in captivity, they are lucky if they can make it to twenty-five.
They are incredible fast swimmers, and get up to 48 km/h in the ocean, and will eat about five-hundred pounds of food a day. Females don’t start breeding until they are close to fifteen years old, and once they start breeding they might produce a new calf every 3 to 10 years, and gestation last 17 months.
Nature has intended them to live free, exempt from domination, but the human species, with its self-proclaimed fascist right to exploit other animals, has predetermined a pathetic fate for many of these animals.
The right to life, freedom, integrity and protection must be given to all species.
Only then is it a right and not a privilege of the ruler.
My best regards to all, Venus