I performed tricks with sea lions. I swam with dolphins. I learned training signals for orca whales. The experience was unforgettable.
Blackfish argues that orcas are unsuited for captivity and that their containment leads to an unhealthy, and often dangerous, environment for both the whales and trainers. In a statement to Refinery 29, spokesperson Suzanne Pelisson-Beasley said "SeaWorld is highly regulated by the United States government, regularly inspected by federal veterinarians and other officials, and we pass strict federal licensing requirements every year. According to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, SeaWorld is 'meeting or exceeding the highest standard of animal care and welfare of any zoological organization in the world.'"
Like many who are concerned with animal rights, I’m taking SeaWorld’s promise for what it is: not enough.
All cetaceans — a group of marine mammals that includes whales and dolphins — share a keen intelligence, self-awareness, and deep sense of emotion.