According to International Business Times California authorities have banned the San Diego theme park SeaWorld from breeding captive killer whales (Orcinus orca). The killer whale, also known as orca, is a toothed whale and is the largest member of the dolphin family. SeaWorld has announced that it will challenge the state ruling.
The California Coastal Commission recently approved a considerable expansion of the killer whale tanks at the San Diego ocean theme park. The ruling however included a number of restrictions, including a ban on breeding. The park will also not be allowed to sell, trade or transfer these large mammals.
Profits show a steady decline
SeaWorld has similar parks in Orlando, Florida and San Antonio, Texas.
SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. announced that it will appeal the California Coastal Commission’s ruling and accused the commission of operating outside its jurisdiction. Joel Manby, CEO of SeaWorld said that “the commission has overstepped both federal and California law”.
SeaWorld’s profits have been declining steadily since the release of a 2013 documentary “Blackfish” which claimed that the company’s mistreatment of killer whales led to violent behaviour. And attendance is still falling as animal rights activists carry on protesting against SeaWorld’s alleged cruelty to animals. Activists are hailing the recent ban on breeding a “death blow” to the use of killer whales at the theme park.
Read: Whale meat off the menu
Dayna Bochco, the commissioner who proposed the ban on the breeding of killer whales at SeaWorld, wrote in a commentary posted on The San Diego Union-Tribune website: “The commission is not pre-empted by any federal law and no other state agency is addressing issues related to captive whales. We were faced with making our decision in a regulatory vacuum.” She added. “It's difficult to imagine a species more inherently unsuited for captivity.”
A SeaWorld employee showing a group of children the killer whales (Facebook/SeaWorld)
Celebrity takes action against SeaWorld
The Los Angeles Times reports that after a spectacular anti-SeaWorld stunt “Jackass” star Steve-O was sentenced to 30 days in jail in Los Angeles. Steve-O, whose real name is Steven Glover, climbed onto a crane in Hollywood and set off fireworks in order to bring attention to the plight of killer whales in captivity.
The stunt drew many spectators, a helicopter and close to 100 firefighters.
Glover was sentenced to three years’ probation. He has to keep his distance from the Hollywood Entertainment District, and is prohibited from possessing any fireworks.
Steve-O climbed a crane with an inflatable killer whale in protest against SeaWorld (Facebook/Steve-O)