Seaworld boasted via social media today that they plan on upgrading their whale “habitats” through their new Blue World Project. An article appeared in the Wall Street Journal today offering further explanation:
Seaworld Entertainment, Inc. suffering from negative publicity and flagging attendance, announced Friday a new expansion of the habitats housing its signature killer whales.
The company plans to upgrade the killer whale tanks at three of its theme parks, beginning with the San Diego location. The new enclosure in San Diego will be almost double the size of the current one, holding about 10 million gallons of water and extending to a depth of 50 feet. The company wouldn’t specify the cost of the upgrades, only saying it would be several hundred million dollars.
In response to continued criticism of Seaworld, Chief Executive Officer Jim Atchinson says, “Unfortunately there are some people who want nothing more than to see the end to the relationship between humans and animals, and that would be a sad outcome.”
How sad that people are still this this delusional.
As I’ve said about my dog, Fiona – she doesn’t care how big the fenced-in yard is. To her, it’s still a fenced-in yard. When I’d take her to the dog park in Westchester, instead of interacting with the other dogs, she would just nudge my hand with her nose, like “Let’s walk! Let’s walk! Let’s walk!”
I’m not quite sure what relationship Atchinson is referring to in his statement.
Birds fly. Dogs walk. Cats perch. Monkeys swing. And whales swim.
While I appreciate Seaworld’s attempt to remedy the damage to their stocks and squeaky-clean image caused in part by the documentary Blackfish — as they have said they plan on giving $10 million to Orca research — this just isn’t cutting the mustard, and it’s almost embarrassing.
I planned on listing some of the reasons why this multi-million dollar undertaking is misguided, but as usual, the Dodo beat me to it. With that money, they could invest in building open-water pens for their animals so that they could have at least a fraction of what they should have.
The bottom line remains, and that is if you want to have a relationship with an animal, if you want to see an Orca up close, do this: