SeaWorld announced last year that the theme park would be ending its captive orca breeding program. And the company just confirmed that Takara, the 25 year old killer whale, will be giving birth to the last orca at the San Antonio park in the coming weeks. The gestation period for whales is about 18 months.
According to the Humane Society of the United States, orcas in captivity live no more than 35 years. So the over two dozen remaining orcas at SeaWorld parks in Orlando, San Diego and San Antonio will be a thing of the past by the year 2050.
“The work we do at SeaWorld is critical for the protection of animals in the wild, especially marine mammals. The work done by zoological facilities like SeaWorld is critical for the protection of animals in the wild, especially marine mammals. To that end, SeaWorld has committed $50 million over the next five years to be the world’s leading marine animal rescue organization, to advocate for an end to the commercial killing of whales and seals and an end to shark finning,” said the company’s website.
It seems like the company paid attention after the negative press stemming from the 2013 documentary, Blackfish, about the death of trainer Dawn Branchaeu who was attacked by captive orca Tilikum. In fact, the following message was posted on the Blackfish Facebook page: “They heard your voice!”
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