SHOULD YOU GO TO MARINE WATERPARKS?

In recent years there has been much controversy surrounding waterparks, such as Sea World. This stems from incidents primarily involving the Orcas. In 2010 a woman trainer was killed by an Orca named Tilikum at Sea World in Orlando Florida.

This was not the first such incident involving this particular Orca, in fact, in 1991 a woman was killed by Tilikum and other Orcas at a waterpark in Edmonton Canada. These incidents led to the making of a documentary entitled “Blackfish” in which Orcas and the stresses they endure are discussed. The makers of this film purport that the captivity of these animals leads to extreme stress that in turn leads to the development of aggression in these animals.

The Controversy

The “Blackfish” documentary.

There has been much controversy regarding Sea World since many people believe that the captive Orcas are housed in poor conditions, such as tanks that are inadequate for these animals to maintain good health. Many also suggest that the tanks are too small for such large animals that are meant to be able to move large distance. In the wild Orcas are able to travel for long distances and many suggest that it is very cruel to have these animals in captivity. Many of these orcas have also been intentionally removed from the wild to use in shows for profit. They have also been forced to breed in captivity. Sea World has lost profits, possibly as a result of this bad publicity.

Some of the water parks, such as Sea World, include rides such as Rollercoasters which people may enjoy going on. As to whether or not you should go to a marine water park, it is really up to you to decide. The “Blackfish” documentary has been accused of sensationalizing the issues and Sea World maintains that it is not a true reflection of the conditions that the Orcas are kept under. Sea world personnel also state that the Orcas they currently have cannot be returned to the wild since they would be unlikely to now know how to survive on their own in the wild. Many animal rights activists dispute this idea and maintain that the Orcas should in fact be released back into the wild.

The Law

The law has also changed regarding the removal of animals, such as Orcas, from the wild. Orcas are also no longer allowed to be used in shows in response to the death of trainers and public outcry. Marine waterparks that do play a big role in rehabilitating and releasing injured marine animals back into the wild should be supported more by the public than a park that takes animals out of the wild and uses them for entertainment. Sea World does rescue and rehabilitate wild mammals, as well as other animals such as turtles and birds from the ocean.

This is an admirable and important function that they do play. This may be a good reason to still support and go to a marine waterpark as at least your entrance fee may help with this goal. A waterpark which only uses animals for entertainment does not serve much of a conservation purpose although they maintain they are educating the public.