Thursday, March 26, 2015

SeaWorld Educates Us About Some Incredible Animals Worth Saving

 After the movie Blackfish premiered, conservation and animal rights activists established a mission to harpoon and kill Sea World.   But in their relentless attacks on Sea World are they actually throwing out the baby with the bathwater in their attempts to close down the park's animal entertainment division?


 After seeing Blackfish, it is very easy to be a critic of Sea World.  Seeing a performing  killer whale or elephant is viewed as abuse in some circles. Political correctness in some circles does not condone the ownership of animal coat or drooling over a piece veal.

Political correctness or not, after visiting Sea World in Aurora Ohio in my teenage years, I knew I never wanted to go back. 

For me, seeing a  "petting" dolphin sitting essentially in a SeaWorld wading poll just was depressing.  (It was equally as bleak  seeing a captive gorilla banging at its  glass window in a zoo).

 I never cared  for animals doing tricks whether at SeaWorld, at a circus or my dog standing on her rear legs around begging for food.  Just give me a well-managed sea aquarium or zoo any day to catch a glimpse into the world of wild animals just acting themselves. 

But let's face it for every performing whale, dolphin, or sea lion at SeaWorld, many of these animals are dying in our increasing polluted and over fished oceans.

If SeaWorld did not exist, many people would not really appreciate the magnificence of the very intelligent orcas and other seal  mammals.   After witnessing a killer whale at Sea World, one cannot help  appreciate the conservation of those mammals. 


 Source of Photograph: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


And by the same token if animal rights organizations did not exist, people would not fully appreciate how utterly reckless and cruel people and corporations can be in keeping wild animals in captivity  or slaughtering domestic animals for food and dress accessories.

SeaWorld does have its well-deserved detractors----but I think eliminating Sea World would have some consequences in ocean and sea life preservation.  

Until Sea World, the general public did not  really appreciate a killer whale's intelligence or role in the oceans' ecosystems. SeaWorld rightfully deserves much credit for the good things they have done in preserving and understanding not only killer whales but other sea animals.  

A former SeaWorld employee, Erin McKinney,  wrote in his blog for Awesome Ocean, that condemning SeaWorld is really a bad idea. 

McKinney persuasively noted that SeaWorld 

  • Has the the largest rescue and rehabilitation program in the world

  • Contributes millions of dollars in conservation funding annually

  • Is regulated by the USDA, National Marine Fisheries Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

  • Has one of the best staff of experts providing  a collective knowledge of marine life care

 Granted shows like National Geographic Wild and Animal Planet  make us aware of the planet's natural plant and animal resources. But going to places to see the actual animals resonates with people who for the first time might be educated to learn that if not protected many of the animals they are seeing may not exist in the wild but only in zoos. 

 SeaWorld will likely be reinventing itself over the next years---unless it is driven into bankruptcy by zealous animal rights activists.  Perhaps SeaWorld will cut down on the tricks and concentrate on making some large animal exhibits which are equally as breathe taking as a killer whale jumping out of the water.

SeaWorld and all parks with wild animals needs to be monitored.  However, if you have the good fortune to go to any of the SeaWorld parks or zoos, go and have a good time and don't over think the experience of viewing captive performing animals. 

Should  SeaWorld disappear, so will a good place that educates us about some very dynamic animals.

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