After almost 8 months of writing a dissertation about SeaWorld and how they and those against them use social media, I visited SeaWorld, Orlando. Deciding whether to visit was something I grappled with for the best part of those 8 months and eventually I decided I wanted to, one last time.
Without doing a large amount of research, some parts of SeaWorld can be deemed good such as the manatee rehabilitation centre and the sea turtle programme. However all of SeaWorld needs to be this way, not just half.
There were two things at the park that really struck me: the first was the plastic lead with a hoop on the end used in a show so a performer was able to stand upright on two dolphin’s backs. The photo below shows the plastic hoop:
While this photo doesn’t look particularly awful, when I watched this show, the dolphin was being forced to bend uncomfortably from holding the weight of the trainer on it’s nostrum.
The second thing I noticed at the park was the barren killer whale tank. I was desperate to see the killer whale tank (so much so I forced my family to go halfway round the park in the pouring rain – and I mean literally pouring). I wanted to see with my own eyes how big it was and what was actually in there rather than just through photos on the internet. It turns out, however, that the photos depict the truth. The tank was small, bare and without a doubt shocking.
Again, this image is not mine and I’m not sure which park this is or which whale but this shows the emptiness and size of the tank. The source for the image can be found here.
Society has ingrained us to think that keeping animals captive is okay because we enjoy it or because they are endangered but that’s not always the case. Some animals are suitable for captivity but some are just not. And the killer whale definitely isn’t.
If you’d like to know more about my dissertation or share your thoughts on the SeaWorld debate, drop me a comment!