POLL: Should SeaWorld be closed down?

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The death toll at SeaWorld continues to grow with the loss of another who battled chronic health issues. But it isn’t the ’s death that’s the real tragedy — it’s the life she was forced to live.

SeaWorld made the announcement that Kasatka, the park’s matriarch, was euthanized in San Diego this week. According to SeaWorld, her health and appetite had declined over the past several days. Despite treatment, the veterinary team decided to end her life to prevent further suffering.

Sadly, Kasatka’s death doesn’t come as a surprise to those who have been monitoring her over the years.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

SeaWorld acknowledged that the orca had been battling a respiratory infection that she was diagnosed with in 2008. but many wildlife advocates believe her situation was far worse than the park has admitted.

Former SeaWorld trainers now running Voice of the Orcas stated, “The reality is that Kasatka is being eaten away, possibly by a bacteria, fungus or photo-toxicity due to antibiotic overuse.”

Few images released show the toll her illness took on her body. While SeaWorld maintains that Kasatka’s illness is a common cause of death for both wild and captive orcas, that claim is also being rejected by experts.

Whale and Conservation also points to research that contradicts that statement, adding that there is “little evidence to suggest that pneumonia is the leading cause of death of wild orcas.”

Still, the disease that ultimately took Kasatka’slife — and the misinformation SeaWorld continues to spread about orcas — is only a part of the story.

While SeaWorld called the whale the “beloved matriarch of our orca family,” the reality is that she was stolen, confined for more than four decades, forced to perform and bred multiple times.

Kasatka was taken from her native waters in Iceland in 1978, and she spent the rest of her life imprisoned. She had four children in , Takara, Nakai, Kalia and Makani; six grandchildren, Kohana, Trua, Sakari, Kamea and Kyara; and two great grandchildren Adan and Victoria, who have all been split up at various parks in California, Texas, Florida and Spain.

Meanwhile, SeaWorld conveniently fails to mention that her granddaughter Kyara and great granddaughter Victoria are both dead too — neither of them even reached their first birthdays.

Had Kasatka been left in the wild, she would only be middle-aged now and may have enjoyed life as a true matriarch, nurturing lifelong bonds with her family members. But, sadly, she was denied that opportunity.

In addition to suffering from health problems, Kasatka also displayed the emotional toll confinement took on her. Unsurprisingly, she was involved in multiple aggressive incidents with trainer Ken Peters, who is lucky to be alive.

Kasatka’s story is ultimately a tragic waste of a beautiful life — and for nothing more than our fleeting amusement and financial gain. Her death now leaves 22 orcas captive in the U.S., including 21 at SeaWorld parks, and Lolita at the Miami Seaquarium.

One by one, these whales will continue to pass. And while we can’t undo the injustices they’ve endured in the past, we can ensure no other marine mammals suffer in the future.

Even though SeaWorld has made a corporate promise to stop breeding, many animal activists are working to make sure the company can’t go back on its word. Whale and dolphin advocates are pushing for lawmakers to pass the Florida Orca Protection Act and urging Congress to pass the Orca Responsibility and Care Advancement (ORCA) Act– landmark legislation that would permanently ban keeping orcas in captivity in the U.S.

Hopefully theses efforts will be successful, and we will have a future where orcas receive protection in the wild — where they belong.

This article was first published by Care2.com on 18 Aug 2017.

We invite you to share your opinion whether SeaWorld should be closed down? Please vote and leave your comments at the bottom of this page.

Should SeaWorld be closed down?

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Editorial Comment: The purpose of this poll is to highlight important wildlife conservation issues and to encourage discussion on ways to stop . By leaving a comment and sharing this post you can help to raise awareness. Thank you for your support.


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Edna Lowe
Edna Lowe

They have to be closed down. We already know where the other direction leads.

Elizabeth Licht
Elizabeth Licht

They should ALL be closed… except for the ones that TRULY rehabilitate and return to wild.

Maria Humbler
Maria Humbler

Yes. Now and forever.


YES, ‼️‼️‼️

Jen Lord

Yes Seaworld should close because these majestic and intelligent beings should be free in the ocean in pods with their family’s not rotting in what amounts to a swimming pools to us . There have been to many deaths at Seaworld because of infections and other things they wouldn’t be getting if they were in the ocean were they belong instead of swimming in circles alone .

Anne Grice

Yes since decades ago!

Anne Grice

Yes and blow it out of the water!

Pia Lundin
Pia Lundin

YES! Humans have no right to keep wild animals in ‘prison’. It’s only about greed…

Lu Ibarra

Now Yes

Scott Gavin


Debbie Macmillan

Voted yes!

Debbie Macmillan

Yes, it is well passed time!

Laura Anne Russo

No they do ,do good for alot of sea animals

Marie-France Durand


Linda Berry


Jennifer Wilkes

There is a place for aquariums for educating the public. Animals kept there should be only ones that have been injuried and no longer can survive in the wild.

Anda Z
Anda Z

I think you mean to say SANCTUARIES. This – Seaworld- and all other such places are among the cruelest places on the face of the planet and they should be all closed down, the animals realeased and/or moved into sanctuaries. Voted YES, close Seaworld DOWN.

Dieter Reger


Joelle Jojo Mamour Barrier


Maria Anna Mavromichalis

yes !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Donna Thomas


Mary Cervantes

YES YES YES YES YES YES !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jean Daniels


John Tobias

Another one sided attack on Sea World.

Jen lord
Jen lord

Orcas need the ocean not a pool how is that one sided, it’s just cruel.

Kylie Fowler

Feel free to argue your case for Seaworld then. It might be difficult though, I fear you are on the wrong side of the argument.

Jeanne Dupont

voté OUI !

Isabelle Fernandès

Sondage en fin d’article : Est-ce que SeaWorld devrait être fermé?

Oui (95%, 78 Voix)
Non (5%, 4 Votes)
Ne sait pas (0%, 0 Votes)
Nombre total d’électeurs: 82

Barry Frederick Baudains

Yes. Shouldn’t have been built in the first place, with have enough prisons.

Michele Jankelow

Yes, I voted yes because they have done nothing to plan a sea pen for the remaining Orcas and dolphins at their facilities. They carry on doing what they do…..for profit which is surely not coming their way at all and never will. How tragic that Tilikum, Kasatka, Corky and the other Orcas, dolphins, Walrus’ have to endure the tanks, the drugs, the begging for food, the sounds and confines of the concrete, the masturbation for semen, in breeding ….. it goes on and on and on! What an absolutely appalling institution for it is surely like a jail with… Read more »

Linda Badham
Linda Badham

How any human can capture any wild animal and claim to own them is beyond me. There really should be laws to protect all wildlife.The abuse is sickening , to be enslaved is despicable and wrong on every level !

Lela Gary

This question has come up again and again…. but nothing has happened so far to close the damn thing down and get it over.

Jenny Grinstead

Yes! Should have been done years ago.

Anita Sayers

I saw just 8 votes??????????????

Anita Sayers