SeaWorld San Diego to Build ‘Bigger Bathtubs’ for Its Killer Whales

by on August 15, 2014 · 9 comments

in Culture, Environment, Health, History, Ocean Beach, San Diego, Sports

Orca Ulises No3

This is “Ulises” – Orca No. 3 of the San Diego 10

In response to the public pressure that has decreased its attendance and finances due to awareness of how its orcas are treated, SeaWorld has announced that it will “upgrade” its facilities for its killer whales.  Larger tanks will be built along with “water treadmill” systems to give them exercise.

According to a Wall Street Journal article published today, SeaWorld is spending millions to build the new enclosures – beginning in San Diego:

The company plans to upgrade the killer whale tanks at three of its theme parks, beginning with the San Diego location. The new enclosure in San Diego will be almost double the size of the current one, holding about 10 million gallons of water and extending to a depth of 50 feet. The company wouldn’t specify the cost of the upgrades, only saying it would be several hundred million dollars.

Our lucky San Diego orcas will now have new exercise equipment, again, according to the WSJ:

The San Diego facility will include a “water treadmill” system letting the whales swim against a stream of moving water, allowing them more exercise but also opening the door to new research into how the animals burn energy. The system will be the first of its kind in the world, the company says.

First of its kind! Wowwee!

As Jordan Weissmann at Slate states:

More exercise will be nice. None of this addresses the fundamental issue: that these are massive, highly social mammals, who normally travel upwards of 100 miles in a day, and who are being kept in captivity in order to do tricks for tourists. A bigger bathtub prison is still a bathtub prison.

It’s clear that the protests and demonstrations have deeply affected the San Diego and American public over what SeaWorld is doing and not doing for and to its killer whales.  The theme park monster corporation (11 parks in US and plans for more in Middle East) – instead of responding directly to the criticism – will be spending its millions on “easing” the public’s conscience with its larger tanks, and will keep on showering tourists with water sprayed from its orcas doing tricks for a bit of mackerel.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Marc Snelling August 15, 2014 at 12:50 pm

Is it really in response to public pressure or is it a response to their stock price tanking?

SeaWorld: 50% bigger tanks 33% smaller stock price.

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avatar Frank Gormlie August 15, 2014 at 12:59 pm

Hahaha. It’s all connected. But you have to hand it to San Diego activists, as they have really put the pressure on SeaWorld these last few months.

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avatar Aging Hippie August 15, 2014 at 12:50 pm

Why are so many of their dorsal fins bent over like that?

http://www.scribd.com/doc/119426027/Flaccid-Fin-Sydrome-by-Wende-Alexandra-Evans

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avatar gristmiller August 15, 2014 at 4:37 pm

It is a gravity issue.

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avatar Aging Hippie August 18, 2014 at 7:13 am

If that were so, wouldn’t the condition be common among wild whales as well?

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avatar Liveinob August 15, 2014 at 2:27 pm

I wonder how much public land will be taken away for these “improvements”

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avatar gristmiller August 15, 2014 at 4:38 pm

No way is this any kind of solution!

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avatar OB Dude August 15, 2014 at 5:10 pm

Sea World…..

You can immediately show your concern for your captive animals and the surrounding community by eliminating nightly fireworks or at the very least move to quiet displays or lasers shows.

Whatcha say to that?

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avatar want2surf August 15, 2014 at 8:46 pm

“We won’t work to put them back where they belong, but look at the neat bathtub and treadmill we’re getting them!”
What absolute, delusional idiocy.
SeaWorld should spend the money to figure out how to rehabilitate the orcas. Someone is: http://savelolita.org/the-plan
If SeaWorld turned around their philosophy, their stock might turn around in a sustainable fashion too…

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