Protest Outside SeaWorld Research Institute – Sat., Jan. 3rd

by on January 2, 2015 · 6 comments

in Culture, Health, History, Ocean Beach, Organizing

SeaWorld FreeCorky banner Dec 2014SeaWorld protest organizers are planning a picket outside the SeaWorld research facility on Saturday, January 3rd.

Calling the event, “It’s a New Year & a New World, SeaWorld – Stop Breeding Marine Mammals for Entertainment!”, organizers will hold the picket line from 11:30a-1pm at the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Reproductive Research Center, located at 2595 Ingraham Street at Perez Cove Way.

The research center is adjacent to SeaWorld San Diego along busy Ingraham Street. The following is from the organizers’ media release:

This picket line will focus on SeaWorld Entertainment Inc.’s breeding program for marine animals in the wake of the new baby orca borne to underage Kalia at SeaWorld San Diego in early December. Of the orcas borne in captivity at SeaWorld starting in 1985, 51% are dead. [1] In the wild, female orcas live up to 90 years, with males living up to 60 years. [2]

 In its second quarter 2014 report, SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. announced that it had entered into a Letter of Intent with Village Roadshow Theme Parks, a division of Village Roadshow Limited, a leading international entertainment and media company, to co-develop theme parks in Pan-Asia, India and Russia. [3]

 It is clear that SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. intends to amp up the breeding program and ship the offspring overseas to fill these parks. This is almost certainly going to mean more premature breeding, more separations, more calf rejections, more stillbirths and sadly continued captivity for the entire collection.

 This multibillion dollar corporation has been relentless to breed more stock for its marine mammal circus. Dr. Todd Robeck, who started out as a trainer at SeaWorld San Antonio, has led SeaWorld Entertainment Inc.’s drive to breed marine animals like livestock:

 “In 2006, Dr Robeck co-supervised the completion of the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Reproductive Research Center (SWBGRRC) in San Diego California. He has been the principle or co-principal investigator in developing the first successful methodology for artificial insemination in the killer whale, bottlenose dolphin, Pacific white-sided dolphin and the beluga, as well as the birth of the first pre-sexed zoological species, an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin.

Dr Robeck is responsible for the development and application of assisted reproductive technology (ART) to the animal collection at SeaWorld and Busch Gardens, and coordinates ART programs among numerous aquaria worldwide.”[4]

 Here’s the first sentence in the official biography for the “Scientific Director” of the SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Reproductive Research Center, based in San Diego at Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Inst.:

 “Dr O’Brien completed a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture at the University of Sydney (USyd) in 1993 and was awarded a PhD from the Faculty of Veterinary Science in 1998 for her thesis on the production of offspring from pre-pubertal livestock using in vitro fertilization techniques and sperm sexing technology.” [5]

 Merriam-Webster definition of  “PRE-PUBERTAL”: of, relating to, occurring in, or being in prepuberty <prepubertal children>

 Scientific research shows that wild orcas start breeding at about 15 years of age.[6]  SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. forces breeding at 7 – 10 years of age, through close confinement of orcas and, increasingly, artificial insemination:  Kalina (dead), Taima (dead), Takara, Kohana, Kalia. [7]  By the age of 22, Takara had borne four calves in all three SeaWorld Parks (San Diego, Orlando and San Antonio), whereas in the wild, orcas produce an average of five calves over a 25-year reproductive life.  Her daughter, Kohana, has already borne and rejected two calves by age 10, the second of which (Victoria) sadly died before her first birthday in 2013.

 In the wild, orca offspring mostly stay with their mother for life in a matrilineal society organized around pods.  Males leave the pod to breed but periodically reunite with their mother and home pod.  According to the Voice of San Diego, SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. has separated at least six calves between the age of two and four. [8]

 Captive orca mothers bred prematurely and separated from their mothers are at high risk for rejecting their calf, because they have not learned how to raise it, having been separated from their own mother.  As noted above, Kohana has rejected both of her calves, borne to her before age 10 and after she was separated from her mother Takara and shipped to Loro Parque in the Canary Islands.  Kayla rejected Halyn, who died before her third birthday.

 Captive orca mothers are also at high risk for miscarriages, stillbirths and death during pregnancy, childbirth and after delivery:  SeaWorld alone has had at least 13 miscarriages and stillbirths and nine orcas have died at SeaWorld while pregnant, or in/after childbirth. [9]

 SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. has performed 153 Artificial Inseminations on whales and dolphins. Unwilling females are removed from the water under mild or NO sedation for a 30-minute procedure.

 SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. has NEVER artificially inseminated ANY endangered animal with the purpose of releasing it to strengthen the wild populations. [10]   In fact, the hybrids bred by SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. are considered a danger to the wild orca gene pools.

 54% of SeaWorld Entertainment Inc.’s orcas are descended from one male – Tilikum, the orca featured in the documentary, Blackfish, who has killed three people. [11]

 Orcas and dolphins are highly intelligent, socially sophisticated marine mammals who have only been in captivity for 50 years.  Yet SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. treats them as livestock, commodifying their reproduction and moving them around the world as interchangeable pieces in the captive cetacean entertainment industry.  The animals bred in captivity bear no resemblance to the natural history of these species and therefore have no value in conservation efforts.


 [1] end-seaworld-orca-breeding- program/#gf_15
[2] content/uploads/2012/10/ olesiuk_et_al_1990_resiident_ orca_bc_wa.pdf
[3] http://www.seaworldinvestors. com/news-releases/news- release-details/2014/SeaWorld- Entertainment-Inc-Reports- Second-Quarter-2014-Results- and-Announces-Share- Repurchase-Program/default. aspx
[4] conservation-and-research/ reproductive-research-center/ research-team/
[5] conservation-and-research/ reproductive-research-center/ research-team/
[6] content/uploads/2012/10/ olesiuk_et_al_1990_resiident_ orca_bc_wa.pdf
[7] https://cetaceaninspiration. disturbing-facts-about- seaworlds-captive-breeding- program/ and reasons-why-seaworlds-orca-b- 531056663.html
[8] Voice of San Diego reporter Lisa Halverstadt, during SeaWorld Panel Discussion on June 5, 2014, in San Diego, CA.
[9] http://theorcaproject. orca-database/unsuccessful- captive-orca-births-by- location/
[10] https://cetaceaninspiration. disturbing-facts-about- seaworlds-captive-breeding- program/
[11] http://www.businessinsider. com/tilikum-breeding-at- seaworld-2013-11

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Kyle January 2, 2015 at 12:58 pm

Oh please. Get out there and take care of real issues. Stop wasting your time standing there and holding a sign. Rescue an animal, clean a beach or park. Do something that makes a difference. SeaWorld is an industry leader in rescue and rehab programs. Whether you want to believe it or not they educate and inspire so many people. In 50 more years we will be here wishing SeaWorld a happy 100 year anniversary.


vishal gurung January 4, 2015 at 1:06 am

you love Seaworld and Slavery…and you are doing well….keep it up!


Martha Sullivan January 3, 2015 at 8:44 am

Thank You, OB Rag! PARKING at Dana Landing, across Ingraham Street from Hubbs SeaWorld Research Institute, where we are picketing, at the north end of SeaWorld. Address is 2590 Ingraham St. San Diego, CA 92109 (Fastlane Sailing & Kayaking). Turn in at Dana Landing Rd, on the West side of Ingraham, opposite Perez Cove Way on the East side of Ingraham. Park on Dana Landing Road (public street parking). Cross Ingraham at the light, we will be at the corner on the opposite side.
Here’s a map:

BUS: Route 9 from Old Town Transit Ctr north/westbound and Pacific Beach south/eastbound. Get off at the Perez Cove/Dana Landing stop, at Ingraham St.


Frank Gormlie January 3, 2015 at 10:04 am

Martha, if you or someone of the organizers could send us a report, we can repost it.


Lin January 3, 2015 at 10:00 am

It’s about time they close this circus down. Either that or stop pretending that it is a non profit educational institution and just be an amusement park without the whales and dolphins. Fifty years of conning the public is enough already SeaWorld!


Tyler Neill January 4, 2015 at 12:48 pm

Oh please. All of you would be happy to know that throughout December, SeaWorld parks featured at-capacity days with full, multi-thousand person stadiums full to watch Orca shows. Is the tide really turning? Apparently not. In the last month, SeaWorld stock has risen from about $14 to $18. Boycotting is pointless folks, too many support SeaWorld and the work that it does. Go and do something that will make a difference. Even in the middle of the backlash, SeaWorld profited 80 million. A company that profits 80 million is not going out of business. Maybe next time, guys.


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