Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Seaworld Relents Public Pressure Succeeds in Freeing the Orcas

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Seaworld Relents Public Pressure Succeeds in Freeing the Orcas

Article excerpt

It took years of protests by animal rights groups, a critical documentary and plunging attendance, but SeaWorld finally has bowed to public pressure and deep-sixed its orca breeding program.

SeaWorld's announcement last week was a pleasant surprise to those who assumed the Florida-based amusement park would hold out and force intelligent animals to do circus tricks.

SeaWorld experienced its first major drop in attendance after the release of the acclaimed 2013 film "Blackfish," an expose of the conditions that led to three deaths by the same orca - of a trainer in 2010 and a trainer and a trespasser in the 1990s. Public discomfort over what the animals are put through to entertain tourists reached a level SeaWorld could no longer ignore.

The 29 killer whales in SeaWorld's custody won't be released into the wild. …

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