California’s Coastal Commission bowed to left-wing animal rights activists with approval of an amendment stripping SeaWorld of the ability to breed killer whales as a condition of building a massive new $100 million habitat expansion for the orcas living there now.
The conditions of approval for the massive new tank expansion essentially twist the arms of San Diego’s SeaWorld facility. It condemns the park to no future breeding of captive orcas or artificial insemination and no sale, trade, transfer of captive orcas, meaning that the current orca population will be the last.
Such restrictions on the expansion force SeaWorld San Diego to choose between the future of orca life at the park and providing a massive new habitat in the near future. The Los Angeles Times reported that Commissioner Dayna Bochco made the amendment to ban breeding. Around 650 park supporters attended the meeting, according to the report and another 9,500 observers joined via livestream.
The Blue World project, in the works for many years, would nearly double the volume of orca tanks to a total new volume of 10 million gallons, according to the announcement of the expansion.
The Times further reported that at the meeting, “testimony stretched for more than eight hours and included comments from marine biologists, activists, actress Pam Anderson, San Diego business owners and several children.”
“These 11 orcas would be the last 11 orcas there,” PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) lawyer Jared Goodman said, following the Thursday decision ABC 10 reported.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) released a statement following the vote that read, in part, “The Commission’s decision confirms that SeaWorld’s days of breeding and warehousing orcas for entertainment are numbered.”
This journalist recently spent a day with trainers, veterinarians, injured sea life caretakers, administrators and up close with the marine life at SeaWorld San Diego. Captive breeding has provided orcas viewed in exhibits throughout the facility today.
PETA has been relentlessly attacking SeaWorld over its housing of marine life. The left-wing organization has employed numerous coercive tactics to injure park perception including litigiously fought for anti-SeaWorld airport ads and praise for fame seeking celebrity acts of vandalism.
At the public reveal for SeaWorld’s Blue World habitat expansion project, PETA protestor signs read, “A bigger prison is still a prison,” “Boycott Seaworld,” “Seaworld: Don’t Renovate! Release!” and “Seaworld Exposed, Watch Blackfish.”
Opponents of keeping whales or orcas in captivity have suggested moving the giant mammals to sea cages. That is an option that according to San Diego Park President John Reilly has never been done successfully. The new Blue World project was in the works years before release of the controversial movie Blackfish, Reilly told Breitbart News during the September meeting.
“A ban on breeding would sentence these animals to a slow extinction in our care,” Reilly said following the Coastal Commission vote, according to the Times.
In a statement, SeaWorld said: “Breeding is a natural, fundamental and important part of an animal’s life, and depriving a social animal of the right to reproduce is inhumane.”
SeaWorld San Diego has also been under attack from California legislators intent on shutting down captive breeding and orca shows, as Breitbart News has reported.
SeaWorld has offered up answers on a dedicated webpage to many questions sparked in Blackfish. The park has not collected whales from the wild in over 35 years, according to officials within the organization.
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