SeaWorld San Diego is expecting a new orca (killer whale) addition come December this year. 9-year-old Orca Kalia was impregnated by Ulises, the oldest male orca at the park. Kalia not only mated with Ulises, but was also artificially inseminated last summer.
Kalia was born at the park in December 2004. She is one of six orcas born at the park, according to an Los Angeles Times article. SeaWorld has not taken a whale from the wild in the past 35 years, according to the SeaWorld website.
Captive breeding programs and orca shows, including those at SeaWorld, would be shut down and dismantled with passage of the Orca Welfare and Safety Act, AB 2140, a bill supported by California State Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica). The bill is said to have been authored in response to the 2013 Blackfish documentary, reports CBS Los Angeles. At the moment, the legislature has called for additional study, delaying any vote for at least a year, according to Assemblyman Bloom’s legislative website.
SeaWorld has posted responses to many aspects of the Blackfish documentary, including criticism of the qualifications and connections of scientists and animal rights activists involved in the film. The response also questions details given in the film regarding the death of a SeaWorld trainer and the commentary from former park employees. SeaWorld offers additional analysis of Blackfish on SeaWorld’s website.