What Seaworld Does Right

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Hands down, Seaworld is the most well equipped and well-funded organization to rescue ill and injured marine life, a fact that even the most ardent animal activist will concede. While by now it is well understood that Seaworld cherry picks and keeps the rescued animals according to what is beneficial to the corporate needs and manipulates the system for private profit, it is also true that they rescue, rehabilitate and release thousands of animals. This weeks’ rescue of a bottlenose dolphin is a case in point.
Seaworld, partnering with the research entity Hubbs-Seaworld, maintains that they have responded to 47 calls on stranded dolphins recently, six last week alone. It is a good guess that 46 died before they got there or were euthanized on the spot. The appropriateness of who makes that decision is questionable, we can only trust that it is made by government officials – the process to get accurate accounts of these events is complicated and sometime futile.

Since Jan. 1, SeaWorld has responded to 47 stranded dolphins in the Indian River Lagoon, about twice the usual rate. Thursday’s was the first live animal so far. Most have been emaciated, and federal wildlife officials are investigating the mysterious deaths.
“He didn’t look like he was in bad condition,” Mazza [Teresa Mazza, research assistant with Hubbs-SeaWord Research Institute in Melbourne Beach] said of Thursday’s stranded dolphin, which she said did not seem very emaciated.
“Right now, we haven’t found anything to link them together,” Mazza said of this year’s dolphin deaths in the lagoon. “We’ve had six animals in the last six days.” (Florida Today)

In this California rescue, you might think that Seaworld was going to snatch the baby dolphin, but they free it – no mention of whether the mother was nearby or not but hopefully they took that factor into account in their decision-making process and didn’t just do this as a PR opportunity, since a lone calf doesn’t stand much of a chance of survival.
With the deteriorating conditions of the oceans and the increasing damage to marine animals from contaminants and sound pollution, Seaworld could phase out its killer whale shows and replace them with animals being rehabilitated, they could really participate in research on some of the lesser known dolphins and whales, and still make money hand over fist. They could develop lagoons to help the larger species, and to rehabilitate any dolphin or whale scheduled for release. It is the way of the future.
Of course, they could keep taking animals from the wild as they did for their penguin display, and turning them into circus clowns (notice the killer whale necklace?). The question is, will Seaworld change with the times, or go out of business because of a dated and unpopular stance on whale and dolphin shows?

More Seaworld "education" at work...
More Seaworld “education” at work…

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