I’d just like to point out that zoos and water parks are instrumental in getting people to actually care about animals in the wild, as well as sources of research and conservation (for more endangered species).
Not taking a side, just presenting more information.
Except education and raising awareness shouldn’t be an excuse when captive orcas are dying left and right and are slowly being driven mad. That’s not education. That’s cruelty.
Granted, some zoological facilities can have a modicum of education to their exhibits. Some animals are even able to be kept in captivity without interfering with their needs too much (those animals are generally the smaller species).
However Blackfish doesn’t focus on the wider range of zoo facilities, and most of these comments aren’t directed towards them. This is about SeaWorld, and the education (or lack thereof) they provide to their guests.
I’ve seen the SeaWorld shows on Youtube. They are not educational. At all. They include some really basic facts, like maybe what an orca eats, or what kind of family groups they live in, but it’s pretty limited.
Even the educators at SeaWorld provide the bare minimum, and pro-caps themselves have chastised some of the educators because of how little they know.
All the information SeaWorld provides is so easily found on the internet, in a brochure or a book. So why should these highly-intelligent, socially-complex mammals be forced to surrender their freedoms because humans are too lazy to do a google search? It’s laughable.
SeaWorld refuses to allow people to survey their guests on their knowledge. SeaWorld refuse to survey their OWN guests on their knowledge. Maybe it would be because it would illustrate exactly how poorly they educate their patrons. I’ve even heard of people calling the orcas “fish”, despite having seen the One Ocean shows and spoken with educators.
The amount of education that comes out of these places is sub-standard. People don’t learn anything going into these places. Because if they did learn how complex these amazing animals are, how deep they can dive and how far they swim in a day, people might start questioning what they’re doing in a restricted, barren tank.
On top of that, SeaWorld does very little to inspire their guests to help save any wild species.
The Southern Residents are critically endangered, and have been ever since SeaWorld and other marine park cowboys rounded up their pods and took an entire generation of orcas for themselves. Since then, their numbers have been in strife.
Where are the millions of educated guests from SeaWorld campaigning to save these whales? Where is SeaWorld themselves? They are nowhere. The only people working to protect the Southern Residents are whale researchers and biologists (who by the way, all happen to be anti-captivity). If SeaWorld really did inspire people to help these animals in the wild, the Southern Residents wouldn’t be in danger of having their endangered status removed right now by a lobbyist group. People would be protesting it.
Unfortunately that’s not the case.
SeaWorld really does very little to protect these magnificent creatures in the wild, and they do even less to teach their guests anything about orcas at all.
And please don’t get me started on their “conservation” program.