At the SeaWorld Park, whales perform different tricks for food including endless swimming, and others and these whales live in concrete tanks and their lifespan is approximately 60 years. SeaWorld owns a large number of Orcas and dolphins. Since the park keeps mammals captive, it is the prime responsibility of the management to provide them with adequate care Conservation, Department of Environment). However, the reality is very different (Parsons pp. 153). At SeaWorld, the homes of mammals are limited to a bathtub. The limited space provided to them is an important argument, which supports the idea that SeaWorld must be shutdown. The second argument, which supports the shutting down SeaWorld, is that it has the worst history of animal care in the United States. In the SeaWorld facilities, as many as thirty-five orcas and 100 dolphins have died Conservation, Department of Environment).
There are also other arguments, which support the idea that SeaWorld must be shutdown. The captivity of orcas is dangerous for people who work with them. There are four people, who have died when working with them. Some people have also suffered from serious injuries. There are approximately 100 incidents of Orca aggression, which have been documented (Parsons pp. 153).
SeaWorld gets access to marine animals from U.S waters and places them in aquariums. There are other theme parks as well that caputre dolphins and other animals from the wild. The act of capturing animals from the wild is inappropriate. Orcas and dolphins bounce themselves off the walls of tanks, which drives them insane. The situation of keeping Ocras and dolphins in tanks is similar to keeping human beings in a jail cell where they cannot freely move.
At SeaWorld, trainers force mammals to learn and perform various tricks. The training of those mammals involve withholding of food when they refuse to perform. The trainers also isolate mammals from others when giving them trainings. The captive mammals demonstrate the stress related behavior; for instance, vomiting, trauma, and aggressiveness. Some captive mammals even take their own lives by hitting their heads against the walls of tank or sides of pools. According to the research, captive dolphis and Ocras suffer from a high mortality rate as compared to wild mammals. Despite the fact that these mammals receive adequate and timely medical care, their health conditions are poor. Wild orcas live for several decades; some live for more than 90 years. However, at SeaWorld, ocras die at a very young age. On average, nearly one ocra has died each year from 1986 to 2010. The deaths of orcas was because of acute pneumonia, kidney diseases, cardiovascular failure, influenza, and others.
The trainings programs at SeaWorld involve interactions between wild mammals and human beings. This is not only dangerous and stressful for animals but also for humans. Animals often get injured when receiving trainings. In tanks, the animals also get exposed towads bacteria they are not immune to. Orcas and dolphis often express their frustration with aggresion. SeaWorld is know for several instances where trainers as well as members of the public were injured (Craik pp. 122).
Although there are several arguments, which support the idea that SeaWorld must be shutdown, the counter argument suggest that SeaWorld must continue its operations. According to the lawyer of SeaWorld, the actions and activities performed at the park do not violate the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The Act has made it mandatory for employers to provide an environment where employees are free from every kind of injury and death Conservation, Department of Environment).
One of the most important arguments, which are made when it comes to the shutting down SeaWorld, is the safety of trainers. However, SeaWorld argues that the trainers working at the part are adept at predicting and controlling the aggression of Orcas. It is also argued by the management of the Park that they were aware of the aggression of Tilikum that killed a Canadian trainer in the year 1991. The trainer, Daniel Dukes, was found dead in the tank in the year 1999. The management believes that the trainer entered the tank after the park closed. The death of Dawn Brancheau led to more inquiries about the park. After the death of Brancheau, the management of the park argued that he died not because of unsafe working conditions but because of an unfortunate incident. The arguments presented by the management are not convincing because there are several risks associated with this task. The risk of swimming of Orcas is high because these mammals are often frustrated because of their captivity.
It is important for OSHA to ensure that the workplaces are free from all sorts of danger. They must take measures to prevent the deaths of workers at the park. Nevertheless, OSHA has not taken any step to prevent tragedies taking place at the park. The trainers are swimming with dangerous Orcas who are kept in captivity by SeaWorld. The captivity of mammals at the park is also a violation of the Animal Welfare Act, which says that animals must not be deprived of space, shade, and companionship. The captivity of Orcas by SeaWorld is not only dangerous for people working with them but also for mammals. SeaWorld has the record o one Orca death a year (Craik pp. 122).
Three Orcas died before they reached 25 years of age while six of them died before they reached 12. Although the animals have the access to high quality food and veterinary care, the mortality record is alarming. The management of the park believes that the death of Orcas is a natural phenomenon and the management is not responsible for the loss. The management of SeaWorld also argues that the captivity of mammals improves their living conditions in such a manner that they get access to veterinary care, food, and they remain protected from parasites and predators. This argument is accepted by the public as well as the media. The scientific and regulatory communities also believe in this argument; therefore, they do not believe that the park must be shutdown (Craik pp. 122).
The captive Orcas often die because of their exposure towards pneumonia or other kinds of infection. When the Orcas are kept in captivity, their infections turn lethal. The mammals do not manifest the signs of illness unless it is too late. This argument raises the question about the captivity of Orcas. Although veterinary care is available to captive Orcas 24/7, they die before the start of the treatment.
Immunosuppressant is the leading cause of mortality and infection in captive Orcas. The injuries are often fatal to wild Orcas because of their boredom, depression, and stress. All these factors result in the dysfunctioning of the immune system as well as other problems (Craik pp. 122). The lethal infections are high among captive Orcas because of their poor dental health. The captive Orcas often have damaged dentition and broken teeth. This situation is in contrast with wild Orcas who do not face the problem of poor dental health. The problem of broken or damaged teeth is rare in wild Orcas. The captive Orcas face this problem because of gnawing on concrete walls and gates (Craik pp. 122).
In captive Orcas, food plugs can cause various infections. When the tooth of Orcas breaks, a speed drill is used to drill holes. From the behavioral reactions of Orcas, it has been found that this situation is very uncomfortable for them. After the drilling of the tooth, it is not caped. In this situation, the trainer is required to flush the tooth two or three times a day. The constant interaction between trainer and the mammal, particularly when the mammal is uncomfortable because of tooth decay, is a dangerous situation for trainers. At the same time, the tooth decay could cause heath diseases and pneumonia among Orcas. This explanation suggests that captive Orcas face diverse health problems, which increase their rate of mortality. Although SeaWorld claims to provide excellent living conditions to mammals, the animals have been facing the problem of deteriorating health and mortality (Craik pp. 122).
At SeaWorld, more than one Orca is kept in the storage tank. The fatal attacks by one Orca on the other are only common in the captivity. The incompatibility among Orcas is a significant problem, which causes the wild aggression among them. There are other facts as well, which have been used in criticisms on SeaWorld. SeaWorld holds more captive Orcas than any other company does. According to SeaWorld, although there have been deaths of Orcas at young ages, there are also whales who have crossed 30 years of life. For example, Corky, an Orca at SeaWorld is 42 years old (Conservation, Department of Environment).
Death toll is the most significant claim, which is made about SeaWorld. The death toll at the Park has been rising continuously. Kalian, a captive Orca, died at the age of 25 and showed no signs of illness before. Furthermore, a pregnant female Orca also died. In all of these situations, SeaWorld denied to accept the responsibility for the death of Orcas. The death of Orcas is not the only problem with the park. In fact, Orcas are also killing instructors and trainers. The aggressive behavior of Orcas is very dangerous for trainers (Conservation, Department of Environment).
With the deaths of so many Orcas and human beings, it is important for SeaWorld to realize that their working environment is cruel. However, SeaWorld has been continuing its operations. The authorities have not taken any adequate action to shut down the operations of SeaWorld or to increase the safety of human beings in that environment (Conservation, Department of Environment).
Despite the deaths of Orcas and human beings, SeaWorld has denied the connection between the death and captivity of wild mammals. The management of the park believes that the animals are only there to provide entertainment to people and do not cause any harm. In order to influence customers, the management tells them that the animals are well trained and pampered. However, in reality, the animals in captivity are the victims of boredom, depression, and stress.
The history of SeaWorld is full of these controversies. More than 24 Orcas have been died along with a handful of trainers. Despite these facts, SeaWorld has the authority to captivate Orcas. It is important to increase the awareness of customers regarding the business. It is important for customers to know that animals kept captive by SeaWorld are confined to the tanks, which are filled with chemically treated water. Furthermore, an artificial diet is given to Orcas. Orcas and other mammals, kept captive by the Park, live with tight family bonds. They have the instincts to roam in open water. However, the captivity is very stressful for these animals, which increases their depression and causes other problems (Craik pp. 122).
Despite the denials by the Park, the conditions at SeaWorld are very dangerous for those animals. In the year 2010, the close contact between whales and trainers was banned by the Labor Department Judge. In 2013, the ban has been challenged by SeaWorld based on the claim that the park can manage the risks associated with the captivating carnivorous animals. The Park has argued that the park does not need to shut down its attractions. SeaWorld is arguing against the prohibitions and bans imposed on them. The criticisms on SeaWorld’s business are urging them to reduce or diminish the interaction between human beings and marine mammals (Craik pp. 122).
According to the attorneys of SeaWorld, they have improved the working conditions for trainers. However, according to the Labor Department’s Administration of Occupational Health and Safety, SeaWorld had willfully violated the health and safety laws. The workplace of SeaWorld still possesses many health and safety hazards. In response to this claim, SeaWorld argues that the hazards at SeaWorld are not because of unsafe working conditions but because of whales and the management of SeaWorld has taken extra steps in order to control the risk (Craik pp. 122).
Based on the deaths of trainers and the living conditions of animals at SeaWorld, it can be concluded that SeaWorld must be shutdown. However, the critics of SeaWorld are quick to jump to the conclusion. According to the counter arguments, the facilities like SeaWorld are necessary for the purpose of awareness and education of people. The captivity of Orcas and other mammals could provide important information regarding the marine life. The captivity of Orcas at SeaWorld also highlights the natural jumping and swimming abilities of marine animals (Conservation, Department of Environment).
Furthermore, facilities like SeaWorld allow people to interact with marine life. This increases the awareness of people regarding the rights of animals to survive. The interaction between human beings and marine animals results in an increased awareness of the public. The captivity of wild animals is a great way of providing entertainment to people. On the other side, it transforms animals into agitated monsters. The captivity of animals deprives them of their family and leads towards their boredom and depression (Craik pp. 122). People believe that SeaWorld is a friendly marina where families can go and see wild animals very closely. However, in reality, this is wrong. SeaWorld is a prison for animals. The captive animals are robbed of their liberty and family life. The captivity also lowers the lifespan of Orcas. According to the USDA, the marine parks violate the Animal Welfare Act. The marine animals, at SeaWorld, go through a lot and are stressed and upset. The Orcas develop violent and agitated behavior when they are kept in captivity (Craik pp. 122).
This paper has presented both supporting arguments and counter arguments regarding the shutdown of SeaWorld. After the analysis of both sides of arguments, it can be agreed that the operations of SeaWorld are risky for both animals and human beings. The living conditions of SeaWorld are not satisfactory enough to ensure that the animals stay protected from all infections and diseases. The depression is the primary cause behind the frustration of animals. Therefore, shutting down SeaWorld is the only solution to this problem.
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