orcas used to be a big draw in SeaWorld theme parks but, due to protests from animal rights groups along with a drop in the sale of tickets, the authorities decided to do away with these animals. However, the last of the species had seen the light of day because its mother was already pregnant when SeaWorld took the decision to stop breeding them. Incidentally, SeaWorld has not collected a wild orca in nearly 40 years. Most of its orcas were born in captivity.

Orcas in the SeaWorld theme park

New York Daily News reports that SeaWorld took the decision to stop breeding orcas, and phase out its world-famous killer whale performances by 2019.

This was attributed to public opinion that was not in favor of keeping an animal like orcas, and dolphins in captivity for entertainment because they lose their charms when held in captivity.

The issue aggravated when one of its orcas killed its trainer in Orlando theme park in 2010. The orca dragged its trainer into the water in full view of those who had assembled to watch the show, and they were left shell-shocked. It was not a pleasant sight, and the traumatic experience will remain with them forever. Trainers usually have a good understanding of the animals but, the behavior of animals is unpredictable and what triggers an aggressive action is never known. The incident was later made into a documentary film “Blackfish” in 2013 which swayed public opinion against such entertainment.

A new arrival enters the scene

SeaWorld have indicated that both mother and calf appear to be healthy. As to its parentage, it was hired at the San Antonio park by natural means, and with its birth, the orca population in SeaWorld in the U.S. increases to 23. They will be on display researchers can access them in Orlando, San Diego, and San Antonio.

SeaWorld is setting up its first new theme park without orcas in Abu Dhabi.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman, is of the opinion that the mother and her newborn should be retired to a seaside sanctuary.

Theme parks where animals are put on display have always been big draws and revenue earners but, when tragedy strikes, fans feel cheated, and it reflects on ticket sales.

The trainers play with the orcas and dolphins and keep the audience enthralled but, when something wrong happens, it has an adverse effect. It is not possible to forecast a tragedy and, when anything untoward happens, there will always be a price to pay.