Dozens of beluga whales have died at SeaWorld’s merciless abusement parks, together with an toddler who died simply moments after being born in 2017. Seven belugas by no means even made it previous 2 years previous. Lots of them had been born through the corporate’s sordid breeding program. Whereas of their pure habitat, whales select their very own mates, typically performing a form of dance as a part of their courtship ritual—however at SeaWorld, they’re forcibly bred in order that the park can exploit their infants for cash.
At SeaWorld, these sometimes social whales are compelled into dwelling conditions with unfamiliar tankmates, which might result in battle. The shortcoming to flee from different pissed off and aggressive animals has seemingly led to accidents and even deaths. In 2005, a feminine beluga named Olivia died at 6 years previous of a extreme head and neck harm in all probability attributable to one other pissed off beluga. In all chance, this incident wouldn’t have occurred within the ocean, the place she would have had the chance to flee. One other beluga, Nanuq, died in 2015 on account of an an infection that was seemingly precipitated when his jaw was fractured throughout an altercation with two different whales. Earlier than his demise, he was used for breeding and faraway from the water roughly 42 instances in order that employees may accumulate sperm samples. Solely 4 of the 13 infants he fathered are nonetheless alive.
Regardless of many presumably preventable deaths, SeaWorld continues to breed beluga whales and dolphins for revenue.
The next 17 beluga whales are nonetheless imprisoned on the parks, and so they want your assist:
At the moment at SeaWorld Orlando, Oliver was born in a tank in 2007 at SeaWorld San Antonio to Martina and Nanuq. He has by no means identified the sensation of swimming with a pod within the open ocean, and he spends his days in a cramped tank, swimming in circles.
Born simply days after his half-brother Oliver, Grayson was separated from his household at SeaWorld San Antonio and shipped to 2 different services earlier than being moved but once more, to SeaWorld Orlando. Beluga whales of their pure habitat kind communities and develop friendships, however SeaWorld has shuffled them round like recreation items.
Initially born at a unique facility in 2009, this 13-year-old male beluga is now held captive at SeaWorld Orlando together with Oliver and Grayson. In nature, he might be swimming together with his pod or a selected neighborhood of a number of pods. However at SeaWorld, he’s caught with two different belugas with whom he didn’t select to kind a neighborhood group.
SeaWorld San Antonio
In 1988, Crissy was torn from her ocean house in Canada to be placed on show at SeaWorld San Antonio, the place she’s nonetheless being saved at present. She is the first-ever beluga compelled to provide start after SeaWorld employees artificially inseminated her in addition to the primary captive beluga to have twins—though one was stillborn. She has given start to 6 calves whereas being held captive at SeaWorld San Antonio, however just one, Innik, continues to be alive.
Martha was additionally despatched to SeaWorld San Antonio again in 1988 after being captured in Canada. On the park, she has been repeatedly impregnated as a part of the corporate’s sordid breeding program, beginning together with her first child in 1993. Her final being pregnant was in 2015, and like Crissy, she had just one calf, Grayson, who survived—though mom and son had been quickly separated when he was despatched to SeaWorld Orlando.
Naluark was solely a calf when he was captured in 1992 and sentenced to a life in captivity. Along with placing him on show, his captors deliberate to make use of him in a beluga-breeding program. He has spent most of his 30 years being shipped from place to position like an object due to his potential to sire calves. Whereas being exploited for his sperm, he has fathered 9 infants. His newest jail cell is a tank at SeaWorld San Antonio.
In 2000, Luna was born to Martina and Luke at SeaWorld San Antonio, the place she was was a breeding machine, giving start to 4 calves: Atla, Samson, Kenai, and most lately, Tulok. In nature, beluga whales are extraordinarily devoted moms, however within the woefully insufficient tanks of SeaWorld, Luna rejected her first-born, Atla, who was conceived by compelled insemination with the sperm of Nanuq.
Born to Luna in 2013, this male beluga has spent his life imprisoned in a concrete cell at SeaWorld San Antonio as an alternative of swimming with a pod within the ocean. He has by no means felt the tide within the ocean or had depths to discover.
The third of Luna’s offspring was born in 2016 at SeaWorld San Antonio, and he continues to be exploited for leisure, surrounded by concrete partitions, alongside together with his brother Samson.
Innik is the one surviving calf of Crissy. He was born in 2017 and has spent his life at SeaWorld San Antonio, having by no means identified the ocean or freedom.
Born in 2021 to Luna and an unknown father, he’s at the moment the youngest beluga on the abusement parks and has by no means skilled what it’s prefer to swim past his concrete jail cell.
In 2017, the Nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration discovered this male beluga as a stranded calf from Prepare dinner Inlet, Alaska, belonging to a pod listed beneath the Endangered Species Act. Six months later, he was despatched to SeaWorld, the place he stays to today.
This 12-year-old feminine beluga was the results of the compelled impregnation of her mom, Luna, utilizing Nanuq’s sperm. She was rejected by her mom, who seemingly didn’t know methods to increase a calf on account of her captive upbringing.
After being rejected by her mom, Ruby, when she was born in 2010, Pearl was raised by one other feminine beluga named Allua at SeaWorld San Diego. She has since been transferred to SeaWorld San Antonio.
SeaWorld San Diego
This beluga was initially captured in 1975 in Hudson Bay, Canada, to be bred in Germany. He’s believed to be round 52 years previous, making him the oldest identified beluga in captivity. He’s at the moment caught in a tiny tank at SeaWorld San Diego.
Allua was offered to a facility after being captured in 1985 in Hudson Bay, Canada. In 2005, she was transferred on a “long-term breeding mortgage” to SeaWorld San Diego, the place it was found that she was infertile. At one level, she acted as a surrogate to a beluga named Pearl, who had been rejected by her organic mom. Feminine beluga whales in nature have been identified to assist rear calves who aren’t their very own, a habits known as “alloparenting.”
Klondike is a male beluga who was born in 2002 at Marineland Canada. In 2006, he was transferred to SeaWorld San Diego, the place he sired two calves in 2018. Neither calf survived.
When not torn from their pure habitats or born into breeding packages at locations like SeaWorld, beluga whales can discover 1000’s of miles of ocean yearly whereas touring with their pods. They’re extremely social animals who talk with each other utilizing a mixture of clicks, whistles, and different noises particular to the pod and the person belugas.
Beluga whales develop robust household bonds and wealthy friendships and exhibit emotional complexity. Lots of the feminine beluga whales held captive at SeaWorld parks have endured what no mom ought to ever must expertise: outliving their very own infants. This cycle of mourning will proceed so long as SeaWorld pursues its merciless breeding program.
Following hard-hitting PETA campaigns and amid mounting public criticism, SeaWorld ended its notorious orca-breeding program. Nonetheless, the corporate chooses to proceed generational struggling and grief by breeding different dolphins and beluga whales. We’ll maintain the stress on SeaWorld till it ends these breeding packages as nicely.