Since the release of a highly-critical documentary last year, SeaWorld Entertainment has been condemned by animal rights activists distressed over the condition of its killer whales. But annual survival rates for some of the most common marine mammals — including killer whales — at SeaWorld’s three parks are near the top of all U.S. parks and aquariums, an analysis of five decades of federal data by The Associated Press showed.
Trainers at Sea World’s marine parks began wearing inflatable safety vests Monday whenever they work near killer whales, yet another safety measure implemented after the 2010 death of a trainer who was dragged into a pool by an orca.
The rock bands Heart and Barenaked Ladies along with country singer Willie Nelson have canceled their planned performances at SeaWorld in Florida, citing the recent documentary “Blackfish,” which raises questions about the effects of captivity on whales.
Physical barriers between trainers and killer whales are a viable way to prevent hazards to workers at SeaWorld, an administrative law judge ruled in a decision that also reduced a federal fine against the theme park in a trainer’s death.