California Coastal Commission bans orca breeding at SeaWorld San Diego


The spectacular killer whale show may not be featured at SeaWorld San Diego in the near future. (Photo credit: Fair Use)

The star attraction at SeaWorld San Diego– the magnificent killer whales– may soon be coming to an end. According to the Los Angeles Times, on Oct. 8, the California Coastal Commission unanimously voted to ban the breeding of captive orcas in SeaWorld San Diego.

“I think it’s terrible that orca whales are kept in captivity,” said senior Shannon Sheridan. “It was great to hear that steps are being taken so the wild animals can live safely in their natural habitat.”

The ban was a last-minute condition for the approval of a $100 million tank expansion for the existing orcas and other marine animals. The money will also go toward research and other exhibits in the park. The ban also prohibits the sale, trade, or transfer of captive orcas. Additionally, wild orcas can no longer be captured. It seems that the 11 orcas at the San Diego park may be the last ones ever to live there. While the ban only affects SeaWorld San Diego, it is a huge step for animal rights activists who have been fighting a long and hard battle against the park and its treatment of orcas.

“The commission’s action ensures that no more orcas will be condemned to a non-life of loneliness, deprivation, and misery,” the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said in an official statement.

Although many are celebrating the victory at SeaWorld, according to Time, the park plans to fight the ban and is taking steps towards a lawsuit, stating that “breeding is a natural, fundamental and important part of an animal’s life and depriving a social animal of the right to reproduce is inhumane.”

According to numerous reports, SeaWorld believes that the ban was far too drastic and leaves the park with an unknown fate.

As of now, however, the ban is a victory for the orcas who have endured decades of captivity at the SeaWorld San Diego.