As supporters of the zoological community ZooNation has given its undivided loyalty and support to zoological organizations that care for animals and contribute to their global conservation. In the past, SeaWorld has been a great leader in the field, and we continue to applaud those efforts, especially those of their animal rescue teams, and we unconditionally support all those hard working individuals who make up the day to day care teams, and those who work behind the scenes to make it all happen. We admire them and will always support these everyday heroes.
With that said, ZooNation does not and cannot condone the recent decision by SeaWorld leadership to partner with an organization that is fundamentally opposed to all zoological efforts and facilities. Even if the HSUS doesn’t take direct action against zoological facilities, they monetarily support organizations that do, therefore we feel SeaWorld leadership has made a fundamental misstep in accepting this partnership with what is, at best, an antipathetic organization.
We also do not agree with the decision to end the orca breeding program. This decision is rife with error and has so many unseen consequences the end of this matter is hard to predict, but we can see many ways it is harmful and not in the best interests of the orca or in the best interests of the zoological community at large. One clear way this is a sad and tragic decision is simply the fact that they are condemning the last few orca who inhabit their parks to eventual lonely extinction, as each cetacean eventually succumbs to old age.
The main issue that has come about is that SeaWorld leadership has accepted the conversation that their orca breeding and human care program is wrong somehow, and that is tragic and untrue. We have supported SeaWorld through all the controversy surrounding their orca human care programs, before, during and after the Blackfish mockumentary, and we feel SeaWorld leadership has lost its way, and fundamentally misunderstands the central issue; human care is no longer about “entertainment” but about education, conservation and saving our oceans from the abuse human beings are subjecting it to.
Again, we support and applaud SeaWorld’s many great efforts they put forth on behalf of animal conservation everywhere, and will continue to support the teams who make this happen. We know and love many of the heroes who do this critical work and will continue to support those people who make a difference, every day of their lives.
– ZooNation Board Members