This announcement means that not one more orca will be born at Sea World never to know what it’s own natural habitat is like. No orca will ever be born there to spend it’s life in a tank, unable to explore the vast ocean, unable to dive deeply, unable to use it’s sonar and devoid of the family connections that are so important to them in the wild.
This means we will no longer be using breeding programs as an excuse to not protect our wildlife, as a backup for worst case scenarios of extinction. More attention can be turned to saving our wild populations and ensuring that the ocean is healthy and safe place for them to live.
This means that people will be forced to realize their hour of entertainment from animals at entertainment venues comes at a cost, that just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.
This announcement means that Tilikum’s suffering meant something. It helped change the world and no matter how hard it is to watch what became of his life, there is some solace in the fact that his life has had such a great impact.
This announcement means that things can change, that people can raise their voices and have an impact. Each tweet, every letter, every protest, each legislative endeavor, they made a difference. I never thought this day would come and neither did many who still lived in hope and raised their voices. Now I know, those voices matter, every word that is spoken with the hopes of making our world more humane, of making our world a better place for all to live has the potential to effect change.
This announcement means that the other aquariums that continue to breed or capture wild orcas need to stop and take note. If Sea World can change, you have no excuse. It is time now to stop this practice worldwide.
This announcement means that the travel industry should also take note. It is no longer acceptable to promote or contribute to any establishment or company that exploits animals for entertainment purposes. The world will not have it any longer. It is time to change.
The announcement means that there is hope. We have made one huge change happen, but more needs to be done. Please, all those who created this change, continue to fight for those who have no voices. I personally will be concentrating on getting word out about Lolita, an orca who is living in the smallest tank in North America devoid of any contact from other orca, who has a chance to return to her native waters and possibly one day be reunited with her family. I am more hopeful then ever that this can really happen and strangely, I have Sea World to thank for this. Thank you Sea World. Thank you Tilikum. Thank you Blackfish. Thank you to the California Coastal Commission.
Thank you to every person who didn’t stop speaking out, allowing themselves to witness something that hurt their hearts and hoping against hope for a day like today when we could all say there will never be another orca born at Sea World.