SeaWorld: End Captive Orca Breeding Program
  • Petitioning Terry Prather

This petition will be delivered to:

SeaWorld Orlando President
Terry Prather
SeaWorld San Antonio President
Dan Decker
SeaWorld President & CEO
Jim Atchison
SeaWorld San Diego President
John Reilly
SeaWorld Chief Zoological Officer
Brad Andrews
SeaWorld Vice President of Communications
Fred Jacobs
SeaWorld President & CEO
James Atchison (SeaWorld President & CEO)
Vice President of Theriogenology, SeaWorld
Todd Robeck

SeaWorld: End Captive Orca Breeding Program

    1. Petition by

      Fins and Fluke

It is time to end the orca captive breeding programs at SeaWorld Parks. This program has resulted in multiple stillbirths, miscarriages, inbreeding and maternal deaths during childbirth since its start in 1985.

SeaWorld has recently announced plans to expand overseas and plans to increase captive breeding to fill these parks and their upcoming Blue World Project.

SeaWorld seems to be going backwards in these changing times as other parks have stepped up and done the right thing.  Vancouver Aquarium has recently announced the end of their captive breeding program. Baltimore’s National Aquarium has already stopped their dolphin shows and is now considering closing their dolphin exhibit all together.

SeaWorld’s breeding program has produced nothing less than disturbing results. 

One of the saddest stories is that of Gudrun, who died four days after giving birth. When Gudrun went in to labor in February 1996, a pulse could not be found on the unborn calf who was presumed dead. Since she was not delivering the calf, they needed to pull it from her.

David Kirby writes in Death at SeaWorld:

The pain must have been unearthly. Gudrun began to hemorrhage severely. Her dorsal fin collapsed, probably due to dehydration. She refused to eat and ignored all attempts by people to make contact with her. She remained motionless in one spot, unprotected by shade, so staff lovingly lavished her back with zinc oxide. After the bleeding stopped, Gudrun stayed that way for four days as her worried caretakers did all they could to nurse her back to health.

On the fourth day, Gudrun finally moved. She slowly swam over to the gate where her disabled young calf, Nyar, was watching. Nyar had had to be separated from Gudrun after the mother began attacking her daughter. Now Gudrun gently nudged Nyar’s rostrum through the bars, as if to ask for an overdue rapprochement. Gudrun died a few hours later.

Many times, mothers reject their calves either due to having them at a young age, spaced too close together, or not having the experience necessary to care for them properly.

In “Keto and Tilikum Express the Stress of Orca Captivity” by Drs. John Jett and Jeff Ventre, they state:

At SWF (SeaWorld Florida), Taima was a notoriously poor mother as well. She died from a prolapsed uterus while giving birth to her fourth calf on 6 June 2010, at the age of 20. Keep in mind that killer whale gestation is approximately 18 months in duration, and to reiterate, wild Northern Resident calves are “born at five-year intervals.” 
Gudrun rejected her first calf, Nyar, who was born with a birth defect. Kayla also rejected her calf, Halyn. Halyn was bottle-fed every two hours around the clock by staff. Taima rejected Sumar as well.

With increased awareness of these incredible animals, the main thing we have learned is that they do not cope well in captivity.  Increased tank size is still a tank.  Animals will still be moved between parks, and perhaps continents, in order to best suit SeaWorld’s failing business plan.  

The only way to end captivity is to end the breeding program.

Death at SeaWorld by David Kirby can be found here.

“Keto and Tilikum Express the Stress of Orca Captivity” by Dr. John Jett and Dr. Jeff Ventre can be found here.

SeaWorld’s 2nd quarter Report available here.

Park Board Bans Vancouver Aquarium From Breeding Whales and Dolphins, read here.

Baltimore’s Aquarium:  The latest battleground in the dolphin debate, read more here.

This petition was researched and written by Heather Murphy, Ocean Avocate FL. Heather can be found on Facebook & Twitter

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 50,000 signatures
    2. An update regarding SeaWorld's captive breeding program!

      Now more than ever we need to continue to pressure SeaWorld to end their captive breeding program.

      Following their recent announcement to expand their killer whale habitat, SeaWorld’s CEO told Mike Deforest of Click Orlando that the expansion will allow for them more room to breed and house even more killer whales. This is NOT the outcome these animals need! (

      In their second quarter report on Wednesday, SeaWorld announced that they have entered into a Letter of Intent with Village Roadshow Theme Parks, a division of Village Roadshow Limited, a leading international entertainment and media company, to co-develop theme parks in Pan-Asia, India and Russia. (

      It is clear that they are intending to amp up the breeding program and ship the offspring overseas to fill these parks. This is almost certainly going to mean pre-mature breeding, more separations, more calf rejections, more stillbirths and sadly continued captivity for the entire collection.

      Please continue to share this petition to show them that bigger tanks is not the answer. As PETA spokesperson Jared Goodman said today, “A bigger prison is still a prison.” Captivity will end when the breeding program ends.

      Report: SeaWorld to upgrade whale habitats

      ORLANDO, Fla. - SeaWorld will spend millions of dollars to expand its park habitats for killer whales, according to the Wall Street Journal. The newspaper reports that expansions will take place at all three SeaWorld parks, including Orlando. The Journal said the habitat at its San Diego park could double in size.

    3. Reached 40,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Natasha Boland AUSTRALIA
      • 15 minutes ago

      To end this terrible mistreatment to animals! Seaworld should shut its doors and never return! They should be ashamed. I proudly sign this and support

    • Danielle Botello DALLAS, TX
      • about 19 hours ago

      they weren't born to be anyone's entertainment. I am sure if they had a choice, they will rather be in the ocean....

    • Brittany Knapp STOCKTON, CA
      • about 20 hours ago

      I am and always have been an admirer of this species and I too believe that it is cruel for these beautiful and dangerous animals should not be captivated. They are too big and too sensitive to be tortured like this. People are holding these creatures responsible for multiple deaths at sea world, when in all actuality that's wrong. I would have done the same if I was locked up in a dark metal box for the rest of my life.

      people need to realize they have feelings too and are just like us in a lot of ways. How do you look into those little brown eyes and not feel anything? These are passionate creatures and very intelligent.....too intelligent to keep in captivity.

    • willow smith PORTLAND, WA
      • about 23 hours ago

      becuase i dont think that orcas sould be in the damb fricken wild!

    • Barbara Bode KREFELD, GERMANY
      • 1 day ago

      captivity for these intelligent and highly social fellow beings is more than cruel. Ever watched "Blackfish" ? stop keeping Orca's in captivity and breedings the next traumatised generation of Orca's


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