Lately, PETA and other radical activist groups have been making claims about SeaWorld that are misguided and, in some cases, completely false. I am here to set the record straight about some of the claims that have been made recently.
1) The animals have to perform for food.
The animals at SeaWorld are all given food throughout the day. Each animal is given a certain amount of food that is predetermined using the animal’s weight and other factors such as pregnancy. Then, the animals are fed at varying intervals and with varying circumstances. They can be fed during shows, during playtime, during training sessions, during interactions, any time, and without performing a behavior for it. No matter what the whales are fed everything they need to thrive.
It is the animals choice whether or not they would like to perform. There have been plenty of times where I have attended shows where the animals chose not to perform and the trainers informed us that they were going to wait until they were ready and then go on with the show. And that is exactly what happened. The animals chose to return and the show went on. There are also animals who just don’t like performing. For example, Imaq, a beluga whale at SeaWorld San Antonio, does not choose to perform, but he loves to participate in Interaction Programs and the trainers allow him to make that choice.