Recently, SeaWorld decided to cut all “dolphin surfing” trainer tricks during dolphin shows in all of its marine parks. Visitors will no longer see any tricks that include trainers riding through the water on dolphins on their backs or snouts.
This is another big change that SeaWorld has made to enhance animal welfare since the release of an explosive documentary titled Blackfish in 2013, which revealed the cruel treatment a killer whale received from human beings. From then on, SeaWorld has stopped breeding orca, ceased all whale kissing and dancing performances, and provided more educative performances and less circus-style ones.
The latest decision of SeaWorld to cancel dolphin surfing was disclosed in a letter sent by one of its attorneys to the Securities and Exchange Commission at the beginning of February. The letter mentioned that the idea was put forward by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animal (PETA), a holder of SeaWorld stock, which proposed a shareholder vote in December, 2019 to end dolphin surfing in the parks’ shows.
It is stated in the letter that the parks have already stopped their trainers from riding on the back of dolphins, and will remove the tricks that include riding on a dolphin’s snout in a few months.
This is an improvement since it reduces abuse at SeaWorld, but orcas and other dolphins are still subject to some other cruel practices. Dolphins in the wild swim around 100 kilometers a day, but in SeaWorld they are usually locked up in tiny concrete tanks. In addition, they are often placed in unfamiliar groupings, which can cause much stress and aggressive behaviors.
According to PETA’s executive vice president, SeaWorld may ultimately release these creatures to seaside sanctuaries, but only on being dragged. PETA is now pressing the company to put a plan in place.
snout: n. 口鼻部、吻部
orca: n. 虎鲸、逆戟鲸、杀人鲸
attorney: n. （法律或财务方面的）代理人
sanctuary: n. 保护区、禁猎区