Yet another captive orca, Sumar, has died in captivity, once again at a SeaWorld faciity in San Diego. Sumar, the son of Tilikum, the orca who killed trainer Dawn Brancheau earlier this year, died after being lethargic the day before he passed away. SeaWorld uses Tilikum as one of their prime studs, as if they're running a "whale mill" like one would run a puppy mill. Zoe magazine writes that, "According to SeaWorld, Sumar, an orca dolphin at the entertainment company's San Diego seaquarium, began acting lethargic on Monday and was given antibiotics. Next day, he was dead."
SeaWorld calls these sorts of death "mysterious" and "unexpected." There's nothing mysterious and unexpected about the death of animals who are exploited for the big business of aquariums. They're continually stressed and treated as if they're robots, there to entertain the public by performing stupid and unnatural tricks and to make babies who are transferred here and there at the whim of the facilities that continue to exploit them with no regard for the natural social relationships these animals develop and maintain for long periods of time.
Please write SeaWorld and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and urge them to place killer whales and other cetaceans in sanctuaries where they can live out their lives in dignity. Shame on SeaWorld for irresponsibly continuing to exploit orcas and other sentient beings for filling their own pockets.