Kyara’s Death a Tragic Irony


It’s a tragic irony that Kyara, the last orca to be born at SeaWorld, died yesterday at the age of three months.

Under pressure from public opinion, the company announced in March 2016 that it would not continue its breeding program. But the death of the last orca to be born in one of its marine parks brings a sad and poignant end to this chapter in the history of treating these magnificent individuals as entertainment for tourists.

In comments to the CBS Morning News (in the clip above), Whale Sanctuary Project President Lori Marino said:

“What the death of this young calf tells us is that these animals cannot thrive in concrete tanks. This is about forcing these animals into a situation that they don’t have any adaptations to. And because of that you see them basically dying, left and right.”

SeaWorld wrote in a statement that their “dedicated team of veterinarians spent the last three days providing critical care to Kyara.”

But even the best medical care that the human world can provide cannot make up for what orca babies need most: the loving care of their own true families in their own true environment. In the absence of that, they are permanently stressed to the point where their immune systems are compromised, and they have no defense against the kind of infections that are common to orcas who spend their lives in concrete tanks.

For SeaWorld, Kyara’s death will be a bitter blow. But if it can help them to understand that it’s time to bring this form of “entertainment” to an end and retire their whales to sanctuaries, then Kyara’s sacrifice will not have been in vain.

9 Comments On “Kyara’s Death a Tragic Irony”

  1. It is time Seaworld stopped being so pigheaded and actually listened to why we protest. Most of us have spent decades studying these creatures and whilst a lot of us may not have academical qualifications in the subject of cetacean wellbeing ( not a single person at Seaworld does or they wouldnt be there) … the knowledge we have gleaned .. in my case, from being out on the ocean with wild orca and the marine biologists who dedicate their lives to watching and documenting these animals is an education in itself … captivity does not work for Orca … it never has .. 50 lives lost… not a single one from old age … soon to be 51 for Kasatka is simply rotting away .. yet they spout ‘seaworld cares’ .. only about $$$$$$$ .. always have and always will. The sea sanctuary options could so still be a viable business for the ‘money hungry’ .. yet a much better option for those who have never known freedom so cant ever be totally set free ..

  2. Thank You for giving concerned people Hope for the future of The Whale Sanctuary Project. I’m going to make a donation to help get the remaining Orcas out of Captivity and into the Sanctuary.

  3. This tragic, tragic outcome is a clear message that there is NO such thing as humane captivity. IT is only and has it only ever been for humans at the expense of these precious lives.

  4. These animals need to be moved to a sea pen/sanctuary. Captive cetaceans are a sad legacy illustrating how selfish and cruel some people are…even those who hide behind corporations. Sea World can’t go bankrupt soon enough.

  5. So very sad again proof these creatures cannot survive in these intolerable places set them all free and end this inhumanity

  6. The time has come, again, to stop this insanity of man having to force intelligent beings to perform for human entertainment.
    Animals are not here to to make money for the lazy. They are on this earth for a purpose, they help the environment, the eco-system is in place for them. Man likes to change that up a lot and degrade them by forcing them to be slaves to humans.

  7. It is time to re train animals to survive free where possible. retire all others to sanctuaries & enjoy wild & free animals for generations to come. we have no right to take their freedom away.

  8. Time to empty the tanks

  9. The death of Kyara is a tragedy for us all and it is more so that she is the last to be born into captivity, which was in a way a good event. I do hope that this will be a chance for Sea World to reach out to work with Whale Sanctuary Project and that they will do the same as they have indicated a wiliness to do on their site. Now is not the time to further devide and go to separate corners as all our country seems to be doing. Let Kyara’s death mean something. Let her legacy be the eventual joint effort to release all her family and fellow captives to some form of freedom.

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