SeaWorld should not be shut down. If the park were to be shut down, the captive animals would not be able know how to survive.
All of the current captive orca whales were either captured more than 35 years ago or were born in the facility. Life expectancy for orcas in the wild depends nearly on the ocean they swim in. In the Pacific Northwest, “life expectancy for a female is 30 years and a male is 19 years” (seaworldcares.com). In Southeastern Alaska, the maximum age for females is around 50 and for males 30. SeaWorld’s captive whales ages range from their 30s to their 50s. They have proven that they do not change the life expectancy of orca whales.
If the current captive whales were to be released into the wild, they would have a very low chance of surviving. Since most of their whales have been in their hands for 35 years or were born there, they cannot remember or do not know how to fend for themselves in the wild. In captivity, the animals have a specific diet and are given their food; they have never had to hunt for themselves. They are given specific sleeping quarters and are used to their own salt water. Taking these animals out of their familiar home will mess up their entire life and they may not be able to survive in the wild alone.
SeaWorld workers are able to “provide scientists with access, research and data that would be difficult or impossible to get in the wild” about orca whales. The ocean is enormous; being able to find and actually conduct research about an orca is almost an impossible job. The workers at SeaWorld are able to work hands on with the whales to collect data and learn about them. Studies can include lifespans, living communities, their prey, and how they survive.
“Killer Whales.” SeaWorld Cares. N.p., 2015. Web. 06 Nov. 2015.