Visitors look at orca killer whales at SeaWorld in San Diego, July 17, 2013. SeaWorld said on March 17, 2016, that it would immediately cease breeding orcas and declared that the killer whales in its care would be the last generation of killer whales at its theme parks. ( Sandy Huffaker/The New York Times)

Scientists upset with SeaWorld's decision to end orca breeding program

Scientists are upset with SeaWorld’s recent decision to end its orca breeding program.

According to WTVJ, the announcement, which excited animal rights activists, disappointed scientists who say that the end of the program will cause them to lose the opportunity to learn things about orcas that can potentially save them in the wild.

WTVJ reports scientists have collected data on SeaWorld’s orcas, age 1 to 51, but the decision means that they will eventually only be able to collect data on geriatric orcas. According to WTVJ, SeaWorld currently has 29 orcas in three U.S. parks. 

"There won't be an immediate crunch," Chris Dold, SeaWorld's chief zoological officer told WTVJ. "(But) over time, yeah, there's a loss of this resource to society and science."

Animal rights activists disagree.

"SeaWorld has had the largest population of orcas and has had the opportunity to do useful research and had done none of that," Jared Goodman, PETA's director of animal law told WTVJ.

Read more at WTVJ.

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