Combs got emotional as she described the trauma that orca mothers who live in captivity undergo when their children are taken from them, often to live and perform in marine parks in other states or countries. These orca mothers will never see their babies again, despite the fact that in the wild, orcas live in family structures and many calves stay with their mothers their entire lives.
Combs, who has also worked with The Dolphin Project, spoke to The Dodo about her history with SeaWorld.
"I was born in San Diego and, despite my family's limited means, they managed to get me to SeaWorld at least a couple times a year," Combs said. Once she became a mother, Combs wanted to to share that experience with her own children, and it was during a trip with her family that Combs realized for the first time that something was wrong at SeaWorld.