Last summer our family visited the REAL sea world just off the coast of Washington State, where the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whale community makes their summer home. Our visit obliterated any comparison to Sea World and other marine parks. Despite the presence of magnificent orcas in both places, the only bona fide sea world is the ocean.
And seeing them? In their true home? Swimming, blowing and foraging together in their families, among mothers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles and grandmothers who've lived side-by-side for their entire lives? It changed us. As my younger son said, "Why would someone rather sit around a tank watching a really unhappy orca do tricks ... when you could be out on the ocean seeing them free and happy?"
Tens of thousands of people are starting to ask the same question, and SeaWorld's stocks are plunging as a result. And if you love and respect killer whales and other marine mammals enough to shun a trip to a marine park, you may find yourself wanting to learn more about the whales you protect with that choice.