"I do not see dental issues like these in wild orca and, although there are documented dental issues with wild orca, they are rare," said Visser. "Those that have been documented in the wild (such as abscesses) are clearly not a result of chewing on concrete and gates, because, obviously, wild orca are not contained in tanks."
The amusement park maintained through a spokesperson that "There is no higher priority for SeaWorld than the health and well-being of the animals in its care." Visser said this statement "seems ironic and against common sense -- if they hold animals that are so stressed that they require these drugs, SeaWorld is clearly not meeting the health and well-being of these animals."
Animal advocates say that using medication like diazepam on orcas is not a new technique -- though, without access to SeaWorld's veterinary records, it's impossible to know how widespread it is. Said Jordan Uhl, a spokesperson for PETA:
While there's no further documentation readily available given the limited records that have been made public, this small glimpse into the company's vet records, as well as SeaWorld's own acknowledgement of administering drugs, indicates that this is a common and widespread practice.