The corporation also touts, "world class veterinary care," for its orcas. However, this care is a necessity to treat the ravages of captivity. Due to stress, frustration and boredom, orcas wear down their teeth by biting at concrete ledges, the stage, and steel gates. The dental damage caused during this process requires SeaWorld and its trainers to drill into the orcas' teeth to prevent and avert infections.
Many captive whales live their entire lives on medication with drugs to treat ulcers, infections, pneumonia, and stress. This is reflected in their lifespans. Since 2005, eight SeaWorld-owned orcas have died. Their ages at death were:
An unborn calf also died along with her mother during the birthing process. In contrast, wild orcas can easily live into their 60s, and even 80s, without the assistance of SeaWorld's "world-class veterinary care."
SeaWorld has owned 67 orcas in its half-century of existence, and more than 50 percent of those whales are now dead.