“It’s best for science, it’s best for the public — people are devastated when they find out that the animals they’ve known by name are dead, and they’re told something ludicrously insufficient,” Rose explained, noting that, while SeaWorld claims to support orca research, they’re hiding valuable necropsies that could help other orca researchers study the animals. “The problem is their lack of transparency, pretending this [death] is something that’s perfectly ordinary when something was clearly going on with those lesions.”
In its statement, SeaWorld said the rest of the orcas were being monitored but “appear to be doing well.”
“They [SeaWorld] have no idea,” said Rose, who’s studied orca family structure in the wild. While Rose noted that SeaWorld’s so-called “pods” are highly unusual, as they’re made up of unrelated animals from different wild populations who may not even like each other instead of family, she said that the social animals would still be aware of Kasatka’s absence.