They left out some important information
SeaWorld compares its captive orca population to three wild populations: the northern and southern residents of the eastern North Pacific and the southern Alaska residents. But the company neglects to mention that the southern residents are endangered - in part thanks to SeaWorld.
"That's bizarre," Rose said of the omission. "That's inappropriate."
In the 1970s, SeaWorld and other marine centers targeted the southern residents as a source of captive whales. "The industry removed an entire generation of whales," Rose said. "An entire generation. They took all the 3- to 4-year-olds over the course of 10 years."
SeaWorld and the other groups took up to 50 orcas from the southern resident population of around 120, Rose said. The females in the group began to breed as quickly as possible to replace the numbers, but the group faced a second population drop years later when the stolen babies would have come to sexual maturity.
Even now, Rose explained, the population is still one third smaller than it used to be because the group is facing a number of other threats including contaminants and food shortages.
So, that wild population that SeaWorld boasts so proudly of outdoing? It's actually a crippled, endangered population that's struggling to find food and has been fighting for decades to bounce back from the damage inflicted by SeaWorld.