Shortly after SeaWorld announced it would phase out its popular Killer Whale show, a two-year-old beluga whale named Stella died in captivity in San Antonio, Texas. This unfortunate event has spurred animal rights activists to demand the marine park put an end to its breeding program.
This is not the first beluga whale to die in captivity, and it will not be the last if SeaWorld continues breeding the sensitive mammals in tiny concrete tanks.
Said PETA’s Director of Animal Law, Jared Goodman:
“As at least 58 Beluga deaths at Sea World fatalities have proven, Belugas simply cannot be bred in tiny concrete tanks that deny them everything that is natural and important to them.”
According to Goodman, if Stella was able to live her life in the wild, she would have had a life expectancy of 50 years old – not a short, miserable two.
“Like the others before her, Stella died far, far short of the 50 years that Belugas can live in their natural ocean homes, and her preventable death is one of the many reasons why PETA is calling for an end to Sea World’s deadly Beluga-breeding program.”
Stella died of an apparent gastrointestinal condition, although Sea World veterinarians will perform a necropsy to determine the actual cause of death, reports WOAI.
The seven other beluga whales that shared the tank will be monitored, but are reportedly doing okay.
As was recently shared in a cute – and thought-provoking – advertisement, whales belong in the wild, not in captivity.
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