Sea World is constantly raising awareness for conservation and provides rescues to many animals. Some animals would not make it in the wild or would be killed from environmental forces or human hand. It is hypocritical to want to ban an animal in a tank when you have a pet in a yard or small apartment for the majority of its life.
Keeping animals such as orcas in captivity is downright cruel. It is one thing if they are recovering from injury in a safe place before being returned to the sea, but it is just wrong to keep them for our entertainment. They need to be able to swim freely in order to stay healthy.
If the circus can retire their elephants, SeaWorld ought to retire their orca population. It is unacceptable to have intelligent, active creatures confined so unnaturally and so cruelly simply for the entertainment of a handful and the enrichment of a few. Put the executives in black and white suits and have them jump through hoops from a tiny pool if the revenue is that critical.
The Orca shows at Sea World are explotative of the animals, and the conditions that they live in are cruel and shorten their life spans. Although the shows are entertaining, Sea World does not have a good track history for the way they treat Orca's and these shows need to stop.
I'm glad that the breeding program will soon be ending, but that still leaves dozens of animals confined for life to tiny, barren tanks. SeaWorld should do right by all the animals in its parks and start building safe seapens that they can be released into. I'm glad they are finally making this move, showing orca's "naturally" won't be as entertaining as watching them flip through the air and do tricks. But it puts the trainers and the orcas in a safer environment.