SeaWorld is attempting to recover after its latest twitter campaign backfired. Using #askseaworld, people were given the option to ask the organisation any question, but the responses were largely critical of the organization.
In response, SeaWorld has launched a new ad campaign that describes the whales as ‘thriving’. Attendance has drastically declined and the organization’s stock value has decreased by nearly 50% since the 2013 documentary Blackfish revealed many horrifying aspects of the use of orcas for entertainment.
The first ad features veterinarian Lara Croft and rescue team member Pedro Ramos-Navarette, who claim that ‘Government research shows they live just as long as whales in the wild’. While making this statement, a quote from The Wall Street Journal is shown on the screen as evidence (i.e. not a government source) and addresses survival rates not lifespan.
The ad also describes the organization as having ‘the highest animal care in the world’.
A 103-year-old whale was recently found in the wild, a further indicator that whales may not live as long in captivity as in the wild. Naomi Rose, a marine mammal scientist, at the Animal Welfare Institute, is one of many who have continued to dispute SeaWorld’s claims. David Neiwart, author of ‘Of Orcas and Men: What Killer Whales Can Teach Us’, also provides a critique of the ad here.