Photo from Love Dolphins facebook page
Back in September I wrote about a pod of pilot whales stranded on the coast of Florida on my other blog. You can find the posts HERE and HERE. Of the pod, only 4 survived - one male and 3 females. They were taken to SeaWorld Orlando for rehabilitation.
On Tuesday, it was announced in a press release from SeaWorld that the rehabilitated whales will not be released back to the wild because they were dependent calves at the time of rescue. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is ultimately responsible for the decision and agreed that the animals were not able to be released. They will join another previously rescued, non-releasable female, Freddi.
You can find the story HERE
This is not a surprising decision, but it is a controversial one. It seems that SeaWorld knew exactly what they were doing from the beginning. Many of the adult stranded whales at the time were euthanized. The early reports also only mentioned one juvenile out of the group that were rescued. SeaWorld is known for their husbandry efforts and with another captive female in their collection, this appears to be the perfect set-up.
Could it be that SeaWorld didn't want to deal with the older whales and that is why they were euthanized? Were the juveniles purposely rescued so they could end up in SeaWorld's collection?
Do you think this is SeaWorld coming to the rescue or benefiting themselves from a bad situation?