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Ending Orca Breeding Isn't Enough, Seaquarium Protester Says

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Leonardo DaSilva/Flickr
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Lolita the orca performs at the Miami Seaquarium, where she's lived for 45 years.

A sea change has taken place at SeaWorld.

The company announced Thursday it will end captive breeding of its orcas. Animal rights’ activists have called the decision a positive step. But they also say SeaWorld could go farther.

Jeff Geragi founded Miami’s Animal Activists Network. Almost every Sunday for the past six years, he’s protested outside Miami’s Seaquarium, which has one orca. He says both the Seaquarium and SeaWorld should retire the orcas they currently have in captivity.

 

"We applaud them for moving in the right direction, but we just wish they would move a little faster," Geragi said. "They could turn themselves into the leaders here if they retired these animals to sea sanctuaries or sea pens."

 

In a press release, Seaquarium officials said the park’s marine mammal shows are constantly evolving. They did not mention any pending changes to their orca program.

Previously, Seaquarium officials have said the park's orca, Lolita, will remain in the Seaquarium. They say they have no evidence she could survive in a sea pen and that to send her to one would  “treat her life as an experiment.”