SeaWorld's new exercise device
Amid news of falling ticket sales and share prices, comes an announcement about the development of a “killer whale treadmill” at SeaWorld’s Orlando park.
The “treadmill”, a pump that creates a moving stream of water in a tank, reportely as part of the park’s environmental enrichment programme for orcas, has reportedly been tested on Tillikum, the unfortunate star of the excellent Blackfish, the documentary about orcas in captivity that’s currently doing the rounds of cinemas across Europe.
Could this development be the result of an admission by SeaWorld that its captives lack stimulation and need tools to help them develop more natural behaviour?
Such an exercise device in no way provides an adequate alternative to swimming free in the wild and the fact remains that orcas are inherently unsuited to captivity, as attested by the lengthening list of orca illness, premature death, trainer injury and death.