Each year, tens of thousands of Southern California students visit SeaWorld.
SeaWorld has long said the arrangement is central to its mission of helping visitors understand and care about marine mammals.
The park’s educational programming, the requirements of which are enshrined in its lease with the city, separates it from most other theme parks. But those offerings also benefit SeaWorld itself.
The company’s programs provide students a fun, affordable trip to SeaWorld or a hands-on learning opportunity with a marine park expert. At the same time, the company gets an in with valuable young customers who may persuade their families to buy passes or spend more time at SeaWorld.
SeaWorld’s city lease requires that it provide low-price admissions for field trips to area schoolchildren and last year, more than 87,000 students and chaperones visited as part of the park’s most basic instructional program. Thousands more went on longer field trips, attended camps or enjoyed SeaWorld’s other educational offerings.
SeaWorld’s master plan, a document that lays out long-term developments for the park, drives home its educational goals too. The blueprint the city and the theme park signed off on more than a decade ago dictates that at least 75 percent of SeaWorld’s attractions include significant educational or conservation-related elements, a detail the park has said for years that it easily achieves.
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History marches on! Reported in today's UT-San Diego: DEL MAR — The company that’s handled the San Diego County Fair’s elephant rides for decades announced Thursday morning that it won’t participate in this summer’s fair.
Have Trunk Will Travel of Riverside County — which hires its elephants out for rides, TV commercials and films — has been criticized by animal rights groups who have accused the company of treating its animals poorly. Those groups have been urging the fair to yank the rides for years.
In 2011, the fair board — citing the company’s strong reputation and conservation program — decided to allow Have Trunk Will Travel to continue through the 2014 fair and then revisit the issue again.
Company owners Kari and Gary Johnson said Thursday that it was a “very difficult decision” not to attend this year’s fair, which will run from June 7 through July 6.
The Johnsons said it was primarily a business decision and not based on criticism about how they treat animals.
“It is always a big logistical challenge to balance the needs of our elephants, their human caretakers and all the other breeding, research and business factors involved,” the Johnsons said in a news release. “We’ll miss our fans, but more importantly we’ll miss the opportunity to share America’s elephant ambassadors with people to inform them about the critical plight of endangered Asian elephants.”
It is not right that Schools are forcing students to attend field trips to SeaWorld, especially when they firmly believe captivity and the use of orcas for entertainment is wrong, as was the case of this one middle school student I interviewed at a recent protest who's teacher insisted she attend. She wore a protest Sea World shirt in defiance, getting embarrassing looks from SW employees as she walked around the park. Good for her! http://youtu.be/dbX8gz3xrso
More parents need to speak up. I urge parents to talk with your child's school board members and change this policy.
Marineland school trip cancelled after complaint from Hamilton mom:
SDUSD and other school districts should provide equal time for the worldwide movement for more humane and ethical treatment of animals, as witnessed by the growth in cruelty-free cosmetics, toiletries and household goods, as well as the transition away from the use of live animals in drug testing and biomedical research as advances in technology enable. The centuries-old tradition of bullfighting was banned over 2 years ago in Catalonia (Barcelona), and has recently been extended to any representation of animal abuse in advertising and media. There hasn't been a captive cetacean show in the UK since 1993.
Another example of how SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. could readily and successfully evolve its business model away from captive performing wild species: "ADI has applauded director Darren Aronofsky for using computer generated imagery (CGI) in upcoming movie ‘Noah’, ensuring that no animals were exploited or abused. Our investigations have exposed the suffering of performing animals behind-the-scenes during training and we are delighted that ‘Noah’ is not a party to this cruel industry. So you can enjoy the movie safe in the knowledge that no animals were harmed." http://bit.ly/1hsd1rDr
The Anaheim Ducks have pursued a somewhat similar strategy. http://nyti.ms/1gy73ui
Lisa, Thank You for reporting on the partnership of SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. and the City of San Diego to drive traffic to, and build customers for, the commercial amusement park that is SeaWorld. It would be very valuable to have an independent assessment of the educational value of these school field trips, longer field trips and overnights by nature/wildlife educators, as well as whether 75% of SeaWorld San Diego's exhibits truly do have a significant educational content.
The world is waking up to the need for humans to treat their fellow beings more humanely and ethically, as witnessed by the growth in cruelty-free cosmetics, toiletries and household goods, as well as the transition away from the use of live animals in drug testing and biomedical research as advances in technology enable. The centuries-old tradition of bullfighting was banned over 2 years ago in Catalonia (Barcelona), and has recently been extended to any representation of animal abuse in advertising and media. There hasn't been a captive cetacean show in the UK since 1993.
Continuing to imbue our schoolchildren with SeaWorld propaganda flying in the face of this worldwide movement is NOT beneficial to their education and understanding of the world around them.
What about that second-grade girl who jumped onto Baby Shamu, yelled, "Giddy-up fishy!", and was never heard from again?
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