The Real Sea World: Seeing Wild Orcas Is Better…and Cheaper

From source: Two mammal-eating "transient...

From source: Two mammal-eating “transient” killer whales photographed off the south side of Unimak Island, eastern Aleutian Islands, Alaska. Magyar: Kardszárnyú delfin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Is whale watching an “elitist” activity, accessible only to a fraction of families who can afford to witness cetaceans in their native environment? Many executives at SeaWorld and other industry defenders would have you think so. But a careful (though admittedly biased) look at the facts reveals that watching whales in the wild is not only preferable, it’s actually cheaper.

Take killer whales (Orcinus orca to scientists; “Shamu” to many SeaWorld patrons). In researching my book Death at SeaWorld, I compared the lives of orcas held captive in places like Orlando to those swimming free in the . . .

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