Looking on the bright side of the pandemic

At least SeaWorld is going out of business.

Journalist Joe Kleiman, who has been tracking the company’s fortunes at his blog (which is currently under maintenance and unavailable), reported earlier this month that he had “confirmed more than 150 liens across all of the company’s parks filed in the four months between March and June 2020, and the number keeps climbing as additional data becomes available.”

Kleiman believes these and other recent moves by the park suggest a looming court filing: “I have a strong feeling the company is contemplating filing for bankruptcy.”

The marine mammals are all singing hallelujah right now. If human civilization collapsed totally (not likely), there are a lot of animals that would rejoice. I was a little concerned about the synanthropic spiders I study, but then I realized that as long as people lived in mud huts and hide tents, they’ll be fine.


  1. numerobis says

    Good for them!

    Only question: What happens to the animals when they do shut down?

  2. kestrel says

    I’d be pretty happy if this were true.

    USAians seem to have a hard time hearing anything over the sound of money. In my opinion this should have been over long ago, with the animals going to sanctuaries or other appropriate places. But the owners just kept making so… much… money.

  3. says

    Actually now that I think of it, is there any aquarium that kept humpback whales? Were George and Gracy real? I need to research.

  4. microraptor says

    @Ray Ceeya: I’m pretty sure that orcas are the largest whale species that’s ever been kept in captivity, and I don’t think that any species of baleen whale has- they’re just too big and too hard to feed.

  5. microraptor says

    Looks like there were a couple of times that SeaWorld captured gray whale calves and kept them on display, mostly in the 70s, but never any recorded instances of captive humpbacks that I can find.

  6. unclefrogy says

    aquariums are a good thing in principle they are more educational then a fish market. Like zoos they can serve usefully in research and education there is a problem however. They want to show the impressive showy charismatic species most of which are just too large to be kept in anything that would be remotely healthy and natural that these businesses could afford to build and maintain. so they keep them in what is in essence a just large box, often in solitary confinement as well. a change a rethinking would be a good thing.
    I am much more of a mixed feeling about a what a civilization collapse might mean. It depends on what level the collapse takes. Pre-industrial might offer some reprieve from the assault on the environment if it is accompanied by a greatly reduced population otherwise the destruction would likely continue and might even intensify without any restraint. I do not see anyway to hope to protect the environment without international cooperation and regulation with sanctions.
    uncle frogy

  7. hemidactylus says

    Orcas love white shark liver with fava beans and a nice chianti. Sheriff Brody should have scouted Sea World for skilled assassins. Jaws series meets Hannibal series.

    Ok yeah it is, if true, a cultural thing amongst skilled orca pods. Allegedly flipping elasmobranchs puts them into a stupor and they have tasty livers and dead sharks scare other sharks who scram from orcas…or so the story goes.

  8. stroppy says


    CLASS: Mammalia
    ORDER: Cetacea
    SUBORDER: Odontoceti
    FAMILY: Delphinidae
    GENUS: Orcinus
    SPECIES: orca

    “The orca, or killer whale, with its striking black and white coloring, is one of the best known of all the cetaceans. It has been extensively studied in the wild and is often the main attraction at many sea parks and aquaria. An odontocete, or toothed whale, the orca is known for being a carnivorous, fast and skillful hunter, with a complex social structure and a cosmopolitan distribution (orcas are found in all the oceans of the world). Sometimes called “the wolf of the sea”, the orca can be a fierce hunter with well-organized hunting techniques, although there are no documented cases of killer whales attacking a human in the wild.”


    “Toothed whales make up one of two suborders within the cetacean species. In addition to whales the toothed whale suborder also consists of all species of dolphin and porpoise.”

  9. says

    “If human civilization collapsed totally (not likely), there are a lot of animals that would rejoice.”
    I’d be worried for any animals still trapped in the zoo during the collapse…

  10. microraptor says

    WMDKitty @17: Whales and dolphins are not distantly related. Whales, infraorder Cetacea, are divided into two taxonomic groups, the Mysticeti, or baleen whales, and the Odontoceti, or toothed whales. Dolphins are a part of Odontoceti, and non-dolphin toothed whales like sperm whales and beaked whales are more closely related to dolphins than they are to baleen whales like humpback whales and blue whales.

  11. methuseus says

    As Bethany said, Sea World does a lot of conservation worldwide. So the will be a lack of area animal conservation in the wake of their closing, at least for a short time. Maybe longer.

    Most people don’t have a problem with zoos and aquariums. If Sea World stopped with orcas, and maybe expanded the pools for the smaller marine mammals, would people go okay with them?

    Sea World has said they won’t get any new orcas, but they’ve tried releasing captive ones into the wild, with bad outcomes. They also don’t do the kind of shows that upset people anymore and do educational ones.

    I honestly wonder if Sea World would be okay if they do things differently, which they’ve already made lots of changes.

  12. stroppy says

    I did a quick search for an image of the Cetacean family tree and discovered that there are a lot of crap illustrations out there.

    microraptor @ 19 seems to have given about the most straight forward verbal answer.

    Apparently this is a thing. Quora bangs on:

    Next: Are hot dogs sandwiches?