Why Is China Getting Into The Business Of Marine Parks?

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SeaWorld ended its breeding of killer whales following public outcry. Now China is getting into the business of marine parks.

SeaWorld announced a year ago that it would end orca breeding at its parks in the U.S. One year later, and nearly 8,000 miles away in China, another such program is just getting started.

The Chimelong Group, one of the country’s biggest amusement park operators, revealed that it opened a breeding center for orcas on February 24th at Chimelong Ocean Kingdom—the first program of its kind in China, located in Zhukai, a city in the southeast.

The park has five males and four females ranging in age from 5 -13 years old. The orcas, also known as killer whales, were plucked from Russia’s Sea of Okhotsk, according to the China Cetacean Alliance.

Orcas are the largest dolphin species and one of the smartest predators in the world. Scientists say that the lack of stimulation and cramped, unnatural conditions in captivity can stress them out, manifesting in stereotypic behavior, such as biting and swimming in circles repeatedly.

Whales and dolphins die much younger in captivity than in the wild, according to Whale and Dolphin Conservation, a U.S.-based charity dedicated to the animals’ protection.

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Caption: Jani Actman
Video by: Newsy 

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