Bubbles The Whale Is Dead, SeaWorld And The Rest Of The World Mourn Her Passing

Sadly, Bubbles the whale is dead. In her 50s, the short-finned whale entertained SeaWorld visitors for over 30 years. According to CNN, Bubbles was the oldest pilot whale living in a marine or zoological park setting.

SeaWorld San Diego released this statement, regarding Bubbles the whale’s unfortunate passing.

“She has inspired and amazed more than 100 million guests for nearly 50 years. Loved by her trainers and veterinarians, Bubbles had been a member of the SeaWorld family for nearly 30 years.”

SeaWorld “adopted” Bubbles in 1987. She was captured almost 20 years earlier and was acquired, at that time, by Marineland of the Pacific. As you might guess, MarineLand of the Pacific was another marine park. It was located along the Rancho Palos Verdes coastline. It is no longer open.

This species of whale typically lives about 60 years. A necropsy is scheduled, to determine Bubbles cause of death. She was one of the star attractions at SeaWorld’s Dolphin Stadium since the late 1980s and will truly be missed!

Shortly after the official announcement of Bubbles the whale’s death, countless individuals started posting their opinions on popular social media platforms. Many people expressed their dissatisfaction towards SeaWorld, and zoological parks in general, due to the fact that Bubbles had lived in captivity for so long.

Other people thanked SeaWorld for allowing them to get to know such a beautiful and intelligent creature. One of Bubble’s trainers, Jenny Thompson, posted the following message on her Facebook page.

“This whale was more loved than our own families, has brought more smiles to people then any pilot whale in the wild! We learned so much about this beautiful species and Bubbies (sic) lived a fantastic life, full of stimulation, comfort and beauty and was more loved and cared for than I can try to explain!”

SeaWorld’s treatment of captive marine mammals has been under scrutiny, for quite some time. So much so, that the organization recently made the decision to phase out orcas at all of its parks. The current generation, living at each location, will be the last.

SeaWorld is making an attempt to adapt to public perception when it comes to animal rights. A company spokesman recently talked about the organization’s need to find new ways to inspire park guests and protect animals and their habitats, at the same time.

According to The Dodo, Bubbles the whale is the sixth animal to die at a SeaWorld park, since last July. It was then that a three-month-old beluga calf passed away, in San Antonio. Next, in November 2015, a two-year-old beluga calf died at the same park.

In December 2015, an 18-year-old orca died in San Antonio. January 2016 marks the month that a 33-year-old Commerson’s dolphin died in Orlando. Last but not least, a Pacific white-sided dolphin died in San Antonio a few weeks later.

What’s so disturbing about this is the fact that only two of the six animals who died at the parks reached the age of maturity.

So far, all attempts to contact SeaWorld veterinarians have been fruitless. That means questions about Bubbles the whale’s recent health condition remain unanswered.

Do you think it was cruel to keep Bubbles the whale in captivity for this long? Feel free to leave your comments about marine or zoological parks below.

[Photo by Roka/Shutterstock.com]

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