The Humane Society and SeaWorld: Orca Obstacle
In 2016, the respective heads of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. (SeaWorld) were trying to reach a mutually beneficial resolution to their dispute over orca whale breeding. The HSUS opposed SeaWorld's practice of breeding captive orcas and each leader was facing challenges. SeaWorld was experiencing growing negative publicity and a decline in park attendance and revenues, while the HSUS was in the process of publishing a book encouraging business leaders to join the animal protection movement and incorporate HSUS values into their strategic plans. After a decades-long antagonistic relationship, how could SeaWorld and the HSUS find common ground? Could SeaWorld continue operating in a way that was financially beneficial for the parks and entertaining to guests, while also being respectful of the welfare of the orca whales in their care? Could they meet the HSUS's goals of animal protection? The authors Tara Ceranic and Marc Lampe are affiliated with University of San Diego.