Following the California Coastal Commission's demand that it cease breeding its killer whales (even as it began construction of new, expanded killer whale storage facilities), the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park released the following statement to the press:
"We stand with SeaWorld San Diego's veterinarian Hendrik Nollens when he claims that 'depriving a social animal [like a whale] of the right to reproduce is quite simply inhumane.' However, we also recognize the Coastal Commission's concern that SeaWorld's storage facilities, even when expanded, may render killer whale breeding problematic. Overcrowding produces a demonstrably negative psychological effect in orcas, an effect which can eventually lead to neurotic and even violent behavior. As the documentary Blackfish relates, SeaWorld's own Tilikum was the victim of such violence during his youth (though it didn't take place in a SeaWorld facility), and the results were both tragic and deadly.
"It's a very real problem, with no easy solution. But here's the good news: here at the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park, we are all about the breeding.
"Just two weeks ago, the Safari Park was extremely delighted to welcome, Kianga, a baby Southern White Rhino, into the world. Kianga is the happy and healthy product of 'doing what comes naturally,' and a priceless addition to this endangered species. Why not come pay Kianga a visit this holiday season? And best of all, you can leave your troubled conscience at home, because Kianga and the rest of our rhinos have plenty of room to roam!"