China's First Orca Breeding Center Sparks Controversy
SeaWorld ended its breeding of killer whales last year 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 24 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 five to 13. The orcas, also known as killer whales, were plucked from Russia’s Sea of Okhotsk, according to the China Cetacean Alliance, a coalition of international conservation organizations.
On its website, the