WTF, SeaWorld? Orcas Given Valium to Forget They’re in Water Prisons?

SeaWorld has been in hot water ever since the documentary “Blackfish” came out last summer. And now, the marine park is being accused of drugging its killer whales.

By Jill Ettinger

Photo © Stig Nygaard Photo © Stig Nygaard[/caption

An affidavit filed in Ontario Superior Court of Justice, and leaked to BuzzFeed, claims that SeaWorld routinely gives benzodiazepines—drugs found in Valium and Xanax—to orcas suffering from mental health issues as a direct result of being in captivity.

Jared Goodman, Director of Animal Law at the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), told BuzzFeed that the veterinary records show that “orcas at SeaWorld are given psychotropic drugs to stop them from acting aggressively towards each other in the stressful, frustrating conditions in which they’re confined instead of funding the development of coastal sanctuaries – the only humane solution. ”

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