SeaWorld SanDiego 68472997Shamu show at SeaWorld San Diego / Irina Silvestrova. Shutterstock

SeaWorld Paints Orcas Black 

Former SeaWorld trainers reveal the use of black-tainted sunscreen to cover up sunburned skin of captive orcas 

Former SeaWorld orca trainers told the online conservation magazine The Dodo that they had applied black zinc oxide, a sunscreen lotion that is not only used to protect the whales' skin from sunburns but also to hide existing burns and blistering skin, when they worked at the amusement park.  

The former staff also reported that the orca's skin usually had already been burned when they applied the substance. 

'Zinc oxide is a way to paint over burns - like a mechanical coat - usually on dorsal surface of the animal. It’s also for aesthetic reasons, to hide blistering peeling skin,' Jeffrey Ventre, a former orca trainer at SeaWorld Orlando told The Dodo

Another former trainer at the park, Carol Ray, said one orca's skin peeled off when she applied the lotion. 

Wild orcas spend the vast majority of their time in water deep enough to escape harmful UV rays, while captive animals are unable to find shelter from direct sunlight in their shallow pools. 

SeaWorld San Diego aerialAn aerial view of SeaWorld San Diego / Google Maps satellite view

The animal welfare group PETA promptly filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) stating that the lack of sufficient shelter from direct sunlight was a violation of the Animal Welfare Act. The complaint asks that USDA investigates the matter urgently and ensures SeaWorld provides sheltered areas in compliance with the AWA regulations.  



Love diving? You'll love these. Sign up today to immediately download our unique FREE gifts -

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 WRECKS - DIVE's 70-page, beautifully illustrated, colour guide to the world’s best wrecks

SCUBA STORIES - DIVE's collection f real life stories where divers, who have got themselves into perilous situations, describe how they reacted and what actions they took to ensure they lived to tell the tale

PACIFICHighlights of the Pacific - Dancing mantas in Hawaii • The Best Diving in the World, Galápagos, Cocos, Malpelo & Socorro • Mass Spawning Events in Palau

New Upright Gift Banners 300 x 600 px

Sidebar SUBSCRIBE spring 21 large2

Destinations Spotlight

Need inspiration for your next dive trip? Try one of our featured destinations from DIVE's travel partners.

sidebar philippines sidebar bahamas sidebar mexico sidebar fiji sidebar st helena 2020 Sidebar Egypt sidebar banner sabah sidebar banner belize sidebar banner south africa

DIVE Partners

sidebar banner egypt new ceningan divers ad 300x100 LH 300 min giphy subex Wakatobi Siladen Aggressor Fisheye Dive Worldwide gozo banner Arenui

Read DIVE magazine

DIVE magazine is available to read on many devices. Simply click one one of the options below

PCMac final
Apple finalAndroid final

Like what you see?

Join us on social and keep updated daily...