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Jane Goodall says SeaWorld should close

The primatologist says whales and dolphins should not be kept in aquariums.

By Kate Stanton
Jane Goodall says SeaWorld should close
Conservationist and primatologist Jane Goodall says SeaWorld's aquariums are an "acoustical hell" for whales. File photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

ORLANDO, Fla., April 29 (UPI) -- Jane Goodall is the latest animal activist to denounce SeaWorld for its treatment of trained orca whales, following the release of the 2013 SeaWorld expose, Blackfish.

The 81-year-old primatologist and animal welfare activist, who is renowned for her work on chimpanzees, doesn't think any whales or dolphins should be kept in activity.

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In a recent interview with The Huffington Post, Goodall described aquariums as "acoustical hell" for animals, like orca whales, which use sound waves to communicate.

"The sounds bounce back from the walls of the tank," she added.

"They definitely should be closed down," Goodall said of SeaWorld.

SeaWorld defended its practices Tuesday, tweeting a link to its website, which says that the Florida-based marine park has worked with bio-acoustics experts to ensure that its animals are not being harmed.

"Our underwater noise levels are quieter than the ambient ocean," SeaWorld said. "And those above water sounds don't transfer underwater. So, based on these studies, we are confident the sounds in our environment are not detrimental to the animal's wellbeing."

The Blackfish documentary chronicled the story of Tilikum, a SeaWorld orca, who has been involved in the deaths of three people, including his trainer.

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