On Tuesday, the Regents of the University of California allowed UC San Diego to buy the SeaWorld theme park for a price of $200 million to expand the research capabilities of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography.
SIO plans on reintroducing orcas to the 22 million liter pool to utilize them in experiments such as tracking how long orcas can hold their breath, measuring how far they can crawl across land, and determining which orca can go the longest without biting its trainer. Some have pointed towards the ethical concerns of the experiments, but UCSD has declined to comment.
SIO Director Margaret Leinen justified the purchase, saying, “We ran out of experiments. There are only so many different ways we can tell you the pH of the ocean, and politicians still don’t care how polluted it is. We can finally go back to the good old days of fringe science and start experimenting on animals smarter than mice. As for the cost, we get that it’s a lot of money, but we plan on keeping the roller coasters open to recuperate some of that $200 million.”