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Group Calls Feds on SeaWorld After Polar Bear Death

Polar Bear
Polar Bear

ORLANDO, Florida - SeaWorld Orlando's last polar bear - Johnny - that has lived at SeaWorld for 19 years has died unexpectedly over the weekend, theme-park officials say.

Johnny died at 24 years of age; however, the life expectancy is 30 years. SeaWorld is unsure why the animal died and says a necropsy will be conducted by their staff. Johnny isn't the only animal to have died early in this theme park. Every marine mammal at SeaWorld has died significantly under the average life expectancy. In addition, multiple people have been killed and injured in SeaWorld parks by unsafe conditions and unsupervised animal interactions.

The Global Conservation Group filed a report with the United States Department of Agriculture urging a formal investigation into the death of the park's last polar bear. Group officials allege negligent treatment.

The group's Division of Legal Affairs filed a complaint stating, in part "SeaWorld Orlando is clearly in violation of Subpart D, Section 2.40 Code of Federal Regulations that require animals to have adequate veterinary care at all times; something Johnny so obviously didn't have."

The organization's complaint went on to blame the poor conditions Johnny was kept in, alleging "Pursuant to Statute Subpart H—Compliance With Standards and Holding Period of the Code of Federal Regulations in the Animal Welfare Act, SeaWorld is required to provide adequate, proper and sufficient shelter for animals. If the polar bear had access to both adequate shelter and veterinary care as prescribed by law, he would likely still be alive and well."