$1 Million Donation from Baby Company Will Help Free SeaWorld's Orcas For Good

The donation will go toward helping The Whale Sanctuary Project build the first sea sanctuary in North America

Munchkin is dedicated to helping babies have the best start in life — and now the brand is working to give SeaWorld’s orcas a fresh start, too.

The company’s CEO Steve Dunn has pledged $1 million toward the building of a seaside sanctuary for the killer whales currently kept in SeaWorld’s parks. Since whales living in captivity aren’t capable of surviving in the wild, these sanctuaries would provide a home that resembles the orcas’ natural habitat, where the animals would be given expansive spaces to swim, the chance to interact with other whales and freedom from being forced to perform.

Dunn was motivated to donate the sum after watching the documentary Blackfish and learning more about the life of captive whales.

“I was really disturbed on a number of fronts when I watched the Blackfish documentary,” he says in the clip above. “About a month later I had an MRI, and I was claustrophobic. On the way back into the office, it really dawned on me — that that’s how orcas must feel in captivity, in these concrete tanks.”

Dunn pledged his $1 million to the The Whale Sanctuary Project, which is working to build the first whale seaside sanctuary in North America. (He even removed the orca out Munchkin’s bath set as a further sign of solidarity.) And thanks to Dunn’s contribution, the first stage of site selection is complete: After surveying spots in Maine, British Columbia, Washington state and Nova Scotia for the perfect geographical and environmental fit, five potential sites for the sanctuary have already been identified. The Whale Sanctuary Project expects to announce the primary site in the fall.

Thirty-nine orcas have died at SeaWorld, the most recent being controversial Blackfish subject Tilikum, who died in January. Dunn hopes through the work of Munchkin, The Whale Sanctuary Project, PETA and animal lovers, Tilikum will be the last orca to die in a tank.

Seaside sanctuary supporters can help this initiative by learning more about and donating to The Whale Sanctuary Project. Additionally, Munchkin.com is donating all of its profits from March 30, 2017, sales to The Whale Sanctuary Project to make sure SeaWorld’s whales finish their lives in the ocean.

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