ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — SeaWorld's treatment of its killer whales has been criticized by animal rights activists since the release last year of the documentary, "Blackfish."
But an analysis of federal data by The Associated Press shows that SeaWorld's annual survival rates for killer whales and some other marine mammals are near the top of all U.S. parks and aquariums.
SeaWorld's survival rates for bottlenose dolphins and California sea lions actually exceed estimates for those in the wild.
Killer whales born in captivity at SeaWorld parks have a survival rate about equal to their counterparts in the wild.
However, the survival rate of all SeaWorld's orcas, including those captured in the oceans, is lower than estimates in the wild.
SeaWorld says breakthroughs in training and medicine have improved survival rates for its marine mammals.
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