Opinions

What’s really happening at SeaWorld

Political documentaries like “Blackfish” and special interest groups such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and student groups like Cease Animal Torture mislead the innocent and uninformed into thinking SeaWorld is actually the enemy. And now, the University Student Union at Cal State University Long Beach no longer sells SeaWorld tickets to students – discouraging them to ever visit a place where animals are “tortured.”

“These organizations have a very strong goal, and they’re very passionate about it, but they have no problem misrepresenting information; they have no problem using things out of context,” said Mike Price, SeaWorld’s assistant curator of fishes.

A graduate from the CSULB marine biology program, Price adds that he is saddened to see his beloved alma mater choose to no longer sell SeaWorld tickets just because a few people on campus decided to rally against the San Diego theme park.

“For me, it’s frustrating to see the university, which I believe has a very strong science background, make a decision that was without science,” Price said.

That science, Price explained, is better understood when people get a hands-on experience when they come to visit places like SeaWorld and see for themselves how animals are cared for. Watching documentaries like “Blackfish” and nature shows is not the same as “hearing a 9,000 pound whale take a breath, or feeling what a sea urchin feels like, or being splashed by a dolphin, or seeing a polar bear rip into a toy,” Price said.

Instead, many people believe the countless myths weaved by animal rights groups and clever filmmakers condemning SeaWorld for abuses such as “forcing” killer whales and dolphins to do tricks.

“They’re 9,000-pound animals; if they don’t want to participate [in the trick], they’re not going to participate,” SeaWorld trainer Wendy Ramirez said. “It hurts [when people criticize the way SeaWorld trainers treat their animals] because you dedicate your career and lives to these animals.”

Killer whale trainer Ken Peters added that there are many other myths about the animals in SeaWorld’s care.

“People are only given bits and pieces, not the whole story,” Peters said.

For example, “Blackfish” depicts workers at SeaWorld separating a whale calf away from its mother. You would think it was the killer whale version of “Sophie’s Choice,” but Peters said the way “Blackfish” depicts the tearing away of the calf from its mother is incredibly inaccurate. For one thing, it’s not as if animals in the wild stay together forever. Second, the calf is sometimes removed from its mother if the mother rejects it. Sometimes the mother can turn on her young, so they are separated from the mother for protection.

Another myth about SeaWorld, according to Peters, is that the cramped killer whale tanks create an unhealthy environment for the animals—their curved dorsal fins being an unnatural side effect of the harmful living conditions. In reality, Peters explained, the killer whales in SeaWorld’s care don’t have to swim 80 to 100 miles a day like they would have to do in the wild to find food; and thus, swim more towards the surface in the exhibits at SeaWorld; their dorsal fin curves naturally when they swim at the surface, whereas it is much straighter when swimming below the surface.

“Maybe we do have a higher rate of dorsal fins bending over to either side, but that’s because the animals don’t have to go hunting for their food, so they can relax and rest more.” Peters said. “But that has nothing to do with their health … what PETA seems to explain is that it’s a negative attribute of them being here [at SeaWorld], but the fact of the matter is, it doesn’t affect their health.”

The well-being of the animals at SeaWorld is always top priority, according to dolphin trainer Lindy Donahue.

Many of the tricks that the animals perform for spectators are in reality “husbandry behaviors,” actions the animals are taught that assist in their own health examinations, Donahue said. For example, dolphins are taught to flip over and “fluke present” so that veterinarians can take blood samples to monitor the animals’ health.

Even the iconic “Shamu pose,” where the orca slides out and lifts its fluke out of the water, is a husbandry behavior designed to measure the weight of the animal, SeaWorld veterinarian Hendrik Nollens said.

“If half your body is still in the water, you can’t get an accurate weight,” Nollens said. “We are very proactive with all our animals to assess their behavior—whether it’s in their appetite or their weight, and even subtle things like how high they sit in the water and how fast they respond to their trainer.”

Every animal receives a monthly health examination, Nollens said, and there are vets conducting walkthroughs each day, monitoring the well-being of the animals. Nollens just finished giving an ultrasound to a killer whale named Ulises, for example. He was checking Ulises’ gastrointestinal tract, making sure the orca’s bowels were normal.

“In many ways, these guys get better healthcare than the average American,” Nollens said. “I mean, how many Americans go see their general practitioner every month?”

The animals at SeaWorld San Diego are even fed a rich diet, consisting of a variety of seafood, according to SeaWorld animal care supervisor Jody Westberg.

“It is incredibly important to us that this seafood is all sustainable and it is all restaurant quality,” Westberg said. “There’s more to it than just fun and games; there’s a lot of hard work that goes into caring for these animals, and food prep and diets are extremely important.”

That hard work includes a team that comes in every morning at 6 a.m. to sort out and organize the variety of meals planned for the next day. The park stores two weeks’ worth of seafood for the animals that include those rescued from the wild.

“Primarily the animals that we rescue are malnourished and a lot of the times they’re young animals—pups who get parasite overloads,” Westberg said.

Westberg pointed out an orphaned Guadalupe Fur Seal picked up by the SeaWorld rescue team two weeks ago as evidence of a victim of malnourishment. The pup was somehow separated from its mother and was found stranded on a rock much further north than its original habitat—on the shores of Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base. The pup is being treated with antibiotics for a severe infection and has gained weight since being seen emaciated on the shores in the wild.

SeaWorld helped rescue over 400 sea lion pups last year and more than 200 this year. In one instance, over 80 hooks were removed from a California Sea Lion. The SeaWorld rescue team even recovered three sea lions with large fishing gaff hooks wedged in their sides. The hooks were removed; two were saved, but one had to be euthanized.

“The goal is to rescue [the animals], rehabilitate them and return them to the wild,” Westberg said.

What’s actually happening at SeaWorld is far different from how the park is represented in the media. SeaWorld does not go out and capture animals and throw them in tanks, forcing them to perform tricks, Westberg said. In fact, Westberg said, SeaWorld rescues debilitated animals and restores many back to health. Yet, several of the animals were raised at SeaWorld and wouldn’t survive in the harsh wild. Their immune system wouldn’t be able to handle the toxins that are in the ocean, and they wouldn’t be able to fend for themselves.

But it takes seeing the passion in the eyes of people like Westberg to understand the truth about SeaWorld. It takes seeing the playful and energetic dolphins to realize just how happy they are in their environment and how much they love their trainers. It takes learning from the source and hearing from the dedicated and caring trainers and veterinarians who treat the animals like their own kids to understand how the animals at SeaWorld are treated.

62 Comments

  1. Avatar

    I see lots of OPINION here but NO FACTS , NO SCIENCE. Just hysteria against ARA.
    I have an opinion too – this is all SeaWorld Lies and Propaganda SO THEY CAN KEEP ON MAKING LOTS OF MONEY AT THE EXPENSE OF IDIOTS LIKE YOU WHO BELIEVE THE PROPAGANDA AND BUY TICKETS TO FUND THEIR LAVISH LIFESTYLES – WAKE UP!!!!!!

    ps How many `terrorists` do you know that go out of their way to SAVE lives – not enslave,seperate mothers from babies (yes, they do) and force their inmates to do tricks for food.(yes really – take note next time!)
    Love Peace and Freedom for All – not just some xxx

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    “For example, “Blackfish” depicts workers at SeaWorld separating a whale calf away from its mother. You would think it was the killer whale version of “Sophie’s Choice,” but Peters said the way “Blackfish” depicts the tearing away of the calf from its mother is incredibly inaccurate. For one thing, it’s not as if animals in the wild stay together forever.”

    This is straight up false. Resident killer whales (and most of SeaWorld’s orcas are indeed residents) remain together all their lives. The adult sons stick around to help care for the offspring and never really become independent of their mothers. Even when orca pods do happen to divide, they’ll always remain in touch and get together whenever they can.

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    Wow, look at the manic, fanatical and obsessive comments of this CCTS person. Clearly these rants are designed to cast doubt by bombarding the reader with so much propaganda and misinformation that the casual person couldn’t possibly have the time to fact check any of it. I mean, there’s a tirade on every single persons comment! The information just doesn’t seem to be coming from a emotionally stable person to me and frankly doesn’t make the SeaWorld opposition seem sane or seasonable at all. Wow. Just wow!

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    The bottom line is that $ea World profits off the enslavement of animals that clearly belong in the ocean. It is pretty simple, rehabilitate the animals and release back to the ocean or let them live in a sanctuary where they can live in freedom.

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    wow! Another amazing article.

    There was so much wrong with the “documentary” Blackfish that turned the innocent and gullible against an amazing company who single handedly changed the public’s perception of orcas- once considered demons of the sea. They aren’t forced to perform and anyone with common sense would know you can make an animal that big do tricks.

    If Blackfish REALLY cared about orcas- where is all that money they got off the movie? Donated to orca research and conservation? How about CNN? Any of their profits from Blackfish going to help declining orca populations??

    SeaWorld is doubling the size of their orca exhibits. They are/have donated $10 million to orca research. Yes- they make a lot of money a year. Yes- they are for profit. But that money goes to the care of their animals, both resident and rescue alike. They go to equipment. Research. (Hubbs-SeaWorld). Paying the employees that take care of those animals. They are a leader in animal rescue, which costs money. The government deems who will do the rescue, I they are releasable, and if they are not, where they go.

    Again- great article!

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      Really Meghan I am suprised you didn’t just right extreme animal activists like you did on the other article lol.

      Ok which bit of Blackfish is not true
      Which bit of Blackfish lies, don’t just blanket statement it. Is it that Tilikum was in a pod at Marineland? He was. Is it Kalina being a baby as this clip clearly shows Carol Ray saying Kalina was 4 and a half https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWFo6kf21Hw.

      Is it Takara being separated from Kohana, because the physical presence NOW proves she was, Kohana lives in Spain, Takara doesn’t. By the way who is Trua’s mother and where is he and where is she?

      Was it Kasatka being separated from Takara as on that day 2 of her matraline were taken Takara and Kohana, they are still not together and the orca in the sling was grown not a calf.

      Is it Tamaree being pulled in by Orkid as that is on her animal profile.

      Was it Ken Peters being pulled under by Kasatka as Seaworld released that video?

      Was it Daniel Dukes as Seaworld said he died from hypothermia, his autopsy report shows more pre death injuries than post death including having his testes torn off, and no one heard anything?

      Was it that none of the trainers worked with the orcas, as you often thrown in that one as you did above saying on John Hargrove was qualified enough. Are you saying that all the thing Seaworld say about their training regime for trainers is rubbish as all of the trainers were shown in the water with the orcas, so if they were not qualified enough has Seaworld lied about their training and how long it takes to become an orca trainer?

      You don’t seriously think that Blackfish started the protests against Seaworld do you, it wasn’t thought about until after poor Dawns death people were outside protesting long before then.

      I don’t know what Blackfish do with their money, but I know they haven’t lied and said they can’t do rescues without ticket money when they have had millions in grants to do them with. Seaworld have. Rescues are commendable no one protests them but why the need to lie about it?

      Don’t believe for one minute all Seaworld’s money goes into care you just need to look at their profits to see where their money goes, they are all published.

      Also don’t believe the declining orca populations story either. There is one pod of orcas the Southern Residents that are endangered, for 2 reasons, 1, they never recovered from the captures which took out a whole breeding population, as they took babies, they wouldn’t have been ready to breed until the early 90’s. 2, the salmon run is blocked by man made dams, have you signed the petitions to get the dams taken down, I have and so have those on my page, if Stand with Seaworld were so bothered it would be on their page too instead of daft little pictures slagging off PETA.

      Orcas inhabit every ocean on the planet there are thousands of them out there, they have been there for 10’s of thousands of years and are still there regardless of Seaworld. Yes people did shoot at them at one time, but as with Old Tom who worked with the fishermen, or even Luna, people, science and research would have soon changed that. People didn’t have the internet, video etc back then so special orcas like them were only known to locals, things have changed since then. Do you know who Old Tom is?

      You are right too NOAA decides who will go to the rescues as they are part of a network so why then do Seaworld claim them as their own??

      Did you know Seaworld proudly brag about their rescue of JJ, but they didn’t rescue her at all they in fact refused to help rescue her. Quote from the rescuers who were there ”When John and Don were on board the WHALE RESCUE TEAM’s boat it was obvious they knew Sea World did not want Marina. In fact, the idea was coldly turned down. Sea World refused to send a rescue truck or any help what so ever! I think that’s why Don looked so confused… he knew SeaWorld didn’t want the baby whale and his facility couldn’t handle it. Word from NMFS was “hands off.” Sea World never showed up at the rescue. ” ”Calls were made to the media and the story continued to grow every hour. Sea World had to cave in. I’ll put my differences aside and work with them to ensure the best chance possible for Marina or any sick or injured marine mammal.”

      Even then they said they would only accept her if they got her there, they wouldn’t even send a truck to help. http://whalerescueteam.org/rescue-stories/j-j-rescue/

      Seaworld did care for her once she was there, there is no disputing that but if it wasn’t for the press pressure they would have let her die. You need to read about things like that instead of looking through the rose tinted spectacles all the time. Seaworld are not everything you think they are.

      They end the article like this and it is very true. If they rehabilitated those orcas no one would have a problem with them and if PETA said they did, people like me would be united on the same side as you for it, but so far, PETA has said retire them to a seaside sanctuary. AB2140 said retire them to a sanctuary. Naomi Rose who Eric likes to make meme’s for on Stand with Seaworld said http://edition.cnn.com/2013/10/24/opinion/blackfish-captive-orcas-solutions/. Ric O Barry said the same, as none of us are stupid the hybrids Seaworld have created would never be allowed back to the open ocean as they have no conservation value what so ever, nor would those needing tooth flushing, but those trainers could become caretakers and the orcas could live as near to natural as possible. Last year Seaworld said they spent $70 million dollars on stadium improvements, you tell me Meghan what did they improve for the orcas, as I saw new stand, new stage, lighting, new screen, what changed for the orcas themselves. $70 million could have built them a fabulous home in mission bay where they could feel the ocean, use all their senses and receive the best of both worlds.

      I haven’t encountered anyone who said throw them back out to sea so where did that idea come from.

      Marina is now known as JJ. JJ is now swimming free. I thank the rehabilitation experts at Sea World for the amazing work they did for this baby whale! Let the JJ story act as a symbol to protect our oceans and all of its creatures. Let her story motivate us to increase efforts to rescue rehabilitate and, release back to the wild any marine mammal that we have the ability to assist. Let JJ’s saga also be a lesson to Sea World and the whole captive display industry that THIS IS WHAT THE SHOW SHOULD BE. The rescuing, rehabilitation and release back to the wild of injured or orphaned marine mammals. Not capturing them from the wild, taking them from their families and sentencing them to a shortened, stressed out life in captivity.

      Awesome Oceans article would have you believe that all activists are part of PETA or HSUS and that isnt the case at all, that is so they can use their kill policies as a deflection but it isnt working. People protest Seaworld because of those orcas, there is no doubt the trainers do their best for them but science has proved that they cannot get what they need inside a tank, they are too far ranging, too family orientated and too aware.

      Please don’t ignore this this time I am not nasty and name calling with you, and you are one of the outspoken ones on that site, if I wasn’t blocked I would ask you on there, so you tell me what the answers to the above are as I would like to hear them.

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    Wow, I think people are really going off at tangents now.
    Firstly Mike Prices comment – ”no problem misrepresenting information”. Seaworld also have no problem with that, backed up by their own vet Todd Robeck who said the manipulated data from Ingrid Visser was on the Seaworld website and was misleading.Same clip as below. Whether PETA say it is not really an issue as Seaworld fans are told over and over protestors are not all lead by PETA and are not all PETA fans.

    This is the recent Seaworld debate where Naomi Rose explained dorsal fin collapse in captivity, Todd Robeck agrees, no one has said it is a sign of sickness. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8WVgYHIk9U

    Many of the tricks that the animals perform for spectators are in reality “husbandry behaviors,” –
    You have been saying for ages that they don’t do tricks, well make up your mind!

    You can hear a 9000lb orca blow and be splashed by a dolphin out in the ocean, where you experience them in their own environment.

    The animals at SeaWorld San Diego are even fed a rich diet, consisting of a variety of seafood, according to SeaWorld animal care supervisor Jody Westberg. – As we all know orcas do not drink sea water they get all the hydration they need from their food, sadly Seaworld could feed them the most nutritious top quality food on the planet but if it has been frozen as theirs has, they still need hydrating, either by a tube down their throat or as in Tilikums case by gelatin. Apex ocean predators bodies process the fluid from their food, they need to eat live prey not dead and frozen. Any trainer will tell you they have to be hydrated too.

    Ken Peters – For one thing, it’s not as if animals in the wild stay together forever. – Yes they do, you have fish eating orcas in those tanks, not transients or offshores. Resident(fish eaters) stay in their matralines for life. They meet in huge super pods which have been documented and filmed leave to breed and return to their matriline who then swim away. Males especially stay at their mothers sides. Take for example Kasatka, who you know well, when Takara and Kohana were taken away, you removed 2 of her matraline, Kasatka would have had her own calves, Takara would have had hers, Kohana would have hers but they would all be together in one matraline group. Which takes it onto the comment you made about Blackfish. Takara was taken from Kasatka with Kohana, Takara will always be Kasatkas calf, same as in humans my daughter will always be my daughter, so age doesn’t matter, that was a frown orca in the sling on the film. What they failed to say and their physical presence proves that is Kohana WAS then taken to Spain so they were separated. Additional Takara had another calf Trua, why was she separated from him as you say calf but really she has been separated from both of her offspring not just the one.

    Second, the calf is sometimes removed from its mother if the mother rejects it. Sometimes the mother can turn on her young, so they are separated from the mother for protection. – Takara was separated from her offspring for none of the above reasons.
    In addition – was Kalina a bad mum as she had 4 calves and none of them were with her when she died.
    Is Katina a bad mum as she had 7 calves and only 2 live with her. How old was Katerina when she was sent on a tour of the parks? She died aged 10. Taku mated with his mother producing Nalani, how did that occur? He died a year after being moved. Why was Unna moved and how old was she, as she was pregnant and miscarried aged 6? How old was Ike when you sent him on a breeding loan? Was it Katina’s fault did she attack any of them, is she not a good mother?
    This is a clip from Blackfish it clearly states Kalina was 4 and a half years old, watch it and see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWFo6kf21Hw.
    In this video it wasn’t the best of ideas to have Katina with her 2 remaining calves as an example of Seaworld respecting the family bond when 5 have been taken away is it? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6DR5IKHFjY Ike is back at Seaworld but he hasn’t been brought back to his mother, why is that?

    Remember this Ken Peters? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PP7hkGnJOXg why did this happen? Her animal profile written by Seaworld tells you https://www.scribd.com/doc/85234611/SeaWorld-Orca-Profile-Killer-Whale-Kasatka-2010 ”Her waterworks relationship with the trainers is very much dependent on the whereabouts of Takara” ”Kasatka has had a few incidents where she has left her trainer in the water (usually at the pool where Nakai or Kalia were). In 1999 after Takara split to the back pool, Kasatka left her trainer in the water and began to fast swim around the perimeter, she then attempted to grab the trainer by the feet before he was pulled out of the pool by a spotter. Same with the incident above with Ken Peters, she heard her calf in the back pool. How does an apex predator tell you she doesn’t want separating from her calves?
    Has shown aggression with NO NOTICEABLE PRECURSOR except separation from calf. As she had demonstrated that in 1999, why were you in the water with her in 2006?

    several of the animals were raised at SeaWorld and wouldn’t survive in the harsh wild. Their immune system wouldn’t be able to handle the toxins that are in the ocean, and they wouldn’t be able to fend for themselves. – How do you know compared against what? Even Mark Simmons said in his Awesome Ocean Q and A’s the ocean didn’t kill Keiko, so what do you have to prove that? 45 orcas have died from pathogens, fungus, virus’s in the tanks. Keiko gained weight, grew and was the strongest he had been when in Seawater so how can you say they won’t survive?

    There is no doubt that Seaworld trainers do their best for those orcas, but it has been proven over and over that they do not do well in captivity, 45 of Seaworld orcas are dead. Seaworld released their own poster saying their orcas live NEARLY as long as those in the wild. NEARLY isn’t good enough, they have vet care, dental care, laze about according to Ken Peters, eat top quality food, swim in pristine water, so they should outlive their wild counterparts hands down, so why don’t they, why is it only NEARLY. You say one of your orcas is nearly as old as the park, but she didn’t arrive at Seaworld until she was 21, so Corky cant really be counted as yours can she?

    People don’t protest rescues why would they? They protest those orcas being in the tanks. Last year Seaworld said they spent $70 million dollars on improvements at the stadiums, new lighting, new seating, new screens, new decor, what was new for those orcas out of that $70 million? If Seaworld did right by them there would be no issue, I don’t know anyone who said they want Seaworld to close, Naomi Rose who stand with Seaworld slag off regularly didn’t, she said http://edition.cnn.com/2013/10/24/opinion/blackfish-captive-orcas-solutions/. AB2140 doesn’t, it says retire them to a sanctuary and stop the breeding programme. As Seaworld are breeding hybrids with no conservation value what so ever, as they exist no where on the planet other than in those tanks, that is a good idea, as Kalia’s new calf will be hybrid as she is too. It wouldn’t be done in any other reputable breeding programme. You have a huge expanse at Mission Bay, why not dredge that and let the trainers become caretakers instead. No matter how much you focus on your rescues the bottom line is people won’t stop until you let those orcas live as near to natural as possible so they can have the best of both worlds, care from their caretakers and the feel of the ocean. How hard would that be?

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    A lot of slave owners cared about their slaves, doesn’t mean it was ethical or right to be a slave owner. Same can be said for enslaving cetaceans. SW’s a joke and a half. It’s an entertainment facility first and foremost exploiting sea life. Basic facts first. Again, its an entertainment facility. It’s not a 501c3 rescure and rehab facility first and foremost, it’s a for profit exploitation company. The studies state, this facility and zoos don’t encourage people to care about the natural environment and protection of the earth’s ecosystems. That’s just an outright lie and total BS. Being up close to an orca doesn’t mean people have a clue why the SRKW is endangered. SW won’t tell you the threats to orcas in the wild, namely because they caused a third of the population to be decimated when they grabbed as many as they could before the public caught on and Washington state ran them out of town. SW’s a joke and has no credibility whatsoever.

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    Here is the best step by step defense to the lies and half truths contained in Blackfish.
    Ask their producers what portion of their obscene profits were donated to animal rescue and animal care?
    PETA is the largest murderer of animals in the world. about 97 % of the animals in their shelter are murdered, many within 24 hours.

    http://da15bdaf715461308003-0c725c907c2d637068751776aeee5fbf.r7.cf1.rackcdn.com/adf36e5c35b842f5ae4e2322841e8933_4-4-14-updated-final-of-blacklist-list-of-inaccuracies-and-misleading-points.pdf

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    Wow this article isn’t at all better than the documentaries you’re criticizing… People will learn the science better by experiencing Sea World? Really? That’s as unscientific as you can go. If you want people to believe the claims that Sea World doesn’t harm the animals they take care of, you need to find third party scientific sources, not shady anecdotes provided by Sea World staff. I’m appalled by your journalism.

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    Disappointed in you CSULB/the 49er. Very disappointed.

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    How could so many be sucked in and fooled by a simple piece of PETA extremist propaganda? l’d be willing to bet that most, if not all, of the pro Blackfish people posting here would completely do away with all zoos, aquariums, farms, and animal preserves (where by the way, animals are not free to go wherever they want). Ludicrous.

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    Just because a CSULB marine bio alumni works at Seaworld doesn’t mean we should believe the “facts” he gives. Why aren’t there any quotes from the professors of the marine bio program? Let’s hear their side of course Mr. Price would defend Seaworld. If they go under, he will be out of a job! The writing is on the wall. Public opinion of Seaworld will keep diminishing and it was a wise choice for CSULB to stop supporting the animal cruelty. I’m sure if we kept Mike on house arrest for the rest of his life and gave him what he needed he would never want to leave his house (sarcasm) because that would mean he wouldn’t have to do all the work of driving around, going to restaurants, hanging out with friends or family because that’s too much work(sarcasm). Let’s use some facts here daily 49er. Did you fact check his claims? And by fact check I mean not ask another Seaworld employee their “scientific” opinion.

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    Fact: Blackfish used OUTdated information in their movie. Sea World does NOT capture whales or dolphins in the wild for display at their parks. It is illegal to do so. It has been illegal to do so since the 70s.

    Fact: while it may be true that some animals don’t stay with their family groups for life, Orca do. Male calves stay with their moms for life. That part of the article, Pete’s comment, is inaccurate.

    Fact: NONE of the animals at Sea World are forced to perform. Food is NOT withheld from them to make them perform. You cannot force a 9,000 pound animal to do anything, especially by witholding food.

    Fact: NObody knows how long an orca lives in captivity because the 2 oldest wild-born animals are STILL ALIVE.

    I was a regular/insider for many years. The only inaccurate information I ever heard was given by the education people. Never once did a trainer give me incorrect information. Never once did a trainer physically abuse a whale. I always saw the whales get fed between shows.

    Those of you who are saying how horrible Sea World is based SOLELY on that movie need to go and see the park for themselves and not be blinded by lies and outdated practices the movie is trying to claim is current fact. The problem is, though, that so many of you would rather stay on the Blackfish Bandwagon rather than think for yourselves. You think that because former trainers and PETA were involved with the movie, everything talked about in the movie must be true and you have to be an armchair animal advocate. Are you aware that several trainers who participated in the movie have now come out and said they were LIED to about what the movie was going to be about? That even Dawn’s family was lied to? There was a part in Blackfish where the lady with the crazy curly hair was talking about her time at Shamu Stadium. She said she was told she was going to get on the back of the whale and that she was going to ride the whale around the perimeter of the show pool…the trainer that was shown in the clip, that she was implying was her, was NOT her. It was another trainer. A real trainer who worked there longer than a couple of months. Oh no. Blackfish doesn’t lie. It doesnt mislead. Only Sea World does that to cover up the atrocities that are taking place there. Yeah. Right. Open your eyes, People. Think for yourselves.

    • Avatar

      I have to dispute some of those ”facts”

      It has been illegal to do so since the 70s. – Wrong – Tilikum wasn’t captured until 1983.
      Outdated information on Blackfish – Dawns sad death wasn’t until 2010 that was what the film was about.

      Fact: NONE of the animals at Sea World are forced to perform. Food is NOT withheld from them to make them perform. You cannot force a 9,000 pound animal to do anything, especially by witholding food. – Orcas receive their full base daily that is true, BUT for performances they are held at half base to optimize performance, that means they are only given have their daily rations to keep them hungry enough to be sharp for the performance. Seaworld’s own website says food is a primary reinforcer.

      Fact: NObody knows how long an orca lives in captivity because the 2 oldest wild-born animals are STILL ALIVE. – You can base that on an average as there are only 5 wild caught orcas left in Seaworld tanks the rest are dead and ages documented.

      Those of you who are saying how horrible Sea World is based SOLELY on that movie need to go and see the park for themselves and not be blinded by lies and outdated practices the movie is trying to claim is current fact – I base nothing on a movie I base all my FACTS on official documents logged with NOAA , court transcript, necropsy reports, animal profiles as those things are indisputable.

      You think that because former trainers and PETA were involved with the movie, everything talked about in the movie must be true and you have to be an armchair animal advocate – PETA have nothing what so ever to do with Blackfish, as for the trainers every one on here has said believe the trainers so that is a bit hypocritical to be fair. Go check PETA’s involvement in Blackfish, you will find there is no involvement.

      Are you aware that several trainers who participated in the movie have now come out and said they were LIED to about what the movie was going to be about? – 2 have come out Mark Simmons and Bridgette Pirtle, I direct you to point 4 on here, the reasons Bridgette Pirtle gave for leaving Seaworld. http://freedomfororcas.tumblr.com/post/59976426605/interview-with-former-trainer-bridgette-pirtle

      There was a part in Blackfish where the lady with the crazy curly hair was talking about her time at Shamu Stadium. She said she was told she was going to get on the back of the whale and that she was going to ride the whale around the perimeter of the show pool…the trainer that was shown in the clip, that she was implying was her, was NOT her. It was another trainer. – That is true it was Holly Byrd on the orca, watch it again though ALL the potential trainers have to do that it was a demonstration of what she did, Sam Berg probably wasn’t even filmed doing the perimeter ride, but all the trainers had to do it.

      A real trainer who worked there longer than a couple of months. Oh no. Blackfish doesn’t lie. It doesnt mislead. Only Sea World does that to cover up the atrocities that are taking place there. Yeah. Right. Open your eyes, People. Think for yourselves. – I do think for myself most of the ”facts” you think are correct here actually aren’t. Are you saying that Sam Berg was only there for a couple of months, when she is in the water on the movie with those orcas, as Seaworld have spent a long long time trying to emphasise the years and years of training they have to do before they are allowed near an orca. Are you saying then that is a lie and trainers with a couple of months experience are allowed in the water with them after all?

      Don’t be blindly lead along as everything you have put here is what you have picked up from the likes of Stand with Seaworld or other similar places. Actually look the documents up yourself it will open your eyes.

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    Marine Biologist

    HAVE ANY OF YOU SEAWORLD HATERS EVER EVEN THOUGHT ABOUT THE WILD POPULATIONS OF ORCA??? Probably not. You all probably just sit at home and watch your little Netflix propaganda. Think you care more about these animals than people who have DEVOTED THEIR ENTIRE LIVES to the research and protection of them? Get real!! When have animals ever been happy at zoos: NEVER. We know this. But here is the indisputable fact: SEAWORLD IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE WIDESPREAD COMPASSION OF THE PUBLIC TOWARDS THE ORCA SPECIES. WITHOUT SHAMU, PEOPLE WOULD NEVER CARE. Let’s focus on the real issues of declining orca populations and increased malnourishment of those populations due to the collapsing ecosystem as a result of overfishing and global climate change. Read a book.

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      That is one population suffering because a whole breeding generation were taken for captivity and the salmon run is blocked by dams. Have you signed the petitions to remove the dams I have?

      There are 50000 orcas out there, the populate every ocean on the planet, they have been out there for thousands of years and they are still there without Seaworlds help, don’t believe everything you are told it isn’t true and easily disproved.

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    Great article but didn’t really talk about the killer whales and the deaths that occurred. Missed the whole point of the documentary

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    Great article but didn’t really talk about the killer whales and the deaths that occurred. Missed the whole point of the documentary.

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    You quote “Blackfish” and nature shows is not the same as “hearing a 9,000 pound whale take a breath”. Would people want to hear the whale take a breath if they knew it was going to die sooner? Obviously not, we don”t sell tickets anymore.
    I’m not an expert on any of this, I don’t claim to be. It’s good Seaworld rescues dying or injured animals, and I’m sure many of them benefit, but I think it’s fact that the whales DO NOT. Which is why we don’t sell tickets anymore, because someone in our administration said there was enough evidence to prove animals are being hurt and how can we support this? But even if everything sea world said in your article is correct, this is never addressed. Which means you have failed as an investigator. You called Blackfish biased and then hypocritically went and wrote an article that was extremely biased for the other side. Hurray! Good job.

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    Overall, I did think that Blackfish was biased in that it did not offer any opinions or testimonials from Sea World’s side. But then, the documentary was not made as a discussion of “is Sea World in the right?”, it was made simply to expose some of the truths that the documentary stated could not be denied. They stated the orca live much longer in the wild, as apposed to just a few years in the tank. if you refute this statement just because you didn’t see the evidence, then you could just as easily say “we didn’t land on the moon, I wasn’t there to see it so how do I know?” It’s scientific fact. Whales die young in captivity. So… stop locking them up? The dorsal fins curve because the animal doesn’t have to swim miles you say, but… wasn’t an orca born to do that? In its natural habitat, a killer whale swims 80 miles every day looking for food. That’s just their behavior. Disrupting this behavior shortens their life. The whale’s nature tells it to travel and hunt, and by forcing it to do some trick for a bucket of fish (yes, I’m saying forcing, cause the whale sure as hell would not be leaping out of the air or sliding on his belly in the wild just for the hell of it), your changing what it’s body is telling it to do. Yea, I’m sure the whale eats the fish and is perfectly happy, but his instinct and body are telling him he has to go work for that food, and he pays for not following his instinct by having years of life sucked away. The curved dorsal find may not be detrimental to the whale’s health, but the fact that the fin is drooping over in the first place means THE WHALES HEALTH IS ALREADY AFFECTED, BECAUSE WE NEVER SEE THAT IN THE WILD. The part where the mom and calf are separated is also similarly explained by this article in a terrible way. The whales are crying, traumatized, obviously they don’t want the separation. You’d be ok with separating a mother and her baby because in twenty years, that baby is going to college anyway? Hell no! It’s cruel, not physically, but it obviously hurts the animals emotions if it’s crying and screaming for it’s baby.

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    This article gave me cancer

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    I suppose the scientists in Blackfish had no significant science backing up their claims either? They are the third party everyone wants to hear from- yet no one listens because your childhood might be a lie if you do. Grow up people. Orcas are not pet turtles that can be kept happily in pools. You wouldn’t trap a wolf in your house and try to teach it tricks in exchange for food. We’re not talking about domesticated livestock here.

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    Wildlife is not for entertainment. The orcas don’t need to be there. They should be out in the wild fetching their own food, swimming with their own family, and not suffering through tricks as slaves for profit. The dolphins should also be released. SeaWorld is just a cruel circus. The only redeeming feature is that it can rehabilitate wildlife. Other than that it’s a joke and misguided. Anyone who works there would defend their practices – they have mortgages to pay – they’d even clap like a seal if it mean they’d keep getting money. Shame, shame, shame.

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    Molly Nadler

    The fact is, these animals are trapped in unnatural conditions and no amount of spin will change that. They don’t have to swim for their food? Are you kidding? They can’t swim for their food. They are trapped in tanks. As far as the absurd claim that you can’t force a 9,000 lb. animal to do tricks well, you can force most creatures to do unnatural things if they want to eat. The documented attacks by performing whales bears this out. And what of Tillikun? Are we supposed to believe he’s swimming happily ever after with a pretty female whale in a cement tank? The creators of Blackfish had no axe to grind other than freeing whales from performing. This is entirely unnatural for whales and it is done for financial gain by humans.

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    Hopefully this attention on SeaWorld’s ethics and practices will lead to even greater scrutiny and transparency of how they operate and treat the animals that are contained there.
    I wish Seaworld would focus all of it’s resources on rescue and rehabilitation and stop breeding whales in captivity for profit/performance purposes.
    The author of this article talks about what SeaWorld considers healthy and natural.. A 9000 pound animal in a confined space is never going to be healthy or natural.
    I don’t envy the killer whale who has monthly health checks, I don’t consider him luckier than most Americans, I thought this was one of many very feeble dismissive comments in this article.
    Please change your ways SeaWorld, do the right thing by the animals you have profited off for too long. Acknowledge your cruelty and set an example to future generations about compassion, stewardship and respect.

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    Sea world steals animals from the wild. Breeds them in cages.

    Dispute those facts.

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      I know. Years ago I would’ve defended SeaWorld. I thought all the creatures were rescued and couldn’t be released. Then I shocked to hear otherwise. To see it in Black Fish was horrible. I will never go to SeaWorld.

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        When these animals were “Stolen from the wild”, it was a different time. SeaWorld stopped that practice decades ago. Just like a few years ago, it was illegal to be a married gay couple. Just like a few decades ago, it was illegal for blacks and whites to sit next to one another. Just like a few centuries ago, it was legal to shoot native americans on YOUR land. Don’t hold the beginning to the standards of today. They made mistakes, but they are doing everything they can to educate people and rehabilitate animals. They have the most successful killer whale breeding in all of the world, they are at the forefront of any ecological disaster trying to save as many animals as they can. They use their OWN money to fund these things. Stating Blackfish as a fact for Marine Biology is like watching Inglorious Bastards for your WWII history.

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      Did you read the article?

      “The goal is to rescue [the animals], rehabilitate them and return them to the wild,” Westberg said.

      So you rather them die as they choke on the plastic bags and bottles people throw into the ocean?

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    Austin, no body found your comment convincing. Watching a film does not make you an expert. How about you devote your live to researching these animals, and maybe i’ll listen to what you have to say. Do you honestly think that so many people who love animals would continue to work for a company that mistreated animals? How can you possibly think that people are that evil? Animal trainers do NOT work for the money. They do not get paid well. They train animals because it’s their passion. They love those animals and care about them more than you would ever know. Those dolphins are their coworkers, their friends, and their family. It’s disgusting to me that you would bash a company that has done so much good in the world because you were brainwashed by a crazed cult organization. Do your own research; find out the truth. I dare you.

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      Another person who obviously hasn’t even seen the documentary they are criticizing. The people that made Blackfish went out of their way to make it clear that this is a systemic problem with Sea World’s management, not the orca trainers themselves, which you would know if you had seen it and payed any attention. They basically argue that orca trainers are well-intentioned individuals that have been horribly misinformed by Sea World’s management, who leads their trainers to believe that their orcas are happier and healthier than those that live in the wild, when there is really no evidence that this is the case, and some evidence that suggests the opposite is in fact true. I’m not brainwashed by a crazy cult organization, I was made aware of a serious moral issue by Blackfish, did my own research and formed my own conclusions about it. If anything I’d say you are brainwashed by the cult of Sea World, which kidnaps orcas for profit and has the audacity to pretend they were doing the orcas a favor when they tore them from their families in the wild and locked them in a concrete tank with orcas that are complete strangers, and just as likely to bully them as befriend them. I’m not the one that needs to look at the facts Sarah, you are. Sea world is a corporation that only cares about profit, just like any other corporation. They are not special and different. The welbeing of their animals is only important to them insofar as it affects their profits.

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      Sarah, do you realize your comment is focused ENTIRELY on how the trainers feel and has nothing to do with how the orcas are treated? They’re treated as property, as tools for profit and entertainment, not as actual living beings with their own free will. They are robbed of their autonomy and the ability to pursue what THEY want. They are robbed of their power to chose what is best for them and instead, have no other option but to comply with whatever role SeaWorld assigns them. The problem with everyone who defends SeaWorld is that they care more about the employment of trainers and the SeaWorld brand than the actual orcas. Do you think if orcas has a choice, they’d chose life in a pool over life in the ocean? And if you say these trainers “love” animals but are also okay with violating their consent and keeping them in confinement, do they really “love” animals? That’s a pretty abusive way of expressing their love and orcas deserve better than that.

      Also, Austin’s article makes no attempt at “convincing”, but it does a great job of analyzing the fallacies. SeaWorld defenders are grasping at straws to rationalize the atrocity of exploiting animals for entertainment.

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        Yes !!!! My dear friend works there and she really loves animals ! She enjoys her job!!

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          I have no doubt your friend really does what she thinks is best for them, but no one can give an apex ocean predator what it needs in a tank. Why do you think they catch the birds in there, because they are predators with nothing to predate on.

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      SeaWorld is the cult misrepresenting the interest of marine life and profiting from its franchises.

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    Bad article. No attempt at actually refuting any of the claims made in Blackfish, the author basically just quoted a Sea World official’s rather lacking response to two or three of their main points. The author’s entire pro-Sea World argument is supported solely by the unsupported claims of an official that works at Sea World. Does this author really think we are just going to take a Sea World official’s word for it that the animals at Sea World are happy with their lives, and that all the science is behind them? The guy works at Sea World, he can hardly be trusted to be unbiased. One of the main points they made in Blackfish was that Sea World officials routinely misinform the public about the conditions of their animals and how they came to end up at Sea World in order to keep up park attendance, and that such officials simply cannot be trusted to present the facts in an objective manner given their history of misinformation. If the author had included some scientific data or testimony from a qualified third party that supported the official’s statements (which would have been easy to find if the science was behind Sea World as the author and the official suggest) he would have a perfectly viable argument. But alas, he provided no such evidence, and we are expected to take a Sea World official’s word for it that everything they do is completely humane, against the mountains of testimony and evidence that Blackfish provided. I sincerely hope nobody found this article convincing.

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      So the SeaWorld officials can’t be trusted, but the Blackfish crew can? Take a look around and read up on the people behind the film. Not a single one of them has recent, relevant experience at SeaWorld besides John Hargrove, who was cited for numerous safety violations before quitting in a rage, and Mark Simmons, who was the only pro-SeaWorld voice in the film. These people in the documentary absolutely cannot be trusted. Everything you cited goes both ways. Blackfish did not cite scientific data or testimony, just the fables of disgruntled former employees.
      Every officiating body in the United States that regulates marine mammal care supports SeaWorld’s standards and shows they go above and beyond what is required of them by law. This includes the USDA, NMFS, AZA, IMATA and AMMPA. Look what the experts are saying and don’t be taken in by Blackfish’s conspiracy theories.

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        The Blackfish crew may have an agenda but they didn’t make up the basic facts the documentary is based on, while Sea World officials are told to misinform park visitors about the longevity of their captive orcas compared to wild orcas, the frequency and severity of attacks on trainers, and numerous other facts that make them look bad. Most of the movie was about Tilikum’s story, and that alone is enough to convince any remotely rational and decent person that what Sea World does is completely immoral. How exactly do you defend forcibly kidnapping a young orca, taking him away from his family while he and his family are audibly crying, and then locking him in a concrete pool with other orcas that constantly bully him until you finally just put him in solitary confinement for his own protection? And you guys are surprised when he snaps and kills his trainers? I’m amazed stuff like that doesn’t happen more often. I really hope you don’t honestly believe that orcas locked in small concrete pools at Sea World are better off than the ones living in the wild that swim, hunt and socialize with their pod as nature intended just because an official from the corporation whose business involves kidnapping orcas and making profit off of them said so. Orcas are about as intelligent as people, and some evidence suggests they are even more social than we are, and have different cultures, accents, and perhaps even languages across different regions and pods. They were not meant to be forcibly taken from the wild, confined in a small area with orcas that are complete strangers to them and gawked at by tourists.

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        Well see why Bridgette Pirtle says she left, you seem to trust her – http://freedomfororcas.tumblr.com/post/59976426605/interview-with-former-trainer-bridgette-pirtle Quote: Ultimately, the same concerns voiced as a result of Dawn’s accident had been voiced after incidents in the past. Lessons not learned and continually disregarded. Many of those taking care of the animals are fighting for less responsibility to be placed upon their ever-drooping dorsal fins. Show schedules, public interactions, and dining obligations create a strain on animals already in a highly stressed environment. They are proudly introduced as “ambassadors” but they are simply work horses for a profit hungry industry desperate to remain relevant in a society that has already begun to recognize we have moved past such a trite necessity. Until parks like SeaWorld exhale their dying breathe, tighter regulations and stronger accountability for adhering to such guidelines is a given.

        I do look what the experts are saying, those who understand wild orcas too, you even call them activists, David Duffus has published more studies than Seaworld lol. Ric O Barry has won environmental awards for his 40 years of rescues, but because they spoke out against Seaworld you think they gives you the right to call them personally. It doesn’t, it doesn’t change anything who says something, only to you.

        Which bit of Blackfish lies, don’t just blanket statement it. Is it that Tilikum was in a pod at Marineland? He was. Is it Kalina being a baby as this clip clearly shows Carol Ray saying Kalina was 4 and a half https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWFo6kf21Hw.

        Is it Takara being separated from Kohana, because the physical presence NOW proves she was, Kohana lives in Spain, Takara doesn’t. By the way who is Trua’s mother and where is he and where is she?

        Was it Kasatka being separated from Takara as on that day 2 of her matraline were taken Takara and Kohana, they are still not together and the orca in the sling was grown not a calf.

        Is it Tamaree being pulled in by Orkid as that is on her animal profile.

        Was it Ken Peters being pulled under by Kasatka as Seaworld released that video?

        Was it Daniel Dukes as Seaworld said he died from hypothermia, his autopsy report shows more pre death injuries than post death including having his testes torn off, and no one heard anything?

        Was it that none of the trainers worked with the orcas, as you often thrown in that one as you did above saying on John Hargrove was qualified enough. Are you saying that all the thing Seaworld say about their training regime for trainers is rubbish as all of the trainers were shown in the water with the orcas, so if they were not qualified enough has Seaworld lied about their training and how long it takes to become an orca trainer?

        What is it Erin you tell me which bits are lies.

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        You should read this article Erin, its clear cut and dried. Science is fab http://www.kimmela.org/2014/11/24/orcas-are-not-thriving-at-seaworld/#comment-18575

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      Your argument is that you shouldn’t take a SeaWorld marine mammal trainer at their word on how they actually conduct their job, but you seem to be taking the claims of Blackfish, of whom many of those involved never have worked with any marine mammals or animals in general, without question. Pretty hypocritical, don’t you think?

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        No, it’s not hypocritical at all actually, because the claims they made in Blackfish regarding how Sea World employees have a history of intentionally misinforming the public are facts. Sea World employees are told to tell park visitors that their orcas live about as long as orcas in the wild. That is factually incorrect, period. They live significantly shorter lives in captivity than in the wild. They also understate the frequency and severity of orca attacks on trainers, among a laundry list of other things. They are not trustworthy, and that’s all there is to it. Does that mean I uncritically accept everything they said in Blackfish? No, but the fact that they are right about this is beyond reasonable dispute.

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          Johnny Norda

          It is not incorrect. There’s actually no evidence killer whales live shorter lives in captivity. The oldest animals in SW are almost as old as the park itself. The people who are claiming they live shorter have their information from a list regarding the 159 killer whales that died in captivity. The problem with that list is, it contains animals who have been stranded and rescued, but died after a short while. Also a lot of deaths in the sixties, when no actual knowledge about caring for the animals was present ( which goes for a lot of zoo animals).

          And the other problem is, nobody actually knows how old orca’s get in the wild. We have only estimates. A while ago everyone was cheering because of ‘granny’, but the truth is that the method used to estimate her age is extremey unreliable.

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          The orcas live to be 30 to 50, just like in the wild. To those who claim tat “Granny” is 103 are mislead. First of all, how can there be a 103 year old whale when we’ve only been studying the animals for only 50 years. Second, Granny died and they did an autopsy, she was a he and he was only in his early 20s. Third, there have been numerous times where boats have been damaged by the whales in the wild. they may be smaller boats, but they were damaged by whales, just as the so called attacks on trainers have happened.

          SeaWorld does more good in the world than all of the animal activists around the world combined.

    • Avatar

      Here’s a fun game… replace every single instance of “Sea World” in your comment with “Animal Right Activist”.

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      MOUNTAINS of testimony and evidence?! what are you smoking? Blackfish blatantly lied and twisted facts, trainers who took part in the movie have since come public about their opposition to it based on this fact. Blackfish lies, sea world saves animals every day!

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        I was referring to the story of Tilikum (which is based on fact), the testimony of the people involved in capturing and later caring for him (also based on fact), and the evidence they provided regarding orca behavior and longevity (again based on fact). Sorry, but the fact is that your beloved Sea World kidnaps orcas from the wild, takes them from their families, locks them in tiny concrete pools (where they cannot get sufficient exercise) with orcas that are complete strangers to them, and who often end up bullying them rather than befriending them. These orcas live significantly shorter lives than their wild counterparts and are prone to odd and sometimes violent behavior (see Tilikum’s story) that has never been witnessed among wild orcas. This suggests that such behavior is probably a result of their captivity and the sense of isolation it causes them. If you think those orcas are better off than the ones living in the wild, who are able to swim dozens of miles a day while hunting and interacting with their pod as nature intended, then you are completely delusional.

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          “Sea World kidnaps orcas from the wild, takes them from their families, locks them in tiny concrete pools (where they cannot get sufficient exercise) with orcas that are complete strangers to them, and who often end up bullying them rather than befriending them.”
          1.) The most recent “kidnapping” of a Sea World orca was in 1984, and Sea World wasn’t even the one to kidnap the orca, it was by a completely different marine park. Most of the orcas come from these circumstances where the park was no longer able to take care of them. Since Sea World has the best facilities, Sea World got them. Others were born at Sea World.
          2.) They get extra stimulation from trainers and during shows (they’re not just for entertainment) and Sea World is also going to expand their facilities. Please do not say that this is just Sea World trying to convince people that they are doing something good for the orcas or whatever. I think they know by now that it would take more than just this to convince people that are convinced they are some evil company that they are doing good.
          3.) What evidence do you have that a trainer “bullied” them? I doubt that a trainer bullying the orcas would not get fired.

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        If Blackfish is such a contention to you ignore it, pretend it was never made, it wasn’t out until last year people were protesting long long before then.

        Now that is out of the way answer these questions as they weren’t mentioned on Blackfish.

        How have 45 orcas died in those tanks in 50 years?

        Why have 244 dolphins died in 50 years?

        Why are orcas pregnant at 6 years old?

        Why are Seaworld breeding hybrid orcas with no conservation value what so ever, that exist nowhere on the planet other than in those tanks?

        Why have there been almost 100 orca trainer incidents in 50 years?

        Why did Brad Andrews say he knew nothing about the 6 pilot whales in Japan which were exchanged for Gudrun, when the flight records show he was there with them?

        Why did Fred Jacobs give this statement about the Taiji drive hunt?
        We stopped [buying] and have not resumed, not because we are ashamed, but it was not something that we cared to be involved with any more.’
        And the reason they say they cannot condemn other parks
        “We do not want to be accused of being disingenuous,” Jacobs explained. “If we go to an aquarium in China and say ‘You guys should not be involved,’ the first thing out of their mouths will be, ‘Well, you did it,’ and we cannot argue that point.”

        Seaworld say that all evidence is old its not like that now, waterworks ended in 2010, so how come there have been 36 incidents between orcas and trainers from 2000 – 2010? That isnt old.

        After the Round table debate where Todd Robeck said” their longevity HAS been worse in the past. Statistically I cannot say we are doing better” why did Seaworld change their posters from the lifespan of Seaworld killer whales is equivalent to those in the wild to The https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=seaworld+lifespan+nearly equal to their wild counterparts. Doesnt that mean they were lyiong to begin with? &client=firefox-a&hs=3A7&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&channel=fflb&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=8OBzVMWZB4LlatKggKgC&ved=0CAoQ_AUoAw&biw=1280&bih=663#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=_weh-yE05GuaoM%253A%3BACP2XcXI0M7ieM%3Bhttps%253A%252F%252Ffbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net%252Fhphotos-ak-xpa1%252Ft1.0-9%252F10342958_10153099908382565_8438818513839641752_n.png%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.cetaceaninspiration.com%252Fblog%252F%3B960%3B960

        NOAA says the average lifespan in the wild Lifespan: up to 50-100 years:
        males typically live for about 30 years, but can live as long as 50-60 years;
        females typically live about 50 years, but can live as long as 100 years. Would you say NOAA is less experienced that a Seaworld trainer??? http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/cetaceans/killerwhale.htm

        I could go on and on but the point I am trying to make is you need to stop looking to Seaworld as your source of information, I don’t look to Blackfish as the source for mine. There are plenty of governing bodies and official papers out there where you can check everything. I suggest you do as you say the same things over and over and they are incorrect.

        Bottom line is if Seaworld did right by those orcas and got them into a netted bay and let the trainers then become caretakers there would be no problem. Whilst Seaworld’s old suits dig in their heels their demise will be their own doing.

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      You want evidence of the nonsense propagated by the Blackfish producers and CNN?
      Read carefully. Then go to SeaWorld and see for yourself.

      http://da15bdaf715461308003-0c725c907c2d637068751776aeee5fbf.r7.cf1.rackcdn.com/adf36e5c35b842f5ae4e2322841e8933_4-4-14-updated-final-of-blacklist-list-of-inaccuracies-and-misleading-points.pdf

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    What a great article on the truth behind SeaWorld. SeaWorld does a ton of good stuff! 🙂

    The animals that SeaWorld cares for are some of the luckiest in the world.

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    It’s amazing to me how many people have been “tricked” by PETA. They will go to any lengths to create pawns for their misguided cause. Having different opinions about topics like the pros and cons of Zoos and aquariums is great as it causes us all to use critical thinking. Using lies and manipulation to gather “followers” is nothing short of social terrorism. I’m not saying to support either side of this topic but I am saying DON”T SUPPORT TERRORISM!

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      not everyone protesting Seaworld support PETA. Some as in myself also contact PETA to ask them to explain Maya. Don’t believe what you read that we are all guided by them.

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