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The Tragedy Of Loro Parque

July 18, 2011

Dawn Brancheau was the first SeaWorld trainer killed by a killer whale. But she wasn’t the first trainer killed by a SeaWorld killer whale.

Exactly two months before she died, on February 24, 2010, a SeaWorld killer whale on loan to Loro Parque in the Canary Islands killed trainer Alexis Martinez. I explored Dawn Brancheau’s death in an Outside story called The Killer In The Pool. And now, in a story at Outside Online, I dig deep into the death of Martinez, using extensive interviews with his fiance and family, and information from confidential documents, to explore the tragedy.

Alexis Martinez and Keto, the SeaWorld whale that would eventually kill him.

I came away understanding much better the inherent dangers of being in the water with killer whales at marine parks, how hard it is to expect that trainers will always make the correct decision given the myriad subjective decisions they must make when they are working with highly intelligent, and highly variable, marine mammals, and how dire the consequences are once a killer whale decides it has had enough.

I also came away thinking that the death of Alexis Martinez is directly relevant to the current dispute between SeaWorld and OSHA regarding the safety of killer whale entertainment.

I look forward to hearing your comments and feedback on the story, and to following up on some of the issues raised in the story here on my blog.

Here’s the intro:

AT 11:25 A.M. ON DECEMBER 24, 2009, Estefanía Luis Rodriguez’s cell phone rang. Rodriguez, 25, is an earnest, friendly young woman who works as a pharmacy technician near the coastal town of Puerto de la Cruz, on the north coast of Tenerife in Spain’s Canary Islands. She glanced at the caller ID and saw that it was her fiancé, Alexis Martínez, a killer whale trainer at a nearby zoological park called Loro Parque, one of the largest tourist attractions in the islands. Loro Parque displays everything from birds and dolphins to sea lions and, as of 2006, four orcas it had been loaned by SeaWorld.

Rodriguez and Martínez, 29, had been together seven years, after meeting at a friend’s party, and had moved into an apartment together three months earlier. She adored Martínez, who was handsome, generous, funny, and, in his spare time, played guitar in a band, Inerte. He’d been working nonstop with the killer whales at Loro Parque’s Orca Ocean to prepare for a special Christmas show. 

When Rodriguez answered, however, it wasn’t Martínez on the phone. The caller was Orca Ocean supervisor Miguel Diaz, using Martínez’s phone. He told Rodriguez that Martínez had been involved in an incident with a killer whale but that he would be fine, that he was being taken to the University Hospital in San Cristóbal de La Laguna, about 20 miles away. Rodriguez immediately called Martínez’s family and then joined his mother, Mercedes, to rush to the hospital. 

In the car, Rodriguez was deeply apprehensive. For months, Martínez had been telling her that all was not well at Orca Ocean, that there was a lot of aggression between the killer whales and that they sometimes refused to obey commands, disrupting training and the shows. After starting in Loro Parque’s penguin and dolphin displays, Martínez had begun as a killer whale trainer in 2006. As he gained experience, according to Rodriguez, he began to fret about safety, and he twice contemplated leaving the job. Preparing for the Christmas show only added to the stress. “I’m so tired,” Rodriguez recalls Martínez telling her. “That’s OK, everyone is tired from work,” she’d responded. He shook his head. “My job is especially risky, and I really need to be well rested and ready. With everything that is going on, something could happen at any time.”

You can read the whole story, and watch some exclusive behind-the-scenes video from Loro Parque, here.

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31 Comments leave one →
  1. July 25, 2011 4:54 pm

    We call them wild animals for a reason. They should remain in the wild and not used for our entertainment. It is ignorant of us to believe that because an animal is trained to jump through hoops on command that they have automatically forfeited their wild animal tendencies. What’s your stance on this story?

  2. August 25, 2013 5:55 pm

    SeaWorld is looking more and more like a villain. Hopefully, the public will see this and demand a stop to captive marine mammals.

  3. francesco permalink
    October 17, 2013 1:28 pm

    le orche sono animali splendidi enormi, sicuri, affascinanti, intelligenti ma sono nati liberi non in cattività, quindi lasciamoli liberi……………..

  4. brian hughes permalink
    October 20, 2013 5:51 am

    Just back from a week in Tenerife, including a blinding day out at Loro Park. Then I read this story. While I’ve no dispute with the good work done by zoos in maintaining safety net populations, or conditions at the habitat for the 4 performing orca, the question has to be: What happens when their performing days are over? I’m definitely not 100% happy with the existence of captive marine animal shows.

  5. matt permalink
    November 23, 2013 6:42 am

    why go then brian – your just feeding their banks – ppl stop going – mammals get to stay in their natural habitat

  6. Jason permalink
    November 26, 2013 3:18 pm

    When the killer whales first got to loro park the tanks they keep them in was nt up to standards but the park would nt fix them straight away cause they wanted the whales to start making them money straight away the whales was also biting the rocks in the tanks and was causing the whales health problems and they say the look after them yeah looks like it

  7. February 17, 2014 4:55 pm

    I have assume a total dumb-ass runs: https://www.facebook.com/LoroParqueOrcas

  8. shawn permalink
    April 12, 2014 4:41 pm

    Ridiculous for people to hold sea world accountable for this the animals may have came from sea world but bottom line by the parks own admission is they were not ready for the whales the trainers did not have training like sea world trainers so please quit blaming sea world how about we blame the owner of loro parque who bought whales he could not handle.

    Sea world saves thousands of animals. They do way more than what any of you wannabe animal activists do when it comes to helping animals. Not to mention they have created more love and respect for the killer whale, not to mention understanding it is because of them that people are even concerned about the well being of creatures such as the killer whale without the shamu show you people wouldn’t even mention anything about killer whales.

    So please raise up of your better than anyone horse and respect an organization that is in the forefront of saving animals and helping people to love killer whales and other sea animals. Grow up and get over yourself.

    • Shame-on-u Show permalink
      June 28, 2014 10:34 am

      @Shaun If the orcas belonged to LP then I would agree with you, but Seaworld sent them there on a loan and was largely responsible for setting up ‘Orca Ocean’, including building the facility and training the trainers, so I personally don’t think they can just avoid any of the blame. Especially if (1) the trainers weren’t experienced enough to work with the dysfunctional pod, (2) if the orcas Seaworld sent were all from different pods (the 2 young females, who were supposed to breed at LP and become mothers, were actually removed from their own mothers at SW in order to be sent to LP!) and (3) for sending Keto, a young dominant male, who was being moved to his fourth different facility in 7 years.
      This artificial pod – created by Seaworld – became dysfunctional, resulting in signs of bullying and aggression by the more dominant males.

      And the shamu show is a farce, the only reason they call the orcas by the name ‘shamu’ is to hide how many that have died. If you actually think you have respect for these animals by enjoying their confinement within a swimming pool and participation in circus shows every day, then it is you that needs to do some growing up.

      • Shawn permalink
        June 28, 2014 2:24 pm

        I will make this easy for you because I see you didnt bother to answer about how many animals sea world saves. You also did not reply to the fact that if not for sea world no one would have any knowledge about killer whales in the first place. There would be no free willy movies and you would not be writing about the so called poor animals confined at sea world. Sea world made it possible for people to see and learn about these animals. Meanwhile whale hunters and poschers are out slaughtering them to the point where they might be on an extinction list soon. If you want to do good for these animals why not fight poaching?

        You energy is focused in the wrong place. I can see you dont do research very well my name is clearly writtin in the post and spelled shawn not shaun so if you dont bother to reply to me correctly what makes me think you know what your talking about when it comes to the trajedy at loro parque.

        Sea world saves thousands of animals and brings attention to these animals. By the way animals die we die so shamu has become a household name and that is why they keep the name period. It is a name people know even on the off hand chance that a person might every see one in the wild they will associate it with shamu. So please dont try to make everything so sinister. My son loves killer whales because of sea world same with lions and tigers that he saw at the zoo. If you by a dog from someone or a store or the pound, that animal becomes your responsibility so make the correct accomodations to support that animal if you do not then dont go blaming the place you bought it from for inadequate behavior. These are large wild animals so to bring them to show people and have trainers and such work with them expect trajedies, and as a trainer you know the risks sea world or any other park really does not have to explain the risk it is common sense you are getting in the water with a killer whale.

        While it is sad it is much like a soldier who signs up for the army you know what you are signing up for. So dont begin to blame sea world for this or any other trajedy. There is a risk you take if you dont want to get in a car accident dont become a demolition derby driver. Quit with i blame my parents or its because of tv ideaology. This is the true farse grow up and take responsibilities for your own actions. We dont arrest the parents of a murderer we arrest the murderer. So again grow up and if your really concerned about killer whales please i invite you to do half as much as sea world has done when it comes to saving animals. Rather than sit here talking about them get up and get a boat and go out and save some animals. Dont look to others make a change yourself. Period

      • Shame-on-u Show permalink
        June 29, 2014 8:51 am

        Hi Shaun…

        Let me first state I do not have any desire to see Seaworld close down (not that it will), it is obviously a valuable employer (although its a shame they don’t pay tax) and they do some good conservation work (very little to do with orcas though, which is what this discussion is about). Although it should be stated they are an entertainment company and less than 0.1% of their revenue goes towards conservation, the vast majority of profits go back to its investors.

        But what has the number of animals Seaworld saves have to do with the treatment of orcas in captivity? Your tactic, like most pro-captivity supporters, is one of diversion as you seem to not want to focus on core subject.

        “You also did not reply to the fact that if not for sea world no one would have any knowledge about killer whales in the first place.”
        – Then I’ll reply to this now.. this argument is true but for decades ago! I could make the argument NOW that if it weren’t for biologists studying wild orca you wouldn’t know much, or anything, about their social structures, dialects, life spans, hunting habits, eco-types, natural diets etc.. If your only knowledge was gained from see them in a swimming pool then your knowledge of orca would be extremely limited.
        And if you really want to make an argument that dates back to Seaworld’s early days, then you’ll know Seaworld were responsible for a high number of wild orcas being killed in order to fill up their tanks (it was only an out-of-court settlement between Seaworld and the state of Washington that saved the Southern Residents population, but then Seaworld went to Iceland to capture more orcas..).

        I would like to know what you have learned about orcas by going to Seaworld? (other than what they look like, how high they can jump and how big a splash they can make).

        “Meanwhile whale hunters and poschers are out slaughtering them to the point where they might be on an extinction list soon. If you want to do good for these animals why not fight poaching?”
        – Do you not realize that a number of organizations that are against captivity of cetaceans are also protesting the capture and killing of cetaceans around the world. Yet I have not heard of ONE pro-captivity person or ANY marine park that has spoken out about this! Did you know the Southern Residents orca population is on the endangered species list – the same population that had their numbers drastically reduced by the likes of Seaworld in the 60’s and 70’s -http://www.orcahome.de/impact.htm – and lets remember Seaworld has done business with the Japanese drive hunts in the past and only recently has paid to have beluga whales captured from the wild in Russia.

        “By the way animals die we die so shamu has become a household name and that is why they keep the name period. It is a name people know even on the off hand chance that a person might every see one in the wild they will associate it with shamu.”
        – So in other words it’s a clever marketing ploy by Seaworld to use the name Shamu.. Why not just treat them as individuals that they are, rather than mask their real identity? And do you know history of the original Shamu (and her mom)? They probably don’t teach you that at Seaworld..

        “My son loves killer whales because of sea world same with lions and tigers that he saw at the zoo”
        – Did your son watch the lions and tigers performing tricks at the zoo? Were they jumping through a hoop? Were the lions and tigers confined to a completely unnatural environment such as a barren concrete cell?

        “If you by a dog from someone or a store or the pound, that animal becomes your responsibility so make the correct accomodations to support that animal if you do not then dont go blaming the place you bought it from for inadequate behavior.”
        – The key word here is BUY. If I hand over my pet for someone to look after (not sell, just take care of for awhile), then I am responsible for ensuring that person has sufficient experience and the necessary requirements to care of the animal to a high enough standard. Seaworld are still the owners of the 4 orcas they sent to Loro Parque (and Morgan) – they were sent there on a breeding LOAN, they weren’t sold like you are suggesting in your analogy. Seaword were even largely responsible for setting up the ‘Orca Ocean’ facility and training the orca trainers, so I find it odd you think Seaworld are relived of ANY responsibility to what happens to the orcas or the trainers working with them.

        “These are large wild animals so to bring them to show people and have trainers and such work with them expect trajedies, and as a trainer you know the risks sea world or any other park really does not have to explain the risk it is common sense you are getting in the water with a killer whale.”
        – Yes they are wild animals but if people expect tragedies, then all the more reason for these animals not to be there and for trainers not to get into the water with them. ‘Water work’ after all serves no real purpose other than exploitation of the animal for profit.

        “While it is sad it is much like a soldier who signs up for the army you know what you are signing up for. So dont begin to blame sea world for this or any other trajedy.”
        – But this is not like a soldier going into battle.. in war both sides consist of soldiers that signed up to fight. ‘Marine’ parks consist of 2 sides, but only ONE side volunteered to be there..
        Yes of course there are risks to being an ‘animal trainer’, but there should not even be a need for a killer whale trainer; they should be there to provide husbandry care, not for ‘water work’ which only exploits the animal for entertainment purposes.. The reason these jobs exist is because of the captivity industry which is fueled by greed.

        “We dont arrest the parents of a murderer we arrest the murderer.”
        – If you use the analogy of murderer, it’s interesting to look at the psychology of a murderer, their history and the environment they live in. Yes people have to take responsibility for their own actions, but often their psyche (and ultimately their actions) are a result of growing up within dysfunctional family life and the pressures within society, just as captive orcas are often part of a dysfunctional society, or pod, and their aggression is likely borne out of depression and frustration. So yes, you should blame the parents of murders, to some degree, if the parents failed to do their job properly, just like marine parks should take the blame for the action of orcas in their parks (especially when their staff are in the pool with them getting them to perform tricks and the animals are moved around from park to park and don’t grow up in a stable social structure).

        “i invite you to do half as much as sea world has done when it comes to saving animals. Rather than sit here talking about them get up and get a boat and go out and save some animals.”
        – Will I need to start by first capturing animals and killing the ones I don’t need? Will I need to buy myself a harpoon? Will my back garden swimming pool be sufficient to keep a small dolphin? Maybe I can teach it some tricks to the paying public and I can then use this money to save some turtles…

      • Shawn permalink
        June 29, 2014 1:46 pm

        Hello,

        Am very happy for your well thought out and detailed response. Finally some very good responses. Ones that were inteligent and made me think. So please allow me to respond.

        I want to start with the end of your statement. What i found most intriguing about the end where your suggestions of what you should do in order to save animals, you are going off of years ago what sea world (even they where not sea world during the time you are avidly pointing out) but back then people where ignorant and much like racism animal cruelty played a huge part of society. While we still have those evil acts present in todays society there are a variety of organizations that make make it hard for that to continue especially in big corporations. Times have changed and we as people have definately made huge strides in changing patterns and behaviors such as racism and animal cruelty especially here in the states.

        So your argument about the past well we could also say coca cola used to use real cocaine in their ingredients so do we ban them from our society and talk about what they did in the past. We could say that because of their use of cocaine they contributed to an epidemic of cocaine users and they are to blame.

        So lets just leave the past where it is and lets turn to future and present times. Let we discuss how you continue to have this blame the parents and tv idealogy. Please name for me cases were a criminal is not charged and instead they arrest his parents. Listen parents and tv while they may be influences children still grow up and while some parts of our though process may be a product of circumstances, or parents or what have you we still are given free will we still have our own minds we still make our own decisions in the end. No matter how you word it in the end the decision falls on us to make so please this blaming society or parents for our sort comings is a farse and an excuse to shift blame.

        Animals on loan regardless does not change the fact of loro parque had a responsibility and is trying to shift the blame to sea world. The animals are regardless coming to your park, your audience ultimately your staff will be responsible so dont rely on sea world who is based miles away to come and do everything for you. Provide for me the contract amd show me where sea world signed that said they will do everything for loro parque then we can talk blame, until then let loro parque grow up a little and get the blame they deserve for not taking the time to do what they needed to do to ensure the safety of the whales, their park, and their staff. In the end they should have asked more questions but seems they were eager for a profit. Perhaps if as you suggest it was a mixed pod maybe loro parque should have done some research about the animals they were accepting on loan. If they had that much concern for the park, people or staff they would have i know as a business owner when i do something i dont care where it comes from i do my homework to make sure of how it will affect my business, my staff and my customers.

        Now about sea world and my son here is my point because of sea world and the love my son has for them he will grow up more aware of orcas, perhaps he will love them so much one day he will be just like you and want to free all the animals at sea world and do the whole free willy bit but if he does that it will be because he first found love for these majestic animals at sea world. So try to to forget that in your condemnation of a park that will have this affect on millions of people globally.

        And i truly hope sea world does not close or be forced to get rid of there show because these animals stand a chance because of how many people they have infuenced to learn about and love these animals. Which is something you and all your other free willy team members refuse to acknowledge or understand.

        Captivity seems harsh in some ways i truly agree with you but i will not place a false blame on sea world for the trajedies that have occured because they have done a lot to prevent and continue to do so. It is a killer whale and am sorry but the truth is these things will happen as the park and whales learn to co exist and become familar with each other it is a process and will take time. Some people have animals as pets that live a captive life and snap and chew on a kid i know i was attacked by my own dog when i was only eight. So i have experienced this first hand.

        Again your heart may be in the right place as captive animals is hard when you love animals but am sorry friend it is our way of life and in some cases actually does good in a variety of ways. Chimps are captive and tortued but in the end it provides a ton of research to help humans. Do i agree with it no but the only thing we can do is weigh the good vs the bad decide if it is worth it the end and make sure these places be as humane as possible.

        Harsh sounding perhaps but a lot of good had come from sea world in a lot of ways and they comtinue to accomadate the demand to be more humane and safe. So dont just list the bad lets talk about the good they have done to. And give people all the information so everyone can come together and make an informed decision about sea worlds orca progam.

        You do not do that you just go by one side and refuse to acknowledge the other that is not how we do it here there is two sides and we have a responsibilty to give both sides an ear and not just go on our own ambitions this another trajedy that happens all to often in our society.

      • Shame-on-u Show permalink
        June 30, 2014 4:08 pm

        “Times have changed and we as people have definately made huge strides in changing patterns and behaviors such as racism and animal cruelty especially here in the states.”
        – Seaworld had orcas in their possession for many years, so knew they were intelligent highly social creatures, yet STILL they continued to capture them in Iceland when they could no longer do this off the US coast. They then were involved in the bloody drive hunts in Japan working to obtain captured false killer whales (which they traded for the wild caught orca, Gudrun, at Harderwijk dolphinarium). And just a few years ago paid to have young beluga whales captured off the coast of Russia…so you say ‘times have changed’ but the evidence suggests otherwise. The only reason Seaworld stopped capturing orcas is because they knew they wouldn’t get an import permit (and they -along with Georgia and Shedd Aquariums- were denied a permit by NOAA to import the captured belugas).

        In regards to the parenting analogy, I wasn’t talking about SHIFTING blame, just that I believe how people turn out have a lot to do with the environment they are brought up in…and therefore parents DO have some degree of responsibility. But yes, ultimately people are responsible for their own actions, but it’s not always that ‘black and white’. Likewise, Seaworld and Loro Parque should both take the blame for what happens with the orcas. You also make the assumption that in general terms only the ‘buyer’ is responsible for a product, but this is not true; the seller also has standard of conduct they should adhere to (which I personally believe Seaworld failed by loaning this mixed group of unstable young orcas to be looked after by inexperienced trainers, which resulted in the death of one trainer, 2 rejected births and death of one orca).

        Why do you make the assumption I want to ‘free all the animals at Seaworld’. I know full well most captive orcas can never be released back into the wild. I do, however, find it ironic that you enjoy seeing animals perform tricks in a tank and pretend to respect them, yet make the comment ‘do the whole free willy bit’ – this just shows your true colors perfectly. You try to mock people for wanting to remove an animal from such terrible conditions, and one who only had months to live, and was then given an extra 8 or 9 years of life and a chance to experience the open ocean again. If it was just down to people like you, Keiko would have died in that disgusting tank in Mexico City – is that the outcome you would have preferred?

        It’s a bizarre thing to suggest that your son might want to free the animals by watching them at Seaworld! If he saw them in their natural habitat then I can understand why he might feel that way. Only by learning about wild orcas can you TRULY understand what incredible animals they are – by seeing them in tank you are only seeing a fraction of what that animal is really all about.

        “And i truly hope sea world does not close or be forced to get rid of there show because these animals stand a chance because of how many people they have infuenced to learn about and love these animals. Which is something you and all your other free willy team members refuse to acknowledge or understand.”
        – The problem with this argument is that this ‘love’ and ‘influence’ you refer to has shown no evidence that it actually helps orcas in the wild. The problems wild orcas face is not improving, yet orcas have been in captivity for 50 or 60 yrs! It isn’t Seaworld that is researching issues affecting wild orca conservation, it isn’t Seaworld that is going to court to fight against increased US Navy exercises which threatens thousands of marine animals, it isn’t Seaworld that is out there fighting against whalers and the Japanese drive hunts. And the people that are involved in all of the above are certainly not influenced by seeing someone ride on top of an orca in a swimming pool.

        “Captivity seems harsh ”
        – That’s because it is and there’s no denying it. And please don’t use the pet/domesticated animal analogy; it does nothing to defend or justify the practice of captivity.

        “Chimps are captive and tortued but in the end it provides a ton of research to help humans.”
        – I assume you are referring to animal testing, which I am also against, however I can obviously see why some people are in favor of this. However, with research on captive orcas, there really has been little. if anything, to help their wild counterparts, so your comparison with animal testing is pretty weak.

        “Harsh sounding perhaps but a lot of good had come from sea world in a lot of ways and they comtinue to accomadate the demand to be more humane and safe.”
        – What good has come from keeping orcas captive in the last few decades? What improvements have Seaworld made to make the living environment for orcas more humane? Do you personally think a barren sterile concrete swimming pool is an adequate living environment for an orca, or any intelligent marine mammal for that matter? Likewise would you think acceptable to keep a captive land animal, such as an elephant, in just a barren concrete cell?

        “And give people all the information so everyone can come together and make an informed decision about sea worlds orca progam.”
        – What information do you want to provide me with regarding Seaworld’s orca program? Is there something I’m missing?

      • Shawn permalink
        July 1, 2014 12:59 am

        Hello,

        First let me thank you very much for your replies. Its is great reading through your responses and your analogies. However i have got to start by talking first about my son and what I meant because I don’t think you see the connection I am trying to get to too.

        So lets start by saying my son loves the killer whale because he was able to see one at Sea World. Its not like Killer whales are common sight to witness. One cant just get a boat go out into the ocean and expect to see one live and in person. So with that being said my son now watches documentaries on whales. Your favorite movie Blackfish is included in that. He sits for hours at a time watching movies and documentaries about Killer whales. Just to answer your question sea world didn’t make any of these movies he watches. As i mentioned blackfish is one, free willy one two and three are some of the others. Then there is another one about the killer whales intelligence and hunting habits in the ocean. So to say it is ridiculous that my son could go the other way and start demanding sea world to put the whales back in the ocean is a unintelligent comment.

        Because my son loves this whale he seeks to see this whale in everything he possibly can, he soaks up information, majority coming from your idol films like blackfish because we do not go to sea world everyday. I still watch these films almost daily because how much my son wants to see them. So it is very possible and highly logical actually that my son could very possibly grow up wanting to free willy because of the knowledge he is getting from these films.

        I do not deny my son to watch the movies i allow it because even though I have my personnel opinion about sea world and the orca show, i will never deny my son both sides of any story. However, I will remind him one day should it arise of where he first saw this whale and where he first fell in love with this animal. So again ridiculous to believe my son could someday be outside with the free will picket crew I don’t think it is impossible for that to happen he spends more time with the stretched over dramatic film blackfish then he does watching these animals leap and splash guests at sea world.

        So now lets talk about the whale in free willy for a moment because I find it interesting that after all the hype and all the talk about freeing willy he died in the wild. Strange you yourself mention that freeing the whales could be potentially dangerous for the animals. Interesting….so what would you have sea world do then? If releasing them is dangerous and keeping them is inhumane what should they do?

        Build pens in the ocean perhaps? And try to reintegrate them to ocean life? And what pods would they join? Assume it would not be their natural family so it would be mixed pods right? But that would be ok in the ocean to do right? Just sea world shouldn’t do that? And who would pay for this reintegration process? Building the pens, monitoring the animals all that ties into that? Should the tax payers? Or perhaps sea world right? So shut down their number one attraction and have them pay for it? Thats fair right, forget all the employees or the other animals that need care. Perhaps lets just bankrupt sea world for this project pit more people on the unemployment line , while were at it lets release the rest of the animals to but wait wont they need a reintegration process too?

        Or hey lets just forget the whole reintegration thing and lets just make sea world shut down the orca show and let the whales just swim around the pools because they cant go back to the ocean so let we build them at least a bigger pool to swim around in. Mmmm but wait sea world just lost their main attraction so again money gets tight and we go right back to the same scenario I just mentioned above.

        So am curious with all this complaints you are going on and on about sea world with what is it you want from them. Again I have to mention this because all this just funny to me and really lacking a whole lot of common sense. With all the research and all your free willy team of experts and documentary blackfish and protests of sea world and going to great lengths to stop the show you and your team still have not done anything close to what sea world has dome as far as saving ocean life. Turtles or not turtles as you mentioned in one of your replies I would venture to say you haven’t saved one turtle from a fish net after all this badgering of sea world. So again please my friend when you are doing things to save so much as a star fish in the ocean then your opinion will be more respected.

        As for me my friend I actively am involved in doing something. I own my own charity organization, i have a magazine dedicated to charities and giving back to our communities. So while i love sea world and really appreciate them providing me the opportunity to see these majestic animals up close when I otherwise may not have had the chance to see them in all their glory as you suggest in the wild, i find it funny even if I were opposed to them and the orca show the opposition has no solution to the problem they complain about. Its just a bunch of look at sea world they are so evil make them stop. Mmmm ok and then what?

        Your whole complaint is a bit over the top to begin with seeing as how you and your whole nation of free willy team members will never ever come close to doing anything remotely close to saving animals the way sea world has on any level. You guys probably haven’t saved one dog from the street let alone helped a whale caught in a net that needed to get free. Sea world has and its documented on film with the boat crews headed out in sea world shirts spending hours to free a whale caught. They have an entire channel dedicated to showing sea world and the life saving efforts the do in the ocean. Direct me to your channel i will be happy to take a loo. Please no more blackfish seen it a dozen times and still nothing on there about saving any animal only bad mouthing a entity that is out with their own boats and crews saving sea life daily.

        You guys kill me with your holier than though attitude and yet have done nothing but complain and try to destroy the reputation of a company that has done more in a day than you guys have combined in your entire lifetime. Get a clue people. Do something first then talk get on that level then talk. You don’t even see how a kid who loves killer whales could want to grow up saving them. Really? Am sorry I really enjoy these chats but cmon man apply some common sense to your bad mouthing of an entity that has done more than you. Regardless of how you say they got there regardless of the show you don’t like they still have saved more animals than you period. Anyway you slice it face reality. You guys don’t have a plan for these animals you don’t have the resources or money for any kind of attempt to do anything about these captive animals. Just a whole lot of look at the monster sea world. You don’t have the garlic or the stake to slay the so called vampire.

        So am sorry but after all this conversation all you have done is pretty much what you guys always do even in your wannabe blockbuster movie of the year blackfish all you have is complaints and a sign that says sea world is a monster. So my last question is what is it you want from sea world, encourage people to not go there ok then who takes of the animals that are currently there? Who feeds them if you cut sea worlds tourists? Who teaches them how to get back into the wild? Who pays for it? Even me going to sea world is doing more than you at the very least my money goes to help feed the animals there while you and your posse of so called animal activists would stop sea worlds tourism and either have them starve or take there chances in the wild.

        So no i think i’ll pass on your anti sea world revolution and take my son there this weekend so we can enjoy seeing this animal that we normally would not see, and do a lil to at least help these animals stay feed and with facility’s and vet care.

        Pointing fingers at the so called monster is not enough what is the goal and your plan to achieve that goal? Great talking to you

      • Shame-on-u Show permalink
        July 1, 2014 4:31 pm

        You called me up on not answering one of your questions earlier but, what a surprise, you didn’t bother to answer ANY of my questions in my previous post! If you want people to take your argument seriously, then that’s a pretty poor showing.

        I don’t want to comment or pass judgement on your son, although it has to be said, even though you spent paragraph after paragraph on your son’s interest in orcas, it does nothing counter the arguments that the keeping of orcas in captivity is inhumane and does nothing to help conservation of wild orcas. And there are of course many people that have never seen a captive orca at a marine park yet still have huge respect for these animals, so your opinion that you have to see an orca in person to either learn about them or love them is simply not true.
        My philosophy is that if you want to see these animals, then go to where they live; it is disrespectful to force them to come to you. And yes there are opportunities to see orcas in the natural habitat, it just requires you to save up and travel (same as most people do in order to visit Seaworld). If you don’t want to do this then fine, but don’t make the animal suffer.

        “So to say it is ridiculous that my son could go the other way and start demanding sea world to put the whales back in the ocean is a unintelligent comment.”
        – When did I say that?

        “he soaks up information, majority coming from your idol films like blackfish”
        – When did I say Blackfish is my ‘idol film’? Whilst it is probably the most effective, in my opinion it’s not the best documentary on the subject.

        “So it is very possible and highly logical actually that my son could very possibly grow up wanting to free willy because of the knowledge he is getting from these films!
        – But that has nothing to do with Seaworld – people still watch these films and have no intention of going to a marine park. In fact I would be willing to bet the far majority of people that watch these films do not, or in the future would not, visit a marine park. It’s a shame you base so much of your argument of wanting to have orcas in captivity by using these largely meaningless anecdotal/hypothetical reasons. I can only assume it’s because you don’t have any facts on your side.

        “he spends more time with the stretched over dramatic film blackfish then he does watching these animals leap and splash guests at sea world.”
        – And the Seaworld orca tricks aren’t ‘over dramatic’? These tricks make a mockery of the animals and do nothing to show real appreciation or understanding of these animals. http://groundthinking.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/seaworld.jpg

        ” I find it interesting that after all the hype and all the talk about freeing willy he died in the wild”
        – What is wrong with an orca dying in the wild? Are orcas supposed to die in a heavily chlorinated tank?

        “If releasing them is dangerous and keeping them is inhumane what should they do?”
        – Like I said before, most, if not all, captive orcas can’t be released back into the wild (at least from my understanding), so their living environment needs to drastically improve. For a company that makes around $1.5-2 billion a year in revenue and became a multi-billion dollar company off the captures of orcas, the decent thing to do would be to make the captives orcas living environment much larger and at least try to replicate the ocean to a degree. In the 50 or so years since Seaworld has been profiting from captive orcas, their living environment hasn’t improved significantly.
        And just like what has already happened in 14+ other countries, I would like to see a ban on captive breeding programs for all cetaceans which would in the long term phase out cetaceans in captivity.

        “So shut down their number one attraction and have them pay for it?”
        – You hit the nail on the head. The orcas shows are Seaworld’s number one attraction and as Seaworld Entertainment Plc is are owned by investors they simply don’t want to make the necessary changes which would improve the living conditions of the animals which make them the most money… if it’s going to hit their profits.

        “So am curious with all this complaints you are going on and on about sea world with what is it you want from them. Again I have to mention this because all this just funny to me and really lacking a whole lot of common sense.”
        – I am still curious how you have avoided answering any of my questions.. yet expect me to answer all your questions! But anyway…on with your questions..
        Well in fact I’ve already answered this question above. Did you know the National Aquarium is seriously looking into closing down their dolphin ‘exhibits’ and retiring their dolphins to a seaside sanctuary?

        http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/05/140520-bottlenose-dolphins-national-aquarium-sanctuary-captivity-oceans-science/

        There are other aquariums that have stopped the display of cetaceans and still doing well financially by adapting their business model. You can still educate, inspire and entertain the public without having these animal circus shows.

        ” I would venture to say you haven’t saved one turtle from a fish net after all this badgering of sea world.”
        – You are quite right, I have not saved a turtle in my life. However I am proud to say I have never caused the death or an orca (or human), paid to have animals captured from the wild, confined a wild animal to such an unnatural sterile environment or exploited an animal by getting it to perform unnatural tricks. So my conscience is quite clear.

        “So again please my friend when you are doing things to save so much as a star fish in the ocean then your opinion will be more respected. ”
        – Yet there are organizations and individuals out there whose job it is to study and save marine life and who also share the same opinion as me. So I’m not sure what your point is..

        ” So while i love sea world and really appreciate them providing me the opportunity to see these majestic animals up close when I otherwise may not have had the chance to see them in all their glory as you suggest in the wild,”
        – Are you honestly saying you have NO CHANCE to see these animals in the wild? If that is true (I would guess based on your income) then why have this selfish desire to expect these animals to have to come to you? Why should they be forced to live in a swimming pool just because you can’t afford to travel to see them in the wild?

        “Your whole complaint is a bit over the top to begin with ”
        – So why have 14+ other countries banned the captivity of cetaceans? Are you suggesting these other countries done so ‘on a whim’ and made this decision without any scientific research?

        “free willy team members will never ever come close to doing anything remotely close to saving animals the way sea world has on any level.”
        – Again you mock the decision to free an animal from disgusting conditions, which only had months to live, and was then given another 8 or 9 yrs of life. All your visits to Seaworld certainly haven’t done you any good.
        And I’ve already stated I have no desire to see Seaworld close, they can still save the turtles etc.. without these orca shows.

        “You guys probably haven’t saved one dog from the street let alone helped a whale caught in a net that needed to get free. Sea world has and its documented on film”
        – Is this the film you mention: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUlbZifjoqo

        It’s not even worth me commenting on the rest of your post – it’s just you repeating yourself over and over, showing your ignorance on the subject and doing everything to avoid answering my questions.

      • Shawn permalink
        July 2, 2014 2:43 am

        Please do not think i have failed to reply oh no I will reply just got to your comment late today by tomorrow you will have your response and i promise to address your questions

      • Shawn permalink
        July 3, 2014 2:06 am

        Hello my friend i apologize for the delayed response i got to reading yours very late yesterday and after going through your links and such i was really to tired to post a reply. So sorry to keep you waiting. Also i want to say it is great reading your responses i find them enlightning a bit misguided but enlightning none the less and no I am not being sarcastic that is a very truthful statement.

        I will try to get to most of your comments in this post although there is a lot i could say so I may miss something just remind me and will be sure to touch on it next post.

        So first I must apologize for some of my posts exspecially the last one as i seem to have struck a cord with you. Sometimes i can be a bit strong with my comments so forgive that. I am passionate about what I believe to be right just as you are. Withtjat being said I will still refer to you as the free willy team because quite simply it is a bit comical but really that is best fitting for you. So apologies in advance if it offends you.

        Now on to my response. Lets start with your comments about saving up and the tone you took with those paragraphs about visiting an orca in the wild. I will not begin to stoop to a level of how much I am worth and so on lets just say my bank account is just fine and have a lot of assests worth quite a bit so I will live it at that. I will say i live in beautiful sunny San Diego home of Sea World which is about ten mins from my home as is the beach and a great big blue ocean which I visit quite often. Your statements about financing was a bit disturbing and I will give you the chance to rephrase that because the sound of it really was suggesting that you believe only rich or well off people should be able to see these beautiful animals. Because to be honest sea world tickets are a little over a hundred bucks but the great thing is most of the time people buy a day pass and they get the rest of the yr free or they even now have these financing options available where people can pay as they go. Even the food you can buy this wrist band and eat all day for thirty bucks. So sea world is know where near as expensive as you make it sound. To compare that to traveling to a place where you might find an prca then waiting and waiting and might just spot one or pay someone to take you to a spot where they just might be is far more expensive and time consuming than just paying an easy 180 bucks enjoy orcas, dolphins, turtles, sharks, penguins, polor bears, all day and eat. You could even pay a little more and eat a meal with orcas very close to you. So how much would that cost you in the wild hmmm on a good day where you see the orcas first time out is still more exoensive than going to sea world for a day. Plus again with sea world chances are you will get the rest of the yr free and can go as much as you like. So your argument about people saving for this trip is a bit dramitic as usual. Maybe in old days but not so much anymore sea world is really inexpensive food is not a problem and you know your going to see the whale as opposed to the wild where it is hit or miss.

        Now to even suggest that says to me you dont care if middle class people get to enjoy this animal your plan is just to let the rich and well off enjoy this majestic creature. You want to take that from the middle class who have been able to enjoy the whale many of which fall in love with “shamu” and have donated a lot of money to the conservation and preservation of the orca’s that is what you have missed in my talking to you. I was answering you about conservation but you refuse to believe that people who go to sea world would become so interested in the whale that they may seek out ways to help the whale. I truly believe that after your last remarks you sea world visitors as barbarians who have come to the collisuem to watch the gladiators fight to the death.

        You fail to see that maybe people go to sea world because it is an easy an convienant way to see something they might not have a chance to see in the wild. I suppose with that line of thinking we should just go visit the tigers in their natural habitat, or the polor bears or lions lets just go to see all these animals in their natural habitiat and if you cannot afford to travel the world to see them its just too bad you dont have money you cant do anything to help the animals anyway so you dont need to see them. Thats just the impression i got from your last statement. Again I will give you the chance to correct that or verify that was what you wanted me to take from that.

        Conservation comes in a variety of ways maybe not in the way youthink it should come but a lot of good comes from sea world whether you want to realize it or not. Or admit it or not and it directly helps the orca be it in people spreading their experience and joy of the animal and more people becoming interested in the animal or even encouring people to watch movies that have the whale like free willy which when it first came out at the end of the movie was a number people could call to help the orcas.

        Some people may aspire to be a trainer and then they go to college and end up becoming a marine biologist maybe not working at sea world but out in the ocean with the animals. Inspiration hits people a lot of different ways and not everyone at sea world is some poor barbarian that came to watch blood. Some believe it or not really love this animal and love the chance to just be close to it. Kind of like why people go to the zoo. One to see an animal they may not ever see two to see their favorite animals three to see animals they love. This is why people come to sea world its not everyday you see a killer whale, a polor bear, sharks and all this other animals in one place. Sorry my friend but it is not just rich people who love these animals and again sorry if it upsets you that they choose a very easy accesable way to see beautiful animals.

        Lets talk about the killer whale show itself for a moment. You seem to have this philosophy that the show is inhumane and a circus act as you call it. Well you are good with links me not so much because i could post a ton of links about orcas behavior in the wild, even mention the fact that there are from the same family as dolphins. If you knew about these animals you would understand there are social animals by nature. They are playful animals by nature they play all the time in the wild to include playing with their food. Maybe you never heard of luna the killer whale google that one and you will find they whale just wanted to be around people. Tragic end but again because luna just refused to be any where else but around humans.
        Tons of videos of wild killer whales playing with humans. Seems to be in there nature much like dolphins. So what makes you think they do not enjoy being around humans all the time maybe they find us as fascinating as we do them.

        Funny how people think they can mind read what the animals are thinking. When you can speak orca please translate until such time all the research in the world will not tell you what they are thinking your research only goes so far in The end it is speculation.

        I dont have time to post the links but you and I both know sea world has a ton of rescue workers unlike the video you showed me of the old guy who captured whales a long time ago for sea world google sea world rescue efforts and you find a lot of different people working as rescue workers for sea world doing amazing things but i think that is something you just refuse to research or believe like the visitors who go to sea world you would rather believe the employees to be monsters too. If it is not inline with your belief and speculation on the killer whale then it must be evil right?

        Your way for the rich and wealthy to enjoy this animal is the only right way, sea world doesn’t save animals people who visit there come to watch the torturing of animals, and the show is just inhumane because you know what a naturally social playful animal is thinking.

        Is that a good summary for you. I hope i responded to some of your questions no links here because frankly just way to many to post. I am happy to review your links though but perhaps you should just research the other side a touch before you campaign against them. Just my suggestion talk to you soon

      • July 3, 2014 2:35 am

        P.s

        I think the old guy in that link you sent me is the same guy in blackfish telling the same story. Just wonder how much he is getting paid for that sad story.

        Mean while sea world rescue team is a whole bunch of different people out there everyday saving animals. Funny to me.

        I mean all these sea world trainers except the three in black fish are just monsters right, none of the current trainers seem to take a stand against sea world crazy how that works out bit convenient don’t you think?

        Reminds me of evolution convenient how it has just stopped in monkeys and they are no longer turning into humans.

        Just smoking mirrors played well by blackfish but after all this time only 3 trainers want to speak out against sea world amazing. Funny even the family of Dawn wants nothing to do with that film. They said Dawn died doing what she loved mmmmmm interesting the family wants blackfish to stop using their daughter as a crutch for their own cause imagine that.

        You guys just take it to far the only thing i will give you is sea world should expand hands down I will help you on the picket line all day for that but everything else is smoking mirrors.

      • July 3, 2014 3:06 am

        Or is it just another smoking mirror and you guys using a trajedy to further your own agenda

      • July 4, 2014 12:14 am

        Hello my friend I hope you are well. Again I appreciate your replies and in depth answers. I really do appreciate your answers and read every single word. If you post link i do watch or read them because i feel it is important to understand where you are coming from as best as I can.

        So lets get into it. Let me answer your questions first.

        What have I learned about killer whales by going to sea world? I thought I went through this, is really it is kind of my argument against you. However let me answer this directly. I grew up in southern California and as a kid we would go on family vacations or outings whatever you want to call them. One of the places was sea world. In this time trainers where in the water with the whales, and kids would be selected to come up and get a kiss from “shamu” (my how times have changed) i have to say that I fell in love with these whales right then. i wanted to be a trainer badly. To be close to an animal like that was amazing and beautiful.

        We would take a lot of trips to sea world just to see the whale and the trainers be in the water with this animal. I would ask them all kinds of questions about the whales and what it took to be a trainer. I was like 7 it was a really fin time for me. Because of those experiences much like my son I would watch everything I could about the killer whale. i soaked up information like a sponge but information changes as people learn more much like the dinosaurs what we thought we knew back then changes today.

        I always was learning about these whales and was determined to be a trainer, life changes though and not everyone gets to be what they wanted to be when they were young.

        Anyway when free willy came out I begged my mom for this movie and watched it so much because we couldn’t go to sea world all the time. Because of that I actually had my mom donate to the number at the end of that movie. So as I grew older I wanted to be an oceanographer. I was so inspired by shamu i wanted to discover what other amazing things were in the ocean. Matter of fact its kind of why I live in San Diego now, I love the ocean in an odd way because of shamu. So because of those trainers, shamu, and the fascination of it all I have learned a lot about whales as you suggested for people who couldn’t travel to see these whales the could watch documentaries and things right? Well because of shamu and the trainers I watched these kinds of films and read everything I could about them even wrote extra credit reports in school about them. You asked for evidence of people getting involved in conservation efforts because of the orca show well I am living proof and have donated and even had my family donate to conservation efforts.

        This is something that you really cant prove on paper so to speak not because it doesn’t happen but because it is hard to monitor everyone that leaves sea world and keep track of what the do. Not something you can google ya know. I know i did so if I did it is is safe to assume others kids have done the same. Here in san diego schools have painted orcas on there walls why because its San Diego and sea world has made orca kind of a popular. So kids love this animal and am sure many did the same thing I did as a kid.

        I don’t associate sea world as a monster when it comes to orcas i am very grateful to them for introducing this animal to me some of my fondest memories are of seeing this awesome animal in person. I don’t know if that answers your question but there is something called intangibles which is not something you can put in statistics. Like things in an nba game that happen to move the game in either direction that cant be recorded but can be discussed. Motivation, determination are not stats they are simply human forces that drive a person and you cant put that on paper.

        Question two why did i prefer Keiko die in captivity, lol when did I ever say thats what i preferred to happen. In all honesty I would prefer killer whales to not die at all, what I said was it is just finny to me all the free willy hype was supposed to protect him and keep him alive longer by sending him to the while but it didn’t do that did it. This was supposed to be your great victory story but it backfired and didn’t exactly achieve the results you wanted now did it?

        What good has keeping orcas in captivity done in the past few decades. Well first there is the intangibles I mentioned above but I don’t think you know anything about that kind of thing so let me start with this fact.

        You listed a stat about 14 countries and seem to believe that because 14 countries do something that it is the right thing to do. So here is a stat for you and by your own belief anout fourteen countries and what they did the fact is 90 percent of the american public believe that captivity is essential to education about animals. 90 percent that is an astounding stat from a highly educated country such as the united states.

        So education is one all though there are other ways capitivity provides research that you simply cant get in the wild.

        Now lets talk about the current state of oceans. Do you know how much trash and pollution is in our waters so capitivity protects them from that.

        Then there is poachers and whalers than these whales have to face. So captivity saves them from that.

        Let me give you this as an example, the white rhino has only 8 left of its kind period. Only eight and all of them are in captivity because humans slaughtered them to that point if not for captivity they would all be gone. This is humans this is what we do to animals. These rhinos cannot breed anymore so when they die that will be the end of that animal. Do you suggest we let the orca get to that point and then wish we had done something sooner imagine a world with only eight orcas I bet you would be begging for sea world to preseve what is left then.

        You asked about the concrete pools lol any thing is better than the worst case alternative of only eight orcas left in the world. Sound dramitic maybe but that could easily become reality just like the white rhino is now a reality.

        Hope I answered your questions if more arise please feel free to remind me and I will get to them promptly.

        Now for the rest of your post. I will touch on the comverstaion of sea world and whale watching expense thing. True i did not factor in travel when it comesto sea world because one I live ten mins from sea world but for the other most people when they plan a vaction they dont just come to go to sea world. Usually it is a trip with multiple stops. So I cant really factor that in. However I factored it in for whale watching because it is hit or miss with the whales so you can plan for one day to go see orcas but if you dont see them you might extend your visit and go until you do see them or leave dissapointed. So no matterhow you figure it it is more expensive to go whale watching than spend a day at sea world. Either you may have to extend that trip or you leave unsatisfied and spent your money for nothing.

        Funny how you say life is not fair for the middle class who may not be able to take these trips and you sayit with such cander. So let me return the favor life is not fair for the 53 killer whales in captivity sorry deal with it. Is that the attitude I should take?

        You say you dont force the animal to come to you well if by creationist you mean believe in God then yes I do and God gave us power over the animals period. They are here for us to enjoy, as companions, as food, as entertainment. We have a responsibity to these animals yes but dont ever forget that they fall under us. We are the top of the food chain by design sorry if that hurts your feelings truly but it is a fact. If you dont believe in God that is your right and am not here to argue religion or belief in God.

        I do not believe in mistreatment of animals for that I agree about building a bigger facility at sea world. However i do believe that this animal in captivity does a lot for research and provides a lot of people with love for this animal. Otherwise no one would even mention the orca. Sea world made them famous like it or not. Admit it or not it is the truth and without sea world you wouldnt even know keiko, or any other Killer Whale and neither would anyone else at least not on the level that orcas are known for now.

        You talk about how sea world wants us to believe that orcas are soft friendly animals and say that is what caused the guy to jump in an pool of orcas on one hand then in the same breath invite people to witness them in the wild in all there glory…..mmmmmm well if them being friendly and people friendly is a misconception and a controlled environment like sea world is not safe what on earth would make me want to go to the ocean and see them where they are not in anyway domesticated?

        So your upset because sea world wants the world to see these whales as loving human friendly playful creatures and you want people to see them as the name killer whale suggests. Lol interesting argument I wonder which way will get more people involved in conservation efforts more.

        You ask why do o have to see an animal at all. Lol really? So now people are not curious to see a lion or a cheetah or a killer whale, people should not be curious about what we share this earth with, people should not want to see these different species uplcose and experience what they are like. People if they want to see them should put there life in danger and go see a lion in an unprotected environment? Lol really guy come on get over it please people will always want to see this and you will never change that ever you are dreaming if you think you can, so when my son watches shark tales on tv and wants to see a shark I should take him to the wild and let him see it lol yeah that sound safe to me. You went way left field with that comment it was crazy and really funny to even put thatout there. Killing me withthat one.

        As for jealousy of sea world yes it is not so far fetched that people hate sea world because they are successful inwhat they do that people would want to put an end to that. Misery loves company.

        Whats wrong with your article. Lol ok funny that you dont know why the family would not approve well for starters same reason dawns family does not approve of Blackfish funny how the first thing you mention in your article is Dawn but have no respect for her family. They dont want you or the free willy team using her as an excuse for your personnel mission. Have they not made that clear google it please and learn about it show some respect for the familys wishes. They do not blame sea world so quite using their daughters unfortunate and untimely accident as fuel for your fire.

        Second you don’t care about dawn or alexis your first words are about sea world not them. You dont go into their life or how they were loved or how theyloved what they did. You go straight to firing shots at sea world. Please quit pretending you care about these people. You care only about the orca and stopping them from entertaining people. Its not about alexis and dawn if it was your first words would not have anything to do with sea world other than thats what they did for a living and they loved doing it. Respect them and their life choices and their families wishes. Do you anti orca show on your own time and stop using them as a crutch to reach people because without them you have nothing to say, that is why you and blackfish half to use them its all you have and the family said they want nothing to do withit thats why you didnt bother to address that issue when I stated it in my last post.

        I will tell you it is selfish of you to say you are concerned about the whales and then say pele dont have even the right to want to see these animals. It is selfish of you to include the dead who dont have a voice or say either way in your pursuit of the place they chose to work and loved working at. You tirn around and say trainers are ignorant then in the same breath sAy ohh poor dawn and alexis. Were they not trainiers at sea world? Are these the same people you just called ignorant? Please quit pretending you care about them when its obvious you only care to use what happened to them as a ploy to accomplish your selfish mission.

        Am very eager to see how you will back out of rhis one please dont word play me. i am a author and I know you cant write in one breath and say look at what happened to these poor people who worked for sea world then call them ignorant. Really look forward to your response

      • July 8, 2014 5:48 pm

        Hello,

        Apologize for the late response wasenjoying forth of july with the fam at Disneyland. Hope you enjoyed yours if you even celebrate forth of july. If not hope you had a good weekend.

        With that being said lets get to your comments. What have I learned by seeing the killer whales in captivity. Well I have learned a lot more than the average person who has never seen a killer whale at all. And please dont start with researchers and blah blah blah I stated average person who like me didnt have any clue about killer whales until I visited Sea world.

        i will start with their social habits, it is clear from sea world that orcas are very social animals. I dont think even you can dispute that fact and the truth is I learned it from sea world. Again before sea world most people dont have an interest in killer whales so they dont bother to watch documentaries or even researchthe animal because simply put there is no interest in order to do the things you suggest there must first be an interest. Sea world sparked that in a huge way so be frateful for that atleast.

        Second I learned about dorsal fin collapse. Something I never heard of before. Sea world tells there story and you will have your story as to why ot happens. Truth isit happens to killer whales in captivity and in the ocean. Maybe more so in captivity but it does happen in the wild and that is something I noticed you anti sea world people dont mentionto often you love to mentionit when it comes to sea world but not so much when it happens in the wild. I guess it is easy to target 53 orcas in captivity rather then the large population in the wild. Lot mor whales out there to boost your percentages than 53 in the wild. Funny how you guys play games like that when it fits your cause.

        I learned about there hunting habits. Not something you get to see in capitivity but I imagine unless you are tracking these animals daily you wouldnt get to see much of that on a whale watching tour either. However sea world trainers explain they are intelligent hunters and really dont have predators in the ocean.

        I learned they are from the same family as dolphins at sea world again not something most people know. Most people do not use the world orca most people say killer whale. The word whale causes most people to not even think of them as dolphins.

        By seeing them upclose you get a feel for how big they really are, I also got to see how beatiful they are. On a whale watching tour you might not get to see that, most likely an average whale watcher on a tour would get to see (if they saw anything at all) would be the whale breaching for a second or two then its gone and most likely it would be way in the distance and not close enough to really enjoy the animal.

        So i know your rebuttle to this already, you will say something to the effect that most of what I mentioned can be learned by watching a documentary or even a guided whale watching tour. Problem with that is one as I mentioned interest in the animal most people on average had it not been for sea world would not have been interested in the orca, second you wont get to see the animal and truly appreciate it like you do at sea world. So one thing you have to understand to save the orca you need the peoples help and to do that you need interest in the animal. Well sea world already did that work for you. Now your response to that will be sea world is the only thing these whales need saving from lol so here is an article you should read about the decline of the southern killer whales mmmm oddly enough sea world is not present among their causes of decline but whale watching is mmmmm interesting.

        http://conservationbiology.uw.edu/research-programs/killer-whales/

        So there went your sea world argument. Lol

        Now i did assume you wrote the article lol sorry but i should have known the writer would not have the courage to defend his own writing. So my apologies for that.

        Here is some more reading material for you to brush up on you knowledge
        of what sea world does with the money they make.

        http://theecotoneexchange.com/2013/11/12/another-perspective-on-sea-world-orcas-and-captive-animals-2/

        Oh yes about me lol here is a link of some of what i do not everything but just a taste have a lot more but I will be curious to see your work as the pope first before I continue showning what all i do.

        http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/218883

        Asfor the rest of your article and cracks at me lol will leave it alone because you as clueless about me as you are about a variety of other things.

        By the way since my argument about sea world is old perhaps you should check what you keep writing to me about and using things sea world did in the 60’s and 70’s lol.

        Talk about the pot calling the kettle lol

        You talk about my love for the orca in a deaming way which i find funny because you dont want people to even know about or see this animal is that a selfish thing or are you a poacher that just wants to take the spotlight of the orca soyou can hunt them down unnoticed. Is that why you mad at sea world because they made the animal popular and now you cant hunt them as freely. Lol

        Maybe you are one of the whalers disscused below. Since whaling doesnt exist for the killer whale lol. You are a very one sided person and refused to look at the opposite side of that coin so let me educate you. Cause you havent learned enough about killer whales by observing them in the wild take a trip to sea world and get yourself some education. Lol

        http://seaworld.org/animal-info/animal-infobooks/killer-whale/conservation-and-research/

        Talk to you soon

      • Shame-on-u permalink
        July 9, 2014 1:35 pm

        Hi Shawn. Thanks for your response.

        I would be interested to hear what Seaworld told you about dorsal fin collapse. What explanation did Seaworld give for this occurring and what percentage did they say it occurs in captive and wild orcas?
        If you don’t see dorsal fin collapse on many wild orcas, why do you think it occurs on the majority of captive orcas?

        I don’t understand how you can appreciate any animal (especially an orca) more by seeing it in captivity, than by seeing it in the wild.
        If in fact you have learned to appreciate them by seeing them in captivity, then can you not see the issues with keeping orcas confined to a small living sterile environment and being moved around from ‘park’ to ‘park’ and put into artificial pods?

        “So one thing you have to understand to save the orca you need the peoples help and to do that you need interest in the animal. Well sea world already did that work for you”
        – But there is NO EVIDENCE that keeping orcas in captivity is actually helping wild orcas. And regardless, it doesn’t negate the FACT that orcas suffer in a captive environment – these are two points you seem to want to ignore!

        In regards to the link you posted about the Southern Residents, I hope you read the article, as it stated whale-watching was ONE HYPOTHESIS as to why there is a decline in this population – the results of the study clearly state in the article that the lack of population growth is down to a decline in chinook salmon.
        Where is Seaworld’s contribution to the conservation of this orca population, seeing as it is on the endangered species list? You have to go back to the 60’s and 70’s to see their involvement in this orca population: http://www.orcahome.de/impact.htm – So as you can see, the captivity industry has had the biggest impact by far on the decline of the Southern Residents. I don’t suppose they teach you that at Seaworld, do they?

        I also read the 2nd ‘article’ you posted. I have read other ‘articles’ before from this person but I can’t take them seriously as she has no credibility I’m afraid. She mentioned she has not watched Blackfish you still had an opinion on it.. And typically fails to even engage on the actual topic of Blackfish, which is that orcas suffer in captivity. We know Seaworld does do some good conservation work (very little to do with orcas though) and we know that most captive orcas cannot be released back into the wild – both of these points are not even disputed in Blackfish, yet critics of the documentary still fail to even engage on the core subject that keeping these animals in captivity is cruel and the circus shows are a form of exploitation.

        “By the way since my argument about sea world is old perhaps you should check what you keep writing to me about and using things sea world did in the 60′s and 70′s lol.”
        – That is because you keep the discussion focused on decades ago. Although just to point out, Seaworld didn’t stop obtaining orcas from the wild until the late 80’s, were then later involved in obtaining wild caught false killer whales from the Japanese drive hunts and only a few years ago involved with trying to import wild caught beluga whales from Russia. So their policies of old have only changed around the marine mammal protection act being introduced and other legislation enforced by NOAA that’s been brought in, rather than a ‘change of heart’..

        “you dont want people to even know about or see this animal is that a selfish thing or are you a poacher that just wants to take the spotlight of the orca soyou can hunt them down unnoticed”
        – Not quite sure what you mean, I assume this is an attempt at a joke. You can learn more about orcas without leaving your home than by going to Seaworld. Fact.

        “Cause you havent learned enough about killer whales by observing them in the wild take a trip to sea world and get yourself some education. Lol”
        – What have I missed? If there is something you know about orcas that I don’t then please tell me.

        And again that final link does nothing to show how wild orcas are benefiting from other orcas being confined to a tank. And likewise it obviously does not even mention anything about the issues orcas suffer from in captivity, which is pretty much the core point of the whole discussion!

      • July 14, 2014 1:00 pm

        Hello and thank you for your response.

        It is always good hearing from you. Even though we do not see eye to eye on some of the major issues namely the “orca show” at sea world, it is important you understand that I do appreciate reading your responses as I truly get an in depth understanding as to how the anti sea world following see’s it. After going to sea world from the time I was little until now and gaining a appreciation for this majestic animal it is always good to see people passionate for them as I understand they do not have a way to communicate with us clearly about their plight.

        We can understand them more hopefully by watching and observing them and hopefully learn more about what they need to keep this mammal thriving so all generations get the chance to truly appreciate what a beaitiful animal god created.

        With that being said I know you are not a believer of god and I will not dive into that realm with you as everyone has the right to choose their own destiny but I do want to say this and leave it at that. The way everything in nature works so perfectly can not be an accident nothing that works this great ever comes by accident it takes planning and design for things to come together in such a way.

        Now that my preaching is done lets get to your comments. The issue I have with the whole “free willy” efforts (forgive the expression lack of better way to express the movement you have engaged in) is INTEREST in the whale. If you cannot see the interest the “orca show” at sea world has generated for countless generations and refuse to acknowledge it then our entire discussion will never go anywhere. I wish I could go to everyone’s home who has been to sea world and take a poll of every man woman and child who saw the orca show and who has become interested in learning more about this mammal due to what the saw at sea world. Then perhaps I could express my argument even more. Unfortunately, This is an impossible task but one I know to be true because of my own curiosity about the animal due to sea world.

        Sea world has explained that dorsal fin collapse happens in the wild as well I cannot tell you what the exact percentages they stated are but they do admit it happens more in captivity due to the fact the whales are exposed more to the sun at sea world. As the dorsal fin does not have bone structure the collapse happens for a variety of reasons main one being sun exposure, whales in the wild do not spend a great deal of time in the sun as opposed to the whales at sea world.

        With that being said that is why I agree with you that they should spend a lot more money to build bigger and deeper habitits for the animals. I would join this fight at the drop of a hat should it every arise.

        However, I will not join the fight to stop the orca show, the show itself has generated more interest in the whale than anything to date. The killer whale is popular because of sea world and this fact you will not be able to dispute.
        Because of that fact you have to understand this is sea worlds bread and butter so to speak, and they will take of these animals, as best as they possibly can because it is there bread and butter.

        The money generated from the orca show regardless of what you say goes into ofcourse there park, the animals and their food and care, to pay employees, to maintain there parks and to conservation and rescue of countless animals.

        So even though as you say it may not go to the orca conservation efforts it does help other animals that we should not forget about. The orca is one of many species that live in the ocean. So as your turn your attention to them try to not forget the other animals in the ocean that need our help just the same. Sea world is fighting the good fight out there in the ocean daily dont forget that.

        To close the orca show would seriously cut sea worlds profit and that my friend would cut out rescue efforts for other species and that is a trajedy in itself. We cannot be one sided and need to look at every aspect of sea world. I agree build deeper bigger and better habitis have shorter shows hell I will go sar far as to say close the orca show but provide a way for sea world to make sure it keeps generating that money to continue generatiing interest in the animal and the money it needs to keep thriving and continue its rescue efforts.

        That to me is a part of this argument if you guys want to cut the orca show it falls on you to make sure sea world can continue to thrive on its same level. This you guys do not do. You fail to comsider the amount of employees will be with out jobs should sea world loose its revenue from the orca show, you fail to sea the rescue efforts that will have to stop due to lack of funding. These are very important issues. Ones that need to be answered in your fight to cut the orca show.

        My argument is taken because of all the aspects that goes into this, i cannot consider just the whale when people are involved to. You cannot cure one plight just to cause another. I love this whale but not more than I love the other animals or the people that work at sea world or the people that become interested in ocean life because of sea world. These people may eventually be of great importance when sea animals get in trouble and need the help of people. Sea world has generated and will continue to generate love for ocean animals on a bigger scale than anything you guys have done to date. That is my issue.

    • July 3, 2014 2:46 am

      Almost forgot when discussing Keiko funny how when I mentioned the whale died in the wild you said what the whale isn’t supposed to die. But if a whale dies at sea world oh my good god in heaven sea world is a monster and it is all there fault that the whale died. Interesting how that contradiction works. Same spin you guys use with the fin collapse. You guys push that on sea world but the fact is this happens to killer whales in the wild as well. Dramitic antics just try this ok leave sea world alone and go out and focus on saving some orcas in the wild. Quit riding the skirt tails of sea world and being jealous of there success and find a way to bring in people to see wild orcas charge money and spend that on your conservation efforts. Leave sea world be and do you. Or is that asking too much people always want to be in someone else business get animal control experts or whatever it is the aspca or osha to make sure sea world is not abusing the animal and keep them monitored then period move on to do your own thing. These antics you guys do is very ridiculous and over dramatic. Call animal planet and let them make sure sea world is doing right then back off.

      Idle hands always in other peoples kool aid. Time to go out and get your own kool aid

    • July 3, 2014 2:55 am

      I have to mention this too then am going to bed. There was a guy broke into sea world got naked and jumped into the pool with a killer whale. He was killed who do you guys turn around and blame mmmmm sea world lol.

      This is what you guys do smoking mirrors. I will say this again because you guys love to put your spin on it but no matter what a guy BROKE Into sea world got naked and JUMPED into a tank with KILLER whales and died….and we blame who for that…

      Its just funny to me the spin you guys use its like the whole ridiculous mcdonalds coffee thing. Let me order hot coffee the spill it and sue because the coffee was hot. Its COFFEE its supposed to be hot.

      iTS a KILLER Whale what happens when you jump into his tank this is not rocket science people.

    • July 3, 2014 3:04 am

      Another question does the family of Alexis Martinez support your article? Are they involved in anyway in the writing of this article? Have to ask because just like blackfish they failed to mention with all this talk about dawn the family didn’t support them.

      Makes me wonder what about alexis martinez family do they support this article?

      • Shame-on-u Show permalink
        July 3, 2014 4:36 pm

        Can you answer these questions please, as I’ve yet to get a direct answer:
        What have you learned about orcas by going to Seaworld?
        Would you have preferred Keiko to die in that tank in Mexico rather than live for another 9 years?
        What good has come from keeping orcas captive in the last few decades?
        Do you personally think a barren sterile concrete swimming pool is an adequate living environment for an orca, or any intelligent marine mammal?

        ” I will still refer to you as the free willy team because quite simply it is a bit comical”
        – What’s comical about it?

        “Your statements about financing was a bit disturbing and I will give you the chance to rephrase that because the sound of it really was suggesting that you believe only rich or well off people should be able to see these beautiful animals.”
        – Everyone can see wild orcas, just like everyone can see the Pyramids in Egypt, the Colosseum in Rome and the Taj Mahal in India. If people can’t afford to visit Rome to see the Colosseum they shouldn’t expect it to be moved to San Diego! Likewise they shouldn’t expect orcas to be removed from the wild and placed in a sterile tank just so people can watch them perform tricks (which is how Seaworld started, of course now they are bred in that artificial environment). If people can’t afford to see wild orcas, then they have to settle to just watching documentaries on TV/the Internet. It is a completely selfish attitude to expect (or demand) wild animals to come to you and for them to have to suffer as a result.

        “Because to be honest sea world tickets are a little over a hundred bucks”
        – And a trip on a whale watching trip is around 50-60% less.

        ” So sea world is know where near as expensive as you make it sound. To compare that to traveling to a place where you might find an prca then waiting and waiting and might just spot one or pay someone to take you to a spot where they just might be is far more expensive and time consuming..”
        – Strange you don’t factor in travelling costs when referring to visiting Seaworld, but you do when mentioning a whale watching trip! A lot of people that visit Seaworld are holiday makers not from the area, so they also have to pay for the cost of a flight. Although if they are from San Deigo, then there are various whale watching trips they can do, with the chance of seeing lots of different marine life swimming free and living naturally in their own environment, compared to seeing a dumbed-down version of reality where marine mammals live in artificial pods in swimming pools and have to act like circus animals to entertain the guests. I know which one I find more educational and inspiring.

        “So your argument about people saving for this trip is a bit dramitic as usual.”
        – You mean to say many of the people that visit Seaworld don’t save up for it? How many visitors from Seaworld are foreign holiday makers? How many have to travel by plane to get there? Or does everyone that visit Seaworld all live nearby?

        “your going to see the whale as opposed to the wild where it is hit or miss.”
        – That’s true, but the one you’ll guarantee to see in captivity is a fraction of the one you’ll see in the wild. If you take pleasure in seeing an abnormal animal forced to live in an abnormal environment then that’s really quite sad.

        “Now to even suggest that says to me you dont care if middle class people get to enjoy this animal your plan is just to let the rich and well off enjoy this majestic creature. ”
        – Life is not fair (certainly not for captive orcas). Not everyone has the opportunity to do many things in life. Your point, like many others, is ridiculous. However, like I’ve already mentioned, it’s cheaper to go on a whale watching tour than pay an entrance fee to Seaworld (yes you may have to pay for a plane ticket also depending on where you live, which is no different if you’re going to Seaworld).

        “You want to take that from the middle class who have been able to enjoy the whale many of which fall in love with “shamu” and have donated a lot of money to the conservation and preservation of the orca’s that is what you have missed in my talking to you.”
        – I don’t want to take anything from anyone – where I have said that? Or are you just making up more assumptions?
        And where is this evidence of orca conservation you mention? Please provide me with some information.

        “you refuse to believe that people who go to sea world would become so interested in the whale that they may seek out ways to help the whale. ”
        – Show me the evidence for this and how it has helped wild orca and I’ll believe you. I really don’t think there is significant enough evidence that this happens which could possibly outweigh the cruelty inflicted on captive orcas.

        ” I truly believe that after your last remarks you sea world visitors as barbarians who have come to the collisuem to watch the gladiators fight to the death.”
        LOL and you accuse me of being over-dramatic?!

        “You fail to see that maybe people go to sea world because it is an easy an convienant way to see something they might not have a chance to see in the wild”
        – No, that is why they go (although they do have a chance of seeing whales in the wild). It is a lazy way of pretending to learn about nature, while really just indulging in mindless entertainment.

        “lets just go to see all these animals in their natural habitiat and if you cannot afford to travel the world to see them its just too bad you dont have money you cant do anything to help the animals ”
        – What’s wrong with only seeing animals in their natural environment? Why do you feel you HAVE to see an animal in a cage or tank? Or HAVE to see an animal at all? All it accomplishes is you seeing how big the animal is; wouldn’t a replica cardboard cut-out suffice?

        “Conservation comes in a variety of ways maybe not in the way youthink it should come but a lot of good comes from sea world whether you want to realize it or not.”
        – I’ve asked this a few things, but yet to get an answer.. What has seaworld done for the conservation of orcas? Are you really using Free Willy as an excuse to keep orcas in captivity? You do know what the film is about, right? If it wasn’t for the likes of Seaworld, there wouldn’t even be a demand for orca captures around the world and there wouldn’t of needed to be a Free Willy film.

        “Some people may aspire to be a trainer and then they go to college and end up becoming a marine biologist maybe not working at sea world but out in the ocean with the animals.”
        – Do you know any trainers that have become marine biologists? Or are you just making up hypothetical scenarios to come up with more excuses?

        ” Some believe it or not really love this animal and love the chance to just be close to it”
        – If you are referring to captive orcas, then that is a love orcas can do without. This ‘misplaced’ love does nothing to help captive or wild orcas.

        “You seem to have this philosophy that the show is inhumane and a circus act as you call it”
        – That’s because it is. How is it not? If you want links please let me know and I’ll provide you with plenty of information.

        “because i could post a ton of links about orcas behavior in the wild”
        – Please do, I’d love to see them.

        “even mention the fact that there are from the same family as dolphins”
        – Most people are aware of this. What is your point?

        “They are playful animals by nature they play all the time in the wild to include playing with their food”
        – Yes orcas are very social animals, which is one of the reasons they suffer in captivity. In the wild, they are very family oriented with strong bonds within their pods; whereas in captivity they are often moved between different (mostly artificial) pods and are separated from their mothers.
        It’s funny you should mention playing with their food… what would your assumption be if an animal continually regurgitated its food and played with it..and then eat it again…and then regurgitated it again..and repeated this behaviour? Would you think this is normal or healthy behaviour if a dog done this for example?

        ” Maybe you never heard of luna the killer whale google that one and you will find they whale just wanted to be around people. ”
        – Yes I am aware of what happened to Luna. He was separated from his mother and did become attached to humans (although I believe more should have been done to prevent this and reunite him with his pod). However, this was an exception rather than the rule. Orcas all have different personalities, much like humans, some are more curious and sociable towards humans than others. I’ve no doubt Luna would have preferred to be with his pod (family) than to stay around humans, which the latter ultimately didn’t do him any good (just like the orcas at Seaworld).

        “Tons of videos of wild killer whales playing with humans.”
        – The difference being, the wild orcas are playing on their terms and in their environment. They aren’t being coerced into performing a trick in return for food. That is the beauty of nature; you are watching animals living freely and naturally; it doesn’t get more inspiring than that.

        “So what makes you think they do not enjoy being around humans all the time maybe they find us as fascinating as we do them. ”
        – There’s no doubt orcas are inquisitive animals, that comes with their intelligence and social awareness. There are many biologists that study orcas in the wild, but these orcas don’t act like Luna did…because they are not meant to become that attached to humans (whereas in the twisted world of Seaworld, that abnormality becomes normality).

        ” all the research in the world will not tell you what they are thinking your research only goes so far in The end it is speculation. ”
        – There’s been enough research for the captivity of cetaceans to be banned in 14+ other countries and the National Aquarium is looking into closing their dolphin exhibit and retiring their dolphins to a seaside sanctuary. What more do you need?

        “I dont have time to post the links but you and I both know sea world has a ton of rescue workers”
        – Yes they are involved in rescue work (I’ve already mentioned this), but so are many other organizations which have nothing to do with keeping cetaceans captive, It has to be noted, less than 0.01% of Seaworld’s revenue goes on conservation, so it’s clearly not a high priority for them.

        “I think the old guy in that link you sent me is the same guy in blackfish telling the same story. Just wonder how much he is getting paid for that sad story. ”
        – It’s not the same person.

        “I think the old guy in that link you sent me is the same guy in blackfish telling the same story. Just wonder how much he is getting paid for that sad story. ”
        – Wrong. I don’t think the trainers are monsters, just ignorant.

        “Reminds me of evolution convenient how it has just stopped in monkeys and they are no longer turning into humans. ”
        – You’re a creationist? Everything is making sense now!

        “when discussing Keiko funny how when I mentioned the whale died in the wild you said what the whale isn’t supposed to die. But if a whale dies at sea world oh my good god in heaven sea world is a monster ”
        – You’re making things up. This is your question and my response below (and you never did answer my question):
        YOU: “I find it interesting that after all the hype and all the talk about freeing willy he died in the wild”
        ME: What is wrong with an orca dying in the wild? Are orcas supposed to die in a heavily chlorinated tank?
        And the point is not specifically that an orca dies at Seaworld (or any marine park), it’s the miserable and completely unnatural life it had to live before it died that people are disgusted about.

        “Quit riding the skirt tails of sea world and being jealous of there success and find a way to bring in people to see wild orcas charge money and spend that on your conservation efforts”
        – You don’t honestly think people are against captivity of cetaceans due to ‘jealousy’ do you?
        And there are plenty of organizations that do important conservation work which help wild orcas, it’s just a shame, considering the money it makes off captive orcas, Seaworld is not one of them.

        ” guy BROKE Into sea world got naked and JUMPED into a tank with KILLER whales and died….and we blame who for that…”
        – Of course the guy (Daniel Dukes) should not have done what he did and Tilikum was already a mentally unhealthy animal from his treatment at Sealand. However, the issues I have with Seaworld regarding this death is the dishonestly and misinformation they spread about the incident. They said the victim had taken drugs (which he didn’t) and that he died of a combination of drowning and hypothermia which was not caused by Tilikum. But if you care to read the autopsy report you’ll see a huge list of injuries sustained by Mr Dukes which were inflicted by Tilikum before he died, which suggests it’s highly like (even you seem to suggest this!) that he was killed by Tilikum.
        As you say, these are KILLER whales (although there is no evidence of one killing or seriously injuring a human in the wild), yet Seaworld and other marine parks like to pretend to the public they should be seen as human-loving, overly friendly, loveable pets (maybe that’s why Mr Dukes go in the tank with Tilikum?).

        “iTS a KILLER Whale what happens when you jump into his tank this is not rocket science people.”
        – SO why aren’t there any incidents of KILLER whales KILLING humans in the wild? I mean orcas must have come into contact with humans swimming in the sea on more than a few occasions and some researchers are even known to swim alongside them.

        “Makes me wonder what about alexis martinez family do they support this article?”
        – I have no idea, but the fact that the family were met at the hospital by Loro Parque’s president and legal representation may explain their silence on the matter. Out of interest, why do you think they wouldn’t support this article? Was there anything in the article that was critical of Alexis Martinez?

      • Shame-on-u Show permalink
        July 4, 2014 3:13 pm

        You still never answered what you’ve learnt about orcas by going to Seaworld.
        “You asked for evidence of people getting involved in conservation efforts because of the orca show well I am living proof and have donated and even had my family donate to conservation efforts”
        – Who have you donated money to? And how has this helped wild orcas?

        “This is something that you really cant prove on paper so to speak not because it doesn’t happen but because it is hard to monitor everyone that leaves sea world and keep track of what the do. ”
        – So if there is no tangible evidence that this actually helps wild orcas, why do you keep using this as your main argument for wanting to have orcas in captivity?

        “Question two why did i prefer Keiko die in captivity, lol when did I ever say thats what i preferred to happen.”
        – This is not difficult. I asked you IF you preferred Keiko to die in the tank in Mexico or given an extra 9 years of life and die in the wild (where he spent his early life and where orcas are meant to live)?

        “what I said was it is just finny to me all the free willy hype was supposed to protect him and keep him alive longer by sending him to the while but it didn’t do that did it.”
        – Keiko was given just months to live if he stayed in his current condition in Mexico City by the vet responsible for his rehabilitation. He lived another 9 years and 1 1/2 years in the wild and died of pneumonia (a common cause of death for both captive and wild orcas). So this ‘free willy hype’ did protect him from his condition in captivity and gave him a longer life.

        “the fact is 90 percent of the american public believe that captivity is essential to education about animals.”
        – Please state the source for this poll. Do you have a poll showing the public opinion on captivity of cetaceans (or just orcas), which is what this discussion is about? Using general polls such as this does little to back up your argument on the cruelty of keeping cetaceans captive. I also find it ironic you use the ‘education’ argument when you still haven’t told me what you’ve learnt about orcas at Seaworld!

        “Now lets talk about the current state of oceans. Do you know how much trash and pollution is in our waters so capitivity protects them from that. ”
        – It may ‘protect’ them from toxins in the ocean, but it replaces this with a whole load of other unique issues orcas have to deal with in captivity. So captivity doesn’t help them.
        And they way to protect wildlife is not to remove it from the wild and give it an artificial life in an artificial environment (this is not what conservation means, unless you’re only concerned with the conservation of captive stock). There are organizations out there researching toxins in marine mammals and diminishing food stock and from what I’ve seen/read Seaworld is not one of them.
        And also if, as you say, orcas are protected from pollution by being put in captivity, why do orcas on average not live longer in captivity compared to the wild (even when captive orcas have ‘better water quality’, as much food as they need and expert veterinary care)?

        “Then there is poachers and whalers than these whales have to face. So captivity saves them from that.”
        – Again, showing your ignorance here. Who are these whales that are hunting orcas? The human threat comes from captures for marine parks; those that are following Seaworld’s previous policies and are fuelled by the profit that can be made from orca shows. Please don’t compare the plight of the white rhino to orcas, different issues for different animals, again you are just showing the ignorance on the subject and are doing nothing to further your ‘education’ argument!
        As I mentioned in a previous post, the only orca population that is on the endangered species list is the Southern Residents. I suggest you research what happened to them in the 60’s and 70’s and there are organizations researching the issues they face, but Seaworld has nothing to do with this. The Orca Network (of which 2 members, Ken Balcomb and Howard Garrett, featured in Blackfish) have done more to research this orca population than anyone else. Don’t you think it’s odd that Seaworld aren’t spending any conversational efforts on helping this orca population that is on the endangered species list?

        “You asked about the concrete pools lol any thing is better than the worst case alternative of only eight orcas left in the world”
        – But there aren’t 8 orcas left in the world! Stop making things up to try to justify your opinion. The phrase ‘people leave marine circuses more ignorant than when they go in’ rings true when reading your comments…

        “So let me return the favor life is not fair for the 53 killer whales in captivity sorry deal with it. Is that the attitude I should take?”
        – The difference being if you can’t afford to travel to see a wild orca then you are not going to physically or mentally suffer as a result.. your life will go on as normal and you can still see and learn about orcas by watching many documentaries online. On the other hand, orcas that are in captivity do suffer and it is a form of abuse to keep them in an environment so far removed from what they would naturally live in.

        ” God gave us power over the animals period. They are here for us to enjoy, as companions, as food, as entertainment. We have a responsibity to these animals yes but dont ever forget that they fall under us”
        – I don’t want to get into a discussion on religion (actually I do, but don’t have the time), but how do you know what God put orcas on this earth for? I never received his memo. What about people that believe in a different God (Buddha for example) that has a different opinion? How do I know which God has the right answer? And how come God put orcas on this earth before he put humans on this earth? Did he want to give the orcas a head start?

        ” i do believe that this animal in captivity does a lot for research and provides a lot of people with love for this animal. Otherwise no one would even mention the orca. Sea world made them famous like it or not.”
        – What research has Seaworld done in the last few years that has helped with the conservation of wild orcas?
        ‘love for orcas’ is irrelevant if it results in orcas suffering and being exploited as a result.
        Yes Seaworld made orcas ‘famous’, but that argument goes back decades and is largely irrelevant now. Surely you must have a more up-to-date argument, backed up with facts, to claim why orcas should be bred in tanks, be used to perform tricks and do not suffer as a result?

        “You talk about how sea world wants us to believe that orcas are soft friendly animals and say that is what caused the guy to jump in an pool of orcas on one hand then in the same breath invite people to witness them in the wild in all there glory…..mmmmmm ”
        – LOL can you not see a difference between watching orcas from a boat and getting in the water with one? Seaworld and other marine parks seem to advocate the latter suggesting its ok to treat orcas like pets, whereas with whale watching you are watching from a distance and observing whales living naturally, which is much more respectful.

        “So your upset because sea world wants the world to see these whales as loving human friendly playful creatures and you want people to see them as the name killer whale suggests.”
        – I’d rather people call them by their actual name – orca – rather than killer whale. It was you who used this name killer whale (spelling ‘killer’ in caps..). It is a form of miseducation to suggest orcas are happy to be dominated, taught tricks and content to live in sterile tanks, when in actual fact in the wild they live in complex social structures, have strong emotional bonds within their pod and are intelligent hunters, being the number one apex predator in the ocean. And you still haven’t given any evidence of Seaworld impacting on the (positive) conservation of wild orcas.

        “People if they want to see them should put there life in danger and go see a lion in an unprotected environment?”
        – Of course people are curious, my question was: why do people HAVE TO SEE these wild animals? What impact do you think it will have on wild orcas if there were no orcas in captivity?
        Yes you can see lions in a nature reserve or safari park, which is perfectly safe, and in (or close to) the animals natural environment. This is in stark contrast to seeing a marine mammal in a sterile tank being exploited to perform tricks.

        “so when my son watches shark tales on tv and wants to see a shark I should take him to the wild and let him see it lol yeah that sound safe to me.”
        – No, you do the sensible thing and explain that these animals live in the ocean and don’t belong in a tank. Maybe when his is older and still maintains an interest in these animals he could go scuba diving and get to see sharks in the sea, like many people do. Of course there are probably boats that you can go on that may give you a chance to see sharks in the wild, maybe research it?

        “Whats wrong with your article.”
        It’s not my article! Why do you assume it is?

        “They do not blame sea world so quite using their daughters unfortunate and untimely accident as fuel for your fire.”
        – It was actually seaworld that blamed Dawn for her death. And my main concern is not the trainers (they have a choice), but the orcas (who have no choice to be there). Quit using Dawn’s death as an excuse for your own arguments.

        “Second you don’t care about dawn or alexis your first words are about sea world not them. You dont go into their life or how they were loved or how theyloved what they did.”
        – You seem to think I wrote this article, why is that? Like I said, I have nothing to do with this article, I’m just commenting on it same as you are. I actually don’t think you even read the full article did you?!

        “You care only about the orca and stopping them from entertaining people.”
        – Well I’d rather not see another trainer being killer, but you are right, my main concern is the orcas not the trainers and only one is the willing participant and gets anything out of it (and it’s not the orca).

        “I will tell you it is selfish of you to say you are concerned about the whales and then say pele dont have even the right to want to see these animals.”
        – Pele was a great soccer player, but I don’t think he has much interest in orcas, though might be wrong!

        ” It is selfish of you to include the dead who dont have a voice or say either way in your pursuit of the place they chose to work and loved working at. ”
        – Bit like how Seaworld are still exploiting ‘Shamu’. Did you ever research the history of her and her mother?

        “You tirn around and say trainers are ignorant then in the same breath sAy ohh poor dawn and alexis. Were they not trainiers at sea world? Are these the same people you just called ignorant?”
        – Yes I believe they were ignorant in what they did. I stand by that. That’s certainly not to say I would have wanted anything bad to happen to them.

        “Please quit pretending you care about them when its obvious you only care to use what happened to them as a ploy to accomplish your selfish mission. ”
        – Likewise, please quit pretending you care about orcas when its obvious you only care to use them as a way to accomplish your selfish need for dumb down entertainment.

        “Am very eager to see how you will back out of rhis one please dont word play me. i am a author”
        – LOL back out of what? You show more ignorance on the subject with every new paragraph you write. If you’re an author then I’m the Pope.

  9. Kim permalink
    May 23, 2014 12:33 am

    So long as there are children that are fascinated with animals, there will be animal shows. Whether it be a dog & pony show or a whale/dolphin show. On the show that I am watching now about the death of a trainer, Dawn Brancheau, they *almost* tried to blame the trainer saying that she give the right commands, that she was running low on food….I do wonder how the people involved with this catastrophe sleep at night

  10. sunnydayinmay permalink
    June 21, 2014 11:03 am

    After reading the article and looking @ various recorded incidents, it seems as if the orca were driven to their tipping point by humans (trainers), who denied them food when they asked for it (see their open mouths) as well as denying them their emotional/societal lives and they snapped. In more ways than one.

  11. July 26, 2014 8:13 pm

    This is a discussion on a site called: “The Orca Project”

    Pro SeaWorld

    @ All the anti-captivity/SeaWorld people: I agree there are people that do bad things to animals (dog fighting, roster fighting, killing puppies by leaving them on the side of the road) is very bad and should be stopped… but there are good people in this world (orca trainers included) that give the best care (food, medical care, shelter (barn, inside the house, in your bed; if a dog or cat) etc to any animal becuase its better for them to have some place to go when sub-zero temps, severe thunderstorm, tornado etc where if they where left out in the elements they would die most likely. Also it seems you all love to rant… Oh and I know about being on a farm and raising animals (as do some of my friends) to HAVE TO (emphasis add) I remember having to get up before the sun rose and take care of bucket calfs (calfs that are feed from a bucket) and then go to school, do homework, go to bed, and then repeat that day after day (with you doing the work or a sibling having to do your work, if your to lazy to get up) or help your mom look after piglets, instead of just playing video games (Iike you wanted to do) would be hard for you too probaly. Will like I said I’ve had these experiences, so unless you can say the same (or something similar) you’re just ranting…

    “Your experiences on a farm may have prepared you to care for domestic animals adequately, but wild animals have entirely different needs, especially aquatic animals. The humane treatment of an orca is an entirely different ballgame compared to the humane treatment of a pig, so you can’t really compare one to the other.
    As for the videogame reference, please be aware that many of the people on this thread are actually functioning adults well over the age of 18 who have spent a lot of time studying these subjects.”
    Yes the comparsion is valid, a pig could eat someone if that person is not careful/and or dies in the pig pen, a pig jaw can easily crush bone. Heck if you see what they can do to a peach pit (I’ve personally seen and heard it, up close I might add) you’ll get the idea: “A family member of an Oregon pig farmer discovered his relative’s body parts scattered across the pen — a gruesome find leaving authorities to believe it was a case of hog eats human.
    “A pathologist couldn’t immediately determine whether the pigs were the actual cause of 70-year-old Terry Garner’s death, but a forensic expert at the University of Oregon will conduct further tests, CBS affiliate KCBY reported Monday.

    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/hungry-hogs-eat-oregon-farmer-article-1.1172448#ixzz36mJFKxux

    “The humane treatment of an orca is an entirely different ballgame compared to the humane treatment of a pig, so you can’t really compare one to the other.” Tell that to SeaWorld: “Prior experience with large animals is preferred. Experience working with horses or birds, working on a farm, or volunteering at an animal hospital is beneficial.” (source: http://seaworld.org/animal-info/animal-infobooks/animal-training/animal-training-careers/) Lastly you mention me playing video games… “As for the videogame reference, please be aware that many of the people on this thread are actually functioning adults well over the age of 18 who have spent a lot of time studying these subjects.” Here what I said, and I’ll add more information to put this in context: “I remember having to get up before the sun rose and take care of bucket calves (calves that are feed from a bucket) and then go to school, do homework, go to bed, and then repeat that day after day (with you doing the work or a sibling having to do your work, if your to lazy to get up) or help your mom look after piglets, instead of just playing video games (like you wanted to do) would be hard for you too probably.”

    All in all you where ranting…

    But whales can cope just fine with life in the wild. Unlike land animals, they never have to worry about thunderstorms or tornadoes. Moreover, subzero temps seem to be rather healthy for them–after all, there are plenty of orcas off the coast of Iceland and Canada. In hot locations like Texas and Florida, by contrast, the constant exposure to sunlight appears to be detrimental to them, causing skin problems and overheating. As apex predators, they don’t really have to worry about being attacked or killed by animals bigger than they are. As for medical care, much of the medical care given at marine parks appears to be necessitated by the very nature of the marine parks themselves. For example, it has been said that if you go to the fish house at any marine park where the food and medical supplies for the cetaceans are kept, you’ll find antacids galore because so many of the whales and dolphins have stress-related stomach problems. They are fed blocks of gelatin laced with vitamins and minerals and electrolytes because the diet that they are fed at marine parks is frequently inadequate compared to that which they would eat in the wild. That’s what happens when you take an animal that’s used to crunching the bones of sea lions and restrict that animal to a diet of small dead baitfish. Orcas are more likely to develop dental problems at a marine park than they would in the wild, and since they need to stay awake in order to remember to breathe, they cannot be anesthetized in order to perform the surgery necessary to tackle these dental problems. So at places like SeaWorld, the whales’ teeth are drilled while they are still fully conscious, which must be excruciating. Do they get rub-downs in the wild? Yes, from their fellow pod-mates. Touching and nuzzling are important components of social interaction between whales. But at a marine park, the delicate balance of an orca’s social structure is not preserved.
    Your experiences on a farm may have prepared you to care for domestic animals adequately, but wild animals have entirely different needs, especially aquatic animals. The humane treatment of an orca is an entirely different ballgame compared to the humane treatment of a pig, so you can’t really compare one to the other.
    As for the videogame reference, please be aware that many of the people on this thread are actually functioning adults well over the age of 18 who have spent a lot of time studying these subjects.

    “In hot locations like Texas and Florida, by contrast, the constant exposure to sunlight appears to be detrimental to them, causing skin problems and overheating.” Well… I did some simple research…: “It was a fish story that even veteran boat captains found fascinating: As many as 200 killer whales feeding on tuna in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
“It was like being at Sea World because they’d come right up to the boat,” said Eddie Hall, captain of the Shady Lady, the 60-foot charter boat that spotted the shiny black sea beasts with white eye patches and undersides. “It was pretty neat.”
    It was also hard for some skeptics to believe: Orcas, as killer whales are also known, typically are thought to live in cold water and eat seals. But Hall’s description of what he saw last Oct. 31 was no tall tale: A government biologist who saw video taken from Hall’s boat confirmed the captain had spotted the creatures. And last week that same scientist, Keith Mullin, explained at a public meeting in Orange Beach, Ala., that yes, contrary to common perceptions, killer whales really do live in the Gulf, far from land. Mullin, whose outfit has been working for years to get an accurate count of the Gulf’s whale population, said it may be time to dramatically increase estimates on how many killer whales are lurking in the deep waters off the Gulf Coast. He’s taking part in a research expedition this summer that could determine if his hunch is right.
    Scientists believe the whales have been in the Gulf for years, Mullin said, and that their presence — though startling to some anglers — isn’t a sign of climate change or other manmade condition. Their relatively small population and the speed at which pods move make them difficult to count, which could have led to lower estimates.
    “I’ve got good records of them in the Caribbean. We see them almost exclusively in deep water, 600 feet and more,” Mullin said. “I think they’ve always been there. It’s just in the last 15 to 20 years that we’ve been trying to study them.” (source: http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-03-25-whales-gulf_N.htm)
    “and restrict that animal to a diet of small dead baitfish.” Some Orcas all they eat is fish: “The diet of killer whales is often geographic or population specific:
    Resident killer whale populations in the eastern North Pacific mainly feed on:
    salmonids, showing a strong preference for Chinook salmon10 (Source: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/cetaceans/killerwhale.htm)
    “Orcas are more likely to develop dental problems at a marine park than they would in the wild, and since they need to stay awake in order to remember to breathe, they cannot be anesthetized in order to perform the surgery necessary to tackle these dental problems.” Just doing some more simple research finds:
    “When marine mammals sleep and swim at once, they are in a state similar to napping. Young whales and dolphins actually rest, eat and sleep while their mother swims, towing them along in her slipstream–a placement called echelon swimming.” (Source: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-do-whales-and-dolphin/)
    “And speaking of exposure to the elements…
https://www.thedodo.com/what-is-seaworld-trying-to-hid-639471606.html” Well you maybe right about those elements, but not these: “Warming oceans pose another problem–they produce less food for salmon and other fish. Oceans also absorb carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas produced by burning coal and other fossil fuels. This absorption changes the acidity of seawater, which could have catastrophic consequences for marine life. In addition, global warming is expected to alter the timing and amount of precipitation that keeps water flowing in the rivers and streams where salmon spawn. As rain and snowfall patterns change, chinook runs that now occur throughout the year could be confined to just a few of the wetter months–leaving Puget Sound orcas without salmon for long periods of time.” (http://www.nwf.org/news-and-magazines/national-wildlife/animals/archives/2006/orcas-on-the-edge.aspx) I might cover the rest of your rant some other time… One last thing: ” please be aware that many of the people on this thread are actually functioning adults”
    I’m handicapped, I have cerebral palsy, and I can’t walk (out of water) with out canes. Now, do I take offence at your comment? No, because I have had falls harder that comment, and again your just ranting for rest of your comment…

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