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Orca Breeding Update: Takara Pregnant

January 23, 2013

Folks in orca forums have been suspecting this for a while, but as Blackfish continues to roll out, I thought I would confirm that Takara is indeed pregnant.

Following the failure of her last pregnancy, she was AI’d again last summer, presumably again with sperm from Kshamenk. Takara is the dominant orca at SeaWorld Texas, and she tends to be on more of a hair trigger through the early hormonal surges of pregnancy. So for a while the Texas orca group had to be managed carefully to minimize the likelihood that Takara would rough up other whales. Interestingly, part of the strategy was to keep the whole group of orcas together in one pool whenever possible, on the theory that Takara’s mobility would be limited and that for Takara a confined space limits her inclination toward aggression during the early stages of pregnancy. Separating her was believed to make her more anxious to affirm her dominance when she got a chance.

Apparently, Kasatka, Takara’s mother, also has similar issues with hormones and aggression during early pregnancy. But while conscious of Kastaka’s propensity for increased aggression during the early stages of pregnancy, the California park did what it could to manage the aggression without reducing Kasatka’s space.

Not sure what is happening with Kayla, who last year was also on the AI list…

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148 Comments leave one →
  1. Jay W. permalink
    January 23, 2013 4:10 pm

    Do you know when she’s due already?

  2. January 23, 2013 5:28 pm

    How about trying artificial anal insemination with orca sperm on SeaWorld’s Brad Andrews?

  3. protecttheocean permalink
    January 23, 2013 6:10 pm

    Pray for an aborted pregnancy or still-birth. They don’t need any more slaves.

    • SWClover permalink
      January 23, 2013 8:51 pm

      So you’d rather have the baby die. And you anti-caps say you care more about these animals… Sometimes I can just shake my head..

      • January 24, 2013 4:43 am

        Anything is better than the slavery which Seaworld imposes. Make sure you see Blackfish a recent documentry about orcas kept in captivity. Then come back here & tell us all what you think.

      • Mrs. N permalink
        January 24, 2013 9:24 am

        That’s kind of harsh! I think the point was that anything would be better than giving Seaworld another baby whale to exploit!

    • January 23, 2013 9:58 pm

      ProtectTheOcean,

      Although these captive pregnancies are not ideal I feel it is quite an insensitive statement to say that we should “pray for an aborted pregnancy or still-birth.” All life is precious and it should never be wished or prayed that life which has been graciously given be taken away in such a tragic and stressful event simply because that life may not live up to the potential and expectations that you or others may want it to.

      • Mrs. N permalink
        February 2, 2013 11:53 pm

        “not ideal” is quite an understatement I think. Have you ever heard about what happened to Gudrun?her daughter Taima? Samoa?

      • Rose permalink
        February 3, 2013 12:29 pm

        Mrs. N, what happened to those whales were freak accidents. they happen to many people unfortunately, they happen to cattle, to all animals. in fact, im sure it has happened to a whale in the wild before we just don’t know because we werent there. so just because it happened to them in captivity does not mean it was a result of captivity. it could happen to anybody.

      • Mrs. N permalink
        February 9, 2013 10:55 pm

        I respect people who have different views. It is just my opinion. I look at the history of these 2 whales, Taima in particular and think that of course captvity played a part. She was 20 years old and had been pregnant 4 times. She beacme agressive with her 2 sons, often displaced her daughter. As to what effect that may have had, who knows? But if you look at her children now, Sumar is dead, (he was 12), Tekoa was shipped off to spain and it the most abused (by his tankmates) orca in captivity, Malia seems to be doing ok so far (though it will be interesting to see how she acts towards her own calves) and her stillborn obviously dies with her in childbirth. She was 20, orcas in the wild reproduce about once every 5 years. I think it is a pretty safe assumption to say that being in captivity (and being overbred) at least played some role in her death.

    • Sammy permalink
      July 16, 2013 2:42 am

      I really hope what Takara has a healthy baby boy/girl. Killer whales are comming extict since 2006, so all of you saying that her baby should die. Your not whale lovers

      • Monica Gilbert permalink
        July 16, 2013 10:46 pm

        Sammy go back to school and learn how to read and write and then come back and discuss your issues with the adults.

      • Anonymous permalink
        July 17, 2013 9:23 am

        That is extremely rude to be saying to a person. Ever wonder maybe English isn’t their native language and that is why they typed that way? And it really is not your place to be saying such things to people.

      • Monica Gilbert permalink
        July 18, 2013 3:11 am

        Oh go away … if you don’t have the intestinal fortitude to use your real name then you don’t get to have an opinion.

        The blog is written in English and it shows up incorrect spelling so why is it so hard for people to show some respect for he English language and comment accordingly.

  4. Monica Gilbert permalink
    January 23, 2013 10:05 pm

    I, too, hope for a miscarriage. SeaWorld don’t need another slave. As for artificial insemination, how about we say it properly … it’s RAPE, pure and simple. It’s disgusting and SeaWorld are inbreeding which will cause many deformities in the future.

    The sooner they are forbidden to keep cetaceans the better. India has made the call and it has one billion citizens. So many countries worldwide won’t allow cetaceans to be kept in captivity. Shame the other few are so slow in learning the truth: that it is animal cruelty to keep them confined. Actually, they already KNOW the truth. It’s the $$$$ that captives bring in that makes them so valuable. And they talk about “education” and “research”!!! Rubbish.

    And as for SWClover, yes, I would have the baby die. As did many of the slaves in the US before they were freed. Documentary evidence. Look it up!

  5. Rose permalink
    January 23, 2013 10:27 pm

    How is it rape Monica? Yes its an unnatural way of doing things but it works and its not like they are in a ton of pain and belittled. And its not like they know that the AI procedure is to get them pregnant. Plus, are you ok with AI in dogs, horses, cattle, cats, HUMANS, any other animal? English Bulldogs HAVE to be AI’d because their legs are too short and weak to mate naturally, and the puppies are then delivered via c-section. Are you going to call that rape or no?

    Also, you just completely contradicted yourself. SW is running out of breeding pairs and are trying to keep them from inbreeding. So that is why they revert to AI, to PREVENT that problem. Would you rather the animals live a normal life by being conceived by AI or risk them having some issues and dying prematurely and possibly suffer a less-fulfilling life because they were inbred?

    • January 24, 2013 4:53 am

      FK get a clue. SW doesn’t value these animals AT ALL. Their disdain is hardly impossible to miss.

    • Mrs. N permalink
      January 24, 2013 9:25 am

      I can understand the rape comment, Takara could have in no way consented to having a tube stuck in her to make her pregnant!

    • January 27, 2013 7:48 am

      Rose the orcas that are in captivity do not live a normal life, as in the wild they don’t need to have a human trainer stand on their head or beach unless it is a hunting tactic. Yes they do die prematurely in captivity because the abusement parks cannot possibly provide them with the stimulation they need to live a normal life.

      How far can they swim in the small pool at the abusement park, compared to an average of 100 miles a day in the wild. Orcas need to devise new hunting tactics in the wild with their FAMILY, but in captivity they are fed dead fish that has been treated to help eliminate problems from their confinement.

      Where were the orcas first, in the wild or in captivity? I’m sure that a century ago, Seaworld, Marineworld and the others did not exist.

      • Monica Gilbert permalink
        January 27, 2013 9:31 am

        Well said Mark.

  6. Monica Gilbert permalink
    January 24, 2013 4:44 am

    Ah, yet another commenter with a one name handle. Rose. Like Madonna. Or Prince. Not game enough to put your full name up for fear of us wicked anti-captivity people finding out where you live? For goodness sakes!!!!

    The point is, THESE CREATURES SHOULD NOT BE IN CAPTIVITY ANYWAY. And yes, I’m shouting, so you ignorant pro-cap people can hear me!!!!!!

    There would be no need for AI for cetaceans IF THEY WERE WHERE THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO BE!!!!! In the wild, free, as they should be where they swim up to 100km a day. Not held captive in some tiny fishbowl which is less than ONE LOUSY PERCENT than their normal surroundings.

    English bulldogs have been interbred for so long that the original breed doesn’t exist anymore. It’s sick. The reason they have to be AI’d is perhaps nature’s way of saying they shouldn’t be breeding!! Ever thought of that!?!

    Animals don’t have the luxury of saying NO when their owners or breeders want to artificially inseminate them. Humans are different. They CHOOSE to be AI’d.

    As for RAPE, TILIKUM, the primo breeding bull, KILLER of THREE TRAINERS, has been trained to present himself upside down to trainers so he can be masturbated with a cow’s vagina to get sperm for AI. THAT’S RAPE!!! It’s certainly not by choice! What about the young female, MORGAN? Held captive by Loro Parque in Spain. Too young to breed yet they keep putting male orcas in with her and because she resists, she has been raked more than 200 times. LOOK IT UP! There is documentation and photographic evidence. THAT’S RAPE!

    When will you pro-caps get it through your sick twisted minds that these magnificent orcas are not meant to be cooped up and SeaWorld and all other forms of marine abusement parks will be forbidden from keeping them like this. India, with ONE BILLION PEOPLE has banned keeping cetaceans in captivity.

    Your point of the outstanding humanitarian and philanthropic work done by SeaWorld in continuing the species by AI will be moot. SeaWorld and all the rest of sea aquariums don’t give a damn about continuing the species. They only want more slaves to perform for them to rake in the big bucks!!

    Refute that if you can.

    • Susy Costello permalink
      January 24, 2013 9:54 am

      Monica. You are awesome. I could not have said this better myself. Thankyou….

    • Linda Derosa permalink
      January 28, 2013 4:13 am

      BRAVO MONICA!!!

    • April 8, 2013 12:12 am

      Amen!

  7. Maryann permalink
    January 24, 2013 6:26 am

    http://www.seaworldofhurt.com/ten-things.aspx @Rose The Male Orcas are MASTURBATED that is RAPE! The Female Orcas have hands and tubes inserted into their vaginas, that is RAPE! k? Thanks!

    • January 24, 2013 12:34 pm

      Orcas have to be stimulated in order to ejaculate. If an orca doesn’t feel stimulated enough, or just perhaps isn’t in the mood, then they won’t do the collection. This is fact. Males can refuse to do it and have, but being typical males would you be surprised if they actually chose to do it on their own free will? Especially knowing how sexual orcas and other cetaceans are? So simply put….if an animal is not physically forced to do it (which is what rape is) then it cannot actually be rape. Your argument is based off your own opinions and ideals, not all facts.

      Also….in regards to the artificial vaginas: they are used for training purposes in the initials stages of semen collection training. They do NOT use actual cow vaginas. When artificial vaginas were being designed for orcas they used sample models and shapes. They took ideas from cow AVs and equine AVs because they are widely distributed and are also comparable size. The AVs can be used with younger males who are being trained but generally AVs aren’t used at all in the long run. Sometimes males will come over willingly with no AV present.

      And please take that article about Tommy Lee with a grain of salt. It is highly skewed with Tommy’s beliefs which are full of inaccuracies. He has no knowledge or experience in the animal industry, his credibility is extrememly poor, so I don’t know why anyone would use his article as a source of information.

  8. Rose permalink
    January 24, 2013 10:13 am

    Im sorry but I never called any of you a bad name, because I actually RESPECT your opinions. Im not pro-cap or anti. I am on the fence which allows me to look at the facts of everything, and not just a bias. And it is my choice to put my full name or not and I would hope you understood that instead of being hazed because of my own personal decision. Not because I am afraid.

    If the whales did not like what was being done to them they could leave. They are not tied to the wall and unable to move. Believe me, I have seen animals leave the situation if they are uncomfortable with something very similar to the AI process. And if you are going off of Tommy Lee’s interpretation of the process you obviously only care about your own agenda. He is a a highly publicized individual, a history of drug problems and theatrical stunts. This to an outsider just looks like a publicity stunt. Especially because he has never spoken with the people doing the process, he just said they use cow vaginas because it LOOKS like one. I highly doubt that is what they use.

    And if they were never brought into captivity people would probably still kill them in the wild because they would be misunderstood. And animals like Morgan who CANNOT go back to the wild would die, plain and simple.

    • January 24, 2013 12:40 pm

      Well said Rose. Just letting you know though that it’s not an actual cows vagina. It’s a standard AV designed for orcas made from synthetic materiels, not actual animal flesh, just as all AVs are designed from in all animal industries. When Tommy Lee spoke out about it he made it sound like cow vaginas had been taken from actual cows and used to masturbate orcas, which is entirely false and not to mention ludicrous. Tommy Lee has no experience or knowledge on the matter but because of his celebrity status the story ran wild.

    • Monica Gilbert permalink
      January 25, 2013 12:08 am

      Rose, if you are on the fence, why on earth are you commenting? You need to have an opinion and then you can comment. This is a very personal issue to anti-captivity people. Forget Tommy Lee. It doesn’t matter if they use a plastic bag, SeaWorld and marine parks “masturbate the orcas”. Doesn’t that strike you as being very intrusive and a little sick? And then they have to inseminate the females. That’s rape. The orcas have no say in it. “Rohypnol for Orcas. The latest designer drug for date rate at SeaWorld. Take the family!”

      The entire point is ridiculous. There should be no conversations about AI because these creatures should not be held in captivity in the first place.

      The only people, or corporations and shareholders, that are benefitting from AI are the likes of SeaWorld.

      • January 25, 2013 7:46 pm

        Everyone is entitled to their opinion. If Rose is on the fence that’s her business and it’s perfectly acceptable. It shouldn’t have to be one or the other, or a black and white decision where someone has to either be a “pro” or an “anti.” This is a complex topic with many variables, so it will naturally have complex opinions, and “choosing a side” is not something I would be so quick to encourage because it suggests that not a lot of thought or research has gone into ones own opinion.

        As for the masturbation, it would probably seem sick to anyone that isn’t familiar or experienced in the animal fields. Males of many species are masturbated in captivity for a variety of reasons and surprisingly enough it’s not always for collection purposes.

        And yes, orcas should not have ended up in captivity the way they did. A lot of lives have been lost to come this far, but the passion and appreciation we have for these animals has come from knowledge that we’ve gained through these animals being in captivity. The same can be said for literally all species of animals that have ever been held in captivity. It’s the sad truth that human beings only care about the things they understand or want to learn more about. We can harp all we want about the “if this never would’ve happened” and all the shoulda/coulda/wouldas about orcas in captivity, but the point is they are in captivity and there is no undoing the past. All we can hope for is that no more captures ever happen.

      • Lee Shropshire permalink
        February 18, 2013 7:18 pm

        Orcas are not capable of consent in any matter they are animals nothing more or less, amazing animals but still animals.

    • Helen B. permalink
      April 3, 2013 7:35 pm

      Where the hell do you think these animals can go to when they leave if they are uncomfortable? For heaven’s sake woman, in the wild they could escape, they are STUCK in the damned bath tub that has become their home! And if they do move away once, twice, three times or more then eventually their food will be withheld until they cooperate. You are definitely pro-captivity just based on your comments, you don’t fool me for one second. And what a stupidly ignorant comment to make, the whale can just leave!!!! Ridiculous!!!!

  9. Jay W. permalink
    January 24, 2013 11:02 am

    Once I found this comment on a board and I totally agree:
    “Unless it’s going to be directly beneficial to the individual or the species, shoving your hands and extensions of them inside the genitals of an animal with the same extensive understanding and knowledge of a lot of young people is rape.”
    Besides, the females are sedated during the procedure (article here: http://www.comparativepsychology.org/ijcp-2010-3/02.obrien_robeck__FINAL.pdf), so yeah, it’s rape. It’s like giving drugs to a woman and have sex with her.

    • Monica Gilbert permalink
      January 24, 2013 11:34 pm

      Well said Jay W. It is most definitely R-A-P-E. Thanks for the reference.

    • Helen B. permalink
      April 6, 2013 12:59 pm

      Thanks for sharing this I had not seen it in my previous scan of the thread but now I have – its another to add to the collection. Kudos for finding it 🙂

  10. Rose permalink
    January 24, 2013 12:32 pm

    If you read it unbiased, it says that they volunteer to do it or they are placed on a raised floor with mild to NO sedation. so if they were mildly sedated they can still move, breath, etc (cetaceans cannot be fully sedated because they are voluntary breathers, they would suffocate basically) it would just relax them. Kind of like laughing gas for us. Plus, it does not say what species or how many individuals that has been done to. so for all we know only 1 animal had to be mildly sedated and it could have been a dolphin. you just dont know. so to say they are all done that way would be jumping to conclusions.

    • Helen B. permalink
      April 3, 2013 7:41 pm

      what planet do you live on – mildly sedated for an orca is nothing like laughing gas for humans! Have you ever studied science or anaesthesia??????? God help us if you have! They do not volunteer themselves either. They are trained by force feeding to perform everything they do. I mean you don’t see them volunteer this behaviour in the wild, hey buddy, come here and jump onto this platform so we can masturbate you and collect your sperm!!!! And also, lets face fact, children that are sexually molested often times feel guilty because they enjoyed the feeling (arousal) and so for a long time do not report the abuse, the same could be said of ANY sentient being. Just because they do it does not mean they ENJOY it. Nor does it mean they are cooperating!!! How dense do you have to be????

  11. Cayla permalink
    January 24, 2013 12:56 pm

    Gosh…everything these days is rape Rose don’t you know?! Even in people…girls get drunk go have sex. OH NO I WAS DRUNK IT’S RAPE.
    Really guys? If the animal didn’t like it, they wouldn’t cooperate. I’ve heard plenty of cases that an animal didn’t like it and refused to do so. Orcas are SEXUAL animals. Very much so. Whether they are young or old. Everything being said is just…honestly stupid. Bashing, really are you going to stoop that low? Shoving opinions down throats?
    We are not with the animals every day. Whales get raked, they play games, they attempt to breed. They also have sex JUST TO HAVE SEX. It’s just how they are. AI is for benefitting the whales right now, so to prevent inbreeding, I don’t see that as a problem. They are trying to get away from Tillikum babies.
    And really? OMG TILLY KILLED PEOPLE. People get trampled by horses, attacked by tigers, dogs, and so much other things and THEY die. But because it’s a killer whale we have to make a big deal don’t we? Take a moment and use the brain. If people want to work with a large animal…THEY KNOW that there is a chance that they might get seriously hurt, or killed. It’s the risk working with ANY large animal. And for the record, it was only two trainers, and a man who DIED OF ILLNESS not Tilly. He jumped in FREEZING water with no protection…yeah. Enough said.
    If an animal hated where it was at, there would be more deaths, more attacks than we could even keep up with. Two people have died since the 60’s…..um, that’s pretty good. They breed, and function as orcas should. Keep it up saying it’s rape, because that excuse is really getting old.

    • Jay W. permalink
      January 24, 2013 9:08 pm

      Let’s imagine someday you’re in a party and a nice guy you met give you something to drink, you get high and have sex with him, without even knowing what you’re doing. You never heard of the guy again and 9 months later you give birth to a little girl. Would you be happy about it?

      • Cayla permalink
        January 25, 2013 11:18 am

        First off that is something i would never do. i am happily married with a child of my own thank you.
        Now to have done something like that and NOT remember…you have to be pretty screwed up. sadly in this day and age it happens all the time. Plus you would know well before Nine months that you were pregnant. so why not do everything to find the guy? or do the cheap awful way out and go get an abortion. people probably aren’t happy but they raise the kid because it isn’t the child’s fault.
        Now had that been me, i wouldn’t sit still wondering where the guy had gone. I would find him. if not it doesn’t matter, i would embrace that child and love her for all she is worth. the mistake ;f the parent shouldn’t be put on the child.
        so…what was your point?

    • Monica Gilbert permalink
      January 24, 2013 11:57 pm

      Cayla, you say “AI is for benefitting the whales right now”. How in God’s name is that benefitting the orcas? It’s not benefitting the orcas, it’s benefitting SeaWorld. SW doesn’t give a rats about the orcas, only what they bring in through the turnstiles.

      Orcas are sexual creatures, just as humans are, and it’s BECAUSE of that reason that they should be ALLOWED to have sex when they want to, not be sexually stimulated with whatever device SeaWorld sickos want to use. As for Morgan, do a search for any number of articles by Dr Ingrid Vissar, a prominent orca scientist. Morgan is not old enough to breed yet Loro Parque are forcing male orcas upon her. RAPE! Or do you have another name for it, because I’d love to hear it. Morgan has suffered so many rakes from males, and other females because she won’t conform. She needs to be rehabilitated and released. She is young and is capable of returning to the ocean.

      Yes, Tilikum killed three people. He’s not the first orca to kill people. How many people have been killed in the wild??????? A BIG FAT ZERO!!! Your point about people being trampled by horses or attacked by tigers isn’t even relevant. The orca shouldn’t be held in captivity to start with.

      And just a point in fact, Occupation Health and Safety have FORBIDDEN SeaWorld to do any waterwork with these massive creatures, yet they still insist on doing it. Just waiting for yet another “accident” that could have been avoided.

      Cayla, I really hope that you never have to experience what it’s like to be raped. But if that does happen, you will feel a little different, let me assure you.

      You also say: “They breed, and function as orcas should.” Tell me how they function as orcas. Tell me how natural it is for a trainer to ride on the nose of an orca. Tell me how educational it is to the masses of people who flock to SW to see these creatures have to perform like clowns. You need to do a little more study on the family bond and matriarchal society that orcas live in in the wild and what is considered “natural” to an orca in the wild. They only beach themselves when they are hunting for fear of being stranded, yet SW make them beach or slide out regularly or they don’t get fed.

      Come back to me when you have a little more information and not just an opinion. Look at the various links provided in this thread by Maryann. Do the actions of the orcas look natural to you? I don’t think so.

      • Cayla permalink
        January 25, 2013 11:26 am

        the vomit that just came from your mouth makes me want to puke as well. how about you stop with your opinions and instead find actual information instead of opinions as well and come back when you are not 13 any more. Rose summed it up pretty well for me.

        as for the rape, i wouldn’t let that happen. or put myself in a position to let it happen. Duh.

    • Helen B. permalink
      April 3, 2013 7:46 pm

      Cayl why don’t YOU provide us with your research-based or scientific evidence as proof of your ridiculous. It is obvious that you cannot because you haven’t so far. How about citing something for me – in fact here it is, I challenge you to come back with 5 pieces of cited scientific evidence to support your opinions or statements. Waiting …. please don’t disappoint me!

  12. January 24, 2013 4:13 pm

    The breeding needs to stop! These captive born orcas will never be able to be freed. They will never know what it’s like to swim in the ocean or catch fish on their own because they will never know that sort of life exists. It’s cruel to keep breeding these animals in captivity and subject their off-spring to a life of imprisonment!

    • Monica Gilbert permalink
      January 25, 2013 12:16 am

      Lynn, the breeding does need to stop. But these animals can be freed. They can be retired to a sea pen and rehabilitated and released back to the wild. They can learn. They are at least as intelligent as human beings (well some human beings) and they are very adaptable. They have it in their DNA to be able to hunt. And they are most definitely not meant to be kept in tiny pools and fed dead fish.

      And yes, it’s a travesty to keep breeding them and subjecting their offspring to a lifetime of imprisonment in a featureless concrete tank where they chew metal bars and eat the concrete pool wall.

      It’s wrong and the sooner it ends, the better.

    • Anna permalink
      June 12, 2016 8:35 pm

      Well, they stopped the orca breeding. I guess they listened.

  13. SumarKindOfGirl permalink
    January 24, 2013 10:27 pm

    Really hope she isn’t. I’m procap, but she just had Sakari almost 3 years and a month ago. At least SeaWorld waited an appropriate amount of time with Kasatka. (8 years)

    • January 25, 2013 7:48 pm

      I’m hoping she isn’t either to be honest.

  14. Rose permalink
    January 24, 2013 10:45 pm

    in the wild whales wait 3-5 years between calves. sakari will be 4 by the time this one would be born so thats appropriate. Kasatka is a different story. who knows why they waited this long. perhaps they were waiting for Uly to get the job done and it never happened. so they reverted to AI. her genes are pretty valuable right now.

  15. Riley permalink
    January 24, 2013 11:50 pm

    Takara is pregnant big whoop. She’s pregnant. Wishing dead calves on her is just childish and immature to do. The orcas are well cared for. You’re taking information in without being open to both sides of the argument, just what kirby or Tim here tells you. probably gets his information from attending the IMATA workshops and such. Seaworld will continue on and you can still hide behind your sites and comments and whine about it. If you were real activists you’d be like the ones of old and actually go out there and do something. But alas takara will have another calf, as will Kasatka and possibly Kayla and they will grow up IN CAPTIVITY and live IN CAPTIVITY. while you all sit here. Just wanted to point that out there.

    • Monica Gilbert permalink
      January 25, 2013 8:42 am

      How mature Riley! You left off the na-na na-na na! You obviously haven’t seen any of the rallies outside your precious SeaWorld when we’ve been there. Shows how much you really know.

      Your comment is not constructive so I refuse to spend any time refuting it. If you have anything RELEVANT to say, then please say it. Don’t just “stick it up” we anti-caps. You’ll never win the argument, nor the war.

    • Jay W. permalink
      January 25, 2013 9:31 am

      “Bla bla bla they’re all pregnant and I’m going to see their calves performing in a tiny concrete box because I’m a selfish child and simply don’t care if they suffer or not.”
      Have you ever thought that possibly Takara didn’t want to have another baby, but instead she wanted her babies back? It’s was selfish and heartless what they did with Trua and Kohana. And I say, Kohana will be pregnant again and it won’t take so long.

  16. Rose permalink
    January 25, 2013 10:21 am

    Monica how old are you, if you dont mind me asking? Because you are the most rude, inconsiderate, individual on this site and im not just saying that because we have differing opinions. You are acting like a child that isn’t getting her way and being the biggest bully to everybody. These conversations could be so much more civil and be going somewhere if you werent attacking every single person, mocking them, and calling them names. EVERYBODY is entitled to their own opinions, not just you. And quite frankly I dont think you are anti-cap, i think you are anti-SW. because that is all you are talking about. there was a calf born in france via AI and i dont hear you protesting them or any other facility. what about lolita? kshamenk? kiska? the russian capture? theyre all alone and have been for a considerable amount of time and you arent talking about releasing them. theyre the ones that really need the help

    as for Visser, I used to really admire her and thought she was amazing for years, until this whole Morgan/Nakai thing came about. she has showed her true colors and is nuts. she has completely lost her house, her office, and everything she has because she couldnt afford it, yet she travels the world just to gawk at the whales and spread her lies about it all. she would rather an orca die from new zealand than take it into a rescue facility and release it JUST IN CASE it dies in captivity. even if its there for 1 hour. if you care about the animals, you would try saving them all.

    and i hope you know that orcas and all dolphins dont just mate to reproduce. mating is a social bonding thing. and just like you said, morgan is too young to reproduce but doesnt mean she wont be receptive to mating. i know somebody that does research on wild dolphins in australia, she is working on a publication about dolphin mating habits. even CALVES less then 1 year old have been seen mating with other dolphins (in the wild i might reiterate). obviously not to reproduce. so she is not being “raped”, she is bonding with the animals and forming close ties.

    SW is not disobeying OSHA’s rules. OSHA just said no waterworks without a safety protection device available. hence why they put in the fast rising floors. so they have not broken any rules whatsoever.

    And what Riley was talking about is you specifically going to these rallies and protesting to get things done, not just bash people on the internet and have an opinion, because that isnt and will never get you anywhere.

    • anonymous permalink
      January 25, 2013 1:15 pm

      Well said Rose!

    • Monica Gilbert permalink
      January 25, 2013 10:49 pm

      And what, Rose, the continuous insemination of captive orcas until they no longer represent the animals that were captured in the first place? Your precious marine parks will be exhibiting freaks at a freak show like the old travelling circuses of the early 20th century.

      As for being disrespectful, perhaps I am, because I have absolutely no respect for anyone who would even contemplate keeping orcas and dolphins behind bars, which is what all marine amusement parks do.

      I also have no respect for SeaWorld or other corporate entities because what they are doing isn’t conservation, it’s entertainment for the masses. THAT’S why they are AI-ing these animals. Not for posterity. It’s for profits.

      Call me what you will. Question my age, and I can assure you I’m no teenager, and I consider that as a personal attack on ME by the way. How dare you???

      If SW if such a magnificent institution, why then have so many former trainers come out of the woodwork and told the world what SW doesn’t want the world to know?

      I really hope you go to watch Blackfish when it hits cinemas near you, but you probably won’t because you don’t want to hear anything other than captivity is good.

      You say you used to admire Dr Ingrid Vissar .. and you don’t anymore. Is that because she says what you don’t want to hear?

      OK, truce. What I would like to know are your specific reasons for wanting to keep orcas and dolphins in captivity. It really interests me. You’re obviously intelligent and well-read on the subject so instead of getting down and dirty, give me the facts of why you want to see these animals ripped from the wild and placed in circus shows. I’m sure you have valid reasons and I’m willing to listen.

    • Jessica Ohl permalink
      April 16, 2013 12:31 am

      If you want something done about this teach people with your research. I’m not anti or pro cap I don’t feel captive born could be released to the wild. I believe Morgan, Lolita, Tilikum, and Kshamenk should be able to be retired back to their natural waters. As far as AI goes I don’t believe any animal should have to go through that its unnatural.

      • Helen B. permalink
        April 16, 2013 11:55 am

        I am teaching people with my research and have been doing so for 5 years plus! I do not believe that it will be possible to fully reintegrate some of the captives like Morgan, Lolita, Tilikum or Kshamenk back to the wild because of the damage they have faced – drilling down their teeth, dratsically changing their behaviours i.e. eating dead fish, performing tricks for people etc. That does not mean we we should continue to keep them captive, it just means that a new way of life for them has to be found, specially those that cannot and will not make it in the wild. And we need to stop the breeding in captivity and we need to rehabilitate the new calfs born so they and their mothers do not have to live out the remainder of their days with a severely decreased quality of life (QUALY)

  17. Sarah permalink
    January 25, 2013 1:14 pm

    Is Kasatka pregnant?

    • January 25, 2013 3:51 pm

      Yes. Due fairly soon.

      • Sarah permalink
        January 25, 2013 8:05 pm

        Can’t wait to have another precious orca @ SW! I wish they’d let the whales breed naturally though:'(

  18. Prairie Orca permalink
    January 25, 2013 1:32 pm

    I just wanted to mention that the captive orca breeding program, as a whole, is a joke. 45 orcas – many of them interrelated – is not enough to maintain genetic diversity. It’s only a matter of time before problems will crop up and the fertility rate drops in the future captives.

    On top of that, quite a few of the captive-bred orcas are hybrids. That is not the mark of a good breeding program. That is not conservation.

  19. Rose permalink
    January 25, 2013 5:16 pm

    Prairie orca, yes SW and other places are running out of options with natural breeding pairs. thats why they are doing this AI, to help that. Kasatka’s calf-to-be was fathered by a male in argentina. Wiki in france gave birth to a calf fathered by a SW whale (both through AI). Yes its really a joke but they are making an attempt to fix it (by using males around the world).

    As for the hybrids point, I dont see why that would be a problem. Obviously it wouldnt happen in the wild, but its not like its affecting them in any way. The only “problem” i could see is if one was a fish-eater and the other a mammal-eater. but even then the calf would just follow the mother’s preference.

    • Prairie Orca permalink
      January 25, 2013 7:20 pm

      Kshamenk, an orca who has been without his kind for over a decade… in a tiny pool. SeaWorld cares enough to take his semen.

      Artificial insemination is not enough to maintain genetic diversity in the captive orca population. Again, 45 orcas is not enough, and most of them are already related to each other. The generally accepted number to maintain genetic diversity is fifty *unrelated* individuals.

      My point with the hybrids is that that is not contributing to conservation. The different types of orcas are being considered by scientists as being either subspecies or different species altogether. It is not known whether forcing a transient to eat fish will adversely affect their health, never mind a hybrid. For conservation purposes, hybridization is not in the interest of maintaining any species, subspecies, or type.

      • Monica Gilbert permalink
        January 26, 2013 1:33 am

        Prairie Orca, thank you for mentioning Kshamenk. My hard-bitten, cold, abusive, immature, anti-cap heart goes out to him. It’s disgusting how he’s kept and what they’ve done to him. Ditto with Morgan.

  20. January 25, 2013 7:59 pm

    It’s been common knowledge since the 90s that the captive orca population would not be able to be sustained long-term regardless of trades, AIs, etc. AI is not reliable and the gene pool continues to diminish. All marine parks with orcas have known this, especially SeaWorld. It’s been a major concern ever since the banning of wild orca capture. The only places that aren’t as worried are facilities that can still acquire captured individuals.

  21. Sarah permalink
    January 25, 2013 8:53 pm

    You know it seems like anti caps just take what they hear from other people and say it’s their own evidence. Have they ever witnessed for themselves the incredible thing we call SeaWorld? I doubt it.

    Both pro caps AND anti caps love the animals. They both have reasons for feeling as they do. Please all be civil to each other and respect the others’ opinion, even if it’s different than yours… otherwise you will just sound EXTREMELY immature.

    • Monica Gilbert permalink
      January 26, 2013 1:26 am

      Sarah, “the incredible thing we call SeaWorld”? It’s a truly amazing mega chain of marine amusement parks. Lots of entertainment for the masses and lots of profits for the corporations and shareholders, as it should be. Any smart businessman or woman looks to make a good return on their investment. I have no problem with that whatsoever. It’s a great day out for families. Just don’t include the cetaceans.

      Leave the orcas and dolphins in the wild. Let them maintain their tight-knit families in the planet’s oceans. Pro-caps are as capable of seeing cetaceans in the wild as anti-caps are. Have you never heard the expression “if you love something, set it free”? How can someone truly say “I love orcas” but not love them enough to care where they came from, what distress they go through on a daily basis, chewing metal bars and concrete because they are bored out of their skulls? Swimming around and around in a tiny concrete bowl when they swim up to 100km a day. Why would one want to see them in artificial surroundings and what possible educational experience is gained from watching a trainer ride on the nose of an orca? And as for conservation? Please!

      And if it’s immature, so what? At least we anti-caps are passionate about what we stand for and don’t go on about small slights or the possibility of having our precious feelings hurt because we’ve chosen to speak out.

      Sarah, this is not a personal attack on you. I don’t know you, but please don’t tell me to not stand up for creatures that can’t stand up for themselves. If people don’t like my comments, they can stand up for themselves. Another lovely saying I have heard “opinions are like assholes. Everybody has one.” Crass? Uncalled for? Probably. Do I lose sleep at night wondering if I’ve offended a pro-cap? Not on your life. If people are on this page, they have their own opinion and they can speak up for themselves. Unlike the orcas.

      • Cayla permalink
        January 26, 2013 9:45 am

        Here is the thing, Monica. In my view and I’m sure everyone elses that is like me, simply want what is best for the whales.
        Now, you may instantly go oh god, how can you say that. Well you wanted to know why so here it is.
        The fact is, MOST of the whales in captivity are born captive. They have NO idea what the wild is, or what hunting is. Their HOME is that park they are at or where ever they are give or take. The people they interact with are just as much part of their family probably as the whales they also live with.
        Now, there are 12 living wild caught orcas living in captivity today, and most beside 4 are from off Iceland. They were caught at such a young age, that putting them back in the wild would be pointless. They were to young to have learned all there was to know about living in the wild. They have adapted to living where they are at and honestly that’s that for them.
        Orca’s are like us in a way. If you were taken from someone at such a young age and then put back with them, going hey this is so and so…..chances are YOU won’t remember. Then it’s awkward and all that. I’m sure it’s probably the same with them. They don’t remember, and likely, their family is long gone.
        We don’t know where any of their family is, minus Lolita. Corky’s family is dead, or at least those she knew are. Putting them in the wild with out FOR SURE knowing their family would be a disaster. It would be easily killing them off.
        Sure, “if you love something set it free”. You know…that saying doesn’t always work. And in this case, I feel it wouldn’t. The ocean is to dangerous for them, for not knowing what it is.
        So I stand at that. It is what it is, and humans are going to continue doing what they want for money. That’s just how we are. Greedy.
        Now you may think I’m greedy in what I just all said and that’s fine. I don’t really give two hoots what you think . But it IS important to not be such a jerk when debating about something. Just because someone doesn’t share the same opinion as you doesn’t mean you shouldn’t respect them as a human being. We are all different, we all have our own thoughts. These are mine, and I’m sure a few others on here. So there you go.

      • Lee Shropshire permalink
        February 18, 2013 8:51 pm

        Please you are a total hypocrite first you say they are doing what a good Company should do then you condemn them, fact is those orcas belong to them they are private property which they can do with whatever they want as longs as USDA regulations are followed.

    • Helen B. permalink
      April 6, 2013 1:17 pm

      SeaWorld is not incredible please justify this statement because its not factual at all ……

      • Renee wrede permalink
        April 6, 2013 1:54 pm

        I have been to Seaworld and Miami Seaquarium. I have met Lolita up close and personal (she let me pet her rostrum and examine her mouth) and have talked to one of the trainers at the park ( only one would talk to me as they were not supposed to). Even the trainer told me Lolita is depressed and frustrated and this was 20 years ago. I met Tilliculm in Orlando and have seen 2 of the shows at Seaworld. I have been to Discoverey Cove and the dolphin swim program and swam with the dolphins myself as well as observe the dolphins in the various pools and nursery at Seaworld. I will state my own findings: they showed signs of depression, anxiety and showed abnormal behaviors for wild cetaceans. Two dolphin in the public feeding area hung back and were listless and extremely depressed– so much so I cried. The orcas’ muscle tone appeared less marked compared to the orca in thenwild I have seen up close ( granted I did not see a high enough number of wild orcas up close to make an truely accurate staement here). Raking marks on the female and Tilliculm at and all the orcas I got close enough to had broken teeth. I spent many hours observing Keiko in Oregon while they were teaching him how to hunt for himself. I have observed wild orca in the Pacific Northwest (Washington, Oregon and Alaska) on numerous occasions. Has anyone here spent as much time studying these beautiful creatures themselves? Anyone who has spent over 25 years working in veterinary medicine and animal behavior? I am not an expert in cetaceans but my opinions were formed not only from various papers but are my own conclusions. I did not come to these opinions easily as I have attributed to the captive trade swimming with the dolphins myself. On that particular day their suffering hit home hard. The bottom line is with the studies I did myself with orca and the dolphins at the swim program, the marine parks, and in the wild changed my mind to be against captivity. I am wholeheartedly against captive cetaceans now but certainly understood the early periods to educate the public. That time is long over and the suffering of these creatures is abhorrent.

  22. Rose permalink
    January 26, 2013 10:53 am

    Monica, you say that AI’ng would ultimately make them not represent the original captured whales. how would they not? theyre not another species, crossed with other dolphins, deformed, etc. they are normal orcas. and the comment about a freak show circus could be further than the truth. a freak show would have “freaks” (things outside the norm, deformed, crazy, unrealistic talents that seem fake). how are orcas in a show like a freak show?

    you say you have no respect for pro-caps because they want to imprison these animals. people who are pro-cap can and are good people, its just one opinion that you do not agree on. so to disrespect somebody because of one opinion is radical. what if your significant other was pro-cap, would you have no respect whatsoever for them? and how do you feel about humans in prison? theyre taken against their will, treated FAR worse and kept in worse conditions. are you ok with that? or do you want to “set them free” too and let them continue with their crimes (be it extreme or minor crimes)? what about pets? they would technically be considered captive and in held in tiny spaces compared to natural habitat. look at dogs. how many “deformities” from their ancestors there are. there are hundreds of kinds of dogs created through artificial means. are you ok with that? im willing to bet at some point in your life you have had a pet. yet they are no different than orcas.

    and if i ask you age then im a horrible person. “how dare i ask you”. yet you have been absolutely awful to everyone here. im sure you are a lovely person, but on here you have been the complete opposite. like Sarah and I have both said. everybody is entitled to their opinions, whether we all agree or not does not justify all the hazing and humiliation.

    yes there have been a few trainers coming out of the woodwork and speaking against SW. how many though, like 3 or 4? out of the probably thousands of people who has worked there in the last 40+ years. and look at why they may not like SW. were they fired? were they reprimanded, were they just not cut out for the job? and you will have people like that in EVERY profession out there, not just this industry. so really, having so few come out like that to me would be a sign that things are very good.

    I dont like Visser anymore because she has become completely blind to the big picture. she is so incredibly biased that its even affecting her work. with her “expertise” you would think she could decipher between the important and what meets the eye. she swims with the whales in the ocean and studies their “natural behavior”. how does she know if her presence would make them act differently. her boat being so close could change how they act. why do you think there are boat laws here in the states. because it disrupts the whales’ lives. i have so many examples i could use that they are getting all jumbled up. the main thing is that she is so biased she just “finds” things to fulfill her agenda of anti-SW.

    you ask why i “support” captivity. i do not like how they were captured or the fact that they were but look at what we know about them now because of it. whales were killed in the ocean because people thought they would kill a human on site. would we know how intelligent they are without it? would all these animals that were rescued have lived without it? probably not. animals can live happy and healthy in a captive setting, in fact they do. so if they have nowhere else to go to live, why not let them live. As for your quote “if you love something set it free”. what about those born in captivity? set them free at the place they were born in then?? ok, thats doable. in the ocean, its not. and every argument about a seapen is so ridiculous. whats the difference between that and where theyre at? different water? they are still in captivity, still being hand fed, still dependent on humans. so why not spare them the stress of moving. plus the ocean water isnt filtered and monitored 24/7. they can get sick from being out there if theyve never experienced seawater before. and who is going to foot that bill to keep them out there? the government? ha, ya.

    • Sarah permalink
      January 26, 2013 5:19 pm

      “Click ‘like’ if you agree”

      Like, like, like, like, like!

    • Helen B. permalink
      April 6, 2013 1:53 pm

      Rose, you say you don’t like Visser anymore because she has become “completely blind to the big picture” – can you please enlighten me and everyone else on here as to what the big picture is that you refer to?

      You also stated “how does she know if her presence would make them act differently. her boat being so close could change how they act. why do you think there are boat laws here in the states. because it disrupts the whales’ lives” but yet you also said in this blog that if whales were uncomfortable with being masturbated they could leave and go somewhere else. As long as they are in the wild they can and do escape because they have the whole ocean or sea (as the case may be) to escape in ….. can you see now how and why your statement about leaving in the confines of a tank, holding pool or any other captive facility bath tub is so ridiculous? Talk about contradictions!!!

      I seriously suggest to you that you read “Death at SeaWorld: Shamu and the dark side of killer whales in captivity” by David Kirby and watch “Blackfish” by Gabriela Cowperthwaite and while you are at it why don’t you also watch “The Cove” by former National Geographic photographer Louie Psihoyos and features Taiji, Japan, a town that drive hunts migrating dolphins and small whales (particularly orcas) into its coast for the purpose of live dolphins and small whales for sale to aquaria like SeaWorld and Marineland and 1000s of others so people who support pro-cap can get their kicks at watching them perform tricks not part of their nature in the wild. The remainder are mercilessly slaughtered and the meat is sold for consumption. I don’t need to tell you this because I am sure you are informed and in the know, but I want to remind you that SeaWorld has or had in their possession cetacean captured in this very Cove and so can be held responsible for the inhumane slaughter of 1000s of dolphins and whales.

      You said “i do not like how they were captured or the fact that they were but look at what we know about them now because of it. whales were killed in the ocean because people thought they would kill a human on site. would we know how intelligent they are without it?” Can you honestly say that the cost of some 23,000 whales and dolphins killed by just one country is worth the knowledge we have gained … and if the demand for live captures continues what about the sustainability issues of severly depleting populations in the wild?

      You said “would all these animals that were rescued have lived without it?” There are indeed rescued captive animals but you cannot possibly honestly believe your statement “animals can live happy and healthy in a captive setting, in fact they do. so if they have nowhere else to go to live, why not let them live.” The life you want these animals to live and let’s be honest and factual here, the majority of the captive cetacean in entertainment facilities have been purchased and not rescued, is in fact not happy and healthy as you claim, in fact in all HONESTY it is quite the opposite in most cases!! If not all!! Do you want me to prove that statement with scientific evidence, research and studies, because by now I am hoping you know that I can and will!!!

      You also said “what about those born in captivity? set them free at the place they were born in then?? ok, thats doable. in the ocean, its not” is also factually incorrect. It is doable in pretty much all cases and all species of animals. Just as one can train an animal to perform tricks for entertainment, one can train an animal to adapt and live in its natural environment and there are examples of this success (just as there are examples of failure) and once again I can provide the scientific evidence to back that ….

      You said “they are still in captivity, still being hand fed, still dependent on humans. so why not spare them the stress of moving.” in relation to sea pens as an option to rehabilitation from being in chlorinated water (not their natural habitat regardless of whether they happen to have been born in captivity) and you said “plus the ocean water isnt filtered and monitored 24/7. they can get sick from being out there if theyve never experienced seawater before” Sure they can get sick in seawater and there are 1000s of instances where cetacean have become sick in sweater but that is part of nature and nature is also a cruel place to be sometimes. Cetacea can be rehabilitated, even ones born in captivity, just as wild cetacean can be stolen from the wild and imprisoned. It works both ways.

      SeaWorld and Marineland and places that have imprisoned the animals in the first place should be the ones to foot the bill, after all they were the ones who stole these animals from their natural habitats in the first place.

  23. January 27, 2013 10:34 am

    Rose: Repeated inbreeding causes mutations. Eventually these orca may either give birth to deformed or dead young. Widening the gene pool to breed the best stock is basic animal husbandry dating back centuries.

    Humans in prison are generally there due to having committed a crime! Not because somebody somewhere wanted to make vast and obscene amounts of money out of them.

    As for pets. Really? You want to go down that road? Pets have been domesticated for centuries. Shall I release my dog back to the wild? Oh, no I can’t. He has no wild to return to. So I should do what?? Let him loose so he can die horribly from disease? Or hit by a car? Or just run feral? Or should I have his life ended by lethal injection?

    Many responsible dog breeders are trying hard to breed out the dangerous deformities that were once deemed perfect in another time. However, until the time comes when the majority of people stop thinking about themselves and start thinking of the animals, it is an uphill struggle. It would also help if certain countries didn’t introduce new “breeds” such as the hideously deformed Munchkin cat! Made in the USA I believe?

    I tend to agree that perhaps we have learned from captive dolphin and orca. Note the use of the word “have”. There is nothing left for us to learn by observing them in an unnatural environment. There is no educational value in 99% of any SeaWorld show. They don’t even eat the right food!

    Your opinion of sea pens is rather biased I feel. Keiko was rehabilitated in a sea pen and subsequently released. Despite what you will inevitably say to the contrary, the release was a success. Had it been left to SeaWorld he would have died, as he was so sick they didn’t want him! Good job not everyone thinks like that.

    The difference between a sea pen and a concrete tank needs to be made obvious to you? How about the size? How about feeling the current against your skin? How about being in your natural environment? The one Mother Nature designed for you? How about learning how to be an Orca? You are concerned about the stress of moving them to a sea pen, but are you at all concerned about how the orca are constantly shunted from park to park? Or how calves are taken from their mothers? Orca have a pecking order and it is constantly being disrupted, causing major amounts of, yes, stress!

    Due to poor animal husbandry, many orca will never be completely free as they are dependent on humans or they will die. This is the fault of the facilities that hold them. There are others who deserve the chance at privacy, liberty and maybe eventual freedom. Lolita’s family is still where she left them. After 40+ years of “earning her keep” (pah!) she deserves retirement. Humans get to retire. Prisoners get parole. Orca are enslaved until they die.

    Who is going to foot the bill? How about Seaworld giving back some of the billions of dollars these poor creatures have earned for them over the years?

    PS. Sarah…this isn’t FaceBook, dear.

  24. Rose permalink
    January 27, 2013 7:00 pm

    Repeated inbreeding is what they are trying to avoid. In all the hundreds of orcas ever lived in captivity only 3 were inbred (2 of which weren’t really that bad of inbred). That’s pretty good really. And none of them have any issues. So how do you see deformities and dying young in the near future when inbreeding hasn’t really happened?

    I understand dogs are domesticated, but what about those in the very beginning? And you mock me about setting the dogs “free”, that’s exactly my point where almost 75% of the orcas in captivity were born there. They do not have a “home” to go to besides the facility they were born in. So you trying to make me look ignorant about dogs is only making you look that way with my point about the whales.

    I am not biased about the sea pens, I am not biased about any of this. I am EDUCATED on both sides of the captivity argument. I understand the pens are capable of being bigger, but does that matter? Everybody’s stigma against captivity is that their tanks are nowhere near the size of the ocean. So how is a sea pen any different? It’s not the size of the ocean, and if it were then why does it need boundaries? Ultimately they would still be confined, still dependent on humans. And I don’t understand why everyone thinks Keiko was such a success story. Yes he died in the ocean but that’s it. He swam from Iceland to Norway and wasn’t eating (and that’s evident because he showed up very skinny). He was still looking human attention (allowing the locals to sit on his back and wanted to be around them for the affection). If he were a success story he would have joined that pod and stayed with them, not break off to find humans. And he was under human care when he died. So how is this a success?

    And do you honestly think SW or any other place is going to willing pay for an animal they have no control over anymore? The only way that would happen is if they are ordered by the courts. Plus heres a scenario to consider. If Morgan actually was released and failed to thrive (like she did before) everyone talked about keeping her in a seapen. Would you have told the dolfinarium “ok we took the animal from you, were unsuccessful in our attempts so we think you have to pay to keep her out there”. How do you think that would have gone over? And going through the courts to get them to pay would take FOREVER. In the meantime somebody has to pay for her to stay out there. So that wouldn’t really be a logical thing to do.

    • January 28, 2013 5:21 am

      Firstly, I never mentioned a time scale. But there are currently 45 orca held in captivity. That is not enough to create a diverse breeding group. Hence the indiscriminate inbreeding.

      Believe me, I didn’t “mock” you. I asked you what should I do with an animal that has been domesticated for centuries? An animal that has been bred to perform a vital task for mankind. Whether it is herding or guarding or retrieving. Not an animal that was ripped from it’s family in extremely stressful and traumatic circumstances within my lifetime. Anyone who thinks any animal enters captivity willingly should look up the orca capture at Puget Sound where Lolita comes from. Oh, and before you say that things like that don’t happen any more, go check out Taiji. They aren’t orca, but they fight for their lives in the same way.

      As I said before, the vast majority of captive orca can never be free. This is due entirely to the poor husbandry of the facilities holding them. Nobody with full control of their senses is asking that we tip them all into the sea and walk away. But to keep an animal the size of an orca in such a tiny pool? Surely you would agree that more space would be beneficial to their health and welfare? More space in their natural environment, with the current against their skin and the ability to actually dive? Something they cannot do in captivity. Oh, they swim under the water, but it falls way short of diving. Maybe even the males dorsal fins would start to stand erect again. I would pay good money to see Tillikum as nature intended!

      Obviously, a sea pen would need boundaries as the orca who cannot even be considered for release have to be kept safe!

      Why shouldn’t SeaWorld pay? It’s their fault! I have absolutely NO objection to SeaWorld building a sea pen for the orca that they have ruined and rendered quite unable to return to freedom. I have absolutely NO objection to SeaWorld charging the public to come and view the same orca. BUT, the orca should be, as far as humanely and humanly possible, free to be orca. Not performing clowns which is degrading and pointless and holds NO educational value what so ever. If they wish to continue to perform to the crowd, then fine but please, no silly humans in ridiculous orca-patterned wetsuits telling them what to do. Let them be who and what they want to be. SeaWorld have made billions of dollars off the backs of these magnificent creatures and to repay them, they have neglected their basic needs and cause them untold stress and illness. Time to redress the balance.

  25. Monica Gilbert permalink
    January 28, 2013 1:54 am

    Rose, I assume that you give some credence to an independent critic’s review like Variety, so have a read of the review they gave of “Blackfish”. http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117949104/#.UQYbdl0yFOM.facebook Of course you may choose to ignore what’s staring you right in the face, or you might not. I’m sure you’ll let me know.

  26. Linda Derosa permalink
    January 28, 2013 4:25 am

    The fact of the matter is simple – pure and simple – No ocean dweller should be kept in captivity – there is NO excuse to cetacean abuse – Everyone can argue the point till they are blue in the face! – Captivity kills – They where created for ocean life and NOT concrete prisons performing tricks for the amusement of an ill informed public (vast majority) and being rewarded with dead fish! They where not put upon this planet for the exploitation of corporate greed – $$ rules sadly – Try and put yourself in their place for once all of you pro caps – go lock yourself in a tiny room for a year and do leaps and flips for your “food” and tell me that it is fine – you too would emerge angry and no doubt insane. Abusement parks are soulless prisons – no educational value whatsoever – You want to see Ocean Life where it belongs, in the oceans – now that is an educational experience worth paying for – Off my soapbox but still fighting to free them all!

  27. Gaisie H permalink
    January 28, 2013 5:04 am

    Having just read through all of the comments, it surprises me to see that people are still arguing that AI and therefore captivity are good things in 2013.

    It seems to me that there are three types of people when it comes to captivity. Firstly those who would buy tickets to a show because they know no better. Of these, if some knew the facts they’d choose not to go, others wouldn’t care, and others are egotistical enough to want to be ‘entertained’ whatever the cost to the creatures.

    Secondly there are the anti-cap people, some of whom have studied all the facts. Others inherently knew from an early age that it is wrong to confine creatures for humans to profit from ‘training’ them to ‘entertain’ those who know no better or simply don’t care. In terms of animal welfare, the science is now catching up with what many of us knew anyway, and it was really always just common sense. Most scientists now agree there’s nothing new to be learnt from keeping these creatures in captivity and that we need to be studying them in the wild. Jean Michel Cousteau, who has been doing both for almost 50 years has written, “No aquarium, no tank in a marine land, however spacious it may be, can begin to duplicate the conditions of the sea. And no dolphin who inhabits one of those aquariums or one of those marine lands can be considered normal.”

    Then there are people who proclaim themselves as pro-caps. I usually find these are quite young people who, for whatever reason, have chosen to take a stance which is insupportable. Of course, young people tend to do this on many fronts, it’s part of the learning process. In my youth I frequently argued that black was white or vice versa. Some of these claim to have studied all the facts and read all of the scientific papers and still believe in captivity. If that’s true then these people either currently have a problem interpreting info or they’re aware they’re backing themselves up a dead end but carry on anyway. You can of course provide the info, but you can’t understand it for them.

    To the young lady who spoke of ‘the incredible thing we call SeaWorld’ ~ I tend to agree, please watch this interview with Jim Atchinson and Steven Schwarzman and you’ll note lots of incredible things about SW. It is a corporation which, because of US taxation laws, paid no tax on huge profits last year, though America has 1 million homeless children and 16 million go to bed hungry every night. As you will see from the footage, SW views the animals as employees, I find that incredible in 2013, but then I accept that America is quite backward in a lot of respects. You might find it interesting to know that both of those men live in houses bigger than orca tanks.

    To whoever spoke of love, there are many different interpretations of that word, it’s a bit more than a warm fuzzy feeling. People in some European countries keep songbirds in small cages because the birds are pretty and they like the songs. Those people will tell you they love their birds. Is this true love? Of course not. If they truly loved songbirds they’d never keep one like that, they’d want to know they were flying free somewhere in their own habitat even if they never saw one. Human ego and desire often gets mixed up with love.

    SeaWorld interview:~ http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000098492

  28. Monica Gilbert permalink
    January 28, 2013 6:13 am

    Cayla …. and this comment is a little off-piste here … you said this “the vomit that just came from your mouth makes me want to puke as well. how about you stop with your opinions and instead find actual information instead of opinions as well and come back when you are not 13 any more. Rose summed it up pretty well for me.
    as for the rape, i wouldn’t let that happen. or put myself in a position to let it happen. Duh.”

    And you say I am the one name-calling. I have looked back over this entire thread and nowhere have I called anyone any names. I am not here to name call and I’m not here to be insulted either. YOU are the one who called ME a jerk. YOU are the one who said “the vomit that just came from your mouth …”. Don’t you think that’s a bit rude? Hmmmm?

    How much actual information would you like? I have a vast reference library ready to provide what information I’m looking for. What information do YOU have to refute any of the comments I’ve put forward? I don’t see YOU offering any links or references. Rose summed up over and over and over again what Rose thought. There have been other very pertinent comments put forward in answer to Rose that I applaud because they are talking reality and good sense.

    And as for your final comment Cayla .. “as for rape … ” you say you will never put yourself in a position to let it happen. Let me tell you, rapists don’t make appointments, nor do they call ahead. And on that theme, how do you think Morgan feels when a male orca is put in her puddle? She doesn’t know him. He’s a complete stranger and he wants to have sex with her. Is she going to want to get it on with him?

    You call did get one thing right though … you called humans greedy and you included yourself in that. Do not include me or any other anti-captivity supporter in that vein please. We are not the ones who want to keep these magnificent animals in tiny prisons and we will fight with our last breath until dolphins and whales are no longer detained by greedy corporations and ignorant people who go to see them.

    And quite frankly Cayla, I think YOU could do with a little lesson in respect. If you want to get down and dirty then I can do that too, but I’d rather stay on the moral high ground and watch you flounder.

    • Cayla permalink
      January 28, 2013 11:53 am

      Dear, you were the one who came on to this thread attacking everyone including myself, but when someone comes back at you with something you don’t like suddenly we are the ones being awful and you’re not? Mostly everything you have said has been rude or disrespectful. As you said, you have no respect for those who have different opinions. THAT makes you rude. So…if you can’t SEE that, then there is no hope for you. So, I came back at you after all the attacks and I need a lesson in respect? OK sure.
      “Monica how old are you, if you dont mind me asking? Because you are the most rude, inconsiderate, individual on this site and im not just saying that because we have differing opinions. You are acting like a child that isn’t getting her way and being the biggest bully to everybody.” Rose said that.

      OF course, rapists don’t call ahead and you never know what’s going to happen. When I say I wouldn’t let that happen, the man or who ever would be dead. I know VERY well how to defend myself and NO one will do that to me. This is all WAY off topic.

      ALL humans are greedy, including yourself whether you like to admit it or not. It may not be about captivity but there are OTHER things out there. Humans are naturally greedy beings, it’s just how we are. The fact that you say you are not greedy begs to differ.
      Rose and I say the same exact thing over and over. THEY DO NOT KNOW THE WILD. Yea she knows alot more than me because she studies them more than I do, sure. I don’t, I have other things to attend to, but my knowledge is NOT little.
      The links you posted…some singer saying what goes on…I’ve read that…I’ve laughed at that. He has NO experience with animals nor has he seen that I’m sure. Blackfish….is all based on anti captivity, they are making it even worse. Why would someone like myself want to even see that?
      Greedy….you keep fighting and fighting for what you think is right by all means do it. But you are greedy because you want what you want and NOT what’s best for the animals, which WOULD NOT survive in the wild with NO family. That…is greedy. You may think that’s right…that’s fine. I’m stating facts.
      They are just like dogs now, you let them go they wouldn’t know what to do, because they have ADAPTED to live where they are at.
      Morgan has lived with Keto for some times now, she knows every whale in that tank. Whales don’t get married. They mate with who ever. So to say she doesn’t know him is probably far off. Also…for the record. NO one can get into their mind and know what’s going on. All of us are probably far off when it comes to what they are doing or how they feel. Simple as that.

      • Gaisie H permalink
        January 28, 2013 1:08 pm

        Cayla, there’s a bit more info about SeaWorld’s breeding program here. From photos currently doing the rounds, it seems something’s wrong with Vicky:~ http://krystalludeman.tumblr.com/post/41587693913/seaworlds-superb-inbreeding-program-lack-of-genetic

      • January 28, 2013 1:53 pm

        Whales mate when SeaWorld allow them to. Anything else, like the “accidental” inbreeding, is apparently just that. An accident. If they were allowed to breed as Nature intended then SeaWorld would not need to use AI.
        I will treat your sweeping statement that all humans are greedy with the contempt it deserves, and replace it with a better one: MANY HUMANS ARE SELFISH. Selfish for wanting to keep something, anything, for their own ends regardless of the consequences. Like the songbirds mentioned previously, or the orca we all feel passionately about. It is selfish and self-serving to want to keep something that makes a massive profit but is kept in appalling conditions relative to the animal concerned. There is no difference between the SeaWorld of today and the Plantation owners of old.
        Again, I reiterate that nobody wants to tip the captive orca into the ocean and walk away. A decent life for a majestic, intelligent, sentient being. Why is that so difficult for you? We KNOW that they cannot all be released into the wild. It may turn out that NONE of them can, but considering the dreadful life they lead solely because of humans, we OWE it to them to at least try. Do you know? We even have a word for it. REHABILITATION. You are not stating facts, you are making suppositions and assumptions based on your own greed for wanting them to stay captive.
        You won’t go and see Blackfish? Then you are silly and blinkered and highly immature. You cannot argue a case until you know and understand BOTH sides of the argument. Which is probably why you are so naive.
        A decent debate is one where both sides walk away having GAINED something from it. In most cases something positive, either because you feel that you have made your point and made it well or, better still, you have not made an enemy out of a fellow man. You are failing miserably in the former and succeeding with flying colours in the latter. You have been rude, offensive and patronising which is something that this debate can well do without.

  29. Tracy permalink
    January 28, 2013 7:58 am

    I do not understand Why they continúe to AI these orcas. Playing GOD is so wrong.

    • January 28, 2013 8:37 am

      Because money is the new God.

    • Cayla permalink
      January 28, 2013 12:29 pm

      Playing God would be creating something from nothing….this is NOT playing God in any way

      • Cayla permalink
        January 28, 2013 12:42 pm

        well not nothing. dirt and clay…yea that’s not happening here.

  30. Cayla permalink
    January 28, 2013 1:31 pm

    Gaisie, there is nothing wrong with Vicky. Those bruise like parts on her is from playing with a toy, there are pictures of it. She likes to stick her head through it and it rubs there. It’s on both sides of her. I highly doubt that they were expecting Vicky to be born but sadly she was, as was Adan, and Nalani. It wasn’t forced breeding, the whales did it them selves.
    Would you rather put all the whales by themselves and leave it at that? That’s not good either.

  31. Cayla permalink
    January 28, 2013 2:46 pm

    Wilfred if that statement was just directed at me, then you are wrong in your assumptions of me being rude, selfish, or greedy. I am simply returning what was given to me. All of you are doing the same thing I am then in putting out opinions. I say something, then I’m highly wrong in what I say because you don’t like what I say. Sure, I don’t like what you say but I’m sitting here going you are immature, awful, naive, blah blah. A few things I’ve said sure been rude, but only in my defense.
    Why is it so difficult for you to understand what I think? They are ok where they are at. Putting them in the ocean and rehabilitating them costs MONEY this nation doesn’t have and it’s a place none of the captive borns have experienced. That makes me selfish because I’d rather see them live??
    I will not go see Blackfish because of the fact that keeping them where they are at is how it’s probably going to be. Going on about a death that happened years ago is SELFISH. They are using that to make money?! Yes, Dawn died. But she died doing something she loved. Like I said…..working with large animals has it’s risks!!!! If you don’t like it, DON’T DO IT.
    I’m gettting more than enough on this site alone for BOTH sides of the arguement. Calling me names and trying to make me feel stupid is not making YOU a better person or making your point go through. It makes me shake my head. If you think I’ve been rude and all that please highlight things I’ve said…out of my defense. I’m sorry but there are other people on here that have been far worse and I’m not one of them.
    People do this all the time. Don’t like what you hear? Then you are rude, and mean, and an awful person how dare you say this stuff. Reading over my comments I’ve made on here….I have not been rude at all. Guess it all depends on how you read the text.

    OH, and Monica….I did not once call you a jerk, in none of my comments did I say YOU ARE A JERK, if I happened to miss it do correct me, but it’s not there….

    • January 28, 2013 3:26 pm

      Cayla, if only you were as good at defending the captive orca as you are at defending yourself, you might actually get your point across. Well, apart from the parts where you contradict yourself. Obviously.

      Sorry, but you have been weighed and measured and you have been found wanting.

      • Cayla permalink
        January 28, 2013 4:37 pm

        I have no idea where I’ve contradicted myself….I’ve been saying the same thing over and over. Obviously

    • January 28, 2013 5:28 pm

      “the vomit that just came from your mouth makes me want to puke as well. how about you stop with your opinions and instead find actual information instead of opinions as well and come back when you are not 13 any more.” Rude enough for you, Cayla?

      Or where you call someone a “jerk”:
      “Now you may think I’m greedy in what I just all said and that’s fine. I don’t really give two hoots what you think . But it IS important to not be such a jerk when debating about something. Just because someone doesn’t share the same opinion as you doesn’t mean you shouldn’t respect them as a human being. We are all different, we all have our own thoughts. These are mine, and I’m sure a few others on here.”

      “ALL humans are greedy”
      “you are wrong in your assumptions of me being rude, selfish, or greedy”. Erm….which one is it Cayla?

      I think I have made your point for you.

      i have no further interest in showing you how silly and immature you have been.

      I am more than happy to debate with you why you are adamant that the Orca should stay in a teeny tiny tank with completely unnatural surroundings as opposed to a decent sized sea pen financed by SeaWorld as a commercial venture, with the proviso that there are no “shows” and no stupid banal tricks and no ridiculous trainers in their silly orca patterned wetsuits. it is a win-win situation. SeaWorld keep their cash-cows and the gawping public can still pay to see Orca, just in a vastly improved arena. The ocean. This can only be of benefit to the Orca as they are where they were always meant to be…

      • Cayla permalink
        January 28, 2013 6:21 pm

        With the vomit comment, that was in my own defense…I got irritated and lashed out sure. Who doesn’t? That’s been pointed out enough of what I said.

        I wasn’t calling Monica a jerk, it was a term to be used. No one should be a jerk when debating just cause you don’t share the same opinion. THAT is NOT labeling her herself a a jerk.

        rude, selfish, or greedy, can I keep listing what you want to label ME as those are just a few i threw out. I can very well be all of those, as could you, or anyone on this thread. But on this thread I wasn’t being any of those. I was simply either defending myself. One comment stooped to the level of rude, yes. But not every single comment.

        And I can keep debating with you telling you that those animals have no idea what the ocean is or anything. That sea pen will most likely not happen. Sure it’d be nice to see, but the reality of it is, is that it just won’t happen.
        I can keep saying the tanks are not small, compared to the ocean yes, but as opposed to say Lolita, no it’s not small.

        I’m in the reality of, it is what it is and it’s probably not going to change. God said we have control over animals, and well there it is. People think of, we can control anything, we can make money, there.

        The animals aren’t mistreated in my eyes in any way. If they were, it’d be alot more seen. They’d be skinny from ‘not getting fed’ they’d be dying. They’d be attacking LOTS more than we can imagine. But I guess that’s just my view.

  32. Rose permalink
    January 28, 2013 2:48 pm

    there are so many comments on here now that people think they are looking at the situation full circle, but in reality they are still swaying towards their own personal beliefs. i am tired of arguing in a circle with people that have a different opinion than my own. there is no reasoning, no open-mindedness, no willing to listen that has been going on. i have so many rebuttals to so many comments but i realized, why waste my time and effort when it wont even be heard? it wont be considered, in fact it will be attacked because its not what you all want to hear. so why do i try. cayla has been doing a good job pointing out some flaws in all of our logic but i think the main problem here with all of us (including myself) is complete RESPECT. just because i or anybody else has a different opinion does not mean they are ignorant, idiots, shameful, deserving of such hatred. I am done trying because there are far more important things out there that I can be putting my efforts towards than fighting an endless, fruitless battle with people that just want to beat me down.

    • January 28, 2013 3:30 pm

      Rose, that is always going to be the case in an emotive issue such as this.
      You can turn it around and say exactly the same thing from our side of the fence.
      You cannot understand why I want the Orca to have more space in a far more natural setting, and I cannot understand why this is anathema to you.

      It is always going to be a circular argument. It is the nature of the beast.

  33. Rose permalink
    January 28, 2013 7:51 pm

    Hey guys, what is the subject of this article? Oh I dont know, about Takara, about orcas, etc. NOT about you said this and you said that. This whole thing has strayed so far from the topic its ridiculous. this isnt even about pro vs. anti anymore. its about “youre an idiot for thinking that, you need to do more research on this” and proving a point on who is being the nastiest (like its a contest). If we cannot be civil with each other, how about we get back on topic of this article. if not, take the argument somewhere else.

    • January 29, 2013 7:23 am

      I remember being taken to a zoo as a small child and seeing white tigers in a cage. A concrete box with metal bars. No enrichment, nowhere to get away from the public and most importantly not enough space. Just a box with bars. Even then, I knew it was wrong. The tigers were stressed and bored, quite literally, out of their minds.
      I will never forget the tigers’ eyes as long as I live. I had never seen and felt such deep sadness, despair and hopelessness.
      Now, as a small child there wasn’t much I could do, but happily there were plenty of adults who felt the same as me and they could and did do something. They formed an organisation, got experts on board and made the tigers lives better. They were moved to a much bigger enclosure, no more metal bars, had grass and plants to investigate and play with, were given enrichment toys for the first time in their lives, had somewhere to hide from the relentless public gaze. Yet the public still came. Why? Because the tigers were allowed to be tigers! They could move and jump and play with water. Yes, they even gave them a pond. Mentally and physically the tigers improved tenfold. Probably more.
      THIS is what the Orca so desperately need. THIS is what should be happening. No captive animal should have to sing for it’s supper. The tigers and lions and wolves don’t. Only dolphins and pinnipeds. Why is that?
      We violently remove them from the wild. From everything they have ever known and loved. We force them to live in a completely unnatural environment. We make them eat a food that they would NEVER eat in the wild. We decide when and who they will breed with. We exert our will on them so they perform stupid completely unnatural behaviours. We limit their lifespan. We rip calves away from mothers when it is known and fully accepted that calves (particularly males) stay with their mother for life. Our cruelty to these animals knows no boundaries.
      We have ruined their health AND their teeth, rendering them completely unable to return to the wild.
      Surely, even the smallest act of kindness to these magnificent beasts is worth it?
      All I ask is that we do for the Orca what we did for the tigers and bears and wolves who went insane in their concrete boxes. Give them more space. Put them back in the ocean. Let them retire. Stop inbreeding. Stop the repulsive and diabolical AI. Stop supporting the capture of MORE cetaceans for import into the USA. 18 Beluga are still waiting in Russia, remember. If they are admitted it will be Orca next. Let them live out the rest of their lives in an environment as near to normal as possible. For everything these wonderful beasts have sacrificed, it is the very least we can do.

      • Lee Shropshire permalink
        February 18, 2013 9:14 pm

        They are feed regardless if they preform or not fool, if they didn’t they’d have been shut down years ago the acts are simply workout routines and enrichments.

  34. Monica Gilbert permalink
    January 29, 2013 8:07 am

    Wilfred Rabbit said it all. Let the currently contained orca live out their lives in sea pens. Feel the ocean currents on their skin. Echolocate into the ocean, because they surely can’t in their tiny bowls. They are not meant to be contained and confined with no mental stimulation. They are bored out of their minds and while away the time chewing metal bars and cement so that must be pumped full of antibiotics lest they get infections and die! Perish the thought SeaWorld would lose another asset.

    The Roses and Caylas of this world will continue to be those people who keep the songbirds in their cages for their own selfish pleasure. They won’t even contemplate the sea pen option because it’s an inconvenience. SeaWorld should be made to pay for these sea pens after making so much money from these creatures for decades.

    My own personal hope is that the rest of the world will realise that cetaceans should not be contained. Or made perform for food. Just another dancing bear. They should not have to undergo AI. It is unnatural and unnecessary. As someone said earlier, supposedly God has given mankind power over animals, I don’t think God had artificial insemination in mind when He did that by the way. That’s why it’s called artificial. I’m also pretty sure that God wanted mankind to look after animals too. I don’t see that happening at SeaWorld or any other marine aquarium. Look at Marineland at Niagara Falls.

    I’ve had enough of this name-calling and inane arguments. I know that I am on the side of the orca. Anyone who supports captivity has no love for them. They only care about their own pleasure and entertainment.

    • Cayla permalink
      January 29, 2013 2:35 pm

      Don’t try and think you know what goes through my head about whales in captivity or tell me I don’t love them. If it’s for my own pleasure, hell I’d be down at the park everyday watching them and doing all that. But I’m not. I’m lucky to see them once every few years.
      I never said I was against the sea pen idea, I said I would love to see that. But in reality it’s probably not going to happen. When it does, sure you can shove it in my face and I’ll kindly take it. BUT….if it was going to happen it’d have happened a while ago. I’d have no problem seeing them in something like Seaworld Australia has for the dolphins, or places like that. I’d have NO problem. Say they replaced those tanks and built something like that with sand and all kelp, and toys like that to play with, sure I’d love that. But I’m not holding my hopes to high. I’m never against that, I’m against throwing them into the wild and letting them be free that way.
      Honestly, this isn’t the time nor the place to get into a God debate and I apologize for putting that in there. You are right about looking after the animals, but…sadly we have free will. Whether to believe in Him or to do whatever we want. I’ll leave it at that.

      Marineland is a completely different place to me than Seaworld.

      I support the well being of the animals, which is not releasing them. If a real life like enviornment happened like I had just described or how you all put it, I’m all for it. That would be awesome to see.

      • January 29, 2013 6:57 pm

        Cayla, why not help make it a reality?
        To the benefit of all?
        Why not join me and others in proposing to SeaWorld that they do just that? Make a bigger and better place for the Orca. You have the upper hand here as you live in the US and are far more able than I am to go see them in a new place. You have even said that it would be awesome. I am not asking you to step out of any kind of comfort zone or even your front door, in fact I am asking you to do exactly what you have done here for the past couple of days. Speak out. Speak up. Ask questions. You have a much better chance than I of getting into dialogue with them as you live there and don’t get banned from their FaceBook pages for daring to question (politely, I might add!) the fact that a pilot whale died of sunburn related issues!
        Ask them why they haven’t done it, then that can be built upon and followed up.
        At least consider it?
        Thank you.

  35. marcus bennett permalink
    February 19, 2013 10:55 am

    I’m sure tim just sits at home and laughs his ass off at all of you people arguing on here. A bunch of fools.

  36. Monica Gilbert permalink
    March 1, 2013 12:28 am

    An article written about the birth and life in captivity of Kasatka and her son.

    http://www.opposingviews.com/i/society/animal-rights/sea-world-s-newborn-orca-ambassador-or-exploited-cripple-sea-0

    Thanks SeaWorld!

  37. Helen B. permalink
    April 3, 2013 8:01 pm

    Captivity kills, it is fact, plain and simple. First it destroys the mind of the animal, whatever the species is, then it destroys the soul and eventually it kills the body. You cannot argue around these facts because they are just that FACT. And we only have to look beyond animals to how these types of crimes were perpetrated against humans – Nazi Germany the prime but not only example.

  38. Renee wrede permalink
    April 3, 2013 8:07 pm

    As an animal behaviorist I will tell you what the experts agree on–orcas do not belong in captivity. They are too intelligent, self aware and have the propensity for more emotion than humans. They do what it asked to be fed– period. When they get really frustrated and depressed they go “off behavior” which is SeaWorld speak for not obeying the commands. The aggression is from frustration and being put in a pool with non related orcas because orcas live their entire lives in a tightly knit family pod. Orcas do not fight in the wild they just swim away and do not spend time together. Being forced in unrelated pods in small pools causes extreme stress. Most, if not all orcas have ulcers or GI disease. Extreme boredom also causes major stress and abnormal behaviors. Immune systems are affected which is probably why captive orcas die much earlier than wild orca. They suffer tooth issues from jaw popping and biting gates and cement. These teeth need drilling and then flushing several times a day to help prevent food from getting stuck and systemic infections. Several orcas have died from systemic infections. You may argue and discuss all you want but the truth is orcas bring money and lots of it. Orcas however, do not do well in captivity and should not be in captivity. The original idea was education and we have learned all we can learn from captive orcas years ago and now they get more information from wild orcas.

    • Rose permalink
      April 3, 2013 11:09 pm

      I am also very experienced in animal behavior and have a journal article in review right now, how about you? As for the animals living in tight knit families, yes they do that in the wild, I agree. But those born at the parks don’t know any different. This is the life they are accustomed to. If they did come from the wild then your point would be partially valid. But what, 70% of the whales worldwide are born there, not captured. So that is becoming the norm. Also, wild orcas fight as well. There are plenty of pictures out there of whales with rakes on their backs, what is that from, playing? And like Helen believes its appropriate to challenge somebody to give 5 articles backing her “opinion” I challenge you to give multiple publications proving that “most if not all” captive animals have ulcers and GI problems. Yes its possible, but saying that they all do is not very professional and credible with no evidence. That being said, is it not possible a wild whale could have those kinds of problems? I believe it would be. The problem with this argument is that every whale in captivity we know the cause of death and can do necropsies on. But wild whales, its once in a blue moon that the cause of death is known because we don’t see every single whale that dies out there. So yes captive whales are dying of all these horrible diseases but its 100% possible it could happen to a wild whale.

      • Jay W. permalink
        April 4, 2013 6:17 pm

        After all these months you’re still there monitoring what people are saying? Go find something better to do, honey.

      • Rose permalink
        April 5, 2013 8:02 am

        i’m not “monitoring” anything. i get emails every time somebody comments. what about you? are you monitoring everything??

    • Helen B. permalink
      April 5, 2013 7:42 am

      @Renee – not that I doubt for one minute that you can find the information yourself, but I did a little look through my piles of scientific research and papers and documentation and reports and I have a whole bunch of grey literature and literature that proves your point on ulcers and GI problems … and guess what, the literature I have does not only refer to cetacea, but it also happens to refer to many different species of captive animals. Let me know if you would like the references etc to share with Rosie. I am more than willing to help make a point!

      • Rose permalink
        April 5, 2013 8:06 am

        I never once doubted that the animals having ulcers is POSSIBLE. I said I do not believe that every single animal has it. and if you read the entire comment once again, I said how do we know its not exclusive to captive animals?? what makes you think a wild animal could never have these things? we really wouldn’t be able to know because we do not see every single whale that dies in the wild like we do in captive animals.

        Before you start jumping to conclusions because it fulfills your agenda, read the entire argument, not just the parts you want to hear. You have done this multiple times already.

  39. Helen B. permalink
    April 4, 2013 10:46 pm

    I am still waiting for Cayla and Rose to bring me proof – scientific-based or research-based evidence to prove beyond reason of a doubt their statements. But I can only see them argue and argue with no research or citings from research documents to support their arguments. Kindly provide what has been previously asked or just simply STFU!!

    • Rose permalink
      April 5, 2013 7:58 am

      how about stop being rude about it and provide something for you argument. i don’t have thetime right now to provide all this. but how about you give US something, then in time find these papers for you. its only fair

      • Helen B. permalink
        April 5, 2013 9:16 am

        I am not being rude, you are being arrogant. you have the time to comment on this blog for four months but now suddenly you have no time to produce your evidence …. share your email address and i will send you every single one of the 250 odd documents I have in my possession and then I will send you the other I have found since I posted last night …. looking closer to 300 now …. you have nothing so what do you base your opinions on … hot air ….

      • Rose permalink
        April 5, 2013 11:51 am

        I haven’t just been sitting here posting every 5 minutes for that past 4 months. If you must know why I don’t have the time right now to pull up all these studies is because I am in school working on all my final projects, tests, and papers. I have an infant child to tend to and am recovering from surgery. I am focusing my time and energy on those things which are clearly more important.

      • Helen B. permalink
        April 5, 2013 9:23 am

        Rose, poor dear old Rose, I do not have an agenda! Where in any of my statements have I mentioned ANYTHING about wild animals never having the potential for developing ulcers or GI complications, nowhere, nor did I even allude to it. You asked me to provide you evidence that most, if not all captive animals suffer from ulcers or GI, not the opposite. You are talking yourself in circles and going round and round again and again but you still have not provided evidence because you are too busy or are ignoring the request or every plausible excuse you can come up with. I on the other hand do not need to go searching for the evidence. I have hard copies in my hands!!!! Please, do us all a favour and just find ONE, just ONE reference or piece of literature, grey or otherwise that you can cite, reference, recall even …. JUST ONE!

      • Helen B. permalink
        April 5, 2013 5:28 pm

        So that is like 4 species I have shared but I have also got these ….pythiosis in panther leo (lions) and other captive big cats, not to mention the research I found on polars bears and other bears, then there is the research on primates and monkeys and I could keep going on but like I mentioned many posts back I could post 1000s of posts on here citing all the information but you won’t even bother to read it, but I do have it and I will actually post some other stuff specific to cetacean and porpoises because that is what was originally being discussed …. I am a woman of my word, now its your turn

      • Helen B. permalink
        April 6, 2013 4:50 pm

        what is not fair is that I asked Cayla to produce evidence to support her statements and opinions but she didn’t so you jumped on the bandwagon and now you are fast backtracking …. I have produced many examples and yet you have not even produced one, not even a single name that can be linked to anything – I know many of the names of the individuals who have written things because I am, in case you hadn’t already noticed, extremely passionate about this issue ….. all it would have taken is 5 maybe 10 minutes to find something to support your argument, maybe even just the time it took you to actually read and respond to my posts.

  40. Helen B. permalink
    April 5, 2013 1:13 am

    Oh and just to prepare you Rose and Cayla, I have close to 250 documents and studies that I can cite so give it your best shot! I dare you!!

  41. Helen B. permalink
    April 5, 2013 1:40 am

    Oh and one other thing Rose, when did I ever state the following: And like Helen believes its appropriate to challenge somebody to give 5 articles backing her “opinion” I challenge you to give multiple publications proving that “most if not all” captive animals have ulcers and GI problems. Yes its possible, but saying that they all do is not very professional and credible with no evidence.

    I never asked you to back my opinion at all, I asked Cayla to back her opinion and statements with some scientific research. I also never once mentioned anything at all about captive animals having ulcers or GI problems, but give me a day or two and I am certain I can find you many examples and research that does prove that captive animals do get ulcers and so have GI problems. But like I said, I NEVER made that statement nor did I say ALL animals ….. I think you may have me confused with someone else.

    You see the difference between me and people like you is that I can and do have the research and scientific-based evidence to support my arguments and as previously stated, I have approximately 250 documents at my fingertips which I would happily share with you, but then that would mean taking over this blog because it would mean thousands of posts …. but sure, you want my information I can share it with you ….. what is your email address …

    • Rose permalink
      April 5, 2013 8:01 am

      if you read that ENTIRE comment instead of just the parts you want, it was directed as somebody else. I mentioned you because you believe it to be acceptable to challenge somebody to do that. so i was doing the same thing FOR SOMEBODY ELSE.

      • Helen B. permalink
        April 5, 2013 9:27 am

        Of course it is acceptable to challenge someone to provide evidence to support their argument, anyone in the scientific world or research would not simply automatically accept an opinion or a comment without seeing the evidence. Where is your evidence …. come on. Where is it … even just the NAME of someone you believe might have written something relevant to your arguments that is a professional in their field and recognized as a subject matter expert. Come on now, I am making it so damned EASY and so DAMNED quick for you … why are you witholding. All your comments and opinions have got to have come from somewhere and I am guessing it is from research cos you sure do not sound like an idiot … so come on just give me something to go on … its called debate, its called public discussion. We can agree to disagree after but show me something …..

      • Rose permalink
        April 5, 2013 11:58 am

        I have already told u why i cannot give this to you right now. And just because you say you have 250+ articles to give doesn’t mean anything. I could say that I am actually Michelle Duggar with 19 kids and am only using Rose as a handle and you would have no evidence or idea to know otherwise. For all I know you are just using scare tactics. Which more and more sounds like the case because you are pushing me SOOOO hard to give just one yet you are incapable of doing that??

      • Helen B. permalink
        April 5, 2013 4:53 pm

        I don’t care to read your excuses no matter how “plausible” you might think they are. Its evidence you asked for and while you think I have just been using scare tactics you better hold onto your seat because you are in for a ride and while I am educating you on putting your money where your mouth is, I hope to also educate you period …..

        So let’s start with your comment that I or Renee should provide multiple evidence or citations for “most if not all” captive animals have ulcers and GI problems. Now without even touching the cetacean which was the topic originally being discussed lets take a look at what I have found.

        Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus Research – just one excerpt from just one piece of grey literature on PubMed reads “clinical signs are often vague and can include lethargy, lameness, colic, anemia, thrombocytopenia (kidney issues for the layman) edematous swelling of the head and thoracic limbs, oral ulceration and cyanosis of the tongue, Necropsy findings are consistent with vasculitis and include extensive cardiac and serosal hemorrhages and edema, hydropericardium, cyanosis of the tongue and oral and intestinal ulcers.” Now just a few citations for you, because you know there are 100s if not 1000s of them JUST for this one disease which affects captive elephants the world over …. ready? Reid et al. 2006; Zachariah et al. IEF Conservation and Research Symposium Bangkok 2008 & Pretoria 2010; Ossent 1990; Richman 1999; Richman 2000; Garner 2009; Latimer 2010;

        A highly fatal hemorrhagic disease has been identified in Asian and African elephants at North American zoos. In the affected animals there was ultrastructural evidence for herpesvirus-like particles in endothelial cells of the heart, liver, tongue and stomach. Otherwise healthy African elephants with external herpetic lesions yielded herpesvirus sequences identical to that found in Asian elephants with endothelial disease.

        The Veterinary Record 13 October 2012: 380-381.
        J. Gen. Virol. 1 March 2010: 630-642.
        Veterinary Pathology 1 January 2009: 97-104.

        I could keep going but I have a lots to share with you! So for this particular ulceration and GI disease in captive elephants I will stop here …..

      • Helen B. permalink
        April 5, 2013 5:07 pm

        Next up …. lets look at the environmental diseases of marine mammals as published in the Merck Veterinary Manual …. you know who they are right? I am sure you have stumbled across them in your research to inform your opinions ….. here is a bit quoted for you ….

        “GI ulcers are a significant problem in captive marine mammals. Ulcers of the first compartment of the cetacean stomach are a common necropsy finding and pose less severe clinical problems than do ulcers of the pyloric region or proximal duodenum. Gastric ulcers in pinnipeds frequently progress to perforation, which results in peritonitis and subsequent death. Gastric ulcers also occur in sirenians.

        Although ulcers in cetaceans perforate less frequently than in pinnipeds, they should be treated as a serious problem. Various etiologies, including parasitic damage and increased histamine content of spoiled fish, have been suggested, but the disease must be considered primarily an environmental or stress-related condition. Dramatic environmental changes, including changes of personnel or companion animals, can precipitate serious GI ulceration in cetaceans or pinnipeds.

        Clinical signs include lethargy, partial anorexia, abdominal splinting, pallor, and occasionally regurgitation. Animals with bleeding ulcers show anemia and possibly leukocytosis. Diagnosis generally is based on identification of mammalian RBC in gastric washes; confirmation is by endoscopic visualization of the lesions. Palliative treatment of nonperforating ulcers consists of administration of cimetidine (4.5 mg/kg, bid) and alumina-gel-based antacids with or without simethicone, along with frequent small meals. The underlying cause must be identified and corrected for successful resolution. Management of perforating ulcers with resulting peritonitis includes intensive broad-spectrum antibiotic and fluid therapy. As in humans, stress-induced GI ulcers are more likely to develop in marine mammals that have previously had an ulcer.”

        Actually you should check out more of the information they have on diseases for marine mammals its interesting to read just how badly captivity is on these poor sentient beings …..

        Now to cite it ….

        Michael K Stroskopf DVM PhD DACZM April 2012

      • Helen B. permalink
        April 5, 2013 5:18 pm

        Next up, lets talk about crocodiles and alligators that are kept in captivity shall we ….. you see they suffer from GI and ulcerations and not just internally due to the horrific way humans look after them ….

        Now I actually own the PubMed document this information is taken from so I could share it directly with you, but you refused and ignored my invitation to exchange knowledge so I will share with you some of what the document states …..

        “While healthy crocodilians rarely suffer from disease, they are certainly not immune. Crocodilians are particularly susceptible to stress – it affects their appetite, their resistance to disease and their overall health. Keeping stress to a minimum should be high on your list of priorities. Fritz Huchzemeyer DVM defines the following general conditions which can lead to stress:

        Thermal stress – where the animal is unable to thermoregulate correctly,
        Capture stress – when the animal is caught and handled, a factor which is less severe in juveniles (which may be picked up by their mothers) and more severe in older, unsocialised juveniles (where being picked up is a prelude to being eaten) and adults (which are never picked up or handled),
        Social stress – arising out of competition and the inability of adults to establish a territory (e.g. enclosure too small, densities too high).” AND

        “The feet and limbs are often the sites for ulcers, swellings and abscesses either from infected bites or abrasion against materials in the enclosure. Such injuries and infections are more numerous in older, longer-term captives, and may be present anywhere on the body. Again, the chance of a bite becoming infected is much greater if your enclosure is not clean. Skin infections (bacterial and fungal), oral inflammation, and mixed bacterial infections around the vent are all indications of unhygienic conditions. ” AND

        “Mouth rot, or stomatitis, can also be found in crocodilians as well as other reptiles. It is usually multifactorial (e.g. stress, malnutrition, secondary infection), and thus indicates the presence of a more serious problem leading to a generalised systemic infection or a depressed immune system. Stomatitis may be triggered by unhygienic conditions in the enclosure, consistently poor diet or in some cases physical injury to the oral cavity which is then infected (e.g. by Aeromonas and Pseudomonas bacteria). ”

        now to cite it:

        Fritz Huchzemeyer DVM & Frederic Frye DVM 2005

      • Helen B. permalink
        April 5, 2013 5:33 pm

        And just so you know – I am a single mother of 3 kids ((19,17 and 9) lost my hubby to a drunk driver) nearly 10 years ago. I work a government job full time (I am even prepared to tell you who with and where so you can “check” up on me and see I am legit). I also own a consultancy firm and consult for two other government agencies/commissions . In my free time I am an advocate for cetacean (among other animals but that is the campaign I am focusing on right now) and today I worked all day and rushed home so I could post these citations just for you, seeing as you asked so nicely! Scare tactics my arse!

      • Helen B. permalink
        April 6, 2013 12:03 pm

        Rose & Cayla seeing a you two were initially the loudest and most vocal in arguing for captivity of marine mammals (or any other animal) I suggest and encourage that you read more in-depth into both sides of the argument – pro-cap and anti-cap so you an formulate an INFORMED opinion or argument for yourself. So to help you I am willing to direct straight to the research and documentation for anti-captivity arguments, which people like myself, who are definitely not sitting on the fence, have read and researched to inform and substantiate our arguments.

        To begin with, you should start by reading the Marine Mammal Protection Act 1972 (MMPA) – this legislation was originally adopted without scientific research and this piece of legislation along with others such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the SPAW Protocol of the Cartagena Convention failed to define captivity in an “educational” context, specifically how captivity and ‘shows’ like SeaWorld and Marineland furthers conservation by the public and addresses education and conservation issues. The MMPA was amended in 1988 and then again in 1994 to finally force places like SeaWorld and Marineland to “professionally recognized standards” at that specific time, such standards had not been formally published – two industry associaitions eventually drafted standards you can check this out here http://www.aza.org/Accreditation/Documents/AccredStandPol.pdf .

        I will state here that “current scientific knowledge” should form the basis and foundation of any display of marine mammals, however, places like SeaWorld and Marineland flagrantly defy to do as do most dolphinaria.
        L. D. Dierking et al., Visitor Learning in Zoos and Aquariums: A Literature Review (Silver Spring, Maryland: American Zoo and Aquarium Association, 2001 –2002) is a report on the impacts of zoos and aquaria that states “Little to no systematic research regarding the impact of visits to individual zoos and aquariums on visitor conservation knowledge, awareness, affect, or behavior has been conducted and presented at conferences and/or sub – sequently published.”

        A peer-reviewed article noted by L. S. Reade and N. K. Waran, “The modern zoo: How do people perceive zoo animals?” states that “the educational impact that the zoo environment exerts on a typical visitor’s awareness and understanding of other animal species has been poorly explored.”
        “Why Zoos & Aquariums Matter: Assessing the Impact of a Visit (Silver Spring, Maryland: Association of Zoos and Aquariums, 2007), 5 by J. H. Falk et al., attempted to address the lack of educational and conservation programs and literature for the public in zoos and aquaria and the results of that study suggested that at best 10% of visitors to zoos and aquaria increased their knowledge on conservation issues and only 50% were in fact prompted to increa their knowledge of conservation issues.

        “Informal learning at the zoo: A study of attitude and knowledge impacts” (Zoological Society of Philadelphia, 1989 by S. R. Kellert and J. Dunlap, states that the public viewing of animals and watching marine mammal performances is the main reason why people chose to visit a dolphinarium or places like SeaWorld and Marineland and not because they have an interest in educating themselves or a concern for conservation of species of animals. The same was found in “Public awareness and marine mammals in captivity,” by Y. Jiang et al., and Tourism Review International 11 (2008): 237 –250.

        “The effects of zoo environments on public attitudes towards endangered wildlife,” International Journal of Environmental Studies 13 (1979): 283 –287 by D. Rhoades and R. Goldsworthy, . found that captivity facilities “emphasize unnatural behavior” but they also found many other things, I am only picking bits and pieces ….. You should definitely read this one is a goldmine of information!!

        And you cannot always believe what these captivity places do TELL you, for example the website for Indiana’s Indianapolis Zooat one point stated that “the average life expectancy for bottlenose dolphins ( Tursiops truncatus ) in the wild was 37 years. ” When it was pointed out that none of the facility’s animals had to date survived past 21 years of age, the website was changed to report a life expectancy in the wild of only 17 years.” taken from “What marine attractions say vs. the official record,” by S. Kestin, and reported in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel , 17 May 2004.

  42. Helen B. permalink
    April 5, 2013 5:01 pm

    Next up lets talk about Helicobacter pylori which is a disease that harms both humans and animals and humans are carriers – it was the first formal bacterial carcinogen …. I could type a lot about it here but the point is YOU need to see the evidence so try a Google search … maybe along the lines of Pathogenesis of Helicobacter pylori infection and again like I did in my last post I will cite it:

    doi. 10.1128?CMR.00054-05 Clin. Microbiol. Rev. July 2006 vol. 19 no 229-490

    Might also want to check the names Barry Marshall and Robin Warren …. and just so you know on PubMed I found more than 750 articles, abstracts and pieces of grey literature that I could cite but to save everyone else I won’t post those ….

    Herbivores and carnivores in captivity can easily catch this bacterial infection from contact with humans ….

    Shall we continue?

  43. Maryann permalink
    April 6, 2013 4:47 am

    Did I read that right?!?! Did ROSE just say the Orcas VOLUNTEER to be raped?!? WTF? NOW I have heard it all, FFS, Rose, get a life!

    • Helen B. permalink
      April 6, 2013 8:44 am

      Yes Maryann, you did read it correctly, Rose did and I quote ” If you read it unbiased, it says that they volunteer to do it or they are placed on a raised floor with mild to NO sedation. so if they were mildly sedated they can still move, breath, etc (cetaceans cannot be fully sedated because they are voluntary breathers, they would suffocate basically) it would just relax them. Kind of like laughing gas for us. ” and earlier in this thread Cayla wrote and I quote “Really guys? If the animal didn’t like it, they wouldn’t cooperate. I’ve heard plenty of cases that an animal didn’t like it and refused to do so. Orcas are SEXUAL animals”

      Both statements are not backed by any scientific data so therefore are only opinions.

      Rape is defined as “a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse, which is initiated by one or more against another without the other’s consent. The act may be carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse of authority or with another who is incapable of valid consent, such as one who is unconscious, incapacitated, or below the legal age of consent.The term is most often defined in criminal law.” and this definition specifically relates to humans cited in “Sexual violence chapter 6”. World Health Organization. April 15, 2011.

      and zoophilia is defined as and I quote “Zoophilia is a paraphilia involving sexual activity between human and non-human animals or a fixation on such practice. The term “zoophilia” derives from the combination of two nouns in Greek: ζῷον (zṓion, meaning “animal”) and φιλία (philia, meaning “friendship” or “love”).”

      and zoosadism is and I quote “Ernest Bornemann (1990, cited by Rosenbauer, 1997) coined the separate term “zoosadism” for those who derive pleasure – sexual or otherwise – from inflicting pain on animals. Zoosadism specifically is one member of the Macdonald triad of precursors to sociopathic behavior.”

      I quoted these two specifically because they were also mentioned lightly earlier. What was not mentioned was that many animal species actually perform masturbation on themselves so yes, animals and not only orcas are sexual beings, however, what none of these women stated was “Science cannot conclusively say at present what animals do or do not find “pleasurable,”. A 2006 Danish Animal Ethics Council report stated “Even though the evolution-related purpose of mating can be said to be reproduction, it is not actually the creating of offspring which originally causes them to mate. It is probable that they mate because they are motivated for the actual copulation, and because this is connected with a positive experience.”

      So, based on that statement, a male orca trained to perform tricks and trained to “offer” himself up for manual stimulation for the purpose of collecting sperm for AI could be viewed as volunteering himself BUT if he has specifically been trained to “offer” himself up then NO, he is not volunteering himself he has been trained to and the idea that if he did not feel comfortable he could leave (as Rose states later in the thread) is simply ridiculous!

      With regards to Cayla’s statement that the orcas enjoy it then yes, being a sexual being and deriving pleasure or a positive experience they may appear to enjoy it BUT they are forced or coerced into it or trained to participate and offer themselves for it, they do not just offer or volunteer themselves without being told to do so! And that is where the problem lies …..

  44. Helen B. permalink
    April 6, 2013 9:01 am

    but we must remember there IS NO SPECIFIC scientific data to without a doubt confirm that orcas enjoy the masturbation!! unless of course Cayla and Rose have something that they can cite to support their opinion and statements that is … you know … something I just might have overlooked or missed or which has been published since I last researched this …..

  45. Helen B. permalink
    April 6, 2013 2:29 pm

    Posting here but anyone reading this its a post for Rose, Cayla and any other pro-captivity advocate …

    Hopefully I still have your attention Rose & Cayla because now I would like to speak directly to the fallacy of the captivity industry ….. are you ready for more of those “scare tactic” documents that you didn’t believe I owned or could cite from?

    Some of what I previously shared in my other post supports the statement that MANY anti-cap advocates make, places like SeaWorld and Marineland (to mention just the most recognizable but 1000s of others too, not to mention some zoos and straight forward aquaria) blatantly promote their facilities as conservation centers, unfortunately, most of those facilities that promote themselves as such just cannot prove it as they are not in any way able to maintain generations (yes, more than one generation) of species of animals – particularly in the case of mammals who’s life expectancy is severly obliterated by being held captive. If they were in fact conserving a species, there would be substantial generations in their facilities – there are not!

    A study in conservation biology nicely summarizes the limitations of breeding in captivity and I quote “Problems with (1) establishing self-sufficient captive popula – tions, (2) poor success in reintroductions, (3) high costs, (4) domestica – tion, (5) preemption of other recovery techniques, (6) disease out – breaks, and (7) maintaining administrative continuity,” 338. In fact the authors of this study state that “captive breeding should be a last resort in species recovery …. and should displace habitat and ecosystem protection nor should it be invoked in the absence of comprehensive efforts to maintain or restore populations in wild habitats,” “Conservation Biology 10 (1996): 338 –348 by N. F. R. Snyder et al.

    Little work in fact has been done by these big names in business to restock the depleting populations of the animals they capture and hold in captivity, yet the rake in millions and millions each year. And those few (perhaps 10%) that actually do attempt to breed in captivity to specifically replenish the depleted populations use a fraction of the vast monies that they generate our of shows like “Shamu” etc. An interesting read about depleting population of animals to the point of extinction is “First human-caused extinction of a cetacean species?” Biology Letters 3 (2007): 537 –540 by 29 S. T. Turvey et al.

    And while you might know that SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Conservation Fund did give a grant worth US$15,000 in 2007 to fund a project on vaquita distribution in the Gulf of California. what is $15,000 going to do or how far is it going to get when they could just as easily have donated $1 million which would have substanially assisted the project???? Now you might come back with the argument that SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Conservation Fund have contributed to other projects and not all of them cetacea and you would be right, it is true they also contributed US$1.3 million in 2007 to conservation projects the highest amount it has given to date and sure that sounds like a huge amount but the reality is even that amount is less than one percent of the revenue generated by SeaWorld Orlando alone (information taken from http://www.amusementbusiness.com , prior to the website closing down)

    Along the same lines regarding conservation, you might also want to check out the following:
    Dolphins, Whales, and Porpoises: 2002 –2010 Conservation Action Plan for the World’s Cetaceans (Gland, Switzerland: IUCN, 2003), 31 R. R. Reeves et al., http://iucn.org/dbtw-wpd/edocs/2003-009.pdf (this is a well known plan!)

    ”Environmental Science and Pollution Research 5 (2005): 247 –250 D. Wang et al.,

    “Effective conservation in the twenty-first century: The need to be more than a zoo,” International Zoo Yearbook 35 (1997): 1–14 by . J. D. Kelly

    “Assessing the role of zoos in wildlife conservation,” Human Dimensions of Wildlife 8 (2003): 65–74 by A. Tribe and R. Booth

    “Dolphins, Whales, and Porpoises” by 38 See Reeves et al.

    “Faroe Islanders told to stop eating ‘toxic’ whales,” New Scientist , 28 November 2008, D. MacKenzie, http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16159-faroe-islanders-told-to- stop-eating-toxic-whales.html

    These are just some of the research I have but as you can imagine there is lots more, my spare time is precious to me and the marine mammals I advocate on behalf of so I won’t inundate you with research, studies, grey literature, but I can! And besides which, there is still so much more to share with you yet!

  46. Jay W. permalink
    April 6, 2013 6:11 pm

    I bet that Rose still comes here because she puts “Orca Pregnancies” or her Google Alerts. It makes me sick how someone can support an Orca being rapped only to see a brand new cute baby in the UV or performing silly tricks.

    • Helen B. permalink
      April 6, 2013 10:56 pm

      She comes back because she believes in captivity and she doesn’t need to say otherwise any longer because a profession that encourages captivity using quasi-conservation as their foundation or encourages that animals be locked up and imprisoned for the benefit of man and not the animals themselves is something that she wants to protect, Because God forbid she actually realizes that maybe her entire life and the inspirational people she once looked up to (Dawn Brancheau springs to mind) and her dream of making a difference to the lives of animals and the environment might just fall apart! And that my friends is a pretty awful place to be! I pity her, honestly I do but my pity will not stop me from speaking the truth and the fact as I believe it to be and as is evidenced and documented. You don’t have to like or agree or support my method – it is what it is!

  47. Helen B. permalink
    April 6, 2013 8:14 pm

    In reference to breeding in captivity, which is the subject matter of this particular blog post I can certainly offer some information that an help and inform both pro-captivity and anti-captivity advocates. Hopefully it does!

    The introduction or reintroduction of “Bottlenose dolphin ( Tursiops truncatus ) and other toothed cetaceans,” in Wild Mammals of North America: Biology, Management, Economics , by S. Leatherwood and R. R. Reeves, edited by J. A. Chapman and G. A. Feldhammer (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1982), 369– 414. See endnote 75 regarding orcas.

    “A Review of the Scientific Justifications for Maintaining Cetaceans in Captivity” by 87 S. Mayer, edited by F. Clarke (Bath, United Kingdom: Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, 1998)

    “Proposed development of dolphin breeding programme in Jamaica,” Dolphin Cove, Jamaica, September 2004.

    “The Performing Orca: Why the Show Must Stop (Bath, United Kingdom: Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, 1992), 56 –59, by E. Hoyt

    “Reintroduction of captive born animals,” in Creative Conservation: Interactive Management of Wild and Captive Populations , by B. B. Beck et al., edited by P. J. S. Olney et al. (London: Chapman Hall, 1994), 265 –284. (this is a great piece of work because it speaks directly to the captive born industry and while only about 11% success rate.

    Statement ” many of the failures were a result of improper behavior of captive animals when reintroduced into the wild, such as an inability to forage, avoid predators, or appropriately interact with wild members of the same, or different, species” “Limitations of captive breeding in endangered species recovery.” Snyder et al.

    Somewhere along the thread Rose (I believe) mentioned hybrids or responded to someone else’s post on hybrids or mixed breeds – these articles are specific to informing on mixed breeds and hybrids.

    Most anti-caps have knowledge of the 4 bottlenose dolphin and long-beaked common dolphin ( Delphinus capensis ) hybrids that were specifically bred by SeaWorld San Diego and then one of those was mated with a bottlenose dolphin to produce a calf who also died soon after birth but if you don’t you can read more about this in “Captive-born bottlenose dolphin x common dolphin ( Tursiops trunca – tus x Delphinus capensis ) intergeneric hybrids,” Canadian Journal of Zoology 81 (2003): 1755–1762 by H. R. Zornetzer and D. A. Duffield,

    Another well known example of mixed breeding is that of a rough-toothed ( Steno bredanensis ) and bottlenose dolphin hybrid specifically bred at Sea Life Park, Hawaii T. P. Dohl et al.

    Another example – “A porpoise hybrid: Tursiops x Steno ,” Journal of Mammalogy 55 (1974): 217 –221)by J. E. Antrim and L. H. Cornell. Hybrid of a bottlenose dolphin and a long- finned pilot whale ( Globicephala macrorhynchus ) specifically bred at SeaWorld San Diego.

    And lets not forget the 13 Risso’s dolphin ( Grampus griseus ) and bottlenose dolphin hybrids, as well as four bottlenose dolphin and false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens ) hybrids at Enoshima Marineland, Japan reported in “On the intergeneric hybrids in cetaceans,” Aquatic Mammals 11 (1985): 101 –108) by J. P. Sylvestre and S. Tasaka.
    “Zoo and conservation programs,” Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science 1 (1998): 377–380, by P. V. Moriarty, for a discussion of ethics and captive breeding

    “Reproductive physiology and development of artificial insemination technology in killer whales ( Orcinus orca ).” by Robeck et al., discusses the orca artifical insemination of three females by SeaWorld – one of them died in pregnancy along with her fetus. SeaWorld stated in their paper that 26 orcas have been born in captivity, lauding this as a success. This is a misrepresentation of the facts, there have actually been at least 66 known pregnancies, but most fetuses miscarried, were stillborn, or died soon after birth, therefore statistically at least 61% percent of captive orca pregnancies have been unsuccessful – due to the high rate of death of the calves before or just after birth!
    Hierarchies, segregation of sexes and social behaviour patterns in the wild affect the breeding of marine mammals. Artificial groupings, small enclosures, and husbandry practices experienced in captivity may lead to animals breeding at younger ages and at shorter intervals than those typical of wild animals. Different diet in captivity than natural diet can also lead to earlier maturation. Data gathered from captive animals and used to estimate reproductive rates of wild populations would therefore give incorrect estimations! The data gathered could be used to calculate the length of time that a population would recover from depletion, or to address some other similar conservation issue, however, that answer would also be incorrect and could compound the conservation problem – discussion on this issue ” A Review of the Scientific Justifications for Maintaining Cetaceans in Captivity” Mayer.

    SeaWorld has claimed that their AI program techniques will be invaluable to the conservation of endangered species “Reproductive physiology and development of artificial insemination technology in killer whales (Orcinus orca ),” Biology of Reproduction 71 (2004): 650–660 T. R. Robeck et al., this is not a scientific statement as one species of cetacea or orca (as the case may be) may respond entirely differently, can you just imagine the horror of being a test subject to the theory!! Anyone with knowledge would know that behavioral or physiological issues could invalidate their technique! You only have to look at the beluga for an example, they have had poor reproductive successes and I am glad it is so, poor creatures! Once again “A Review of the Scientific Justifications for Maintaining Cetaceans in Captivity” by Mayer discusses this issue.

    “Experimental return to the wild of two bottlenose dolphins.” by Wells et al.

  48. Helen B. permalink
    April 6, 2013 8:16 pm

    Posting here but anyone reading this its a post for Rose, Cayla and any other pro-captivity advocate …

    Hopefully I still have your attention Rose & Cayla because now I would like to speak directly to the fallacy of the captivity industry ….. are you ready for more of those “scare tactic” documents that you didn’t believe I owned or could cite from?

    Some of what I previously shared in my other post supports the statement that MANY anti-cap advocates make, places like SeaWorld and Marineland (to mention just the most recognizable but 1000s of others too, not to mention some zoos and straight forward aquaria) blatantly promote their facilities as conservation centers, unfortunately, most of those facilities that promote themselves as such just cannot prove it as they are not in any way able to maintain generations (yes, more than one generation) of species of animals – particularly in the case of mammals who’s life expectancy is severly obliterated by being held captive. If they were in fact conserving a species, there would be substantial generations in their facilities – there are not!

    A study in conservation biology nicely summarizes the limitations of breeding in captivity and I quote “Problems with (1) establishing self-sufficient captive popula – tions, (2) poor success in reintroductions, (3) high costs, (4) domestica – tion, (5) preemption of other recovery techniques, (6) disease out – breaks, and (7) maintaining administrative continuity,” 338. In fact the authors of this study state that “captive breeding should be a last resort in species recovery …. and should displace habitat and ecosystem protection nor should it be invoked in the absence of comprehensive efforts to maintain or restore populations in wild habitats,” “Conservation Biology 10 (1996): 338 –348 by N. F. R. Snyder et al.

    Little work in fact has been done by these big names in business to restock the depleting populations of the animals they capture and hold in captivity, yet the rake in millions and millions each year. And those few (perhaps 10%) that actually do attempt to breed in captivity to specifically replenish the depleted populations use a fraction of the vast monies that they generate our of shows like “Shamu” etc. An interesting read about depleting population of animals to the point of extinction is “First human-caused extinction of a cetacean species?” Biology Letters 3 (2007): 537 –540 by 29 S. T. Turvey et al.

    And while you might know that SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Conservation Fund did give a grant worth US$15,000 in 2007 to fund a project on vaquita distribution in the Gulf of California. what is $15,000 going to do or how far is it going to get when they could just as easily have donated $1 million which would have substanially assisted the project???? Now you might come back with the argument that SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Conservation Fund have contributed to other projects and not all of them cetacea and you would be right, it is true they also contributed US$1.3 million in 2007 to conservation projects the highest amount it has given to date and sure that sounds like a huge amount but the reality is even that amount is less than one percent of the revenue generated by SeaWorld Orlando alone (information taken from http://www.amusementbusiness.com , prior to the website closing down)

    Along the same lines regarding conservation, you might also want to check out the following:

    Dolphins, Whales, and Porpoises: 2002 –2010 Conservation Action Plan for the World’s Cetaceans (Gland, Switzerland: IUCN, 2003), 31 R. R. Reeves et al., http://iucn.org/dbtw-wpd/edocs/2003-009.pdf (this is a well known plan!)

    ”Environmental Science and Pollution Research 5 (2005): 247 –250 D. Wang et al.,
    “Effective conservation in the twenty-first century: The need to be more than a zoo,” International Zoo Yearbook 35 (1997): 1–14 by . J. D. Kelly

    “Assessing the role of zoos in wildlife conservation,” Human Dimensions of Wildlife 8 (2003): 65–74 by A. Tribe and R. Booth

    “Dolphins, Whales, and Porpoises” by 38 See Reeves et al.
    “Faroe Islanders told to stop eating ‘toxic’ whales,” New Scientist , 28 November 2008, D. MacKenzie, http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16159-faroe-islanders-told-to- stop-eating-toxic-whales.html

    These are just some of the research I have but as you can imagine there is lots more, my spare time is precious to me and the marine mammals I advocate on behalf of so I won’t inundate you with research, studies, grey literature, but I can! And besides which, there is still so much more to share with you yet!

  49. Helen B. permalink
    April 6, 2013 9:16 pm

    Rose Zondag (future zookeeper) maybe?

    • Renee wrede permalink
      April 7, 2013 3:20 am

      I think Rose is young and still learning about the world. I understand, Rose as we were all there. When I was young I thought I knew so much with all my college classes and degrees and working in the veterinary field. I thought I was so smart because I had been on TV several times, had magazine articles, was quoted in books, national newspapers, radio talk shows as well as invited to give lectures on animal behavior. A bit of overconfidence like you which is not always bad. However, as the years go by you actually do get smarter and wiser, you will see the world differently, you will see it as it really is. Once that happens you have to make a big decision as to whether you accept it or make a big move to help change it.

      Right now you probably feel like you are smarter than we are but know this, you will look back and see this time for what it was– a time of growing and learning. You still have so far to go and if you are as smart as you say you may come to a different conclusion as I did. Once you hit “40 something” you don’t have to care for the young children and you are more financially set so you can take the time and brain power to sort through all the information and use your own observations and life experiences to come to your decison about serious issues such as this. Then and only then you will realize your past was all about getting to this point. So don’t put anyone down or be so adamant about this issue when you do not have the experience that could possibly let you know what’s best here– yet. To throw “I have a paper….” as proof of your education was an immature move. Lets all be mature here folks and discuss this subject as it should be–to bring light to the issue of captive breeding of cetaceans or captivity itself. When we can honestly take all that we already know, what we’ve seen here and not be competitive–just add our knowledge and opinions–we will be more satisfied with our choice and fewer ulcers ourselves.

  50. Samantha Cross permalink
    April 9, 2013 2:25 pm

    I am anxiously waiting for this Rose woman to come back and show us some evidence to support her arguments seeing as Helen B. delivered on her promise of many pieces of evidence.

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