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KILLER WHALES IN

CONFINEMENT:
CAPTIVATING AUDIENCES
WHILE BEING HELD
CAPTIVE THEMSELVES
BY: JACOB POST

CAPTURING TECHNIQUES
Bombs are lit with acetylene torches and tossed in the water by high
speed boats to herd whales into coves or bays, in which they are then
netted. Upon entering the cove or bay the nets are set shallow enough to
extend to the ocean floor and once the whales are trapped more nets and
anchors are added to prevent escape by the orcas (Bigg).

Disorientation leading to entanglement


Capture of large herds in Puget Sound resulted in increased mortality
through drowning in nets (Bigg).

We would cut the whales open, fill them with rocks, put anchors on their
tail, and sink them (Blackfish). interviewed whale capture crew member

THE STORY OF TILIKUM


Captured in Iceland and taken to Sealand of the Pacific
Tilikum was constantly abused by female whales that he shared
the same pool with and abused by trained orcas who he worked
with.

There would be times during certain sessions that Tilikum


would be covered with rakes, which is when a whale tears its
teeth down the skin of another whale, and from head to toe you
could see blood (Blackfish).

And the lights were all turned out, so there was really no
stimulation. Theyre just in this dark, metal, 20x30-foot pool for
two-thirds of their life (Blackfish). More rake marks and could
last up to 14 hours in the Winter.

New research lends weight to claims that the huge predatory


mammals are so traumatized by years spent in tiny pools,
rather than roaming the ocean, that they turn on their human
captors (Leake).

LITERALLY KILLER WHALES


John Sillick who was crushed between two whales in 1987 at
SeaWorld in San Diego while riding on the back of one of the
whales.

An orca called Kasatka, pulled the senior trainer Ken Peters


underwater at SeaWorld's San Diego marine park, and held
him there until he almost drowned (Leake).

A female trainer called Tamarie had her foot grabbed by a


killer whale called Orkid and ended up with a compound
fracture in her arm.

Tilikum kills Keltie Byrne, Daniel P. Dukes, and Dawn Brancheau


To this day there is no record of an orca doing any harm to
any human in the wild, with all deaths associated with killer
whales being committed by those creatures in captivity
(Blackfish).

WILD VS. CAPTIVE CETACEANS

Dorsal collapse happens in less than 1% of wild


killer whales, (Blackfish)

Life span in captivity: 25-35 years

Life span in the wild: Similar to that of a human

Social Bonds Matrilines and Pods

Mixing groups

Mother and Child Bonding Calves are routinely


moved from their mothers at a very young age
(Smith)

Stress, aggression, and death

SEAWORLD'S DEFENSE

Research in captivity affords a level of experimental control and internal


validity that cannot be as easily achieved in a natural setting (Marino).

Some phenomenon, such as echolocation may still have been unknown


if not for captive animals (Corkeron).

Solution? The answer lies in building upon ongoing research in the


natural habitat and using these various efforts to create a new paradigm
of research (Marino).

Assuring the health and well-being of the animals in our zoological


parks is a responsibility our skilled professionals take extremely
seriously. Our advanced programming applies a broad range of best
practices based upon behavioral enrichment, preventive health,
veterinary medicine and facilities design and management. Our
programs and policies are affirmed by numerous federal and state laws,
including the Animal Welfare Act, Endangered Species Act, Marine
Mammal Protection Act and other statues (SeaWorld).

Education for the public/Appreciation

THE BUSINESS SIDE OF SEAWORLD


The Orlando-based theme-park company said its quarterly profit
ballooned 30 percent from the same period a year ago, from $92 million to
$120 million. Total revenue rose 3 percent, to $538 million (Garcia).

Funding and other forms of support for research


Funding and direct action in conservation (9 significant areas mentioned,
including BP oil spill and hurricane Katrina)

The SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund is established in 2003


and has since granted $9 million to projects around the world.

Company lawyers appeared before a federal appeals court in Washington,


DC, on Tuesday in their long-running battle with the workplace-safety
regulators over whether animal trainers should be allowed to perform in
close contact with the company's killer whales (Garcia).

OSHA fines SeaWorld $38,500 and declares no whale and trainer water
interaction.

Why is SeaWorld so upset? Taking Trainer Safety seriously?

SOLUTIONS AND MOVING FORWARD


Interspecies Collaborative Research (ICR)
ICR amounts to optimizing existing natural conditions for the primary benefit
of the cetacean rather than imposing artificial ones for the sole benefit of the
researcher (Marino).

A true dolphin sanctuary, defined as being created and operated primarily for
the benefit of the dolphins rather than for the gain of people, has not yet been
formally created (Marino).

Safety precautions, such as quick release floors and underwater vehicles


Why not get rid of Tilikum if hes the problem?
Do trainers really need to be back in the water?
Research should be conducted on whale psychology
Replicate a more natural environment