Orcas in Captivity

California may soon lead the way for orcas.

California is taking the lead the way for freeing captive orcas.

The Orca Welfare and Safety Act (AB 21240) that was before the California Assembly is now awaiting study. The bill would make it illegal to hold in captivity or use wild or captive-bred orcas for performance or entertainment purposes.

For marine life, especially orcas, the ocean is their habitat. Capturing them and putting them into an oversized swimming pool for our entertainment is putting their physical and psychological lives at risk. For instance, when confined to a tank, these sea mammals develop stereotypies. With little space and no stimulation, they can be seen swimming in static patterns around their fish bowl for hours at a time. They also develop skin problems from living in heavily chlorinated water and suffer from ulcers and pneumonia as well as self-inflicted injuries.

Orcas are highly social and form complex societies headed by females. The average lifespan for a female orca is 50 years and a male 30 in the wild. In captivity, they rarely live beyond 20 years. In addition, in the wild, they can travel up to 100 miles daily. There has been enough documentation of the extreme lives orcas live in captivity and none of it supports continuing the practice.

California residents, please contact your legislators and urge them to support this bill.

Parade Should Celebrate Life

This year, SeaWorld will be participating in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. While the Macy's parade is supposed to symbolize magic and joy, SeaWorld instead symbolizes the opposite.

This year, SeaWorld will be participating in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The floats in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade should celebrate magic, joy, fun, surprise. But Macy’s is adding a float from SeaWorld this year, a float that reminds us of tragedy, sadness, and death.

Forcing animals, such as dolphins and whales, for example, to live in concrete pools their entire, and most often abbreviated, lives is inhumane.

These animals are often captured in an extremely violent and cruel manner. Many are either killed or injured during the capture process and others die before reaching their destination. Those animals who do survive are subjected to a lifetime of confinement, unable to express normal behaviors or interact socially, and are subject to diseases and illnesses brought on by their unnatural surroundings.

Ultimately, many of these wild animals are, in reality, subservient and apathetic creatures. It is in depriving these sentient animals of their homes and natural lives and in forcing them to participate in unnatural behaviors that we in the humane world object to.

If you want to see the magic of Macy’s continue, then send a note to the CEO letting him know SeaWorld has no place in the joy that is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Terry J. Lundgren, CEO
Macy’s
7 W 7th St #10
Cincinnati, OH 45202

Acoustical Assault

Paws Down!

To Connyland theme park, Switzerland, and Miami Seaquarium, Florida, for holding raves in proximity to the sea creatures.

In a line we all use at times, “What were they thinking,” two organizations decided to hold raves in proximity to aquariums that house captive dolphins, orcas, and other marine mammals.

Isn’t it enough that we capture and contain these magnificent creatures in oversized bath tubs, do we now have to have pyrotechnics, ear shattering music, and hundreds, if not thousands, of partygoers in close proximity to their unnatural homes?

According to one news report, noise levels at the Connyland theme park reached the level of pneumatic drills set on top volume. In addition, it was reported that attendees tossed all manner of debris into the animals’ pools, including drugs.

It was reported that two dolphins at the Connyland theme park died most likely as a result of the 2-day rave. While no deaths have been reported of animals at Miami’s Seaquarium, one has to doubt the dolphins, orcas, and other sea creatures were in a partying mood while the event was going on.

What were the owners of these parks thinking?

Take Action: Write the owners of Seaquarium and Connyland urging them to discontinue holding events that place the animals in unsafe conditions that may lead to their deaths. Of course, the strongest action any of us can take is to stay away from these theme parks where captive wild animals are made to live in oversized bath tubs all year around.

Roby Gasser, Management
Connyland
Post Strasse 38
8557 Lipperswil
Switzerland
Tele. No.: +41 52 762 72 72
Fax: +41 52 762 72 73
E-mail: info@connyland.ch

Arthur Herman Hertz, CEO
Andrew Hertz, General Manager
Wometco Enterprises Inc.
Owner, Miami Seaquarium
3195 Ponce DeLeon Blvd.
Coral Gables, FL 33134
Tele. No.: 305-529-1400
Fax: 305-529-1466

Sources:
Simorgh.DE
The Daily Mail

Wild Orcas Belong in the Wild

Photo by mrmritter/Flickr

Let the Blackstone Group, which owns SeaWorld, know you want to see the company create a solid, workable plan to release captive performing orcas at SeaWorld parks to sanctuaries that can provide them with appropriate and more natural environments than those found at SeaWorld.

For marine life, the ocean is their habitat—and the ocean is huge. Capturing them and putting them into an oversized swimming pool for our entertainment is putting their physical and psychological lives at risk. For instance, when confined to a tank, these sea mammals develop stereotypies. With little space and no stimulation, they can be seen swimming in static patterns around their fish bowl for hours at a time. They also develop skin problems from living in heavily chlorinated water and suffer from ulcers and pneumonia as well as self-inflicted injuries.

Orcas are highly social and form complex societies headed by females. The average lifespan for a female orca is 50 years and a male 30 in the wild. In captivity, they rarely live beyond 20 years. In addition, in the wild, they can travel up to 100 miles daily.

Hamilton E. James, President & CEO
The Blackstone Group
345 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10154
Tele. No.: 212-583-5000
Fax: 212-583-5749

When you think about it…what should Tilikum’s future be?

Photo by Drew Bennett

Tilikum is back. He returned to public performances last month at SeaWorld Orlando for the first time since he killed a trainer at the marine park more than a year ago.

While SeaWorld contends the company has made many safety upgrades to the killer whale facilities in all its parks, and plans to do even more, there are those who wonder about placing these animals in near contact, if not direct, contact with humans. SeaWorld has assured everyone that no trainers will be allowed in the water with Tilikum.

But is that really the issue now—whether humans should be in the water with killer whales and other marine mammals? Or should the question be: why do we keep these animals confined in oversized fishbowls to begin with?

Following the most recent Tilikum-related death, Tilikum was moved out of sight into a pool by himself. One day he’s a superstar for SeaWorld Orlando and the next he’s 12,3000 pounds of deadly mammal (the largest orca in captivity), who by the way, had killed humans before. Is keeping him isolated good for him? Probably not. Is putting him on display at SeaWorld so people can get to see the killer whale in action (and pay big bucks to do so—tickets start around $70)? Maybe not. Should he be released? Maybe. Could he survive in the wild? Who can say for sure? After all, he was removed from the wild when he was just two years of age in 1983. He’s known no other world than oversized bathtubs, first in Sealand of the Pacific in Canada and since 1992 in SeaWorld Orlando.

When you think about it, how can we in all good conscience place these animals in such precarious conditions leaving them and us sometimes little choice as to the best possible future for them? By removing any wild animal from his or her natural setting and forcing that animal to perform for our benefit, we have created untenable situations for them and for us. But mostly for them. Whatever the decisions, Tilikum’s future looks dim.

Posted in When you think about it. Tags: , , . Comments Off

Make Sea World Hearings Public

Photo by Drew Bennett

Sea World Orlando is petitioning for a hearing on the findings of the Occupational Health and Safety Administration regarding the investigation into the death of trainer Dawn Brancheau by the orca Tilikum. Sea World is requesting the hearing be closed and all documents sealed.

We have to wonder what is Sea World Orlando afraid the public might learn through such a hearing? Are there other incidents that will be discussed that have been kept from the public? Will we learn that Sea World has been jeopardizing not just its trainers but possibly the paying public? What would we learn about the training of orcas that might turn us off from supporting such animal entertainment?

If the proceedings are closed and the results sealed, the public will not have the knowledge they need to determine if Sea World Orlando offers reputable protective programs for those involved with orcas nor will they be able to assess the welfare of captive orcas.

Write the secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor requesting the hearings be open and the records made public.

Hilda Solis, Secretary
U.S. Department of Labor
200 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20210

Posted in Action Letters. Tags: , , . Comments Off
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