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New Poll: Should SeaWorld Face the Public?

January 24, 2014
Documentary film 'Blackfish'

Documentary film ‘Blackfish’

SeaWorld continues to come under fire for its response to the documentary film ‘Blackfish’. Today, the supposed leader in the captivity and display of killer whales side-stepped an invitation to debate the facts portrayed in the highly acclaimed film… instead opting for continued strategized press-releases.

SeaWorld executives refuse to defend their pre-prepared statements with any media outlet or public forum and also continue to block and/or suspend any member of the public that attempts to question or inquire about orca captivity on SeaWorld’s blogs and Facebook pages.

Though being awarded every opportunity to share their side of the story in the making of ‘Blackfish’ and author David Kirby’s book ‘Death at SeaWorld’, executives at SeaWorld have instead strategized to discredit both with predetermined corporate press-releases without opportunity for rebuttal, clarification or a debate on the facts.

David Kirby: 'Death at SeaWorld'

David Kirby: ‘Death at SeaWorld’

As a steward of these amazing beings, held and displayed under United States animal welfare regulations, should SeaWorld come forward and debate the issue in a public forum instead of hiding behind a veil of corporate self-promotion?

Please vote in this poll hosted by PollDaddy and let your voice be heard:

97 Comments leave one →
  1. March 1, 2016 3:00 pm

    to be fair, just bc someone thinks they shouldn’t have to respond doesn’t mean that they think that seaworld’s animals are well cared for 😀

  2. Aly permalink
    November 26, 2015 4:10 am

    Keeping these magnificent animals in captivity is immoral; because of the mental, emotional, and physical stress that a captive Orca suffers can weaken their immune system. We all know why people love Orcas, and why many want to see them close up, but putting Orcas in tanks for our entertainment is wrong. When not performing for crowds they are kept in holding tanks smaller than show pools. Places like Seaworld need to put their principles before their profits.

    • November 27, 2015 4:12 am

      I think you are right, but Sea World will never have a debate, they know they will lose. They can’t release those Orca’s back out into the ocean after being in captivity for decades because it would probably kill them. They have to live in large schools which is how they hunt. So after being released they may not get accepted by the wild Orca’s. I think that Sea World should take some of their profits and build some really huge tanks instead of keeping them cooped up in those little fish bowls. I think that the public (us) would feel a little better if we knew the board of directors weren’t getting rich at the expense of those really beautiful animals and instead,use the money to make their life better. Can you imagine what those large brains (Largest in the world) think about in captivity? It’s like being in jail!
      Those holding tanks they spend the night in are super small!
      Sea World says “Tilikum’s day continues to be filled with variety and stimulation, including time with other whales, participating in training, husbandry, exercise and playtime sessions and the opportunity to breed.”
      That says it all right there “Time with other whales” Huh? Let out of his cell to go out into the yard for a couple hours supervised by his jailers! That is almost a Freudian slip! Blackfish has been out for years and nothing is really being done except promises. The whales are still in the same tanks! I think the best thing to do is not let any water parks like Sea World put any new whales into captivity! EVER! That includes breeding! Too bad the public won’t boycot Sea World until they fix the problem.

  3. January 17, 2015 5:29 pm

    Recent Killer Whale event in Antarctica with ability to track them via satellite tags. A view into how migratory and free ranging these creatures truly are.

  4. August 6, 2014 10:46 am

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  5. annastraveltribute permalink
    July 31, 2014 2:42 pm

    Coincidentally I just wrote a blog about a park with orca-shows in Nice, France.

    The blog specifically talks about orcas / killer whales. It shares the love I have for these beautiful creatures, but also questions whether they should be kept in capture to entertain in such shows.
    Lots of pictures too!

    Hope you enjoy it, and would love for you to comment on the blog!

  6. April 3, 2014 3:39 am

    Their silence is actually better than spin and lies. I don’t want to hear anymore of their lies. Perhaps they are struggling with conscience??? We can hope.

  7. Nemya permalink
    March 29, 2014 7:32 pm

    Soooo, if I understand this correctly: If the money from Blackfish “is” going into the pockets of the makers of the documentary, Tilikum “did not eat” Dawn’s arm and/or her death “was not” the result of an attack, then orca’s should be kept in captivity for reason’s other than rehabilitation?

    I’m sure those that support SW (including SW) has some good arguments. With that said when animal captivity for reasons other than their rehabilitation is compared to the normal environments that these animals thrive in, it is proven (scientifically) that their natural environments are better. Period. If you don’t agree, that’s okay because it doesn’t change science.

    Furthermore for those that are arguing for SW, minimizing the inhumane treatment of these animals that did not ask to be part of the circus is not necessary to prove your point. Just be honest: admit that you are an avid supporter of SW regardless of what they do or don’t do or that you just don’t like animals or whatever reason you may have for being a supporter of animals in captivity. Trust me, there’s greater respect in honesty that there is in deceit.

    • Pro Cap permalink
      April 1, 2014 3:39 pm

      I never said that just for those reasons you listed captivity is okay. I have done a lot of research (involving science) and I don’t believe that SW is as bad as a lot of people think. If you choose to support animal rights (which I don’t know that you do), I can’t argue with you on that because I am not very educated on that subject.

    • Pro Cap permalink
      April 1, 2014 3:41 pm

      ” Just be honest: admit that you are an avid supporter of SW regardless of what they do or don’t do or that you just don’t like animals or whatever reason you may have for being a supporter of animals in captivity.” Actually, that’s not true. I’ve done a ton of research and that’s why I support them. Also, I love cetaceans because of SeaWorld. I know it’s probably hard for you to believe that I love these animals, but I honestly do.

  8. Ramona Perez permalink
    March 18, 2014 12:03 pm

    I see Amy Costanzo’s point but I personally believe her letter was unprofessional & had some immature wording. It was more of a rant letter.

    • November 6, 2014 11:44 am

      I just finished reading Amy Costanza’s article. I have two words, “SHE ROCKS!” “.Unprofessional and immature wording.” Are you serious?? Maybe you need to do a little more reading/research yourself. Obviously, your ignorance toward this issue clearly shows as does your “unprofessional and immature wording.”

      RANT AWAY – AWAY!!!!!!

  9. March 16, 2014 5:26 pm

    How much does your employers pay you pro-caps for your posts? Do you get overtime?

    • Pro Cap permalink
      March 17, 2014 6:50 pm

      Just because I’m a pro-cap doesn’t mean I’m hired by any member of the display industry or that I’m paid by anyone to write comments. I’m a normal member of the public, I do my research, and I support SeaWorld.

      If Blackfish is so true, I don’t know why it’s not okay to ask questions. And no one here seems to have any answers for my questions.

  10. Brad ~ Pro cap permalink
    March 4, 2014 12:31 pm

    This is utterly stupid.. 1. Sea world can not debate even if they wanted to.. there is still an investigation going on. ( you people that write this should know that.. ) just proves how un-professional you are and ignorant. 2. You only want them to debate so that BlackFish gets more publicity since it is dying. Don’t worry. it will get plenty when Lara Padgett is ” FIRED “. AND THE CASE IS DROPPED !!

    • Pro Cap permalink
      March 5, 2014 1:00 pm

      Brad…I’m a little confised as to which side you’re on…?

  11. Pro Cap permalink
    February 27, 2014 1:14 pm

    What is being done with the profits from Blackfish? And how does Gabriela Cowperthwaite feel about the fact that her documentary “is not Dawn’s story” and that the Brancheau family doesn’t support the film? I find it funny that you haven’t posted about that…

    • J.C. permalink
      February 27, 2014 4:43 pm

      Not sure how anyone would be for the captivity of these beautiful creatures. May trainers truly cared for these animals and did the best they could for them under the circumstances. The real issue is why are these animals living in concrete pools built in the 1960’s and made to do dumb circus like tricks. Many things have changed in the past 50 years for the better of society while Seaworld clings to it’s decades old business model. Time for them to change and enter the 21 st century.

      • Pro Cap permalink
        March 4, 2014 12:20 pm

        That still doesn’t answer the question…I’d love it if Colleen Gorman or John Kielty would answer my comment. J.C., I have been a SeaWorld San DIego pass member for five years. I have never seen any abuse to any animals. I’ve probably visited 50+ times over the past five years. I don’t believe that SeaWorld is perfect, but I still support them. Larger pools and more serious education are some improvements that could be made.

    • Brad ~ Pro cap permalink
      March 4, 2014 12:32 pm

      The money is gong into their pockets.. and Gabrielle is wasting her money.. None of it goes to anything orca’s..

    • Sid permalink
      March 24, 2014 2:14 pm

      I dont know about the profits from the film…would be interested to see where they went. If you read an interview with the director she initially started making the movie based on the relationship between whale and trainer. Her initial question was why would an animal bite the hand that feeds it? While doing more research she realized that a highly intelligent and social animal kept in a concrete tank stresses them out. Through the stresses these animals lash out at trainers (many recorded incidents) and sometimes these are deadly.

      As far as Dawn’s story its a small piece of the larger story. Tilikum has killed 2 other people and another whale Keto killed his trainer in spain…so to focus on just her would have left out alot. Neither Dawn and her family were orca researchers or experts on these animals. Dawn was an animal trainer- she didnt study them in wild or understand their social lives. Her education on these animals was all done from seaworld…and there are many peer reviewed pieces out there that dispute most of the info seaworld tells it trainers and the public. So the fact that her family doesnt support the film is not surprising. To them Dawn took care of these animals and they were always happy.

      • Pro Cap permalink
        March 25, 2014 12:22 pm

        Gabriela SAYS she’s not making a penny off the film, but it grossed $2 million in theaters alone. I’d love to know what’s happening with those profits.

        I now realize that Blackfish doesn’t focus on Dawn. However, I still believe that it’s important that Dawn’s family dislikes the film, because it did sensationalize her death (when the man says that Tili swallowed her arm, that’s not true).

        • Sid permalink
          March 26, 2014 12:12 pm

          Blackfish did not sensationalize her death….what it did was give some facts to what happened. SeaWorld tried to protect themselves and made up a story about how Tilikum grabbed her ponytail and accidentally drowned her. Im attaching a link that has the autopsy report which paints a pretty gruesome picture. Page 3 under roman numeral IV states “Complete avulsion of the upper left extremity ”

          He took off her arm and since they didnt find it its in his stomach.

          Click to access brancheau,%20dawn_report.pdf

        • Pro Cap permalink
          March 26, 2014 4:44 pm


          On page 4 under “General Statement” it says “Also received…is…a fragment of red-pink muscle”. Could that be her arm? Nooooo, of course not! (BTW, even Death at SeaWorld says that they retrieved the part of her arm that was taken off.) And the autopsy listed her death as an accident.

          Putting incorrect and shocking information in the movie is definitely sensational.

  12. February 3, 2014 8:17 am

    The abolition of animal slavery will be when the perpetrators stop it because the patrons or consumers have boycotted it. OPPOSE ANIMAL SLAVERY

  13. Pamela permalink
    February 1, 2014 9:07 am

    Why would SeaWorld debate? Would it change anyone who is anti-SeaWorld’s mind or opinion? No. It would be a giant waste of time for them to go out and debate with people who already have their minds made up. For everyone who is demanding they address the public, please see their MULTIPLE responses to the allegations on their page. If that doesn’t satisfy you a debate isn’t going to either, hence proving why a debate is beyond pointless.

  14. January 30, 2014 5:32 pm

    533 signatures and counting from compassionate people all over the world. Lets show them that when we rally together we are a force to be reckoned with! Share far and wide, keep the pressure on!

    • January 30, 2014 5:59 pm


    • sharon wardle permalink
      January 30, 2014 11:56 pm

      I’ve signed & shared, shared, shared your petition ~ Thanks

    • Brad ~ Pro cap permalink
      March 4, 2014 12:33 pm

      This is utterly stupid.. 1. Sea world can not debate even if they wanted to.. there is still an investigation going on. ( you people that write this should know that.. ) just proves how un-professional you are and ignorant. 2. You only want them to debate so that BlackFish gets more publicity since it is dying. Don’t worry. it will get plenty when Lara Padgett is ” FIRED “. AND THE CASE IS DROPPED !!

      • lin wai permalink
        March 4, 2014 1:33 pm

        SeaWorld does all it can to change the topic when it comes to whether these animals are better off in captivity than in the wild. Face it, the only reason they are there is make money for SeaWorld. It’s not conservation and it’s not education. SeaWorld can’t debate that. The issue of Lara Padgett has nothing to do with the real issue of captivity. Keeping whales in tanks and having them perform circus like tricks has had it’s day for the past 50 years. It’s time to enter the 21 st century and leave the era of selfishness behind.

  15. January 26, 2014 12:57 pm

    Petition signed by me this morning!

  16. OrcasAreLife permalink
    January 26, 2014 9:32 am

    We need as many people to sign this petition.

    so please tell everyone you know to sign it. we are only at 101,129 signatures and we need 1 million. so please tell everyone and please sign it

    • January 26, 2014 9:23 pm

      PLEASE do not advocate for the release of Tilikum. He is in NO condition to be released.
      He has NO teeth. He is INCREDIBLY sick. He will DIE if released into the wild.

      Instead, please use the success of films like Blackfish to help orcas like LOLITA who have more of a chance in the wild than Tilikum does. Please, PLEASE. I am begging. Redirect your attention to Lolita and Morgan. They KNOW where their family is. They have FORMULATED plans of release. Lolita was JUST recognized as a member of her family recently, too, giving her a fighting chance of being released. Lolita resides in the SMALLEST TANK in Miami Seaquarium, as the lone orca there. Her teeth are in tact, and for being a lone orca, she is in VERY good health. Her mother, Ocean Sun, is still alive in the Southern Resident community.

      Please PLEASE do your research.
      Seaworld needs to change, drastically. It needs to STOP it’s breeding program. It needs to better the lives of their orcas so they can live at least SUBSTANTIAL lives until their deaths. And then it needs to fizzle out this moronic belief that orcas and other cetaceans need to be held in captivity. But to say that Tilikum needs to be released is not a good idea at all.

      I understand y’alls passion, but I wholly wish with all my heart that that passion would be redirected at orcas that have a better shot at survival if released to a seapen and then released into the wild. The successes of those will lead to a greater calling, and hopefully lead people to see that the rest of these animals deserve better than what they have.

      Ugh, I am so passionate about this issue. And I love Tilly so much, but there are whales that are for more better candidates for release right now. There are other whales that need your voices, as their plans of release are so much more practical and possible. PLEASE HELP THEM!

    • sharon wardle permalink
      January 30, 2014 11:57 pm

      Already signed & shared. Thanks

  17. January 26, 2014 9:01 am

    You’re damn right SeaWorld should face the public. The problem is though that they’re to scared.

  18. January 25, 2014 8:12 pm

    I would like to post a copy of what I wrote on another page of the Orca Project about an article Dr. Naomi Rose wrote about why Orca’s should no longer be kept in captivity. There is a kind of short one and also the article in it’s entirety. For anyone who has taken up defending the Orca, this is a must read! Anyway, here is the site, my post, and two other sites on how to tell the age of a Killer Whale!

    In response to the article:
    Great article, it seems that most of us like it, except for a person I saw who merely is “on the fence” and though it was quite a while ago, I see that he concludes his determination in the form of an “opinion” in wondering how to determine the age of these magnificent sea creatures. Fishermen for ages have been able to approximate the age of a fish and other sea life based on experience, I am capable of it myself in a lesser degree. Scientists however, have been able to do the same with a lot more accuracy. The statement “Have they followed an orca for 80-100 years” is indeed something I would expect from the uneducated. It seems to me that if a person really wanted to know the technique of age determination, they would research it instead of griping about it in front of the entire world. It isn’t that hard, I was able to do it in less than 5 minutes:
    I have to add, when I see people who sincerely care about these creatures, who try to everything they can so the Orca are treated better, and have the education to back it up, some even with a doctorate in various sciences, then I am willing to take their word as to how old these creatures are. Not to mention the fact that they usually make sense and are logical anyway! So no, I’m not going to read an entire several page thesis on how to tell the age of an animal. I have no problem with their word, especially when there are several scientists speaking in unison!
    In conclusion, two thumbs up on Dr. Naomi Rose’s article, and I wish I had paid more attention to the inhumane treatment these poor sea creatures receive at the hands of these theme parks who merely exploit them for money. I would NEVER take my children to these sea parks, illusioning them with the idea that the normal way of life for these wonderful mammals is cooped up in small tanks with collapsed dorsal fins. Even worse, paying the corporations who perpetrate the crimes on the Orca.
    I will always be on the side of the Orca, and when I see/read anyone defending the perpetrators who exploit, mistreat and kill them, I will certainly be a voice for the whale!

  19. January 25, 2014 4:49 pm

    Hello again everyone,
    I’m going to make an attack right now about an ignorant statement made by a certain someone a few posts down (Hint, they are the longest posts of all, the last being 763 words!) It/he/she whatever, slams us, by writing “And TO THE PUBLIC, a fantastic book and incredible movie do not make you experts on marine mammals.”
    Hmm, lets analyze that instead of just ending it on the opinion of that seaworld atty? (maybe an atty, says they’re not but we don’t believe a word that person says) anyway, just how accurate is that absurd statement? Lets go into some details about just how WRONG that idiot is.
    1-Do we have to be an expert to understand an Orca mother grieving when her baby calf is torn from her? Making erie vocalizations never before heard by that particular whale, going by herself into a corner of the tank, practically unapproachable anymore by other females and hardly eating ?(Orca’s do live in family social units for life, you don’e have to be an “EXPERT” to know that either) Which brings us to the next “Do we”
    2-Do we have to be an expert to KNOW that the “Orca develop lifelong social bonds. They stay with their family pod forever” (taken from Check out that site and read more about that!) Yet when they are put in tiny seaworld tanks, they have been uprooted from their family-social units, not to mention the FACT that they are even separated after that too, sometimes permanently.
    3-Do we have to be an expert to feel very sad and angry seeing (I REPEAT – SEEING, YOU PUBLIC ATTACKER) Seeing 43 year old Lolita, the female Orca in a tank barley large enough to turn around in? A tank she spends a major part of her life in? Sad and angry knowing that her 43 years of existence are more than likely the full extent of her life in captivity? And that she will never live to be as old as her approx 82 year old mother who is believed to be Ocean Sun? Seeing is believing, isn’t it? (Think the PUBLIC attacker might claim “photo shop”?!) Ha Ha Ha
    4-Do we have to be an expert to be sad and angry about Hugo, Lolita’s mate to be, bashing his head into the side of his tank until he killed himself? Would he have done that in the open sea? Do we have to be an expert to understand pain?
    5-Do we have to be an expert to be MAD about the whale hunters killing some of the Orca’s while hunting them? And if it happened a long time ago, who cares! Don’t we arrest human murderers after decades? I know these Orca’s don’t have human rights but shouldn’t we still stand up for them? Expert? My foot!
    6-Do we have to be an expert to know that a majority of their brain is devoted to emotion? Proven by “Experts” of whom are doctors who analyzed the Orcinus orca brain?
    These are only six violations of humanity, I could go on, and I WILL if a response is made by this so called Truth person who claims they are not on any side hmm, fence straddler, Lukewarm? Not on any sides huh?.All you have to do is look at the ratings to know that’s a lie! Myself? I’ve taken sides! The side of the Orca! Against seaworld!
    hoping for a refutation because I want to do this again.
    Post script: remember people who come out saying “I’m not a liar”? That these are the biggest liars of all?-Usually!- and this person starts out calling themselves – truth f… Hmmm

    • January 25, 2014 5:12 pm

      don’e = don’t
      Please excuse the typo. My secretary doesn’t type my posts.
      It should have read “you don’t have to be an expert to know that either” That is, the Fact that these animals have emotions just as we do, maybe even more intense, or perhaps to better state it, being more “guided by” Think that’s a good question about their lifestyle? Most of us believe it to be true, and don’t the “Experts” believe it to be true also? Hey, they’re the ones that dissected the brains of Orcinus orca! They ought to know!

    • Ron Lopes permalink
      January 26, 2014 11:10 pm

      Well said, thank you. You don’t to even be an adult to realize that keeping orcas in tanks is wrong.

  20. OrcasAreLife permalink
    January 25, 2014 3:55 pm

    Seaworld. I did a HUGE mistake of going last year to Seaworld. i didn’t know how i was affecting the poor orcas. I have regretted that day since. Now i am in many organizations to stop captivity. Seaworld cares for the money and only the money. how is capturing a few animals and ruining their lives going to affect the money makers. THAT IS SICK. the whales that were captured for the Olympics is DISGUSTING and inhumane. Seaworld should debate blackfish because blackfish is not alone. those whales have people like us backing them up. We are going to help Tilikum and Morgan and Luica and all the other whales.

    here is a link to a petition to save Tilikum


    please sign this petition and free Tilikum. We need 1 million supporters and you can help. tell everyone you know to sign this petition please 😀

    lets take a step toward Victory

    • Brad ~ Pro cap permalink
      March 4, 2014 12:39 pm

      This is utterly stupid.. 1. Sea world can not debate even if they wanted to.. there is still an investigation going on. ( you people that write this should know that.. ) just proves how un-professional you are and ignorant. 2. You only want them to debate so that BlackFish gets more publicity since it is dying. Don’t worry. it will get plenty when Lara Padgett is ” FIRED “. AND THE CASE IS DROPPED !!

    • sharon wardle permalink
      January 31, 2014 12:00 am

      Signed & shared ~ Thanks

  21. January 25, 2014 12:35 pm

    Hey $eaWorld… if you have nothing to hide and don’t need time to spin your responses, send someone to speak at a venue of your choosing with zero personal audience (so you can’t claim the audience was a set up)… and spew your lies and spin your spins live and in person… I’d ask you send Jerky Jack Hanna again since the orcas may as well have hired him to speak on their behalves!

    • kerri shaw permalink
      January 25, 2014 1:07 pm

      Jungle Jack “performed” so horribly debating on CNN with The Cove producers…they went to commercial. Remember that? The guy got destroyed by professionals not celebrities. If lives weren’t in danger it would have been comical.

  22. January 25, 2014 12:04 pm

    I believe these beautiful beings have basically been sold into slavery. Just as with human beings, it is immoral and inhumane to allow them to be “owned” by anyone. Whales belong to the ocean and have the right to live their lives in freedom .

  23. Sandie Phillips permalink
    January 25, 2014 11:23 am

    I recently watched Blackfish, along with a few other documentaries, and I am truly disgusted by what my naive mind has learned. Nothing Seaworld does with these creatures is educational. They don’t care about these animals, and they most certainly don’t care about the welfare of their trainers. All they care about is ticket sales! I have never been to Seaworld and I will NEVER take my children there. They need to step up and answer for what they allow to go on at these facilities. It’s time for them to face the music!

  24. January 25, 2014 9:00 am

    $eaworld is a corporation founded and sustained entirely upon lies and can never accept any public debate because they know they lose, huge.

    Jacobs is nothing but a coward hiding behind a thinly and rapidly deteriorating veneer of intentional deceit.

    $eaworld using guises such as ‘education’ and ‘marine conservation’ to perpetuate its animal torture is outright consumer fraud.

    ANY honest organization undergoing this degree of scrutiny/exposure would WELCOME an opportunity to confront their adversaries and set the record straight.

    $eaworld is the ENRON of the entertainment industry – nothing but an enormous scam of kidnapping, rape, in/breeding, torture, humiliation, murder and slavery of self-aware beings.

  25. Dorie Vivian permalink
    January 25, 2014 7:57 am

    If they have any kind of defense of their actions on their side, they should come out and debate it.

  26. Z Twentyeight permalink
    January 25, 2014 7:13 am

    By The Way, I Realize That seaworld Wasn’t Capitalized

  27. Z Twentyeight permalink
    January 25, 2014 7:10 am

    I think that to defend seaworld by saying the oceans have toxins in them and the animals are better off in seaworld’s “sterile” environment is ludicrous, we already know that the Orca’s live about the same length of time as humans do when they are in that “toxic”: ocean, but about 1/3rd of that in captivity. Not to mention the collapsed dorsal fins being commonplace of captive animals and only about 1 percent in the wild. So since that ocean is so “toxic” should we now take all the fish out and let seaworld make money off them too? For that matter, do we humans live in a toxic environment? Sure we do! Maybe we should all move to seaworld too? To live happily in a confined sterile room and have our young torn from us?

  28. Cherrie permalink
    January 25, 2014 1:20 am

    SeaWorld – you don’t have a leg to stand on! Killer Whales contained for the purpose of human entertainment etc- You SeaWorld are the one who is dishonest and manipulative – The only thing that SeaWorld really cares about is money – did you hear that Fred Jacobs! I would love to see you discuss your activities with Dr. Paul Spong (has spent more than 30 years researching orcas) and Ric O’Barry – you would be eaten alive. Shame SeaWorld don’t have the backbone to answer the difficult questions – why- because there is no logical answer to what you are doing.

  29. Ron Lopes permalink
    January 25, 2014 12:59 am

    There is no legitimate argument that SeaWorld can make as to why keeping these animals in captivity is better than having them live in a more natural like environment. The only benefit is to SeaWorld’s profit margin and it’s shareholders. The Shamu Show has got to go.

  30. Truth-Finder permalink
    January 24, 2014 11:50 pm

    Regardless of which side you are on, nothing good (for SeaWorld) could come from SW debating in open forum. It can only help the anti-cap/Blackfish side and both sides know it. Even if SW had perfect arguments and the Blackfish team stumbled, the majority would still side with Blackfish. NOT because Blackfish is completely right, but because the BF team have 30-40 years of incidents to dwell on and SW cannot counter-attack an organization that has done nothing at all, but make a movie. This isn’t opinion, its fact.

    SW is being smarter than the game, because engaging BF cannot lead to any benefit for SW. If SW says they rescue marine life, then the opposing side says “why don’t you do more?” If SW says we care for the orca, then BF says “Well what about this history going back to the 70’s?” If SW says their shows are enrichment for the orca, then the other side calls it “slavery”. Again, nothing is in it for SeaWorld, so their best business decision is to decline.

    Here is something for both sides:

    For SW: 1) Don’t you think its time to better inform the public from scientific data and better the lives of the orcas by enhancing their habitat (because release is at least 20 years down the road – look at Keiko. Sure we learned a lot, but it was done very very poorly.) 2) Can’t SW spend more money on rehabilitation and rescue (at least 5-10% of profits)? 3) Can’t you simply explain to visitors the truth rather than creating false information (with absolutely no scientific basis) just to field questions? 4) Wouldn’t it be better to actually pay knowledgeable people to field those questions rather than an unpaiud intern or volunteer. 5) Isn’t it also time to make sure your trainers know about the biology and physiology of the orca rather than choosing trainers with no significant biological knowledge or education? 6) Isn’t it time to just be honest rather than “crafting a message for public consumption”? 7) Isn’t it time to stop breeding, stop importing and just let the orca captivity program fade away?
    Its time to move into the 21st century and simply save marine life that is endangered/thereatened. People will still come see those marine mammals that cannot be deemed releasable by NOAA.

    For the BF team: 1) Isn’t it time you all were honest about the film? 2) the orca slide out in front of Jeffrey Ventre in the film was staged (how else was the music of the actual show perfectly timed?) 3) Didn’t John Hargrove get that bleeding face from part of the set and NOT an orca? 4) Isn’t the sound recording of the “traumatized orca mother” (Kasatka) completely different from the image of the open mouth orca that you put on the screen? Isn’t it true that orca do not vocalize orally? (careful, I know the answer to this one). 5) Isn’t it true you never came out about Taiji at all until after the snub from the Oscars? 6) Has Mrs. Cowperthwaite made any donations to any orca research anywhere with some of the proceeds from the film? 7) Isn’t it true that no one left SW to be part of this film so the term “whistleblower” is completely inaccurate since they had nothing to lose? 8) Didn’t Tamarie violate every single rule of training (established by SW) by making personal interaction time with Orchid? 9) Isn’t it true that the orca are fed extremely well and don’t rely on performing tricks for food?
    It’s time to clean up the misconceptions you purposefully perpetrated in your film and be COMPLETELY honest about your intentions and motives rather than “crafting your own message” which is clearly untrue. There is no way this film was some altruistic gesture and the director’s behavior reflects that this was a career motivation more than anything else.

    I’m not entirely on either side, but that’s because both sides are equally guilty of manipulating the public wil false information and potrayals.

    And TO THE PUBLIC, a fantastic book and incredible movie do not make you experts on marine mammals. Please take the time to investigate real information and do not rely on biased incomplete sources for your debate points. You want to listen to people in “Blackfish”, listen to the scientists and research what they have done. The only thing a trainer knows is how to train other beings…they are NOT experts in behavior.

    Lastly, please tell John Hargrove to take acting lessons…its obvious his entire spiel was scripted.

    • Ron Lopes permalink
      January 25, 2014 12:56 am

      This issue was around way before Blackfish came out. While the film brought more attention to the issue it certainly is not the authority on the subject. It is a film with all of the bells and whistles of most documentary films. If it wasn’t for these most people would be asleep halfway through the film. The underlying message here is that these animals don’t do well both physically and emotionally in captivity. The only benefit to having these animals perform circus like tricks, pumped on meds and living in 1/100000 of their natural space is to make money for SeaWorld and it’s shareholders. The Shamu Show has got to go.

  31. Kimberly permalink
    January 24, 2014 11:42 pm

    To the person who thinks SeaWorld is great, you are entitled to your opinion. However, as an informed citizen why do you think it’s bad to have an open discussion about captivity, conservation, animal welfare, etc. Wouldn’t we all be better off to engage in a discussion. Even Newt Gingrich, who is a big supporter of zoos, said SeaWorld exec should come forward with some transparency. If SeaWorld is really doing good stuff, then the public will see it. The filmmakers/authors/journalists/scientists/universities have been asking SeaWorld for years to participate in all kinds of things. Usually, the response is a vague written statement.

    Open honest conversation is nothing to be afraid of.

  32. Theresa Pugh permalink
    January 24, 2014 11:28 pm

    If you tell them you will pay them to do it then I bet they will. Slaveworld is goin’ dowwwnnnn……

  33. Cherrie permalink
    January 24, 2014 11:28 pm

    Most definitely – SeaWorld has an obligation to tell us why they believe Killer Whales “live a life of luxury” in the size of a tank the size of a bathtub; why clorinated water is better for them then their own natural environment (re: seapen!); Why they believe that a Killer Whale has to perform to be fed (controlled feeding) and why they live out their lives (over 40 years) for the only purpose of entertaining humans – THEY can’t because we are not that naive to believe any of their propaganda – these sea creatures were stolen for one purpose to make them money – End of Story – Empty the tanks SeaWorld -captivity needs to end now. Shame on YOU! – “The liberation of animal life can only be achieved through the radical transformation of human consciousness and the overthrow of the existing power structure”. -Transpecies Unlimited

    • Truth-Finder permalink
      January 25, 2014 12:50 am

      No offense, but I must ask you to stop the same inane bullet-points that you heard in the film, Blackfish or in subsequent interviews on the topic (bathtub, fishbowl, etc). While I agree the size of the pools are inadequate, they cannot simply whip out a wand and manifest a sea pen. It will take a lot of years to make this a reality, but its one I hope SW will embrace in the near future.

      The idea that SW orcas are only fed for performances or are “kept hungry” to facilitate performing, is a bold faced lie perpetuated by the anti-cap movement. Yes, they are fed a strict diet to prevent lethargy, but it is carefully calculated by veterinarians (by body weight) to be more than they need for a daily allowance. Fish during shows are a positive reinforcement and not a bribe. Other positive reinforcements also exist, but it seems that the fish is thought to feed a “hungry” dolphin. It isn’t. Look at the dolphins in the feeding pools, they are ridiculously overweight while they are in that area, but they slim down when they are rotated out. Keeping a marine mammal fat is just as dangerous as it is for people. Actually it is more dangerous because of the limited space they inhabit (as you mentioned before).

      You speak about propaganda…have you looked into the details of the film, Blackfish? Think everything they said is true? Look again. They made some great points and I loved the film, but they got a lot of facts wrong and used a lot of misdirection in portraying their story.

      Its shameful on those that originally captured and mistreated the orca. The only shame SW should feel is decieiving the public and separating orca families. But, you cannot blame them for the misdeeds of their predecessors. SW needs to change, but its only going slowly because they are evolving from a stone age system rather than scrapping the old and starting fresh.

      I hope there is never a need for another marine mammal to go to captivity, but that’s not realistic. In the meantime, I hope SW will phase out the orca captivity and breeding programs, but I feel they are treating their orca better than any other facility in the world.

      Quoting “Transpecies Unlimited” (actually spelled “Trans-Species Unlimited”, btw) is very vague and you should at least get their name right if you’re planning to quote them, but I do like the quote.

      • January 25, 2014 11:04 pm

        “Look at the dolphins in the feeding pools, they are ridiculously overweight while they are in that area, but they slim down when they are rotated out. Keeping a marine mammal fat is just as dangerous as it is for people. Actually it is more dangerous because of the limited space they inhabit (as you mentioned before).” Were the dolphins left alone, in the ocean, they wouldn’t be overweight, would they? Underfeeding or overfeeding. You can’t blame the dolphins. It’s part of the physiology of mammals. If you starve mammals they store fat for leaner times. If you stuff their faces at feeding pools, their bodies are going to continue to store fat for future leaner times. This simply doesn’t happen in the wild. Thank you SeaWorld for yet another symptom of captivity.

      • Linda permalink
        March 7, 2014 12:10 am

        If someone made you perform tricks for you dinner every night, would you see it as “positive”? It is not, it is food deprivation. At least that is the way the animal sees it. There is nothing positive about capturing, or breeding these animals to live in concrete boxes. Get it straight, their food is NOT a positive reinforcement, during a show or not. Food is being withheld until someone decides to let them eat!

        • J.C. permalink
          March 16, 2014 11:17 pm

          Is it right to teach children that it is acceptable to make this intelligent creatures perform silly tricks for our amusement?

  34. January 24, 2014 11:14 pm

    seaworld should be held accountable. Lets here your side wheres the proof!!!

  35. January 24, 2014 10:46 pm

    Sea World, put your big boy pant’s on and have the debate! You want to accuse Blackfish of not being truthful,etc,but don’t have the you know what to face them in a debate. Grow up Sea World. You delete any questions asked on your facebook pages from anyone, even simple questions, but if anyone questions Sea World, automatically deleted…That’s really grown up. They don’t want to tarnish this ever so happy image they think they have. They are living in their own fantasy land. Come out in the real world Sea World. Do the debate. The world is waiting.

  36. lia permalink
    January 24, 2014 10:16 pm

    Seaworld already put their statements out there. And that’s it. Just because anticaps need more to complain about to make seaworld look worse by responding and getting their words twisted. They are very smart to pull out of the debate because they know this is a passing fancy. How about leave seaworld alone and look at other places overseas which their practices are much more cruel. Traveling dolphin/beluga shows are much more worse than a facility which has high standards on care of their animals. Just because anticaps have decided to continue to stand behind a crap film and a book doesn’t mean that everyone else does. Soon enough seaworld will prevail (especially since osha’s investigation is now moving to see if sebsitive information was fed to fuel the movie and book as well and everyone will fall off the trends and move on to other things. As they always do.

    • Troy permalink
      January 24, 2014 10:31 pm

      Ignorance Alert!!!

      • lia permalink
        January 24, 2014 10:37 pm

        Oh really ignorance alert way to go on putting down a proper response. Your that special kind if stupid aren’t ya’

    • Boobah permalink
      January 25, 2014 7:23 am

      You forgot that their “statement” is the same excuse they’ve been putting out there for the past 30 years.

  37. Danielle permalink
    January 24, 2014 10:01 pm

    Seaworld should focus on brewing beer not kidnapping marine wildlife.

  38. Judy hickey permalink
    January 24, 2014 9:51 pm

    Let them try to defend their cruel practices.

  39. January 24, 2014 9:50 pm

    No “discussion”!
    They should close that damn place, all places run by them. (period)

    And please support boycottinbg the Olympic games in Sotchi – for the very same reason!

    The Europeans here: Please support the movements to outlaw dolphin shows in the EC!

    Activities at: (and on our facebook pages & groups!)

  40. Stacey parker permalink
    January 24, 2014 9:40 pm

    Have the gutts to face the public… oh that’s right use know full well that use are in the wrong..


  41. January 24, 2014 9:32 pm

    Sea World is a coward and I believe that if they truly believed al the crap they’ve been publishing, then they’d face the cameras and press and Animals Rights Groups with pride and not cower and release “record profit statements” on our local news here in Central Florida. Shame on them…truly….

  42. Shannon Richards permalink
    January 24, 2014 9:26 pm

    Yes you need to address the public. You delete anything on your pages that doesn’t agree with your twisted view of education and conservation. You continually lie when there is evidence to support arguments against you. I can’t believe you haven’t learned anything from these whales in the many years you have had them in captivity that you can’t learn from them in the wild. Release them into a decent sea pen at least!

  43. kerri shaw permalink
    January 24, 2014 9:09 pm

    Better believe it. If nothing to hide..SPEAK UP SEAWORLD! Oh ya, I almost forgot the epic fail Jungle Jack Hannah did on CNN a few months back while sticking up for SeaWorld. Maybe you are scared now SeaWorld. Come forward again…you can’t possibly do a worse job. Actually, I could be wrong about that.

  44. Kim Norris permalink
    January 24, 2014 9:03 pm

    Yes, Let them see and hear the cries of the mothers and babies being ripped apart from one another. Your newspaper can’t print or catch that emotion.

    • lia permalink
      January 24, 2014 10:27 pm

      Can you prove mothers and calves have been separated since blackstone took over? No I guess not. How about you do proper research instead of damn them for a practice that happened in the past. What I notice about ALL anticaps is they live in the past. Holding old grudges like an old divorced woman who resents her husband and cant seem to let go. Let it go. Your not going to win this, Seaworld wont ever release Any of their animals nor will they shut down. You are all fighting a failing battle. Because people continue to go through their doors wanting to see what ever was said on blackfish was true. Or go to share something special with their kids like giving them an opportunity to see animals they normally wouldn’t see in their home area. You all are pro whale watch but have you seen the news lately in how whale watching boats are hurting the orcas much more than helping? More boats =more chemicals in the water = chemicals ingested by fish which in turn are eaten by whales. Not to mention boats are a big cause if noise pollution. These whales have PCBs in their blubber among other toxins. So no its not smart to throw orcas which come from a sterile environment into a toxic ocean. YOUR ARGUMENT IS INVALID save the ocean first- before you open your mouths about releasing ANY orca.

      • January 25, 2014 12:10 am

        dont you talk a load of crap i suggest your the one who gets your facts right SEAWORLD IS GOING DOWN CAUSE WE ARE GOING TO MAKE SURE IT IS

      • Chloe Cunningham permalink
        January 25, 2014 12:29 am

        Please don’t tell me you think the toxins and noise pollutants in the oceans are an epidemic because of “whale watching boats”. Regardless how “sterile” the pools may be at Seaworld lia, these loving, sentient beings have no business living a life of captivity for entertainment. The ONLY reason Seaworld is still profiting is because of the ignorance of people. Still unaware of how inhumane a life of captivity for these animals really is. Maybe if you did some research of your own about whales and dolphins you might have some understanding as to why Seaworld, along with every other marine theme park is under such scrutiny. It’s not JUST about what happened in the past. These animals shouldn’t be held captive. AT ALL. ANYMORE. Let alone for entertainment.

      • January 25, 2014 11:11 pm

        Lia, dear, you’re digging yourself deeper and deeper into the abyss (you might want to look up that word). You have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about. Leave it to the adults, pet.

    • Theresa Pugh permalink
      January 24, 2014 11:36 pm

      It’s our battle to fight and we’re here to stay. “So, it’s not smart to throw orcas which come from a sterile enviroment into a toxic ocean”? My God what planet are you from? Run along now and write a post that makes sense. We will get the cetaceans (those are whales and dolphins in case you didn’t know) released. And poor little Seaworld is gonna cry….Please, not normally a grammar nazi but it’s there, not their. There is a noun, their is possesion. PCB’s in their blubber, oMG are you a special kind of dimwit! Oh, and you’re not your. Also wrong.

    • Janet permalink
      January 25, 2014 2:37 pm

      If Seaworld feels they are blameless & continue to rake in the cash by exploiting and torturing these intelligent beings then they should have no problem discussing their position in an open and public unrehearsed forum.

  45. Lynne Wootten permalink
    January 24, 2014 8:47 pm

    Yes, they should not be allowed to hide anymore.

  46. January 24, 2014 8:32 pm

    YES! I’m not interested in corporate press releases. Why are they unwilling to have an open discussion?

  47. January 24, 2014 8:25 pm

    YES! Let’s hear them in a real discussion, not one way newspaper ads.

  48. January 24, 2014 8:24 pm

    Reblogged this on "OUR WORLD".


  1. New Poll: Should SeaWorld Face the Public? | Orcas

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