SeaWorld's new CEO made a shocking announcement today about the future of its entertainment and breeding programs for killer whales. But what does that really mean for the future of its animals in captivity?
In the past two months 7 wild orcas have been captured in the Sea of Okhotsk for the purposes of stocking aquariums and water parks. These are the first wild orca caught in more than a decade, making it clear that Russian fishermen are earnest about reviving the wild capture trade.
On December 24, 2009, a 6,600-pound orca killed trainer Alexis Martínez at a marine park in the Canary Islands. Two months later, trainer Dawn Brancheau was killed by an orca at SeaWorld Orlando. With the OSHA trial on trainer safety at SeaWorld Orlando starting September 19, Tim Zimmermann asks: Should Martínez’s death have served as a warning about the lethal potential of killer whales being trained for our entertainment?
He glanced through the glass and saw Tilikum staring back, with what appeared to be two human feet hanging down his side. There was a nude body draped across Tilikum’s back.