SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

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Re: SeaWorld Orlando Discussion Thread

Postby Lenaapple1974 » Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:53 pm

http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/02/26/florida.seaworld.death/index.html?hpt=T1

I havent seen it yet, but the story states Shamu shows will resume on Sat. and Tili will be apart of them.
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Re: SeaWorld Orlando Discussion Thread

Postby jedimaster1227 » Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:56 pm

^It seems we posted these just seconds after each other.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/02/26/florida.seaworld.death/index.html?hpt=T1

After the death of a whale trainer at Florida's SeaWorld Orlando, Jim Atchison, president and chief executive officer of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, said SeaWorld's shows with killer whales will resume Saturday. At a news conference Friday, he also said that a charitable foundation is being formed in the name of Dawn Brancheau, the trainer who was pulled underwater and killed Wednesday when a whale named Tilikum grabbed her ponytail.

Also Friday, spokesmen for the Labor and Agriculture departments said the federal agencies were looking into Brancheau's death. The Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Agriculture Department's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service are investigating.

Atchison on Wednesday called Tilikum "a wonderful animal" who "will remain an active and contributing member of the team despite what happened." He said that though SeaWorld's shows with killer whales will resume, trainers won't get into the water with the animals. He also promised improvements and changes at SeaWorld, saying that in light of Brancheau's death, SeaWorld is "reviewing everything we do related to" Tilikum and the other whales at the facility. "This incident is a terrible, terrible incident for us," he said. "We are looking at every piece of information we have." Atchison said video images of the trainer's killing have been given to appropriate authorities.

Brancheau died from multiple injuries and drowning after interacting with the 12,000-pound whale in front of shocked onlookers at Shamu Stadium, the Orange County Sheriff's office said Thursday. She was "pulled underwater for an extended period of time," Chuck Tompkins, SeaWorld's curator of zoological operations, told CNN's "American Morning."

Labor Department spokesman Mike Wald said the agency is looking into whether OSHA workplace standards were violated in the incident. It will complete a report within six months, he said. If workplace infractions are found, OSHA will propose financial penalties, Wald said. If that happens, the company could accept the penalties and make any necessary workplace changes, or appeal proposed penalties before an OSHA review commission.

David Sacks, an Agriculture Department spokesman, said inspectors are looking into the incident from the animal welfare perspective. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service wants to know if there were any violations of the Animal Welfare Act, a federal set of minimum-care standards for entities that get USDA licenses, including facilities that exhibit warm-blooded mammals to the public. Sacks said the incident will trigger a "focused" investigation, in which inspectors will go to SeaWorld to gather facts. If they think any welfare act violations contributed to the incident, a formal investigation will begin. Such violations could trigger fines and even license suspensions and revocations. "If we feel animals are suffering, we can confiscate the animal," Sacks said. He said SeaWorld Orlando has never been the object of a penalty enforcement.

Tompkins, head of animal training for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, mourned Brancheau's death in a video posted on Sea World's blog and raised the issue of safety standards. "We need to evaluate our safety procedures and how we interact with these animals," he said, and he stressed that it's "extremely important that we continue to take care of these animals the best way possible."

The same whale was linked previously to two other deaths. Tilikum and two other whales were involved in the drowning of a trainer at a Victoria, British Columbia, marine park in 1991. The trainer fell into the whale tank at Sealand of the Pacific and was dragged underwater as park visitors watched. In 1999, Tilikum was blamed for the death of a 27-year-old man whose body was found floating in a tank at SeaWorld, the apparent victim of a whale's "horseplay," authorities said then. The Orange County Sheriff's Office said the man apparently hid in the park until after it closed, then climbed into the tank.

Nancy Black, a marine biologist who has studied whales for 20 years, said Tilikum could have been trying to play with Brancheau or get her attention or companionship. Such whales play with seals and sea lions in the wild, tossing them in the air, she said, but end up letting them go. But she said the whale could also have been frustrated for some reason.

The incident raises larger questions about captivity of wild animals. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said dolphins and other sea animals in aquariums "routinely die prematurely of stress and other captivity-related causes" and human casualties also occur. A PETA spokesman called the death "a tragedy that didn't have to happen." Jaime Zalac said the organization had called on SeaWorld "to stop confining oceangoing mammals to an area that to them is like the size of a bathtub, and we have also been asking the park to stop forcing the animals to perform silly tricks over and over again. It's not surprising when these huge, smart animals lash out."

The incident occurred about 2 p.m. Wednesday. Tompkins said the whale had just finished a session with Brancheau, who was leaning over and rubbing his head. They were in knee-deep water, he said. "She had a long ponytail that brushed in front of her and apparently got in front of his nose," Tompkins said. "He probably felt it." Tilikum grabbed the ponytail and pulled Brancheau into the water, he said. Rescuers were not immediately able to reach her because the whale was too aggressive, the sheriff's office said. She was recovered by SeaWorld staff members after Tilikum was coaxed into a smaller pool and lifted out of the water by a large platform on the bottom of the smaller tank, authorities said. "While this incident remains the subject of an ongoing death investigation, there are no signs of foul play," the sheriff's statement said. "All evidence and witness statements indicate that the death was a tragic accident."

Brancheau wanted to be an animal trainer from the time she visited SeaWorld as a 9-year-old, her sister Diane Gross said. "It was her dream job," Gross said. "She loved the animals like they were her own children ... She loved what she did."

Because of Tilikum's history, as well as his size, trainers did not get into deep water with him, Tompkins said. Specific procedures were in place for working with him, he said, although "obviously, we need to evaluate those protocols." "He's just a really, really large animal," Tompkins said, noting that female killer whales weigh 6,000 pounds -- half of Tilikum's weight. "Just because of his size alone, it would be dangerous to get in the water with him."
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Re: SeaWorld Orlando Discussion Thread

Postby robbalvey » Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:59 pm

Lenaapple1974 wrote:I havent seen it yet, but the story states Shamu shows will resume on Sat. and Tili will be apart of them.


GOOD FOR THEM! I'll take the advice and word of people who seem to be the REAL experts in this field!

It just amazes me that based on some of the posts I've read in the past two days that I had no idea that so many high schools and online Wiki pages offered:

- MBA programs
- Animal Psychology & Care programs
- Law degrees

As it seems like many of our members claim to be "experts" in these fields. It's one thing to have an opinion, sure, but it's another to come off like you know more than the people who do this as their career.

--Robb "Sometimes I think sharks and killer whales really, really need to eat more people..." Alvey ;)

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Re: SeaWorld Orlando Discussion Thread

Postby terrancew_hod » Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:36 pm

^Your post made my day. Now it's back to work for me. :lmao:
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Re: SeaWorld Orlando Discussion Thread

Postby Hercules » Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:51 pm

robbalvey wrote:
Lenaapple1974 wrote:I havent seen it yet, but the story states Shamu shows will resume on Sat. and Tili will be apart of them.


GOOD FOR THEM! I'll take the advice and word of people who seem to be the REAL experts in this field!

It just amazes me that based on some of the posts I've read in the past two days that I had no idea that so many high schools and online Wiki pages offered:

- MBA programs
- Animal Psychology & Care programs
- Law degrees

As it seems like many of our members claim to be "experts" in these fields. It's one thing to have an opinion, sure, but it's another to come off like you know more than the people who do this as their career.

--Robb "Sometimes I think sharks and killer whales really, really need to eat more people..." Alvey ;)


Robb - I agree with you. Though, personally, I don't want me expressing my opinions to come off as me trying to sound like a total expert. I can really only go off of what I know and have researched, as well as my personal beliefs. Sure, the "real experts" are at the parks - if you want to call them that. However, I do not agree with the way these parks are managed. The same goes for any circus, or performance that involves animals. This is why I do not, and will never frequent a SeaWorld, Animal Kingdom, the safari at Great Adventure etc. And if I do happen to go to a park with a dolphin show or the like, I do not attend. That is just me.

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Re: SeaWorld Orlando Discussion Thread

Postby Ccron10 » Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:56 pm

A PETA spokesman called the death "a tragedy that didn't have to happen." Jaime Zalac said the organization had called on SeaWorld "to stop confining oceangoing mammals to an area that to them is like the size of a bathtub, and we have also been asking the park to stop forcing the animals to perform silly tricks over and over again. It's not surprising when these huge, smart animals lash out."

Ofcourse PETA would have something to say about this after what happened a year or two ago when the park was looking for new ownership. From the way it sounds, the whale just wanted to play and took it accidentally too far.

I think to prevent this problem, maybe trainers should now be required to wear swimcaps.

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Re: SeaWorld Orlando Discussion Thread

Postby robbalvey » Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:46 pm

Hercules wrote:
robbalvey wrote:
Lenaapple1974 wrote:I havent seen it yet, but the story states Shamu shows will resume on Sat. and Tili will be apart of them.


GOOD FOR THEM! I'll take the advice and word of people who seem to be the REAL experts in this field!

It just amazes me that based on some of the posts I've read in the past two days that I had no idea that so many high schools and online Wiki pages offered:

- MBA programs
- Animal Psychology & Care programs
- Law degrees

As it seems like many of our members claim to be "experts" in these fields. It's one thing to have an opinion, sure, but it's another to come off like you know more than the people who do this as their career.

--Robb "Sometimes I think sharks and killer whales really, really need to eat more people..." Alvey ;)


Robb - I agree with you. Though, personally, I don't want me expressing my opinions to come off as me trying to sound like a total expert. I can really only go off of what I know and have researched, as well as my personal beliefs. Sure, the "real experts" are at the parks - if you want to call them that. However, I do not agree with the way these parks are managed. The same goes for any circus, or performance that involves animals. This is why I do not, and will never frequent a SeaWorld, Animal Kingdom, the safari at Great Adventure etc. And if I do happen to go to a park with a dolphin show or the like, I do not attend. That is just me.

Jay "Just because I went to school for business doesn't mean I don't have knowledge of other things." Willis

Take my comments for what they are worth. I'm just sick of people (not directed at you) coming out of the word work and pretending to all of a sudden be experts in the field. And many of them being 15 year old high school students.

I trust the people who have been doing this for a living for decades over anyone else.

--Robb "Opinions are welcome. Make believe know-it-alls are not." Alvey

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Re: SeaWorld Orlando Discussion Thread

Postby Meteornotes » Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:55 pm

robbalvey wrote:
Lenaapple1974 wrote:I havent seen it yet, but the story states Shamu shows will resume on Sat. and Tili will be apart of them.


GOOD FOR THEM! I'll take the advice and word of people who seem to be the REAL experts in this field!

It just amazes me that based on some of the posts I've read in the past two days that I had no idea that so many high schools and online Wiki pages offered:

- MBA programs
- Animal Psychology & Care programs
- Law degrees

As it seems like many of our members claim to be "experts" in these fields. It's one thing to have an opinion, sure, but it's another to come off like you know more than the people who do this as their career.

--Robb "Sometimes I think sharks and killer whales really, really need to eat more people..." Alvey ;)


I 100% support and agree with this statement! :b

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Re: SeaWorld Orlando Discussion Thread

Postby SharkTums » Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:11 pm

Ok, so let me get this right...the shows will start again tomorrow, but the trainers will no longer be in the water with them?

Are they not going to interact or be near them in the shallow area either? Cause isn't THAT where the 'accident' happened!?!?

Looks like I'll have to take KT back to Loro Parque in the future for a Killer Whale interaction as I'm guessing the days of pulling a kid out of the audience to go touch the whale are long over. :(

I don't think this will really make a big difference in the show anyway. It had gone soooo down hill lately with the chanting and sappy fake story, etc.

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Re: SeaWorld Orlando Discussion Thread

Postby ginzo » Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:31 pm

SharkTums wrote:I don't think this will really make a big difference in the show anyway. It had gone soooo down hill lately with the chanting and sappy fake story, etc.


I agree 100%. The show isn't very good. The guest relations girl at Särkänniemi was surprised when I told her their show was better than SeaWorld's, but I really think it is.
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