Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Tearful Tuesday: A Whale of a Cry

I wanted to end on a good note and it was at first a happy cry, but then.... 

"Attendance down, SeaWorld to end orca shows in San Diego" by Julie Watson and Mike Schneider Associated Press  November 10, 2015

SAN DIEGO — Animal rights activists called the move a marketing gimmick and want the company to phase out holding any whales in captivity.

‘‘An end to SeaWorld’s tawdry circus-style shows is inevitable and necessary, but it’s captivity that denies these far-ranging orcas everything that is natural and important to them,’’ said Jared Goodman of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. ‘‘This move is like no longer whipping lions in a circus act but keeping them locked inside cages for life.’’

I heard they were treated quite well, but why not free them (ooh, welling up a little thinking about the feelings of sentient beings even if communication is a challenge)?

The Orlando-based company has seen revenue drop since the 2013 release of the documentary ‘‘Blackfish’’ that examined how orcas respond to captivity.

I don't think captivity does any animal good, including humans.

It chronicles the case of Tilikum, a killer whale that caused the death of trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010 by pulling her into a pool at SeaWorld Orlando.

How did that end up anyway?

The shows will continue at the other two SeaWorld parks in San Antonio and Orlando.


The killer whale shows at the Shamu stadium in San Diego were the park’s main draw in the 1970s and helped build SeaWorld as a top tourist attraction. Trainers would ride the whales in the giant pool before getting out and signaling for the orca to slap its tail in the water to splash spectators in a ‘‘splash zone.’’

I went to the one in Florida and now feel guilty.

After Brancheau’s death, trainers stopped going in the water during shows, but they continue to swim with the killer whales while training them.

Chief executive Joel Manby told investors Monday that California customers want to see less theatrical production, so the new attraction will have a strong conservation message.

‘‘They want the orca experience to be activities the whales do in the wild,’’ Manby said. ‘‘Things they perceive as tricks, they don’t like as well.’’

However, that’s not ‘‘universal across our properties,’’ he added.

The news came days after SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. reported its third-quarter earnings missed Wall Street expectations.


SeaWorld drowning?


Things will never be the same, and I'm all cried out.... over you (amazing how song can describe a relationship). 

Coming tomorrow: a Special $alute to the troops.