Saturday, December 26, 2015

Globe Xmas Gift: SeaWorld Shamu

It's a stuffed animal!

"Three whales have died at SeaWorld San Antonio in the last six months" by Yanan Wang Washington Post  December 24, 2015

WASHINGTON — When SeaWorld San Antonio announced the death of an 18-year-old killer whale this week, it sounded a lot like a somber broken record.

‘‘We are saddened to share the passing of Unna today,’’ the park’s release said. Unna suffered from an infection from a resistant strain of fungus called Candida. The whale had been in serious condition and under around-the-clock care, though the exact cause of her death has yet to be determined.

The life expectancy of a female killer whale ranges from 30 to 50 years.

In her passing, Unna joins two other whales that have died at the park in the past six months. The succession of deaths is raising concerns as SeaWorld has faced increasing scrutiny since the 2013 documentary ‘‘Blackfish,’’ which detailed the circumstances of orcas who live and perform at the company’s parks. The film focuses on the life of Tilikum, an orca at SeaWorld Orlando that killed one of his trainers and is associated with two other deaths.

SeaWorld Antonio is accustomed by now to questions about its conduct. In fact, it preempted them with a ‘‘Frequently Asked Questions”-style addendum to the announcement of Unna’s death.

The queries posed and answered include: ‘‘Some have claimed that SeaWorld has unbalanced water disinfection with high levels of chlorine. Is that true?’’; ‘‘Activists claim that Unna’s immune system was compromised from stress, making her more susceptible to infections and ultimately causing her death. How do you respond to that?’’; and ‘‘We saw that SeaWorld Antonio had three whales die in six months. Is something wrong with the animals or the care they are receiving?,’’ according to SeaWorld’s website....


That gift made me cry.