|WestJet—the second-largest air carrier in Canada—is still selling SeaWorld tickets and tours, despite learning that the company’s cruel practices include confining sensitive and intelligent orcas to concrete tanks, giving them psychoactive drugs, and subjecting them to overwhelming physical and emotional stress, which has resulted in the deaths of both orcas and humans. Dozens of other corporate partners cut ties with the abusement park years ago, but WestJet continues to profit from animal suffering. Urge the airline to do right by animals and end its affiliation with SeaWorld.
It’s been more than three years since the release of the documentary Blackfish—whose „star,“ Tilikum, recently died after 33 years in a concrete tank—but orcas at SeaWorld are still swimming in endless circles and breaking their teeth by gnawing in frustration on the concrete corners and metal bars of their tiny tanks. And other dolphins are still being impregnated, sometimes forcibly after being drugged. Facing sinking attendance, SeaWorld finally announced last year that it would end its sordid orca-breeding program—which has since been made illegal in California—but this action does nothing for the 22 orcas, more than 100 other dolphins and whales, and many other animals who are suffering in the company’s tanks right now.
It’s unconscionable to make the currently captive, miserable orcas live the rest of their lives, up to another 40 years, in these conditions. SeaWorld needs to build coastal sanctuaries—where these animals could feel ocean currents, hear and communicate with wild pods, and dive deep—and we need to show WestJet that its customers care deeply about the welfare of all the animals suffering at marine parks.
Please urge Gregg Saretsky, the president and CEO of WestJet, to end the company’s relationship with SeaWorld today.
SeaWorld enslaves animals in tiny concrete tanks at marine abusement parks across the country, and now, it’s expanding its failing business around the world. Please urge officials in Abu Dhabi—the capital of the United Arab Emirates—to ensure that SeaWorld is not allowed to set up shop unless it doesn’t hold dolphins, seals, polar bears, penguins, or any other animals captive at its new park.
Since the release of Blackfish—the documentary that exposes SeaWorld’s violent capture and cruel confinement of orcas—the park’s attendance has tanked, top executives have been ousted, celebrities such as Harry Styles have urged fans to stay away, and hundreds of employees have been laid off, including 320 just last week. In 2014, the park lost 1 million visitors, and in 2015, SeaWorld San Diego was the worst-performing major theme park in the world. Meanwhile, support for Disney, Six Flags, and Cedar Fair—which do not rely on abusive animal entertainment—has swelled. Succumbing to public pressure, SeaWorld recently agreed to end its sordid orca-breeding program—which has since been made illegal in California—but this does nothing for the 168 other dolphins and whales who are currently swimming in endless circles and breaking their teeth in frustration as they gnaw on the concrete corners and metal bars of their tiny tanks. And it does nothing for the 38 orcas, dozens of beluga whales, more than 100 dolphins, and innumerable smaller animals—such as sharks, pinnipeds, and penguins—who have already died, many of them prematurely.
Please send a polite letter to His Excellency Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, the chair of Miral Asset Management and the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, urging him not to allow SeaWorld to use Abu Dhabi as a life raft for its failing business model and to prohibit the company from setting up shop unless it commits to not holding animals in captivity.
2. Aug. 2016 — Liebe Tierfreunde,
Das Thema Delfine in Gefangenschaft scheint auch endlich in Deutschland in den Mittelpunkt zu rücken. Heute um 22:15 Uhr könnt ihr auf ZDF die Dokumentation „Im Einsatz für Delfine“ sehen, bei der Hannes Jaenicke eine deutliche Nachricht gegen das Halten von Delfinen in Gefangenschaft sendet. Hannes besucht auch SeaWorld und Loro Parque!
Wer die Sendung nicht im Fernsehen verfolgen kann, der kann schon jetzt auf der ZDF Mediathek die Dokumentation sehen. Der Link ist unten im Anhang.
Je mehr Leute diese Doku sehen und über das Leiden von Delfinen in Gefangenschaft aufgeklärt werden, desto besser. Bitte teilt diesen Link mit Freunden und Familie:
ICH BIN LUISE
12. Juni 2016 — Liebe Tierfreunde,
Viele von euch haben wahrscheinlich das Video gesehen, in dem Morgan sich für ca. 10 Minute auf der Bühne von Loro Parque strandet. Jetzt ist ein neues Video aufgetaucht, bei dem Morgan im Februar genau das gleiche Verhalten anwendet um einem Pool zu entfliehen, in dem der männliche Orca Keto gehalten wurde.
SeaWorld’s Erklärung zu dem Verhalten behauptet, dass es sich hier um ganz „natürliches Verhalten“ handelt, da wilde Orcas auch stranden und es keinen Grund zur Sorge gibt, da sich viele Orcas in Gefangenschaft regelmäßig selbst stranden. In dem folgenden Video seht ihr wie die Direktorin des Tiertrainings in SeaWorld, Kelly Flaherty Clark, (die gleiche Person, die unter Eid im Gericht bezüglich SeaWorld’s und Loro Parque’s Geschäftspartnerschaft gelogen hat) das Verhalten von Morgan in der typischen, vorgeschriebenen Geschäftsweise runter spielt und verharmlost: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvTcNjyeKfU
Kelly scheint nicht zu wissen, dass es unseres Wissens nach nur EINE einzige Population von wilden Orcas gibt, die sich selbst stranden um Seelöwenjunge zu jagen – die Orcas in Patagonien (Argentinien). Keine andere Population, die Wissenschaftlern bekannt sind, stranden sich selbst und kein einziges Tier tut es willentlich für mehr als ein paar Sekunden! Kelly scheint sich ebenfalls nicht bewusst zu sein, dass es in der Wildbahn keine solche „slide outs“ gibt, daher ist das Stranden von Orcas in Gefangenschaft ein ganz anderes Verhalten im Vergleich zu dem von Orcas in freier Wildbahn, die es verwenden um Beute zu fangen. Was für eine Expertin!
Bitte teilt das Video von Morgan in dem Artikel auf „TheDodo“ um mehr Druck auf SeaWorld auszuüben. SeaWorld’s Aktienkurs ist bereits auf 16,20 Dollar per Aktie gesunken und das könnte noch schlimmer werden, wenn die Empörung der Öffentlichkeit über dieses Video noch größer wird. SeaWorld ist für Morgan verantwortlich. Sie ignorieren komplett wie schlecht es Morgan in Loro Parque geht, obwohl sie öffentlich behaupten, dass Morgan SeaWorld gehört. Das ist totale Vernachlässigung!!!
Ich werde Euch demnächst über unsere nächsten Kampagnenpläne berichten, da ich derzeit in Kontakt mit WDC bin um unsere Pläne bezüglich der British Airways Kampagne zu besprechen. Mir ist auch aufgefallen, dass wir in den letzten Tagen 2000 neue Unterschriften erhalten haben, von denen viele aus Frankreich und Spanien kamen und Morgan erwähnten. „Buenos dias“ und „bonjour“ an euch alle und nochmals ein herzlichstes dankeschön für all eure tolle Unterstützung!
Bitte setzt SeaWorld weitehin unter Druck Morgan endlich frei zu lassen. Sie braucht unsere Hilfe um aus Loro Parque rauszukommen!
Mit freundlichen Grüßen,
The San Diego Bowl Game Association continues to partner with SeaWorld by promoting the abusement park during its Holiday Bowl and Poinsettia Bowl, with advertising on its website, and by hosting team trips to SeaWorld—despite hearing from PETA that 37 orcas have died and that the orcas and other marine animals imprisoned there exhibit abnormal aggressive and repetitive behavior because of their confinement.
Following the release of Blackfish, which exposed the park’s abuse of animals to the public, SeaWorld laid off more than 300 employees, its stock dropped more than 50 percent, and its attendance plummeted. In a little more than a year, six high-ranking executives, including its CEO, have resigned, and the company has admitted to corporate espionage.
Three more whales died in just six months in 2015—all far short of their natural life expectancies—and Tilikum, the orca who was the subject of Blackfish, is reportedly near death.
As a result of the backlash, SeaWorld announced an end to its sordid orca breeding program. While an end to captive orca breeding is a good first step, it’s not enough. SeaWorld continues to confine orcas to tiny concrete tanks and refuses to build coastal sanctuaries where these animals could enjoy some semblance of a natural life.
Please tell the San Diego Bowl Game Association that there is nothing sporting about confining orcas and other marine animals to tiny concrete tanks! Then follow up by calling 619-285-5061 and letting the association know that a good sportsperson would never promote animal abuse.
ICH BIN LUISE
SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau began her Dine With Shamu show on February 24, 2010, just as she had many times before, but this particular show included a gruesome finale that left Brancheau’s body without her left arm or part of her scalp, among other injuries. Dawn Brancheau was declared dead shortly after the show, but still, six years later, SeaWorld claims no responsibility for the vicious attack. So just how did one of SeaWorld’s most experienced and celebrated trainers end up crushed and drowned by the jaws of the marine park’s largest attraction?
“We don’t know for sure what motivated Tilikum. But there’s no doubt that he knew exactly what he was doing. He killed her.”
A Killer Whale Is Born
Former SeaWorld trainer Jeffrey Ventre blamed Tilikum for Brancheau’s death, but the truth begins with the wild orca’s capture near Iceland in 1983. At just 2 years old, he was torn from his mother and their ocean home and sent to the rundown marine park Sealand of the Pacific. Food was withheld from him as a training technique, and he endured attacks from the two dominant female orcas, whom he was forced to live with. After years of performing eight shows a day, seven days a week, Tilikum dragged Sealand trainer Keltie Byrne to the bottom of the pool, where he and the other orcas stripped her of all her clothing and left bite marks and bruises on her skin. It took nearly two hours to retrieve her body. Not long after Keltie’s death, Sealand closed its doors, and its orcas were purchased by SeaWorld.
“My understanding of the animal’s past was very limited. In fact, there had been 30 incidents between killer whales, and trainers prior to my being hired at the park. And I didn’t know about any of them until after I left SeaWorld. So I think that’s a serious mistake on SeaWorld’s part that they weren’t letting people know the history of all the animals.”
History Repeats Itself
As Dawn Brancheau lay next to Tilikum, petting him in just a few inches of water, she likely had no reason to suspect that she was about to be torn apart. According to one of SeaWorld’s own employees, the event was unpredictable and the orca gave no indication that he was about to grab her. Even if Brancheau had spotted signs that Tilikum might act aggressively, would SeaWorld’s star performer have done anything differently? Maybe not—trainers were expected to continue performances, regardless of any signs that an orca might act out.
In one case, trainers ended a show after an orca began to ignore signals, swim rapidly, and grab at one of the trainer’s arms. In response, SeaWorld’s vice president for animal training criticized their actions in a two-page document claiming that the show should not have been ended early because it brought unnecessary attention to the incident. He argued that the trainers should have used other resources before canceling the show, despite SeaWorld’s official position that trainers could end a show at any time if they felt uncomfortable.
Why were SeaWorld trainers being forced to interact so closely with these enormous wild mammals? This was precisely the issue at the center of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) investigation. The agency cited SeaWorld for multiple violations and demanded that the company stop putting trainers at risk by making them interact with orcas during shows.
The Truth Comes Out
SeaWorld finally gave up on appealing its violations, but not before OSHA presented damning evidence that seems to imply that SeaWorld may be responsible for its own trainer’s death. OSHA found that in the 20 years leading up to Brancheau’s death, the park generated 100 reports of aggression and precursors to aggression—including 12 incidents resulting in the injury or death of a trainer—and according to SeaWorld’s own corporate curator for zoological operations, there were times that the company didn’t document incidents at all, which can be evidenced by SeaWorld’s failure to generate an incident report for Dawn Brancheau’s death and for a third death that Tilikum may have previously been involved with.
SeaWorld had previously been warned of the potential danger of incorporating Tilikum into its marine park when obtaining a permit for the orca from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), long before Dawn Brancheau’s death. Upon applying for the permit, SeaWorld hadn’t even looked at the incident report about the Sealand trainer’s death, and after being urged by the NMFS to do so, SeaWorld attributed the previous attack to a design flaw at Sealand. SeaWorld reiterated multiple times while obtaining the license that its safety measures, training, and park facilities were superior to those of Sealand and would prevent such an event from occurring at its park.
More than six years after the “accident,” there are still concerns about Dawn Brancheau’s last day as a SeaWorld trainer that have grave implications. Why did the marine park wait for 27 minutes to call for paramedics after Tilikum pulled Brancheau into the water? Was the park using this time to remove witnesses whose accounts didn’t match the story that SeaWorld was trying to create to make it seem as if her ponytail had triggered Tilikum’s reaction? Perhaps most importantly, why did SeaWorld’s then-owner try to blame his own orca trainer for her death—even after the OSHA investigation uncovered that the same safety measures and recall signals that had failed to prevent Dawn Brancheau’s death had been failing for years? And why did SeaWorld continue to rely on those failed measures?
“Let’s face it, in these types of incidents, I don’t recall any whale responding to any hand slap, food bucket, or any other distraction we tried to implement.”
The evidence in the judge’s decision seems to indicate that SeaWorld tried to downplay the risks and dangers that its trainers would encounter while working with captive orcas and to cover up its own failures in the incident that led to Dawn Brancheau’s death. SeaWorld wasn’t even willing to put the life of its own star trainer before profit, so why should anyone trust that it would ever put the well-being of its captive animals first?
To help all animals held captive by SeaWorld, please never buy a ticket, visit the parks, or support SeaWorld in any other way, and urge the marine park to stop raping orcas!