The Unofficial SeaWorld Podcast takes on BlackFish and goes behind the scenes at Antarctica

Written by Eric Davis. Posted in Features, Orlando Parkhopper, Podcasts, The Unofficial SeaWorld Podcast

frontpagepic_USOPod

Published on August 10, 2013 at 12:00 am with 18 Comments

Eric & Mike are back with Epsidoe 9 of the Unofficial SeaWorld Podcast, where they visit all 3 SeaWorld Resorts in Orlando, San Diego and San Antonio to bring you the latest SeaWorld news, rumors and information.

In this episode, Eric & Mike take on the Anti-SeaWorld documentary BlackFish, as they explore what life was like for Killer Whales before SeaWorld came into existence, and how they were treated like a nuisance animal.

pre seaworld killer whale perceptions

Pre-SeaWorld Killer Whale article from Oxnard California 1958

orcas were once hunted for sport

Orcas were once hunted as nuisance animals that interfered with fishing

1927 news article about Orca hunting

A short excerpt from a 1927 article about hunting Orcas

Then they will introduce you to SeaWorld Super Fan Glen, and how he uses positive reinforcement in his daily life in law enforcement.

Travel behind the scenes with Eric as he gets up close and personal with the  residents of Antarctica and get a preview of the new Penguin Up Close tour now available at SeaWorld Orlando.

behind the scenes at antarctica

Go behind the scenes at Antarctica with MiceChat

We then travel to the National Sea Shore where James is live on location where 4 manatees are being returned to the wild after they were injured and rescued by SeaWorld.

SeaWorld Super Fan, Victoria, brings us our first animal Spotlight, where we learn about Sea Otters and how they need our protection.

We then conclude the show with the Explore A Park section where you will hear the audio from Shamu Rocks at SeaWorld Orlando!

So let’s dive right into Episode 9 of the Unofficial SeaWorld Podcast!

We want to hear from you!  If you have any news, rumors or tips, please email them to use at [email protected]  or leave us a voice mail with your trip report, or news at 530-289-6722

Follow us on Twitter at @SeaWorldPodcast

About Eric Davis

By day, Eric is in Marketing and Social Media. But on the weekends, he's a theme park addict. Eric is a frequent contributor to MiceChat's Orlando Parkhopper columns and tends to focus his efforts on what's new and what's news at Universal Studios and SeaWorld.

Browse Archived Articles by

18 Comments

Comments for The Unofficial SeaWorld Podcast takes on BlackFish and goes behind the scenes at Antarctica are now closed.

  1. I realize that you are in bed with Sea World and, thus, have to justify their actions, but as a former dolphin and killer whale trainer, I find your justifications weak and morally bankrupt.

    To claim that the animal activists are seeing the orcas as “people” is quite lame and
    dismissive of their points. If you have had the honor and pleasure to know and love these animals personally, as I have, you would know that these incredibly intelligent captive creatures are suffering. They have feelings just as you and I have. To state otherwise is simply ignorant and arrogant.

    Your claim that the captive orcas are doing fine because several of them are decades old ignores the reality of how many have died in captivity at a young age. The fact is that average lifespan of a captive killer whale is less than a decade.

    You properly stated that Sea World no longer captures wild orcas. Yes that’s true, but it is not out of the kindness of their hearts. They were banned from capturing them due to their cruel and inhumane capture procedures which included using dynamite to herd the frightened creatures into nets. You also did not mention how many orcas died during these horrific capture operations.

    To claim that Sea World and other parks do valuable educaton is weak at best. What education? What do you learn that you can’t learn from a YouTube video or TV show? What they tell you is propaganda. They lead you to believe that these animals are almost-willing participants in their incarceration, that they enjoy their predicament and that they are better off in a cement pond than in the open ocean.

    And if you assert that the orcas (and dolphins and sea lions, etc) perform for affection or for “fun” or any other reason other than hunger, I challenge any trainer at Sea World to do a show without their bucket of fish. If it is your job to GUARANTEE the 2:00 killer whale show goes off as scheduled, then you better be darn sure that your animals are hungry. If not, no show.

    The truth is that marine theme parks go to great lengths to cover up the truth about these magnificent animals – and that truth is that these animals are far more intelligent and far more sensitive than they want you to know. And that’s because if you did know, you would logically ask, “If they are so smart and so sensitive, what are they doing in these chemical-laden cement ponds?”

    There is a reason so many former trainers are now speaking up. We’ve seen enough and it’s time for the cruelty to stop. It’s inhumane. If you TRULY cared about the well-being of these creatures, you would want to see them thriving in the open ocean, not swimming in circles in a cement cage and being forced to perform for their daily rations.

    (I apologize for speaking against the Church Of Sea World on this normally non-controversial theme- park website which I’ve enjoyed for the past several years. But it is you guys who brought this subject up. And you did not include, in your one-sided “discussion,” any rebuttal. So I decided not to remain silent on this important subject. Thank you.)

    • Evergreen, thank you for your comments. As an animal lover myself, I struggle with all sorts of zoos and aquariums. However, I also see the good works they do and the role they play in the preservation of endangered species. It isn’t an easy issue. Unfortunately, I don’t agree with all of your point or the rude and overly emotional way you presented them above. It doesn’t help your case or your cause.

      • Dusty, I certainly didn’t mean to be rude or overly emotional. And to be honest, when I re-read my post, I don’t see it. Please help me here and tell me what is rude about my comments. And what did I write that you construe as “overly emotional”? Everything I wrote is based on my experience and knowledge of what really goes on behind-the-scenes. Everything I wrote is factually correct.

        Dusty, I’ve been involved with this issue for a long time, and it really annoys me when folks disagree with my points but refuse to be specific about what they disagree with. My comments are not merely my opinions. They are based on the reality of what goes on in marine theme parks. Which of my comments do you disagree with? Thanks!

        (I realize that this website may not be the proper forum for this discussion. If that is this case, please accept my apologies for my comments.)

      • Dusty, if you’d like to delete my comments, I wouldn’t be offended.

  2. evergreen, we value your opinion and certainly appreciate that you have it. As for rebuttal, how could we have had any rebuttal until our podcast was launched? Thanks for coming on here and sharing your opinion though. Let me share my opinion with you on what you say now…

    You make some powerful and emotional claims in your comment above. I’d like to see some facts attached to those in order to judge their veracity. We gave facts in our podcast along with our opinion, I’d like to see the facts you have to support your claims. I don’t think this is the venue for that however so please feel free to contact us at (530) 289-6722 or 530-289-ORCA and/or send email to [email protected]

  3. @evergreen: I’ll be a bit more direct than CreepyMonkey. Your facts are absolute hogwash. You know, you would probably get a better response from people if you didn’t go scorched earth in the comments.

    I enjoy Sea World, millions of others enjoy these types of parks, and your pseudo-science will not change that.

    • Please cite a fact that I stated that is “absolute hogwash.”

  4. one of the reasons i love micechat is because i can discuss issues regarding amusement park with others who have different opinions but i have to agree with the people above. I used to be committed to sea world i had a pass there for 13 years and used to love it my pass expired 2 weeks before blackfish and i told myself i would watch it and decide if i would renew it after seeing the truth. Its not that I havent thought about he fact that there keeping fish trapped in a small swimming pool ive thought about that more and more as ive gotten older and grown out of being a child, but that movie helped me relize how unhappy these animals really are. Me and the Public Relation department here at Sea World San Diego had trust in each other they started inviting me to VIP events to see attractions and shows such as Aquatica and Madagascar live before the general public and they wanted to help me get an internship at a near by research center so one day working for sea world would be a possibility…. My interest in that offer and this company deteriorated very quickly after this film. You guys are allowed to have your opionion thats what this site was about but i just wanted to give mine out and please just listen to what were saying.

    • I accidently said “fish in a swimming pool” fact of the matter is these are Dolphins and not fish

  5. Before judging SeaWorld so harshly after seeing Blackfish, I would think long and hard about the kind of film it is and how it was made. For perspective on this, please read the following article – http://www.nashvillescene.com/nashville/the-hit-documentary-blackfish-has-a-message-as-dubious-as-its-methods/Content?oid=3507212

    • okay so i read the article and that had to be the most one sided article I have ever read. i mean that was like Fox news or NBC kind of one sided. Come on im not he\re to trash you or what you said on your podcast im here to express my opinion like everybody else on this site. I have given up on sea world and I hope you can respect that. Regardless of the “lies” you believe this film gives i have chosen to side with them and I have the right to my opinion as much as you do.

      • You absolutely do. However, calling that article one sided is puzzling me; it is a simple, straightforward and completely accurate account of the film’s presentation.

  6. Thank you, Evergreen! I don’t see rudeness in your post, just passion and compassion.

    SeaWorld’s main concern is $ and stockholders, not the animals it abuses and enslaves… anyone who thinks otherwise is delusional.

  7. I don’t see anything rude or inappropriately emotional about Evergreen’s comments, either – he or she seems much more qualified to discuss this intelligently than most of us who haven’t worked in the field and have only visited Sea World (or similar places) as tourists. I enjoyed visiting Sea World when I was a kid and we had one in Ohio – obviously I was too young to think about issues like these. I love animals and visit zoos and aquariums frequently, but like others have stated, it’s a complicated subject, and one that’s hard to speak categorically about. Every documentary filmmaker has an agenda – they wouldn’t be making films if they didn’t. But with that in mind, the purpose of a good documentary is to start a discussion, and this one appears to have done that.

  8. There was nothing “rude or overly emotional” about Evergreen’s comment. It’s too bad most of the earlier responses focused on how angry people think it sounded just because it was a passionate contrary opinion from someone with authority on the matter. Hopefully we can move on from tone and focus on substance.
    We should be grateful that an opposing view was posted in light of the one-sided post that preceded it because it made the post part of a debate, rather than borderline propaganda. Also, Micechat of all websites should know that a little criticism towards theme parks isn’t always so bad.

  9. I appreciate everyone’s feedback, and I echo DustySage in saying it is a sensitive subject. It is clear by the fact that I wrote this article that I support SeaWorld, I truly do believe in their mission to educate, and create global awareness for the animals in our oceans. I appreciate all feedback, and we welcome this feedback on our podcast, so please Evergreen feel free to call or write us anytime, we would love to have you on the show!

    Best Regards,

    Eric
    Co-Host of the Unofficial SeaWorld Podcast
    [email protected]
    530-289-6722

  10. People didn’t cease shooting orcas because Sea World stepped in. Sea World saw a business opportunity rooted in a wrongful treatment that was going on, and wanted to kill 2 birds with one stone. There was a sliver of genuine care for these animals, but only a sliver at best. Please don’t insinuate that had Sea World never come along, people would still be running around shooting orcas on-sight in 2013. As a species, humans grow, become educated, and evolve over the natural course of time.. not because Sea World stepped in.

    You guys are spend far too much time talking about the wrong points, and completely miss out on the bigger picture. You’re basically conjuring a distraction attempt for weak-minded listeners.. the same kind of weak-minded folks who pay for Sea World tickets because they can’t see behind the curtain. Orcas did not need Sea World to ever save them; the human race simply needed to grow up and be educated, just like they’ve done on every other piece of subject matter from the “old times” through today. And the Orcas didn’t need Sea World to build awareness and passion for them – that would have happened naturally over time, just as hundreds of other magnificent animals are now better-understood, beautiful specimens, thanks to truly-talented, non-invasive efforts (i.e. Planet Earth, etc).

  11. Sea World is not in the business of doing research on Orcas. Thats a far fetched, truth stretching statement.

    And this”building relationships and empathy for orcas” talk is baloney. You’re not focusing on the issue. The issue is that orcas being contained, and treated the way they are – is not natural and healthy for the whale. You two can ‘spin’ and laugh your way all the way to San Diego, you both sound like you work for Fox news, Sea World exclusive edition(constantly talking into your water glass).

    The whale cleary was drawn in by Dawns pony tail ,”right”——- thats your response to that statement, enlightening. ” it is most important to note that according to SeaWorld’s own Management during courtroom testimony, Tilikum was desensed to ponytails and therefore did not find them a novelty.”

    Start raising more questions and not believing the PR by Sea World. We all know press releases are BS, right?

    Also, your statement that almost everything in the movie is “not true” is also angering.”a biased and ridiculous account” – sounds like a good description of this podcast.

    I don’t want to sound so harsh and/or mean, but you guys are just blowing Sea Worlds horn. Why can’t you two acknowledge that keeping Orcas in a theme park environment is a bad place for the whale. You two seem to be embracing it, not questioning the wisdom of the practice.

    I haven’t been to a Sea World in a long time, and I’d still go(you can’t change overnight). But by calling Blackfish out for its faults, and not calling out Sea World for anything – is rather juvenile. Just look at how you opened the podcast—– people were ruthlessly killing orcas, and they had a bad reputation. But then along came Sea World, and the quality of life for the Orca whales was instantly increased. You list the older orcas, then why not a list of all the orcas that have died before the age of 20.

    Again, sorry for coming off a little strong. But this is extremely one sided reporting —- and how you two laugh at certain claims makes you guys come off as slightly nervous and irritable. — Ken