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  1. #196

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    Re: See "Blackfish" before going to SeaWorld

    Quote Originally Posted by gardener14 View Post
    You continue to make it sound bad that the animals can't perform without food (or what I would call a treat/reward). I don't think it's bad because the vast majority of animal performance use food as a reward. I have seen nuts for bears, seeds for birds, bits of meat for tigers, treats for dogs and cats, so one can surmise that zoos use bits of food to train animals of all sorts for husbandry behaviors.
    Put yourself in their place. Imagine you live in a small room that you can never leave. A person approaches you holding your food. He gives you commands that require you to perform silly movements - waving your arms, jumping, spinning, turning... For each behavior you do correctly, you get part of your daily ration of food. Not a "treat" but part of your daily food ration. If you don't do a behavior correctly, you get nothing. Now imagine doing that several times a day. Now imagine doing that for the rest of your life.

  2. #197

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    Re: See "Blackfish" before going to SeaWorld

    Quote Originally Posted by evergreen View Post
    You are 100% wrong. I've explained it to you, yet you say I can't possibly be right because I worked with animals 40 years ago, as if training animals is very different now. The food they receive is not a "treat." It is part of their daily food ration. Why would they perform for a "treat"? Do you think they are that stupid? Do you honestly think they are like dogs?

    FACT: The orcas and dolphins must be hungry in order to get them to perform on schedule and on command. If you can prove otherwise, I will gladly donate $1,000 to your favority charity.



    This post comes across as shouting and frustrated.

    I think the problem with your explanations is that it seems counter to everything we know and see about other animals that are trained. Food rewards are routinely used in most animal training whether for show or husbandry, not just pets but wild animals in captivity such as bears, tigers, elephants, sea lions, dolphins, birds, etc. We, the general public, have never before been led to believe that it is anything more than a treat for doing a behavior correctly and in all cases it appears to be a small amount of food compared to their overall diet. I'm not claiming to be an expert. I just haven't heard a good explanations other than you shouting loudly that we must believe you because you say so.

    If not just a treat, it makes sense that the food used during training is part of their daily ration or else they would be overfed. Are you telling me that if they don't do the performance, they won't get their allotted food during the day? Even if they cooperatively perform and get fed in the process, is that bad? Isn't it providing stimulation and exercise that they wouldn't get if they just swam around in a large enclosure like a zoo animal on display? Don't modern zoos provide stimulation and play for their animals even if it's within their display habitat and not in a formal show setting?
    Last edited by gardener14; 01-20-2014 at 02:38 PM.

  3. #198

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    Re: See "Blackfish" before going to SeaWorld

    Quote Originally Posted by gardener14 View Post
    This post comes across as shouting and frustrated.

    I think the problem with your explanations is that it seems counter to everything we know and see about other animals that are trained. Food rewards are routinely used in most animal training whether for show or husbandry, not just pets but wild animals in captivity such as bears, tigers, elephants, sea lions, dolphins, birds, etc. We, the general public, have never before been led to believe that it is anything more than a treat for doing a behavior correctly and in all cases it appears to be a small amount of food compared to their overall diet. I'm not claiming to be an expert. I just haven't heard a good explanations other than you shouting loudly that we must believe you because you say so.?
    Yes, I am frustrated. Sorry. I stated certain facts and I hoped the discussion would go from there. Instead, I find myself repeating the basic facts. However, when I put myself in your shoes, I realize that this information is new and, perhaps, even startling. So again, I apologize.

    The "hunger" method I described applies to many intelligent animals that must perform on schedule and on command. That includes, orcas, dolphins and sea lions. They must be hungry in order to guarantee a performance. That's one reason why their food intake is so carefully managed.

    Some animals, such as lions, tigers and elephants are trained by fear and intimidation. (This has been tried with dolphins and orcas but doesn't work.) If you ever saw a video of how circus elephants are trained, your heart would break. Here is one of the milder videos:


    Quote Originally Posted by gardener14 View Post
    If not just a treat, it makes sense that the food used during training is part of their daily ration or else they would be overfed. Are you telling me that if they don't do the performance, they won't get their allotted food during the day? Even if they cooperatively perform and get fed in the process, is that bad? Isn't it providing stimulation and exercise that they wouldn't get if they just swam around in a large enclosure like a zoo animal on display? Don't modern zoos provide stimulation and play for their animals even if it's within their display habitat and not in a formal show setting?
    Good questions. If they don't perform they still get fed but just enough to keep them alive and healthy. When an animal refuses to perform at all, it is a cause for concern. The first thing the trainers usually do is cut back on their rations to make sure the animal is hungry the next day. If the animal still won't perform the next day after his rations were cut back, then other causes are looked into such as illness.

    What's wrong with this situation is simply that the animals must perform. They have no choice. The trainers don't ask the animal: "Will you please jump for the 5,000 paying guests who are anxiously waiting to see you jump? Please? I'll give you a treat if you do. Pretty please?"

    When you have thousands of paying guests, your show better come off as planned or the front office will come down on you. So to guarantee a show, your animals better be hungry or you are screwed. How else can you guarantee a show?

    The problem with this is that the animals have no choice in the matter. They must perform to saitify their hunger. It is, in fact, a type of slavery.
    Last edited by evergreen; 01-20-2014 at 03:05 PM.

  4. #199

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    Re: See "Blackfish" before going to SeaWorld

    That video regarding Ringling is just as slanted and misleading by mismatching biased narration with out of context pictures and videos as Blackfish is. The photos and videos obtained are of something, but anyone can see through the narration and it's bias. Do you really think the handlers are smiling because they enjoy tearing apart baby elephants and mothers? Come on! That's just one of many blatant examples. Here's another perspective. http://sarasotamagazine.com/blog/201...ntertainments/

    Back on topic, for a different kind of bias, but in the interest of listening to all sides, here is SeaWorld's newest response to Blackfish. Their own website dedicated to speaking up for themselves.
    Truth About Blackfish | SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment

    Within this website is this Q&A
    How are SeaWorld animals trained?
    The training process at SeaWorld is a critical part of our animal welfare program. It is based on the principles of positive reinforcement. No animal is ever punished as part of this process. If an animal chooses not to participate, it doesn’t and it experiences no consequences. Training is an enriching and stimulating process for the animals and contributes to their health. In addition to mental stimulation, training permits SeaWorld zoological professionals to provide better care. Animals are trained to submit to blood tests, provide urine samples, blowhole cultures, and even provide milk for analysis. Close interaction between our staff and animals is critical to assuring the animals’ health and well-being.
    The essence of animal training is to vary reinforcement to keep animals engaged. We use a variety of reinforcements in the training process; some animals prefer a massage or toy instead of food. Each animal and each day is different. No animal’s diet is dependent upon the food it receives in shows. An animal could choose not to participate in any shows and will still receive the same quantity of food.
    Last edited by gardener14; 01-20-2014 at 03:29 PM.

  5. #200

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    Re: See "Blackfish" before going to SeaWorld

    Quote Originally Posted by heatisonthestreet View Post
    Those belugas that were captured last year are tied to Seaworld.

    And what about Morgan the killer whale who was rescued '4 years ago' off of Norwegian waters and was promised to be rehabbed ASAP and never put on display.

    She is on display at loro parque in Tenerife and guess who owns that?

    There is a courtcase next month to see if they will release her. She has been in captivity for four years so there is a good chance that she could be seapenned successfully.

    But she new blood so Seaworld may fight tooth and nail to keep her so they can use her as a baby machine.
    SeaWorld does not own Loro Parque, and never has. Don't lie to try to make your story make sense.

    Morgan the orca does not have any association to SeaWorld, either.

    How exactly are the belugas tied to SeaWorld?
    Amnesia used to be my favourite word, but I forgot it.

  6. #201

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    Re: See "Blackfish" before going to SeaWorld

    Quote Originally Posted by gardener14 View Post
    Within this website is this Q&A
    How are SeaWorld animals trained?
    The training process at SeaWorld is a critical part of our animal welfare program. It is based on the principles of positive reinforcement. No animal is ever punished as part of this process. If an animal chooses not to participate, it doesn’t and it experiences no consequences. Training is an enriching and stimulating process for the animals and contributes to their health. In addition to mental stimulation, training permits SeaWorld zoological professionals to provide better care. Animals are trained to submit to blood tests, provide urine samples, blowhole cultures, and even provide milk for analysis. Close interaction between our staff and animals is critical to assuring the animals’ health and well-being.
    The essence of animal training is to vary reinforcement to keep animals engaged. We use a variety of reinforcements in the training process; some animals prefer a massage or toy instead of food. Each animal and each day is different. No animal’s diet is dependent upon the food it receives in shows. An animal could choose not to participate in any shows and will still receive the same quantity of food.
    That's an excellent post. Thanks. It perfectly demonstrates how Sea World can so easily mislead.

    Sea World's comments prove me wrong about one thing - that the animals receive less food if they don't perform. As it turns out, I was overly generous in my assessment of Sea World. I assumed that they gave the animals a bit more food if they performed and only a minimal amount if they did not perform. I was wrong. Apparently, the animals receive only the minimal amount whether they perform or not.

    The hungry animals get to decide: Do I perform this behavior now and get fed now? Or do I do nothing and get fed later, maybe much later, perhaps at the end of the day. That assumes, of course, that the animals know they will receive their food later if they don't perform. That's a big assumption.

    Obviously, if you're hungry and you're in small tank with nowhere to go and nothing else to do, you're going to choose to work for your food. What else can you do?
    Last edited by evergreen; 01-20-2014 at 07:03 PM.

  7. #202

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    Re: See "Blackfish" before going to SeaWorld

    Sea World doesn't specify whether the animals know they can opt out and be fed later. That would be very important. If the animal thinks he's not going to be fed if he doesn't do the trick, then the point is moot.

    Also, they don't say how long the time interval is between opting out and feeding. If the animal does not perform the trick, and the fish in the trainer's hand or bucket is held in front of his face but not given, then it is can be perceived by the animal as negative punishment. "Negative" refers to something being taken away (the fish), and "punishment" because the desired task was not completed.

    But if the fish is given immediately, regardless of whether the dolphin completes the task, then it fails to be a reinforcer, and could be eliminated. If praise is the only reward they need, then why even use fish?

    (I was a grad assistantin quite a few learning and memory classes.)
    Last edited by The First Star; 01-20-2014 at 07:50 PM.

  8. #203

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    Re: See "Blackfish" before going to SeaWorld

    Quote Originally Posted by Exprmnt626 View Post
    SeaWorld does not own Loro Parque, and never has. Don't lie to try to make your story make sense.


    Morgan the orca does not have any association to SeaWorld, either.


    How exactly are the belugas tied to SeaWorld?

    Sea World and Loro Parque are closely associated.


    And Sea World admits being associated with Morgan.


    In their statement to CNN after Blackfish aired (the one where they refused to be interviewed in person and requested that they only answer a preset list of questions):
    We also assisted our colleagues at Dolfinarium in Holland with veterinary care and husbandry for an orphaned and hearing-impaired juvenile killer whale they rescued.

    According to Dr. Naomi Rose, in her rebuttal to Sea World's responses:
    Morgan (the whale in Holland) was not released, although she could have been (a release plan was formulated by a team of experts). She is currently the target of a legal effort to secure her return to the wild in Norway. It is interesting that SeaWorld does not mention here that the company now claims to own Morgan, as she was moved from Holland to a facility in the Canary Islands [Loro Parque], where several other SeaWorld whales on loan currently reside.

    According to Blackfish, the young man from Loro Parque who was killed by an orca was photographed training at Sea World.

  9. #204

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    Re: See "Blackfish" before going to SeaWorld

    You asked who owned Loro Parque; the implication being that SeaWorld did. SeaWorld does not. Misleading propaganda. Zoos and aquariums world-wide collaborate with each other to aid research or improve husbandry and training techniques.

    SeaWorld assisted colleagues on the care of Morgan, and this somehow makes them responsible for what happens at a park they also do not own?

    The young man from Loro Parque was not training at SeaWorld. Blackfish is using editing to make it look that way.
    Amnesia used to be my favourite word, but I forgot it.

  10. #205

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    Re: See "Blackfish" before going to SeaWorld

    Morgan at Loro Parque has been found to be deaf. So no, she won't be released.

    Morgan’s Unusual Training At Loro Parque | Tim Zimmermann

  11. #206

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    Re: See "Blackfish" before going to SeaWorld

    Also, not sure if this had been posted yet, but Sea World has responded pretty directly to Blackfish.
    Truth About Blackfish | SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment

  12. #207

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    Re: See "Blackfish" before going to SeaWorld

    Evergreen's recent posts have made it more and more clear that he or she is not educating anyone with sound information or experiences but rather just relaying the same information repeatedly given by the anti-captivity activists in this an other situations. It could be SeaWorld or Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey, or horse drawn carriage rides in Central Park, but it's the same old propaganda. Like always, it starts out sounding reasonable, it plays on one's emotions, then, slowly, the distortions start to become clear if you know where to look. Don't be sucked in.

    The corporations shouldn't be given a free pass here either. They should be challenged and watched. However, reason and logic should prevail, not extremism and propaganda.

    Zoos and aquariums can, should, and have improved greatly due to changing laws, regulations, understanding of animal's needs and welfare, and the public's expectations. I believe that will and should continue, but from either side we should have facts with little bias, not bias with distorted facts. Both sides are to blame and have their biases, but I believe the zoos and aquariums are holding up their side of the bargain in regards to integrity both voluntarily within the public's eye and within regulations issued upon them much better than the anti-captivity activists.

  13. #208

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    Re: See "Blackfish" before going to SeaWorld

    Quote Originally Posted by Amber View Post
    Morgan at Loro Parque has been found to be deaf. So no, she won't be released.

    Morgan’s Unusual Training At Loro Parque | Tim Zimmermann
    A quick internet search shows the court date has been postponed to February 14th. Other than her hearing impairment and apparent signs of self-harm, she's in excellent health. Scientists are still fighting for her release: http://www.freemorgan.org/wp-content...cinus-orca.pdf

  14. #209

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    Re: See "Blackfish" before going to SeaWorld

    So that article, which is on the "Free Morgan" website is not scientific which is demonstrated by the request on every single to page to not cite without permission of the author. This was also written before she had a hearing test. She is deaf, and the only recommended solution is to put her in a sea pen? Alone? Who would want that for her?

  15. #210

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    Re: See "Blackfish" before going to SeaWorld

    Quote Originally Posted by Exprmnt626 View Post
    You asked who owned Loro Parque; the implication being that SeaWorld did. SeaWorld does not. Misleading propaganda. Zoos and aquariums world-wide collaborate with each other to aid research or improve husbandry and training techniques.

    SeaWorld assisted colleagues on the care of Morgan, and this somehow makes them responsible for what happens at a park they also do not own?

    The young man from Loro Parque was not training at SeaWorld. Blackfish is using editing to make it look that way.
    I didn't ask, I didn't say Sea World owned Loro Parque, and I didn't bring it up. Just saying that the claim that they are completely unrelated facilities has been refuted by experts. As you say, they collaborate. And Sea World has loaned some of their animals to Loro Parque.

    It is said that Sea World owns all of Loro Parque's orcas, and that they're the ones fighting in court to keep Morgan in captivity, but until I can find a reliable third party source, I won't believe it. That is, I can't trust the PETA activists or Sea World. I do trust leading marine biologists when they say that Sea World claims to own Morgan.

    And I haven't done any outside research on Alexis Martinez. That's why I said "according to Blackfish." Again, my interest isn't in the he-said/she-said specifics of the documentary. And I can't speak for the filmmakers. As I've said all along, my interest is in dolphin intelligence, and my opinions, which were once pro-captivity or at least indifference, were formed after doing a lot of reading of scientific work in grad school -- before Blackfish was made.

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