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  1. #61

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    Re: See "Blackfish" before going to SeaWorld

    SeaWorld fires back at the accusations made by Blackfish. Here's the story from the Orlando Sentinel. Orlando Sentinel
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  2. #62

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    Re: See "Blackfish" before going to SeaWorld

    Discollector:
    To me, it just seems like a lot of people are making assumptions on a few clips they seen on CNN, or little things they've seen on YouTube.
    Have you been to one of the parks?
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  3. #63

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    Re: See "Blackfish" before going to SeaWorld

    Ugh regardless of whether you think the documentary was bias or whatever, there were things that SeaWorld did that seemed pretty undisputed that should make any rational human sick.
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  4. #64

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    Re: See "Blackfish" before going to SeaWorld

    I will have to preface this by saying I have not seen the movie. However, I am curious to know why Sea World is being singled out for being cruel to animals. If we're talking about keeping animals in captivity as being cruel, aren't all zoos cruel and should be shut down as well?

    If you really want to go far, PETA themselves thinks that owning a pet is cruel. After, that house they live in is not their natural environment. No matter how nicely you treat them. To quote their own website, "This selfish desire to possess animals and receive love from them causes immeasurable suffering, which results from manipulating their breeding, selling or giving them away casually, and depriving them of the opportunity to engage in their natural behavior. They are restricted to human homes, where they must obey commands and can only eat, drink, and even urinate when humans allow them to."

    Sounds pretty cruel to me on the surface.
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  5. #65

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    Re: See "Blackfish" before going to SeaWorld

    Blackfish makes people think. They stop, they watch, they think. SeaWorld for the most part has been dismissive of it up until it had a direct impact on profits. The publicity and sliding attendance have forced them to respond.

    I am not debating that SeaWorld has raised generations of individuals who are more passionate about conservation. I simply question why the animals are forced to perform. People complain about elephants walking in a circle carrying tourists... but making an animal of equal intelligence perform multiple times a day year after year and yet no one blinks? That is what bothers me.

    We need displays. We need places where families can go and kids can see the animals. Without those places the connections are lost. It is LITERALLY that simple. At the same time we don't need performances. My best photo of SeaWorld was a silhouette of my kids against the glass. It's a sharp contrast between the white of a beluga, the blue of the water, and the black of little kids shadows. I won't have a chance to see one in the wild anytime soon... this was their chance to make a connection.
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  6. #66

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    Re: See "Blackfish" before going to SeaWorld

    I have to correct you on one thing you said and that is about the animals being forced to perform. They're not forced to do anything they don't want to do, they're asked and they don't get punished if they don't do what they're asked to do. They still get fed regardless if they do or do not do what's asked of them. I've seen this first hand during some of the Dolphin and Orca shows, especially during mating season. I've even seen the trainers tell the audience that the Blue Horizons Dolphin show was cancelled and to come to the next show later in the day because the dolphins were obviously interested in other things. I'm not angry or offended by that comment, but I just wanted to correct that falsehood that the animals are forced to perform.
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  7. #67

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    Re: See "Blackfish" before going to SeaWorld

    Funny you should mention that. Sea World does go out of their way to mention that the "tricks" they have their animals do are already natural behaviors for the animals.

    I have an old audio album from Marineland that documents the narration of their animal shows. (I know, an album of a visual show strikes me as strange too... it was the 70s, lol.) At one point, I kid you not, the narrator excitedly yells into the microphone, "This action [of the dolphin, I think it was] goes against every natural instinct in its body!" I believe it was about to jump through a flaming hoop, which was a fairly common trick back in the day.

    So times have changed for the better...
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  8. #68

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    Re: See "Blackfish" before going to SeaWorld

    There used to be a Marineland in Ormond Beach, FL and their claim to fame was that's where the first Dolphin born in captivity was born. I've seen photos and video taken at that park with the Dolphins doing the same thing as well as taking the fish out of the trainers mouth. Marineland of Florida nolonger exists but the pools with the dolphins are still there and they're open to the public as an aquarium. SeaWorld Orlando basically killed that park by stealing its audience like SeaWorld San Diego did to the Marineland in California. It's kind of sad though as I heard Marineland of Florida did have beautiful Botanical Gardens as well.
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  9. #69

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    Re: See "Blackfish" before going to SeaWorld

    Quote Originally Posted by Coasterjunkie View Post
    I have to correct you on one thing you said and that is about the animals being forced to perform. They're not forced to do anything they don't want to do, they're asked and they don't get punished if they don't do what they're asked to do. They still get fed regardless if they do or do not do what's asked of them. I've seen this first hand during some of the Dolphin and Orca shows, especially during mating season. I've even seen the trainers tell the audience that the Blue Horizons Dolphin show was cancelled and to come to the next show later in the day because the dolphins were obviously interested in other things. I'm not angry or offended by that comment, but I just wanted to correct that falsehood that the animals are forced to perform.
    As intelligent as these animals are it is still a rewards based system. A lack of reward is simply a less severe punishment. There are documented instances of wild dolphins returning to play and learn new tricks but not orcas. I have yet to see any video of an orca swimming around a boat in the wild waving it's peck for the cameras... or sliding up on an ice sheet and doing the "Shamu pose" just for the fun of being up there... wild orcas focus on seals. Food is the reward. They don't do it just because the trainer tells them to!

    The same can be said of a circus. The same can be said of a zoo. Training for most animals is reward based. Very few animals perform for attention (dogs being one of them). If you strip away the performances of Sea World you're left with an Aquarium. Aquariums for the most part don't do shows. They display animals for awareness, education, and conservation purposes. If my last statement sounds familiar it should. Many are pulling the "this brought awareness and conservation to the species" card... yep... but they didn't have to do animal shows to do it.

    I find it ironic that elephant and camel rides were removed from zoos because it was too stressful on the animals. Herd animals, that naturally walk around and have been used for thousands of years to carry both people and cargo, too stressful. But you can put an orca in a concrete pool, make it do tricks even when it's close to giving birth, and no one so much as whispers a complaint. How exactly does that happen? And this was IN San Diego no less... home to Zoo, Wild Animal Park, and Sea World.
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  10. #70

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    Re: See "Blackfish" before going to SeaWorld

    Quote Originally Posted by JesterMn View Post
    . . . I have not seen the movie. However, I am curious to know why Sea World is being singled out for being cruel to animals. If we're talking about keeping animals in captivity as being cruel, aren't all zoos cruel and should be shut down as well?

    If you really want to go far, PETA themselves thinks that owning a pet is cruel. . .
    To paraphrase Kent Brockman, "So what's the answer, ban all music? Unfortunately the answer is, 'yes'." Ah, the parade of horribles. First we go for the orcas, then the dolphins, then your pit bull.

    Two days ago I asked an aquarium director about "Blackfish," and he made the point that [I think I have the decade correct] back in the 60s, fisherman wanted to have machine guns on their boats to kill orcas who competed for their catch and that no one got to upset about this, but due to the emotional connection made at parks like Sea World, this would be an unthinkable option today. But we've changed, and now I'd like orcas out of American marine parks, and elephants out of small and medium sized American zoos.

    Here's an L.A. Times link I saw:

    SeaWorld uses newspaper ads to strike back at 'Blackfish' charges - latimes.com

  11. #71

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    Re: See "Blackfish" before going to SeaWorld

    I forgot where I read it but it was leaked that it may be up for an Oscar. Add in the potentially cancelled BBQ Festival and you have the makings of a PR nightmare. Sea World simply can't afford to wait it out at this point.

    I took the time to read the actual letter. It drips with spin more so than Blackfish did. The rebuttal from Blackfish should be fairly quick and brutal.
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  12. #72

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    Re: See "Blackfish" before going to SeaWorld

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    I find it ironic that elephant and camel rides were removed from zoos because it was too stressful on the animals. Herd animals, that naturally walk around and have been used for thousands of years to carry both people and cargo, too stressful. But you can put an orca in a concrete pool, make it do tricks even when it's close to giving birth, and no one so much as whispers a complaint. How exactly does that happen? And this was IN San Diego no less... home to Zoo, Wild Animal Park, and Sea World.
    I'm playing a bit of devil's advocate here, but one aspect of this would be the conditions and duration. Elephant and camel rides were in a very small circle, so there'd be serious and obvious repetition, and, more importantly, it was done fairly continuously, perhaps hours at a time. I think it's the latter fact that the public can relate to in a sympathetic way.

    However, at Sea World, they do maybe 5-8 shows a day, and each show is 15-20 minutes, and even 10 minutes of that are video screens and talking. They're not "working" that long, and then they have a lot of "free time" on their own in tanks that are quite large. Hence people don't feel as much as an urge to complain. Personally, I don't.
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  13. #73

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    Re: See "Blackfish" before going to SeaWorld

    Quote Originally Posted by JesterMn View Post
    . . . they have a lot of "free time" on their own in tanks that are quite large. . .
    The tanks would be large swimming pools for people, but might not seem as spacious for gigantic orcas that evolved to migrate.

    And baby orcas are portable,
    but they and their mothers might not be as amenable to separation by humans
    as golden retriever puppies and their parents are. The crying of the mother orca in "Blackfish" got to me more than anything else in the film, though the relatives of dead trainers probably should have moved me more. Blame Disney. ("Run, Bambi, run!" Gunshot. "Mother?!" And the "Baby Mine" cage scene in Dumbo.)

  14. #74

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    Re: See "Blackfish" before going to SeaWorld

    Quote Originally Posted by JesterMn View Post
    I'm playing a bit of devil's advocate here, but one aspect of this would be the conditions and duration. Elephant and camel rides were in a very small circle, so there'd be serious and obvious repetition, and, more importantly, it was done fairly continuously, perhaps hours at a time. I think it's the latter fact that the public can relate to in a sympathetic way.

    However, at Sea World, they do maybe 5-8 shows a day, and each show is 15-20 minutes, and even 10 minutes of that are video screens and talking. They're not "working" that long, and then they have a lot of "free time" on their own in tanks that are quite large. Hence people don't feel as much as an urge to complain. Personally, I don't.
    Following the devil's advocate thread... those same animals (camels and elephants) would be switched out throughout the day, free to return to their paddocks that mimic the natural environment as much as possible. Zoos go out of their way to offer mental stimulation within the paddocks and mimic the natural environment.

    SeaWorld also goes out of it's way to mimic the natural environment. From penguins to seals to sting rays, everyone has a natural environment except the Orcas... they get a cement pond in the back. You talk of serious and obvious repetition... how exciting is it to swim in a circle in a bland cement pond for hours on end?
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  15. #75

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    Re: See "Blackfish" before going to SeaWorld

    To start I do support quality non-profit Zoo's and Aquariums who focus on research and conservation and not about making a nice profit for owners.

    That said, Sea World does have some research and conservation, no doubt there, but their primary goal as a for profit company is to make as much money for the owners as possible, that is a huge difference between a non-profit zoo and aquarium and Sea World.

    When I go to an aquarium or say the San Diego Zoo, there are few if any shows involving large mammals and some have no shows at all.

    While its logical to protect and breed endangered species in captivity to bring their numbers up to prevent extinction, we have to understand this is not possible for all species, and for those species we instead need to focus on conservation and protecting their habitat, in this case the oceans, and the Orca's food chain.

    Orca's are not suited for captive breeding programs, nor captivity at all, they are too big and there is no possible way to recreate a natural captive habitat for them.

    I haven't been to Sea World in 17 years, and I will never go back, they are a theme park with animals in my eyes and not a place for conservation, the day they started to add these coasters and other rides show this.

    I have not seen blackfish, and may never see it, I've done my own research and don't need a movie to sway my opinion.

    I don't agree that these captive Orca's should be released as they likely are no longer suited for the wild, after all animals who become dependent on humans tend to seek out humans, and this is not a good thing for either humans or animals.

    But there is no need to keep breeding these animals, and I wholly think the government needs to step in, and legislate a ban on captive breeding, this gives Sea World ample time to refocus their business and allows the current animals to live their lives.

    I simply see no logical reason to keep these animals in captivity, researching them in the wild is far far more useful.

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