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Re: 'Blackfish' Backlash: Fan Pressure Leads Willie Nelson to Cancel SeaWorld Concert

Alana33
September 29, 2014 01:19PM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 11,580

SeaWorld stock sinks over ‘Blackfish’ killer whale outrage

SeaWorld has a whale of a problem.

Shares of the theme-park operator — home to beloved killer whale Shamu — tanked more than 34 percent Wednesday after the company slashed its full-year forecast and second-quarter results fell far short of expectations.

SeaWorld, owned by the private-equity giant Blackstone, said attendance at its parks has been hurt by the debate over its treatment of captive orcas.

Attendance at its namesake parks plus two Busch Gardens locations rose a paltry 0.3 percent to 6.6 million compared to the same period a year ago. Attendance in the second quarter last year, however, declined 9 percent.

“The company believes attendance in the quarter was impacted by demand pressures related to recent media attention surrounding proposed legislation in the state of California,” chief executive Jim Atchison said in a statement.

The company has been under fire from animal activists who argue it’s wrong to keep orcas for the amusement of audiences.

That message was hammered home in last year’s “Blackfish.” In October, millions watched the controversial documentary on CNN, which focused on Tilikum and the death of trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010.

The film led a California state lawmaker to introduce a bill in April that would ban the use of orcas for public performances at the parks.

Last month, Southwest Airlines ended its long-running promotional partnership with the parks, which began in 1988, because of the backlash over “Blackfish.”

The decision came after Change.org gathered some 30,000 signatures for a petition calling for Southwest to end the deal.

SeaWorld said Wednesday it now expects revenue this year to fall 6 to 7 percent, while its previous forecast called for a slight increase.

The shares were down 34 percent, or $9.61, to $18.54 at 2 p.m. in New York trading on August 13, 2014.

Sept. 10, 2014
SeaWorld Entertainment is in more hot water.

The company has been hit with a shareholder lawsuit accusing it of misleading investors about the impact of last year’s “Blackfish” documentary on attendance and mistreating its famed killer whales.

Last month, SeaWorld shares tumbled 33 percent in one day after the company warned that the hard-hitting film was hurting attendance at its theme parks.

The film released in July 2013 — just months after SeaWorld’s April 18 initial public offering — made the alleged mistreatment of orcas a national issue and galvanized animal rights activists.

The suit alleges that SeaWorld failed to disclose it had improperly cared for its orca population and continued to feature and breed a whale that had killed and injured numerous trainers.

As a consequence, the company “created material uncertainties and risks” that could impact attendance at its family-oriented parks.

The Blackstone Group, which bought SeaWorld less than five years ago, has reaped about $2.2 billion on its $1 billion investment since December 2009. Blackstone has a 22.5 percent stake in the aquatic park operator.

Shares of SeaWorld, which went public at $27 a share, traded up slightly Wednesday to $20.70 at 12:30 p.m. in New York.

August 15, 2014

On Wednesday SeaWorld reported net income and revenue that fell short of Wall Street expectations and the company withdrew its financial outlook for the year. Its revenue in the second quarter was about $40 million less than analysts had expected, and the company said “Blackfish” hurt attendance.

Several entertainers, including country singers Trisha Yearwood and Willie Nelson and rock band Barenaked Ladies, have pulled out of planned performances at SeaWorld parks since the release of the movie. In July, Southwest Airlines and SeaWorld said they were ending a 25-year marketing partnership at the end of this year. SeaWorld said the decision was mutual, and said it wants to concentrate on growing markets in Latin America and Asia.

SeaWorld stock has fallen 37 percent in 2014 and finished at $18 on Thursday. That is its lowest closing price since the company went public in April 2013. The shares gained 35 cents to $18.35 in morning trading



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/29/2014 01:36PM by Alana33.

Re: 'Blackfish' Backlash: Fan Pressure Leads Willie Nelson to Cancel SeaWorld Concert

Alana33
October 01, 2014 09:46AM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 11,580

When Dolphins Save the Day: Amazing Rescues by Our Flippered Friends

Read more: [www.care2.com]

A gregarious dolphin turned what began as a disastrous fishing trip into one man’s reason for hope.

The trip went terribly awry in the Gulf of Mexico in late September 2014. Joey Trevino, his uncle and two friends ended up in the water when their 25-foot boat sank. Fortunately each man had a life vest. The men got separated, and Trevino ended up floating alone for hours upon hours.

“You’re looking at the clouds,” Trevino told ABC News. “You’re looking at whatever to try to keep you focused.” Eventually, though, after more than 24 hours alone in the water he just wanted to stop trying. His despair was intense. He told KIII TV he even considered slipping out of his life jacket and letting it all end.

That’s when fate stepped in. A dolphin appeared near Trevino and suddenly everything changed.

“He kind of bumped me, and I kind of rubbed him, and he kind of changed my attitude right there,” Trevino told ABC News. “He kind of … gives you hope.”

Trevino thought he was interacting with a porpoise, but experts say it was probably a bottlenose dolphin. There are many more dolphin species out there (about 32) than porpoises (about six). No matter, though. That friendly nudge probably saved Trevino’s life.

Dolphins to the Rescue… Again and Again

Countless tales exist about dolphins coming to the rescue of humans in distress. Dolphins will indeed attack a shark to defend their little ones and themselves. Many people say dolphins unquestionably took purposeful steps to save their lives as well.

Not everyone believes that dolphins intentionally rescue people, of course. Try telling that to the people who were actually there. They’re convinced. Consider these stories and decide for yourself.

1. Swimmer Gets Hour-Long Dolphin Escort (2014)

During a difficult eight-hour marathon swim across New Zealand’s Cook Strait, British swimmer Adam Walker noticed a creature over 6 feet long that looked like a shark swimming beneath him.

From out of nowhere, a pod of 10 dolphins suddenly joined Walker, swimming alongside him. They stayed by his side for more than an hour. The suspected shark disappeared. Watch video of this amazing swim here (no, you won’t see the shark):


Were those dolphins protecting Walker or just having fun?

“It would be a nice thought [if] they were thinking, we will just help our pal get through,” Walker later said. “I’d like to think they were protecting me and guiding me home,” he noted on his Facebook page.

2. Dolphins Encircle Four Swimmers Off New Zealand Beach (2004)

Rob Howes, his daughter and her friends were swimming off a New Zealand beach when they saw a 10-foot long great white shark. Nearby dolphins began swimming in circles around the four humans.

“They started to herd us up, they pushed all four of us together by doing tight circles around us,’” Howes told The Daily Mail. Howes said they kept up this apparently defensive maneuver for an amazing 40 minutes.

“It [the shark] was only about two meters away from me, the water was crystal clear and it was as clear as the nose on my face,” Howes added. “[The dolphins] had corralled us up to protect us.”

3. Lost Divers Say Dolphins Led Rescue Boats to Them (2004)

Twelve divers who got lost in the Red Sea believe dolphins helped save their lives. They’d been swept 45 miles away from their boat. A massive air and sea search failed to find them. Finally, after some 13 and a half hours, a boat approached from the distance.

“One of the most amazing things was, after we were rescued, the guys on the boat said there were dolphins jumping across the prow in the direction we were actually in,” diver Richard Hallam told The Telegraph.

“We heard dolphins when we were in the water, we could hear their echo location,” Hallam added. “I think those dolphins drew attention to us. There are stories about dolphins helping humans in distress, protecting them. And I think those dolphins helped us.”

4. Dolphins Helped Elian Gonzales Make it Safely to America (2000)

Remember little Elian Gonzales? He was the Cuban boy who wound up in an international custody tug of war in 2000 after his mother drowned trying to get him from Cuba to Florida.

Elian told authorities that he’d been clinging to an inner tube after the boat he’d been in sank. He insisted that dolphins swimming near him helped him survive by pushing him each time his strength failed.

5. Dick Van Dyke Says Porpoises Pushed Him to Shore

Actor Dick Van Dyke says he fell asleep on a surfboard as a young man and inadvertently began to drift out to sea with the tide.

“I woke up out of sight of land,” Van Dyke said on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. “I started paddling with the swells and I started seeing fins swimming around me and I thought ‘I’m dead!’” He was wrong.

“They turned out to be porpoises and they pushed me all the way to shore,” said Van Dyke. “I’m not kidding.”

These stories barely scratch the surface. There are an incredible number of tales about dolphins pushing drowning people onto shore, swimming between people and menacing sharks, and even battling other creatures on behalf of a human.

Knowing how incredibly intelligent dolphins are, is it so hard to believe one creature might sense the need of another one and come to its aid?

Re: 'Blackfish' Backlash: Fan Pressure Leads Willie Nelson to Cancel SeaWorld Concert

Alana33
October 04, 2014 11:33AM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 11,580

Swimming with dolphins, whether with wild individuals or those in captivity, is increasing in popularity. Unfortunately, most participants in these activities are unaware of the problems surrounding them, and the negative impact on the animals involved.

There is no scientific evidence that 'dolphin therapy' is effective.
A WDC study revealed many incidents of aggressive behaviour by dolphins towards people.
In some locations, dolphins are harassed and repeatedly disturbed by people in the water.
Disruption to feeding, resting, nursing may have a long-term impact on the health and wellbeing of whales and dolphins.


Visiting a marine park or aquarium

Swimming with captive dolphins may seem like fun. But the harsh reality is kept hidden. Many people don’t realise that the animals are suffering an impoverished and often dramatically shortened existence in captivity and that many have been captured from the wild.

Bad for dolphins

These intelligent, social and wide-ranging animals are forced to live in artificial, confined conditions, away from their natural family groups. Many die very young, during capture, transport or in their tanks or enclosures.

Capture

Dolphins continue to be captured from the wild to supply the growing demand for swimming with dolphins.
Methods used to capture and transport dolphins can be shockingly cruel and many animals die during capture operations or in transit.
Very often, dolphins are captured from populations that are already under threat from other human activities.

Life in captivity
In captivity, dolphins have a lower survival rate than in the wild.
They are unable to communicate, hunt, roam, mate and play as they would in the wild.
The stress of their confinement often results in behavioural abnormalities, illness, lowered resistance to disease and death.

No Escape
In captivity, dolphins cannot escape from human swimmers when they do not want to interact with them.
Some have been observed demonstrating signs of alarm when they were in close proximity to swimmers.
Nails and jewellery can damage the dolphins’ delicate skin.

Exposure and pollution

Many facilities keep the dolphins in enclosures on the coast. Recent hurricanes have had serious consequences for dolphins in these sea pens. Some have been battered by falling debris, washed out to sea and even killed. Water quality can also be a problem. Sea pens close to shore may contain only very shallow water, which can get too hot in the sun. Those close to towns or resorts may also contain high pollution levels, bringing the risk of illness and even death.

Bad for human swimmers

Injury and disease
Dolphins are wild animals and unpredictable, even when well trained. Swimmers have been known to incur bites, bruises, scratches, abrasions and broken bones.
Disease transmission is a serious concern, as dolphins carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans.

Fear and disappointment
Dolphins are large, strong animals and entering the water with them can be frightening for swimmers.
Many people report a feeling of disappointment as the experience is far from the natural wildlife encounter they were looking for.

Wild swim – the alternative?

Swimming with wild dolphins can be an exhilarating and unforgettable experience. Sadly, it is very difficult to ensure that it is not an intrusive or stressful experience for the animals. In some locations, dolphins are repeatedly disturbed by boats dropping swimmers in the water next to them. Dolphins have been recorded leaving their usual homes in favour of quieter areas. Disruption to feeding, resting, nursing and other behaviour may have a long-term impact on the health and wellbeing of individual dolphins and populations.

Other concerns include:
safety of dolphins and swimmers.
injury to dolphins by boat propellers.
risk of dolphins becoming dependent on humans for food, as some boat operators entice them towards the swimmers using food.

Whale and dolphin watching – a real alternative

Responsible whale and dolphin watching is an exciting alternative, providing excellent opportunities to see these wonderful animals in their natural environment. This can benefit the animals by inspiring people with enthusiasm to help protect them, offering a platform for research and providing a source of income for coastal communities.

Re: 'Blackfish' Backlash: Fan Pressure Leads Willie Nelson to Cancel SeaWorld Concert

Alana33
October 04, 2014 04:01PM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 11,580

Animal entertainment is animal abuse: now is the time to act

Today is World Animal Day. A day that we celebrate and remember the animals that have touched our lives. And today we are launching a global campaign to keep wild animals in the wild, and not for our entertainment.

Animal entertainment is animal abuse

Every year, thousands of tourists unknowingly book vacation activities that cause extreme suffering to the very animals they want to see. From elephant rides to swim-with-dolphin programs, the use of wild animals for entertainment has become part of too many vacation experiences.

One growing example of this hidden cruelty is the popular tourist activity of elephant-back riding.

Around 30% of the world's Asian elephants have been taken away from their natural habitats and forced into a lifetime of captivity. Subjected to intense physical and mental abuse, their spirits are broken and they surrender to a life of entertaining tourists.

Please take two minutes to watch and share our video. We want other animal lovers, like you, to learn the truth before they book their excursions.

Together we can end animals’ suffering

Right now, thousands of people are searching online for animal attractions, unaware of the abuse that takes place behind the scenes. 65% of travelers plan their trips online and we need to make them aware of this cruelty, before they book.

Our new video, in the form of a tour operator advertisement, reveals the cruelty behind animal entertainment. By sharing our video with friends and family, you can help expose the truth about animal suffering and encourage them to become animal friendly tourists.

[www.youtube.com]

If you want to see the number of people who are uncovering the truth about animal attractions and to learn more about the campaign, please visit the Before They Book website. [beforetheybook.worldanimalprotection.org]

Thank you for your ongoing support and commitment to protecting wild animals.

Sincerely

Silia Smith, Interim U.S. Executive Director
World Animal Protection


P.S. In honor of World Animal Day, October 4th, we will be providing our new eCards for free. Send an eCard to your loved ones this World Animal Day and celebrate all animals and the many ways they enhance our lives. eCards are an easy and fun way to show your friends and family you care about protecting animals. [donate.worldanimalprotection.us.org]

Re: 'Blackfish' Backlash: Fan Pressure Leads Willie Nelson to Cancel SeaWorld Concert

Alana33
October 10, 2014 12:08PM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 11,580

Captive Killer Whales Learn to Speak Dolphin

October 09, 2014 By David Kirby

Researchers say orcas that can mimic other species will have a better chance of surviving in the wild, but activists cast doubt on the claim.

Are killer whales multilingual?

A new study from the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute has found that captive orcas kept with bottlenose dolphins adopt the signature clicks and whistles of their tank mates. But some scientists question claims made in the paper that this knowledge can benefit endangered orca populations in the wild.

The study, which will appear in the next issue of Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, reported that captive killer whales exhibit similar vocal “repertoires” as bottlenose dolphins after spending time with them, suggesting considerable “vocal plasticity” and a desire for “vocal conformity” in their social environment.

In other words, they just want to fit in.

The authors analyzed vocal recordings of captive bottlenose dolphins and killer whales. Three of the orcas were kept with dolphins: two at SeaWorld parks and one at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. That orca is presumably Shouka, who was transferred to SeaWorld San Diego in 2012, partly because of protests that her only companions for several years were dolphins.

Their vocal repertoire turned out to be far more “dolphin like” than that of seven killer whales who were kept only with other orcas, the study found.

Killer whales, while members of the dolphin family, communicate differently from most dolphin species. Their vocalizations are dominated by “pulsed calls,” complex bursts and tones that have been compared to a squeaky door. Bottlenose dolphins, on the other hand, rely on a system of clicks and “terminal buzzes” to communicate, according to the study.

Killer whales not exposed to dolphins “produced few to no click trains and never emitted terminal buzzes,” the study says. The three that spent time with bottlenose dolphins produced both clicks and buzzes and fewer pulsed calls.

“These differences provided evidence for contextual learning,” the researchers wrote. “One killer whale spontaneously learned to produce artificial chirps taught to dolphins.”

So what does this mean in practical terms?

For one, activists say that water parks and aquariums could use the data to justify keeping orcas without a same-species companion, which is permissible under the federal Animal Welfare Act, as long as the animals are members of the same animal family.


But activists consider that a loophole that permits whales such as Lolita, at the Miami Seaquarium, to live only with dolphins.

Meanwhile, the study’s authors said their findings can benefit wild killer whales.

“Recent studies (show) that killer whales might be able to learn new repertoires that could allow them to integrate with other groups,” the paper noted. “The question is important because the fates of killer whales in populations reduced or displaced by environmental change will be determined in part by their ability to socialize with new groups, and thus by the factors that control vocal plasticity.”

But as the study points out, scientists have already learned that different orca pods can mimic parts of one another’s dialects during social interactions.

So how does it help conservation efforts to know that captive orcas learn how to mimic captive dolphins?

Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute (which receives funding from but is independent from the entertainment company) did not respond to an interview request. Officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration could not find an expert to provide comment at press time.

Naomi Rose, a leading orca researcher and a marine mammal scientist at the Animal Welfare Institute, was puzzled by the claim.

“Maybe they’re saying that as the populations decline, they might find being able to change their vocalization patterns helpful?” Rose wrote in an email. “I’m not sure why this would follow.”

“Personally,” she added, “I think knowing how whales and dolphins communicate, with each other and with other populations and species, is fascinating, but it’s not essential to understand in order to protect them from the many threats they are facing.”

Re: 'Blackfish' Backlash: Fan Pressure Leads Willie Nelson to Cancel SeaWorld Concert

Alana33
October 17, 2014 12:24PM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 11,580

A Drone Captured These Never-Before-Seen Views of Killer Whales

Oct. 16, 2014 by David Kirby

The up-close-and-personal photos allow scientists to monitor the imperiled marine mammals' health.

Can drones help save the whales?

In August, scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Vancouver Aquarium conducted a series of drone flights over British Columbia’s Johnstone Strait to monitor the health and reproduction of threatened Northern Resident killer whales from 100 feet in the air.

It was the first time researchers had deployed an unmanned aerial vehicle, in this case a six-bladed, remote-controlled helicopter called a hexacopter, to observe orcas.

Scientists are trying to determine if the salmon-eating killer whales are getting enough food by analyzing the high-resolution photos to observe the weight of individual animals. They can also see which females are pregnant and confirm the percentage of successful pregnancies.

“We collected just under 20,000 images during 60 flights of 77 Northern Resident killer whales and five transient (mammal eating) killer whales,” John Durban, a population ecologist for NOAA Fisheries, said in an email.

Scientists previously used helicopters to observe the Northern Residents and their endangered counterparts, Southern Resident killer whales. But research helicopters are expensive to operate. And because they’re noisy, they must maintain an altitude of 750 feet or greater to avoid disturbing the marine mammals. A quiet, battery-powered drone, on the other hand, can hover as low as 100 feet without the whales even noticing.

“We need overhead images linked to precise altitude in order to estimate size, and we use aerial images of shape to assess body condition,” Durban said. “The hexacopter is small and portable, so it can be used in relatively remote situations.”

NOAA is deploying similar technology for measuring and counting penguins and seals in Antarctica and Steller sea lions in Alaska.

“We hope these metrics will provide sensitive indicators of condition and nutritional status to guide conservation management,” Durban said. “Conservation plans in the U.S. and Canada cite prey availability as a key factor in viability and recovery of these two populations, so it is important to monitor nutritional status.”

Both whale populations rely heavily on salmon—especially fatty and calorie-rich chinook—for their survival. But overfishing, pollution, and dams have vastly reduced fish stocks in recent decades. Some salmon populations are themselves endangered.

Southern Resident whales have suffered more severe declines than their northern counterparts. In the 1960s and ’70s, one-third of the wild population was captured or killed so the whales could be displayed at marine parks, according to the Center for Whale Research, a nonprofit based in Friday Harbor, Wash. The Southern Resident population numbers about 80.

“We are keen to assess their comparative nutritional status and see if food is limiting,” Durban said. “Northern Residents are the nearest neighboring population to Southern Residents, so they offer the best comparison.”

More flights are planned, and not just for orcas. “Now we have a reliable, cost-effective, and noninvasive platform, I think there are many potential applications to fill key data gaps,” Durban said.

He stressed that the research team obtained all the necessary permits to conduct the aerial surveillance, and NOAA Fisheries has a message for amateur drone enthusiasts: Don’t try this at home.

“Whales are very sensitive to what goes on around them,” says NOAA’s website, which cautions that non-research drone regulations require an altitude of 1,000 to1,500 feet, depending on the species.

“If you’re a hobbyist with a hexacopter,” the agency warns, “please respect the regulations, and marine mammals, by giving them the required space.”

Sorry all but you'll have to check this link for the photos:
[www.takepart.com]
Tilikum and many others still in captivity were taken from the Southern Resident Families.

Re: 'Blackfish' Backlash: Fan Pressure Leads Willie Nelson to Cancel SeaWorld Concert

Alana33
October 17, 2014 02:50PM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 11,580

Yet another company has cut ties with SeaWorld!

After hearing from PETA, Virgin America, the U.S.-based airline that serves several popular cities across North America, removed SeaWorld from its Elevate Fly Store, a rewards program in which customers can earn points toward flights by making purchases at partner retailers.

Hopefully, this move will prompt Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Group—the multinational conglomerate that formed Virgin America (but is now a separate company)—to stop promoting SeaWorld as well. PETA is planning an upcoming ad campaign to put more pressure on Branson and Virgin Group to do the right thing.

SeaWorld’s cruel treatment of marine mammals doesn’t fly with a growing number of travel companies, including Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, JetBlue, Alaska Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, STA Travel, and Montreal-based Aimia, which operates Aeroplan, one of the most popular rewards programs in Canada.

SeaWorld’s stock continues to plummet—it’s fallen more than 30 percent so far in 2014—and you can help us sink SeaWorld even further by urging Virgin Group to join Virgin America and other upstanding travel companies by severing ties with SeaWorld.

Read more: [www.seaworldofhurt.com]

Re: 'Blackfish' Backlash: Fan Pressure Leads Willie Nelson to Cancel SeaWorld Concert

Alana33
October 18, 2014 10:12AM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 11,580

See the video on this link: [www.care2.com]

Ever notice that the white patches on their backs behind the dorsal fin, looks just like a heart from above?

Re: 'Blackfish' Backlash: Fan Pressure Leads Willie Nelson to Cancel SeaWorld Concert

Alana33
October 22, 2014 05:19AM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 11,580

Activists File Complaint Over Alleged Abuse of Dolphins and Whales at SeaWorld


People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals says marine mammals are kept in overcrowded, stressful conditions in San Diego.
October 21, 2014 By David Kirby

Dolphins covered in lesions. Orcas lying listlessly in their pool. Walruses swimming in endless circles. These are just some of the alleged violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act at SeaWorld San Diego, according to a complaint filed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

On Tuesday, PETA held a news conference in San Diego to publicize its eight-page complaint to the United States Department of Agriculture, which is charged with enforcing the AWA.

Heather Rally, a PETA staff veterinarian with marine mammal experience, documented the allegedly subpar conditions during visits to the San Diego marine park on Sept. 4 and Oct. 18.

“I observed stereotypical behaviors that were abnormal and repetitive, that occur in wild animals held in captive conditions where their basic needs aren’t being met,” Rally said in a telephone interview.

A SeaWorld representative did not respond to a request for comment.

PETA's complaint reads like a catalog of animal misery.

Animals crowded into SeaWorld’s Dolphin Point exhibit showed “obvious and sometimes extensive skin lesions,” according to the complaint. The lesions were similar to those caused by the dolphin poxvirus.

“It is speculated that pox lesions present at a higher prevalence during times of stress or disease-induced immune suppression,” Rally wrote.

Another pen held 11 bottlenose dolphins. “Several animals in this enclosure have skin lesions and scars, including pox-like lesions, rake marks, and splotchy skin discoloration of unknown origin,” Rally said.

PETA said the lesions might violate the AWA’s provision that animals should be kept “under conditions consistent with their good health and well-being.”

Animal incompatibility was another possible violation. Rally observed dolphins acting aggressively toward one another, including “ramming, chasing, and flipping, and attempting to slap each other with the flukes.”

Several dolphins were covered in marks from the teeth of their tank mates. Such wounds typically heal within six months, meaning that animal aggression was both current and commonplace, the complaint said. “It is well known that cetaceans held in over-crowded enclosures with artificial social structures engage in more frequent interpersonal aggression.”

The AWA requires that animals not be housed with other animals that cause unreasonable stress or discomfort, or interfere with their health.

SeaWorld dolphins threaten human safety as well, the complaint said. Rally saw visitors trying to pet the mammals while they were fighting with each other as a park employee looked the other way.

SeaWorld dolphins have previously bitten visitors, and those with lesions could transmit disease to people, the complaint added.

That might also violate the AWA. “Any animal must be handled so there is minimal risk of harm to the animal and to the public, with sufficient distance and/or barriers,” the law states.

Then there are the walruses, including 28-year-old Obie. “Dr. Rally observed and documented Obie engaging in ‘very serious stereotypic behaviors that are a clear indication of psychological distress and/or boredom,’ ” according to the complaint.

Obie was seen swimming in circles in a listless manner and repeatedly regurgitating and swallowing his food, another sign of stress and boredom.

Rally also saw two killer whales floating listlessly at the surface for 15 minutes or more. “This is an example of…abnormal, repetitive behavior demonstrated at times of stress or boredom,” according to the complaint.

Several orcas were covered in rake marks, as were three adult beluga whales, further suggesting incompatibility, the complaint noted.

So what does PETA want?

“We’d like to see SeaWorld step up and do right by their animals,” Rally said. “They should dismantle their breeding programs and end the perpetual cycle of suffering by retiring their animals from their circus life and creating sea pens where they can live free from the stress of performance life.”

Ric O’Barry, director of the Dolphin Project, who spoke at the press conference, was unsure how the government would react.

But he has hope. “Times are changing,” O’Barry said. “SeaWorld’s attendance numbers and stock are dropping—a measure of success from educating the public to not buy a ticket. Consumers can end this suffering. It’s all about supply and demand.”

Re: 'Blackfish' Backlash: Fan Pressure Leads Willie Nelson to Cancel SeaWorld Concert

Alana33
October 24, 2014 09:17AM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 11,580

[us.whales.org]

. San Francisco RECOGNISES WHALES’ AND DOLPHINS’ RIGHT TO FREEDOM
22 OCTOBER 2014 - 11:55PM

Reports are emerging of a landmark resolution passed this week by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors recognising whales' and dolphins' right to freedom from captivity.

According to reports the resolution states that whales and dolphins deserve ‘to be free of captivity, and to remain unrestricted in their natural environment’. The resolution was championed by Commissioner Russell Tenofsky and backed by both San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener, Dr Lori Marino and sponsored by Earth Island Institute’s International Marine Mammal Project.

An earlier initiative known as the Malibu proclamation, which reflects the sentiments outlined in the Declaration of Rights for Cetaceans: whales and dolphins provides another great example of progressive thinking at the local level. This may provide a future example of how the principles of the Declaration of Rights for Cetaceans may be implemented at the municipal or state level.

With Sea World shares and popularity plummeting, this great news from San Francisco, the Malibu proclamation and even the Indian Government citing the intelligence and sentience of dolphins as a reason to ban any future development of dolphinaira, is this the death knell of the cetacean captivity industry finally tolling?

Meanwhile, in a truly ground-breaking case the Non-human Rights Project are awaiting the outcome of an appeal court hearing for the chimpanzee known as Tommy. They argue, using the scientific evidence, that he should be recognised by the court as a legal person and that he should be granted the right to bodily liberty and integrity and given sanctuary from the tiny cage in which he resides.

The decision on Tommy's case is expected within the next four to six weeks. WDC is working with the Non-human Rights Project to see how similar cases for whales and dolphins in captivity might one day be heard in US courts.

Re: 'Blackfish' Backlash: Fan Pressure Leads Willie Nelson to Cancel SeaWorld Concert

Alana33
October 25, 2014 04:59PM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 11,580

This Technology Lets You Become a Dolphin

Scientists hope to save the marine mammals with an online game that lets players get inside the mind and body of a real-life dolphin.
October 24, 2014 By David Kirby

Would you be more likely to save a dolphin if you could become one?

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University and the National Aquarium in Baltimore hope so. They’ve created a new online game, I Am Dolphin, that lets players get inside the mind of a dolphin and help it swim, leap, forage for prey, and fend off predators. Players using a smartphone or pad can direct cybernetic cetaceans through the sea and watch as the animals respond to commands issued with the flick of a finger.

“It’s very hard to describe in words; you really need to play the game for yourself,” said codeveloper Omar Ahmad, director and chief engineer at Johns Hopkins’ Kata Project, part of the BLAM (Brain, Learning, Animation, and Movement) Lab.

The technology behind the game was initially developed to help stroke patients regain critical motor function by providing a stimulating, fully immersive rehabilitation environment. Currently in clinical trials, the therapy lets patients put an arm in a robotic sling to maneuver a realistic but simulated dolphin on a screen.

Researchers and trainers at the National Aquarium worked with the Johns Hopkins team to develop the technology, which took about five years to complete. The game app was launched two weeks ago and is available for download in the iTunes store.

“We are not animating; we are simulating something with bones, muscles, and many complicated things,” Ahmad said. “When you play, it’s like you’re playing with a real creature in your machine, reacting to forces and acting on its own, almost. You see the subtle play-out of all the physical forces involved.”

The game allows players to look at dolphins in a completely different way by spending time inside their motor systems, Ahmad said.

Players begin with a dolphin named Bandit, who initially chases and eats fish and later must take on snapping mackerel and deadly bull sharks. Other games include a Commerson’s dolphin and a killer whale, a member of the dolphin family.

Why dolphins?

“I’ve always loved and been fascinated by them,” Ahmad said, adding that everyone on the development team—including a neuroscientist, an artist, engineers, and marine mammal experts affiliated with the National Aquarium—agreed.

“We all think it’s a very beautiful, smooth, and harmonious creature in its movement,” Ahmad said. Dolphins, he added, are also one of the few creatures that seem to be curious about humans.

The idea is to get humans more interested in helping dolphins.

“We think it’s a very powerful tool for conservation, because the emotional reality of this animal is becoming embedded in the player through this motor connection,” Ahmad said.

Diana Reiss, a marine mammal scientist and a psychology professor at New York’s Hunter College, who consulted on the project, said she hopes the game will get people to empathize with dolphins.

“We hope it will really draw people into the dolphin’s world,” Reiss said. “When you start working with it, you really do get engaged, and you do feel empathy doing these motoric movements, where you sort of become the dolphin. It creates this corresponding feeling. I was amazed.”

Reiss said that type of engagement can inspire support for conservation.

“What’s really important is giving people more than factoids,” she said. “They can read a lot and they’ll learn a lot, but that doesn’t necessarily connect with their hearts and minds. But when you start feeling like you’re this dolphin, that’s a deeper form of engagement."

Eventually, the technology could be installed at museums and even in marine parks. The developers hope it might one day replace the display of captive dolphins altogether. The National Aquarium recently announced it is considering retiring its dolphins to sea pens.

“I hope it does replace dolphin shows,” Ahmad said. “It was bittersweet to study these dolphins at the aquarium, because it’s heartbreaking to realize how confined they are. Putting them in these small bathtubs, basically, I just think it’s something we need to stop.”

Re: 'Blackfish' Backlash: Fan Pressure Leads Willie Nelson to Cancel SeaWorld Concert

Alana33
November 03, 2014 12:41PM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 11,580

Activists Fight to Free Killer Whales Held in Russia

October 28, 2014 By David Kirby

Two orcas are being confined in small tanks in Moscow.
was supposed to be a “surprise” for the people of Moscow, but now the cat—or rather, the whale—is out of the bag.

On Monday, Moscow police verified what had been rumored for months: Two orcas taken more than a year ago from Russia’s Okhotsk Sea are being held in two small tanks in the Russian capital. They will be put on public display in the coming months.

“City police have confirmed the animals are being held in temporary facilities at the [VDNKh] exhibition center,” The Moscow Times reported on Monday.

Russian anti-captivity activists did not receive the news warmly, especially because the orcas’ adjoining concrete tanks are only 82 feet in diameter and 26 feet deep, according to the VDNKh Facebook page.

“These are solitary confinement cells,” Irina Novozhilova, head of the animal rights group Vita, told The Moscow Times.

Konstantin Zgurovsky, head of the marine program at World Wildlife Fund–Russia, told the newspaper that such cramped quarters are insufficient for orcas, which swim up to 100 miles a day in the ocean.

“This is a huge stress that could make them dangerous,” Zgurovsky said.

The whales, a seven-year-old female named Narnia and an unnamed five-year-old male, were flown to Moscow last December. They are the first orcas to be kept in captivity in Russia, according to The Moscow Times.

Activists tried to get the police to open an animal-abuse investigation, arguing that echolocation calls bouncing off the tanks’ concrete walls could deafen the animals and possibly drive them insane.

According to Moscow police, living conditions for the killer whales do not violate Russian animal-abuse laws, which are narrowly defined as intentional killing or maiming.

The orcas' permanent home is still under construction; once completed it will be Europe’s largest aquarium.

VDNKh did not respond to requests for comment by The Moscow Times, but it has commented on the whales on its Facebook page.

“[There] have been specially constructed two temporary pools, a navigation system, allowing all travel from one basin to another,” according to an English translation on Facebook. The company added that the pools have filters that clean the water every three hours.

VDNKh’s rationale for keeping killer whales in captivity is identical to that of SeaWorld and other Western marine mammal parks.

“Most people do not have the opportunity to watch killer whales in the wild,” the company said on its Facebook page. “For many, an opportunity to see and learn a little more about these amazing animals is oceanariums.”

Scientists will also study the behavior and “lifestyle and habits” of the two animals, according to VDNKh.

“Killer whales…quickly get used to the person, easy to learn tricks, showing no predatory instincts,” the center claims.

However, captive orcas such as Tilikum have been involved in the deaths of three people.

“The assertion (how) the two ultrasonic killer whales stun communications in a confined space and ‘go crazy’ made by the representatives of Vita are ridiculous,” said VDNKh.

Local media coverage of the killer whales has been mixed, said Catherine Ciorano, a Russian activist and founder of the website Behind the Glass of Aquarium.

“When Police confirmed ‘yes, orcas are here,’ much mass-media was like, ‘We need to help orcas to get out of there,’ ” Ciorano said in an email. “But after VDNKh posted photos and a video, mass-media became divided.”

Public opinion tends to be supportive of captivity, Ciorano said.

“Many people probably will think that it's the best conditions for whales,” she said. “It’ll be hard to build an anti-cap society, and without this, captures most likely will continue.”

[www.takepart.com]

Re: 'Blackfish' Backlash: Fan Pressure Leads Willie Nelson to Cancel SeaWorld Concert

Alana33
November 03, 2014 12:52PM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 11,580

The good news is that SeaWorld's stocks are still down from when they were trading at a high of $35.30 which was prior to the release of Blackfish.

See: [seaworldinvestors.com]

Re: 'Blackfish' Backlash: Fan Pressure Leads Willie Nelson to Cancel SeaWorld Concert

Alana33
November 07, 2014 01:30PM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 11,580

SeaWorld of Hurt
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Planned SeaWorld Protest Turns Into Celebration—See Why
November 6, 2014

Students at California State University–Long Beach (CSULB) intended to hold a protest to demand that the school stop promoting SeaWorld by selling discounted tickets in the student union. But as it turned out, the students didn’t have to protest at all.

Just minutes before the demonstration was scheduled to start, school administrators confirmed that they were cutting ties with SeaWorld and all ticket sales and promotions. So the students turned the planned anti-SeaWorld protest into a pro–marine-mammal celebration.

Instead of holding demo signs, PETA’s four “orcas” delivered a bouquet of flowers to Executive Director Richard Haller of CSULB, who helped get the decision passed.

The university made its ruling following pressure from the student government and the student group Cease Animal Torture, making CSULB the first university to stop selling tickets to SeaWorld as a result of student pressure.

And considering the way things are looking for SeaWorld, CSULB certainly won’t be the llast


Read more: [www.seaworldofhurt.com]

Re: 'Blackfish' Backlash: Fan Pressure Leads Willie Nelson to Cancel SeaWorld Concert
avatar

CruzanIron
November 07, 2014 01:36PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 2,383

Quote
Alana33
Instead of holding demo signs, PETA’s four “orcas” delivered a bouquet of flowers to Executive Director Richard Haller of CSULB, who helped get the decision passed.

I hope they were artificial flowers!

I hope they weren't killing live flowers!

Re: 'Blackfish' Backlash: Fan Pressure Leads Willie Nelson to Cancel SeaWorld Concert

Alana33
November 07, 2014 01:36PM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 11,580

SeaWorld of Hurt

Orca Badly Hurt in Needless SeaWorld Clash
October 2, 2012 Update:

After visiting SeaWorld and taking photographs of Nakai’s injury (two of which are shown below), Dr. Ingrid N. Visser, founder and principal scientist of the Orca Research Trust, found that there are “puncture marks that match orca teeth spacing,” which “is a clear indication that an altercation between the orcas was involved.” The puncture marks in question can be seen at the bottom right of the wound in the first photo below: see the link for pictures.

Following a serious and gruesome injury to an orca in an avoidable attack, PETA has submitted a complaint asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture to take disciplinary action against SeaWorld for housing orcas incompatibly in apparent violation of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).

As you can see in these disturbing photographs, Nakai, an 11-year-old male orca at SeaWorld in San Diego, sustained a laceration so significant that, as a whistleblower said, “a dinner plate-sized chunk of his lower mandible [has been] sheared off, exposing underlying tissues, and bone.” The flesh cut from him “was big enough and intact enough for SeaWorld to retrieve it from the bottom of the pool.”

According to the whistleblower’s report to journalist Tim Zimmermann, Nakai’s injury was a result of “a major altercation” between Nakai and two other orcas, Keet and Ikaika. The AWA makes it clear that “marine mammals that are not compatible must not be housed in the same enclosure.” Yet SeaWorld parks have a long history of housing incompatible orcas from widely divergent groups together in enclosures—and the result has been stress, agitation, aggressive and bloody raking, serious injury, and death.

What You Can Do

It’s clear that SeaWorld can’t be trusted to make the safety and well-being of marine animals its top priority. Please don’t ever visit SeaWorld (or any other marine-mammal park)—and tell company executives why you won’t support the abuse of Nakai and the other intelligent, complex animals they’ve imprisoned and enslaved.

Written by Jeff Mackey

Read more: [www.seaworldofhurt.com]

Re: 'Blackfish' Backlash: Fan Pressure Leads Willie Nelson to Cancel SeaWorld Concert

Alana33
November 07, 2014 01:41PM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 11,580

SeaWorld of Hurt

Kids to San Diego Mayor: Take Our Money Instead of Promoting SeaWorld

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer has been campaigning to improve SeaWorld’s tainted image by singing the orca prison’s praises at every turn in an upstream attempt to bring tourism to the city. But peta2—PETA’s youth division—hopes to hold the former SeaWorld PR man at bay by offering him money to stop spinning wild tales about the treatment of orcas and other marine mammals at the embattled facility. The group is calling on its more than 86,000 members around the world to send Faulconer pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters—whatever they can spare—from their allowances and after-school jobs, along with a note that reads, “If you really need money, here’s some of mine. Let the orcas go!

“The orcas locked in SeaWorld’s tiny tanks suffer every day of their lives,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “These orcas desperately need a change—and peta2’s young supporters are eager to fork over their change if it’ll make the mayor think twice about promoting SeaWorld’s despicable business.”

Orcas at SeaWorld are denied everything that’s natural and important to them and are forced to live in barren, chlorine-treated tanks that, to them, are the size of a bathtub. Their frustration has led to numerous attacks against each other and trainers—resulting in injuries and even death. Ever since the acclaimed documentary Blackfish focused on SeaWorld’s cruel capture and confinement of orcas, the public has become increasingly wary of the amusement park. PETA and peta2 are urging Faulconer to join their call to release the orcas to seaside sanctuaries and to support the California bill that would ban the orca shows at SeaWorld.

Read more: [www.seaworldofhurt.com]

Re: 'Blackfish' Backlash: Fan Pressure Leads Willie Nelson to Cancel SeaWorld Concert

Alana33
November 07, 2014 02:00PM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 11,580

Quote
CruzanIron
Quote
Alana33
Instead of holding demo signs, PETA’s four “orcas” delivered a bouquet of flowers to Executive Director Richard Haller of CSULB, who helped get the decision passed.

I hope they were artificial flowers!

I hope they weren't killing live flowers!

I hope they weren't plastic flowers which would be bad for environment and our already trash filled oceans.

Re: 'Blackfish' Backlash: Fan Pressure Leads Willie Nelson to Cancel SeaWorld Concert
avatar

CruzanIron
November 07, 2014 02:13PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 2,383

Quote
Alana33
Quote
CruzanIron
Quote
Alana33
Instead of holding demo signs, PETA’s four “orcas” delivered a bouquet of flowers to Executive Director Richard Haller of CSULB, who helped get the decision passed.

I hope they were artificial flowers!

I hope they weren't killing live flowers!

I hope they weren't plastic flowers which would be bad for environment and our already trash filled oceans.

Maybe they should just send a card from recycled recycled paper ;-)

Re: 'Blackfish' Backlash: Fan Pressure Leads Willie Nelson to Cancel SeaWorld Concert

Alana33
November 07, 2014 02:31PM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 11,580

Excellent idea, recycled paper flowers!

Re: 'Blackfish' Backlash: Fan Pressure Leads Willie Nelson to Cancel SeaWorld Concert

Alana33
November 07, 2014 02:36PM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 11,580

There Will Never Be a SeaWorld San Francisco
Written by Jennifer O'Connor | October 23, 2014

History was made this week when the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a resolution stating that cetaceans—meaning whales, dolphins, and porpoises—have the right to be free rather than being held captive.

After recognizing that these marine animals endure psychological distress and die far short of their natural life spans, the board passed the landmark measure, which states that the animals deserve “to be free of captivity, and to remain unrestricted in their natural environment.”

San Francisco’s progressive decision comes on the heels of a California bill—the Orca Welfare and Safety Act (A.B. 2140)—that was introduced this year to prohibit the display of captive orcas in the state and retire those currently wasting away in SeaWorld’s cramped tanks to a coastal sanctuary. That bill is currently being studied.

What You Can Do
Visit SeaWorldOfHurt.com to learn more about helping animals who are suffering in SeaWorld’s tanks.

Read more: [www.peta.org]

Re: 'Blackfish' Backlash: Fan Pressure Leads Willie Nelson to Cancel SeaWorld Concert

Alana33
November 08, 2014 09:12AM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 11,580

Activists Are Fighting to Get Dolphins Out of Landlocked Las Vegas
Jessica Ramos

Growing up, Las Vegas was only a bus ride away. We always stayed in the less glamorous hotels, but we could still walk the Sin City Strip. The Mirage Hotel and Casino was always on my list because of the breathtakingly beautiful white tiger on display. Now that I understand more about animals in captivity, I’m sad for all the animals stuck in Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at the Mirage.

One group of animal activists is fighting to expose the secrets behind what they call the Mirage’s “Dolphin Death Pool” for the Mojave dolphins.

Mirage vs. Reality

On the Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat site, the dolphin habitat is described as a “2.5-million-gallon” habitat that’s “home to a family of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins.” The supposed purpose of the habitat is to “provide a healthy and nurturing environment for dolphins,” sprinkled with educational and research messages.

The physical habitat itself contains four connected pools. It has an artificial coral reef for the dolphins and a “sandy bottom” that “replicate the dolphins’ natural environment.” The site claims that while most of the dolphins were born in the habitat, “the remaining few were relocated from other facilities.”

And at the bottom, they tell you when and how much it’ll cost to “collaborate” and paint a unique masterpiece with a dolphin.

Mirage: It’s a family of dolphins.
Reality: Many of these dolphins aren’t related, and they admit that dolphins come from other facilities — but they’ll never say from where.

Mirage: The purpose is creating a healthy and nurturing habitat for dolphins.
Reality: The purpose is making money. As Tim Zimmerman explained, the Taiji dolphin hunts are driven by $1.2 million profits. As the Sun Sentinel reports, one captive dolphin can generate $1 million per year.

Mirage: Four pools, an artificial coral reef and sandy bottom replicate the ocean.
Reality: Nothing compares to the ocean. Bottlenose dolphins can travel at five kilometers per hour when they’re foraging to 37 kilometers per hour when they want to go fast. They travel in pods of two to 15, but they sometimes come together in hundreds, and their home range is more like 125 square kilometers.

Mirage: Bottlenose dolphins “collaborate” with us by creating artwork.
Reality: Bottlenose dolphins collaborate with each other in highly social and complex ways. They communicate to coordinate foraging activities, hunting and play.

3 Secrets of Mirage‘s Dolphin Death Pool

The mirages don’t end there. According to Mojave Dolphins, 12 bottlenose dolphins have died in the facility, not including Pablo’s death (you’ll learn about him below).

While some of the dolphins were born stillborn, other causes of death include: heart failure, pancreatitis, pulmonary abscess, pneumonia, fungal tracheitis, acute septic peritontis and euthanasia. A few of these deaths occurred when the dolphins were around a decade. It’s eye-opening since in the wild, male bottlenose dolphins can live into their forties and female dolphins into their fifties.

Animal activists see three major flaws with the Mojave dolphins’ habitat, or “Dolphin Death Pool.”

1) Stereotypical behavior: Abnormal behavior from the stress of captivity, that fall under zoochosis. The Mojave dolphins chew on their gates, display listlessness and aggression, swim in circles and beach themselves. They’re bored, deprived of natural movement and not stimulated.

2) Lack of shade: The dolphins are stuck in the middle of the Mojave Desert. Their natural climate leans towards tropical. Not only is the climate different, but the Mirage Hotel and Casino has failed to set-up adequate shade for them. The dolphins endure temperatures of 110 degrees (F) regularly in the summer, and they’re exposed to high UV index rates. The sunscreen that the dolphins get everyday isn’t enough.

3) Poxvirus: Dolphins can get these skin lesions in the wild and captivity. But activists maintain that there is a correlation between the “pox-like lesions” and captivity stress and environment. Poxvirus appeared in the Mirage’s habitat when SeaWorld Orlando shipped two dolphins (Beetle and Cosmo) to the facility.

Protesting for Pablo

On November 8, activists that want to see the Mojave dolphins out of the desert and retired in ocean seapens are getting together in Pablo’s memory. Pablo belonged to the Mirage’s dolphin habitat, but in 2006, they transferred him to Gulf World for “breeding purposes.” Pablo died seven months later in November. For more details on the protest, you can visit the Mojave Dolphins site and Facebook page.

There are so many dolphins just like Pablo. According to the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, from 1972 to 1994, 2,300 bottlenose dolphins were captured for display purposes just in the United States. Yes, dolphins are charming, quirky and loveable.
But the easiest way to help them is to avoid sea circuses that exploit them. The truth is that the biggest mirage is a dolphin’s smile in captivity.

“The dolphin‘s smile is nature‘s greatest deception”
– Ric O’Barry

Note: sorry about the lines thru the sentences. It didn't appear that way prior to posting so have no idea what happened.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/08/2014 09:15AM by Alana33.

Re: 'Blackfish' Backlash: Fan Pressure Leads Willie Nelson to Cancel SeaWorld Concert

Alana33
November 08, 2014 10:06AM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 11,580





This is what dolphin pox looks like.

Re: 'Blackfish' Backlash: Fan Pressure Leads Willie Nelson to Cancel SeaWorld Concert

Alana33
November 11, 2014 11:41AM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 11,580

Urge Macy's to Cancel SeaWorld's Float in the Thanksgiving Day Parade


Despite receiving information from PETA about SeaWorld's shameful history of denying animals everything that is natural and important to them, Macy's, Inc., is planning to include a SeaWorld float at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

SeaWorld's cruel treatment of animals and lack of concern for safety have been exposed internationally with the release of the documentary Blackfish. SeaWorld keeps intelligent, social ocean animals such as whales and dolphins in pitifully small tanks. In the wild, dolphins swim up to 100 miles a day in the open ocean, but captive dolphins are confined to small tanks in which the reverberations from their sonar bounce off the walls, driving them insane. Some of these animals were violently captured and torn away from their homes in the wild, and many are forced to learn and perform circus-style tricks. According to whistleblower tips from trainers, withholding food from animals who refuse to perform is a common training method, and because of the intense boredom and aggression caused by captivity, orcas gnaw on the metal gates and concrete corners of the tanks and damage their teeth and mouths.

SeaWorld and other marine parks are not educational. Instead, they teach people that it is acceptable to imprison animals and deprive them of their freedom of movement, to deny them the chance to establish a natural territory and explore, to breed or separate them as we please, and even to watch them go insane from boredom and loneliness.

After the orca Tilikum violently killed trainer Dawn Brancheau at SeaWorld in 2010 (the third person he has killed), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration assessed the maximum fine against SeaWorld for willfully violating federal law. SeaWorld's own corporate incident log contains reports of more than 100 incidents of orca aggression at its parks, often resulting in injuries to humans.

Please tell Macy's that promoting SeaWorld in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade would offend many viewers. Other companies, such as Southwest Airlines, Virgin America, Taco Bell, and many others, have chosen to be on the right side of history by severing all ties with the cruel abusement park. Using the form below, take a moment to contact the company's CEO and parade producer and urge them to cancel plans for a SeaWorld float in the parade.

Link to petition: Please sign!

[secure.peta.org]

Re: 'Blackfish' Backlash: Fan Pressure Leads Willie Nelson to Cancel SeaWorld Concert

Alana33
November 11, 2014 11:46AM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 11,580

SeaWorld in 30 seconds flat!

[www.youtube.com]

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