Happy New Year 2014.
Do you remember “Free Willy?” Well now, FREE TILLY!!! My only question is will Tilikum be able to survive in the wild after so many years of abuse in captivity?
I do have to say, that any time you are trying to befriend a KILLER whale, or provoke a stingray at the Great Barrier Reef, there is a strong chance that there may be consequences. You are a human being provoking dangerous animals and trying to capitalize off of nature.
It is NOT NICE.
Advice to SeaWorld: Remove Tilly from the shows. Do as OSHA recommends, or stop the Orca shows all together.
“To this day, there is no record of an Orca whale doing any harm to any human in the wild. They live in big families, and have strong social bonding. The females can live to be 100 years old, the males to 50 or 60. The adult offspring never leave their mother’s side.”
If you are still trying to figure out why so many musicians, like REO Speedwagon, Trisha Yearwood, Willie Nelson, Cheap Trick, Heart, Barenaked Ladies, and Martina McBride, are continuing to boycott performing at the normally family friendly venue, SeaWorld, in Orlando, Florida, then read on.
First off, Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld are three separate entities, and venues. Walt Disney World has four theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom), two water parks (Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon), and one shopping entertainment area (Downtown Disney).
Universal Studios is comprised of two theme parks (Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure) and one entertainment space (Citywalk), and
then there are two parks at SeaWorld. SeaWorld, is their main venue, and SeaWorld Discovery Cove, is where everyday guests can swim with the dolphins.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I definitely like animals much better than people. After finishing college, all I wanted to do was become a wildlife photographer, and so I did, setting out to the Serengeti of the North.
This is probably one of the reasons why I am demonstrating compassion for Tilly, short for Tilikum, the male Killer Orca whale, who was taken out of his natural habitat in 1983 in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean, at only two years of age. The poor thing was whalenapped away from his mother, in order to be trained to perform at SeaLand in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
The movie “Blackfish” starts off on February 24, 2010, with the 911 call from SeaWorld, FL stating that the trainer, Dawn Brancheau, was killed by an Orca whale who scalped her and ate her arm off. That whale, turned out to be, Tilikum.
Go back in time and follow the history of when the corporations began whale hunting back in 1970. Learn when and where it became illegal, and listen to the personality traits Tilikum has demonstrated all these years, how the higher ups IGNORED the warning signs, doing NOTHING about it.
A diver from the early days of hunting, described what it was like stealing a baby Orca away from his mother.
“We were only after the little baby whales, because I was told the shipping costs were cheaper for the baby whales. I didn’t think of it as being illegal. All of the babies family members lined up and were communicating with one another, staring at the boat as the baby was being hoisted up in the net. There were three dead whales in the net, and we were told to open them up, put rocks in them and sink them to the bottom. That was the worst thing I have ever done.”
Even after being told it was illegal to hunt Orcas in Washington State in 1976, the corporations didn’t stop. They continued on capturing Orcas in other parts of the world.
In 1983, in the North Atlantic, Tilikum was captured at only 2 years of age. He was 11.5 feet long, and was transferred to SeaLand, Victoria, British Columbia.
One of the former directors at SeaLand stated that,
“at four years of age, Tilikum grew to be 16 feet long, weighing 4,000 pounds. At first, Tilikum was well behaved and eager to please. But one of the experienced former head trainers used techniques that used punishment on Tilly. They would team Tilikum up with a trained Orca, and told Tilly to do the same behaviour as the trained Orca, if Tilly didn’t do as the trained Orca did, then both the animals were punished, and deprived of food. The established animal would get upset at Tilly, and rake him with his teeth, inflicting pain and wounds.”
The whales were stored and immobilized in a 20ft x 30ft deep, steel pool at night from 5pm to 7am, or for 2/3rds of their lives. They were deprived food, and if they wanted to eat, they had to get into the module, which probably led to a psychosis.
On February 20, 1991, Kelty Burn, a championship swimmer, and part time worker as a whale trainer, was killed at SeaLand in Victoria, BC, Canada. The agitated Orca whale, Tilikum, pulled her under and killed her. Meanwhile the newspapers stated she drowned. SeaLand closed.
When SeaWorld heard that Tilikum was available after the accident at SeaLand, they wanted him there because they needed a breeder. The employees were under the impression that Tilikum would not be used in the shows as a performance animal. Tilly arrived in SeaWorld in 1992 and was attacked by two female whales, and was placed in isolation so the females couldn’t harm him.
The employees at SeaWorld were under the impression that the female whales at SeaLand killed Kelty. One of the former trainers became suspicious when one day a co-worker was play talking in a relaxed manner to Tilly, and the supervisor yelled, “GET HER OUT OF THERE.”
The supervisors knew more than they were telling their employees.
On his transfer report it clearly stated: “TILIKUM LUNGES AT TRAINERS.”
Placing whales together with those they didn’t grow up with leads to hyper-aggression, violence, and killing, that you don’t see in the wild.
Wow, it sounds like the cubicle life that adults are subjected to.
The facts that the guides are instructed to teach tourists on the SeaWorld tours are lies just to make it appear as if they don’t do any harm to the whales.
They are told to teach tourists that the Orcas live 25-30 years and live longer in captivity because they are offered veterinary care. FALSE.
Their lifespan is equivalent to humans.
The dorsal fin collapse happens in 25% of whales as they get older. FALSE.
The truth is the floppy dorsal fin male collapses in less than 1% in the wild, and 100% to males in captivity.
As per a “Marine Life” article by Jennifer Kennedy,
“A male killer whale’s dorsal fin can grow to as much as 6 feet tall. Despite the fact that the dorsal fin is very straight, it is not supported by bone, but a fibrous connective tissue called collagen.
A wild orca often travels far, and quickly, in deep water. The water provides pressure to the fin, keeping the tissues inside healthy and straight, and encouraging the dorsal fin to remain straight.
That said, it is not impossible for a wild orca’s dorsal fin to collapse or become bent. A study in 1998 of killer whales in New Zealand showed a relatively high rate (23%) of collapsing, collapsed, or even bent or wavy dorsal fins, and noted that this was higher than that observed in populations in British Columbia or Norway. Researchers have theorized that dorsal fin collapse in wild whales may be due to age, stress or altercations with other killer whales.
In captivity, dorsal fin collapse may be related to several factors, including time spent at the water surface, swimming in the same direction in a relatively small pool. The tissue in the dorsal fin gets less of a workout, and less support in the water than it would in a wild whale, and starts to fall over. The same thing can happen to the whale’s tail flukes, which often flop over at the ends. Other causes may be dehydration due to warmer water and air temperatures, stress or age.”
One World Cinema