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Friday, February 26, 2010

Seaworld Tragedy May Have Changed the Shamu Whale Show Presentation Forever

by Janis Brett Elspas
MommyBlogExpert

All photos in this Seaworld post were taken by Janis Brett Elspas at Seaworld/San Diego and are copyright protected.  However, the photos here may be reproduced by other media outlets, but only provided that their usage is credited as follows: Photographed by Janis Brett Elspas, MommyBlogExpert.blogspot.com

According to a report just released moments ago, SeaWorld will resume its world-famous Shamu shows with killer whales tomorrow (Saturday) but trainers won't be getting into the water with the animals.  The decision was made by Seaworld in reaction to the Seaworld/Orlando killer whale, Tilikum, that actually dragged seasoned trainer Dawn Brancheau, into a pool at the Florida location, tragically drowning her on Wednesday. I join the world in mourning the loss of Dawn who dreamed as a child that she could swim with the orcas.
I can still remember my first visit to Seaworld in California when I was just a kid visiting from New Jersey, before the Orlando location even existed.  Today as a grown up, I live in Southern California with my own family.  In fact, my hubbie and I have taken our own four children to the original Seaworld in San Diego many times, including when we still had to cart around our triplets in their triplet stroller and got to sit in the prime handicapped seats at the show. We loved the park so much (and still do) so we've even had annual family memberships for several years in the past.  I know for one, we'd often go to Seaworld for no other reason than to  just to see those 12,000 pound orca beauties swimming and performing with their trainers -- usually seeing the Shamu performance at least twice on each visit since there were various showtimes throughout the day.  Pictured Above: One of MommyBlogExpert's triplet daughters next to a baby orca at Seaworld/San Diego. Photo by Janis Brett Elspas, MommyBlogExpert.blogspot.com

Those Shamu shows were so magical, weren't they?  Sadly, I'm afraid none of us (present company included) will ever be able to witness that awesome sight again.

I'm not sure if the Shamu Shows will ever be the same because to me, at least, the trainers were just as impressive as the giant black and white killers whales they frolicked playfully with in the water.  But then I'm reminded that these are wild animals living in the unnatural world of captivity and the safety of human beings must prevail at each Seaworld location.
Pictured at right: A female trainer rides on the head of a killer whale for the grand finale portion of the San Diego show.  Photo by Janis Brett Elspas, MommyBlogExpert.blogspot.com

But, maybe this real such a horrible reality after all.  At least not for these majestic giant sea beasts.  It could be the first step toward no longer training killer whales at Seaworld or elsewhere and eventually, to no longer breeding and raising them in captivity either.

Human safety and killer whales that are allowed to live free in the wild would be a win-win situation for all living things.  Below is a close up of an orca in the Seaworld/San Diego performing pool tank taken during our most recent visit.  Photo by Janis Brett Elspas, MommyBlogExpert.blogspot.com


REMEMBER:  All photos in this Seaworld post were taken by Janis Brett Elspas at Seaworld/San Diego and are copyright protected.  However, the photos here may be reproduced by other media outlets, but only provided that their usage is credited as follows: Photographed by Janis Brett Elspas, MommyBlogExpert.blogspot.com
 
Please leave a comment below.  Do you think it's fair or not to keep these gorgeous giants in captivity for the benefit of entertaining us and our children?  I look forward to your opinions about this.

FTC Disclosure: MommyBlogExpert and her family did not received free admission to any Seaworld attraction and also did not receive any payment or other compensation associated with this post from Seaworld or Seaworld Parks & entertainment nor from any animal rights activist or protection organizations.  See complete FTC Disclosure information that appears at the bottom of MommyBlogExpert's main page and at the bottom of every individual post on this blog, including this one.     

4 comments:

  1. Stopping by from MBC to follow! :)

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  2. I have to say that my first visit to Sea world(TX) was when I was 8 years old. I have been in love with Orcas ever since! I went to college to be a marine biologist, though ended up joining the Navy because I could no longer afford school. I always wanted to swim with the orcas, but I had to settle for a nice orca tatto on my shoulder insted. ;) I think that if it can be safely it's important to keep a few in parks like that. Sea World does important educational work that inspires children and adults and giving them the ability to view awesome creatures they may never get to see. "Save the whales" just doesn't mean the same to someone who hasn't witnessed up close their beauty and personality.

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  3. It is an unfortunate loss, one of my dreams is also a killer to know someday

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  4. Yes, it is good thing to have a few killer whales in captivity because the few whales education many people about them. The more education the better. Believe me, you really don't appreciate the whales unless you see them live and in person. This way humans will want to help the wild whales and protect them. Its like the swimming with the dolphins programs, this is the same thing, once you do this, you want protect and help the wild dolphins.

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