I am glad that you have decided to keep the trainers out of the water but it is time to release your captives.
You do a great job in rehab, but when it's done you release.Love the animals enough to do what is best for them.
They need some new tricks and some technical wizardry to fix their current snooze fest of a show. I think it is critical to the longevity of the park. Either that, or add a whole bunch of new rides. Make Sea World as thrilling as Busch Gardens and you'd have yourself an annual passholder for life. I'm pretty sure plenty of other Central Floridians would say the same. As for those of you beating the dead horse about animal captivity...the odds of those animals surviving in the wild are slim to none. Their instincts are dull because of being raised in captivity.
On the positive end of the spectrum Sea World raises awareness of wildlife conservation efforts. A lot less people would know or care about sea creatures without our nation's aquariums, etc. Sea World also helps give a home to injured animals (sea lions, etc.) that would likely be dead without their help.
Castigate them for putting profits ahead of people by letting anyone work with Tilikum again after his consistent record of violent behavior. As far as wildlife conservation, however, they do a lot more good than harm.
I will say this - while I'm not against animal captivity if the living quarters and conditions are satisfactory, I'm against the live shows that involve the animals doing tricks. It's a sophomoric approach to animal conservation.
The conservation and education defense arguments used by zoos and aquariums are way too vulnerable to the possibility of animal abuse, even if it's unintentional. My personal feeling is that with the amazing technologies used in the medicine, research and entertainment industries, we could create a much more accurate, educational and breathtaking public exhibit of our oceans—and our planet overall.
This would require a big shift in mindsets, and it won't happen overnight. Perhaps, most importantly, we need to hear all points of view.
I used to work at The Nature Conservancy, and I am a former volunteer diver at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. I have some pretty strong feelings of my own on the captivity issue. But I can say with certainty that although we may disagree, 99% of us have the best intentions—both for humans and whales.
It is a complex issue, and there are a lot of very valid arguments on all sides. I started ASHERAT.org as a place for people to take up this debate, civilly, thoughtfully, and openly. There's no profit to be made, no personal data to collect, no advertising to sell. My name is Jeff Nesmith, and I created ASHERAT out of sincere concern for the planet. Keep the conversation going!
I understand the pressures society now exerts that have led to Sea World's decision to withdraw the trainers from the water but I think it's a massive mistake. At a stroke we have lost one of the only truly magical, (in the genuine sense of the word), experiences at any theme park and we have lost something that spoke of a harmony between humankind and nature more movingly and more powerfully than any video or seperated performance can or ever will do. I'm sure they will do their best to make the new show truly great, but it will never be magical. I will mourn that passing of magic into legend but consider myself so lucky to have been able to see the magic for myself whilst it still lived...
fast forward to 2010 show and no life to it at all.. the trainers were not petting the noses of the whales or even touching them at all.. it was the worst thing ever..
Glad we went to the dolphin show, that was very cool until it rained.
Not going to be doing SeaWorld for a couple years as kids are getting ready for college and it gets kinda old quick..The manta is a cool ride for sure but i want to do universal soon and see the Harry Potter stuff. Just waiting on prices to drop down a bit.
PS to Jeff Nesmith nice site.. :)