Shamu and children; a good mix?

Sea World Orlando: No more kisses for kids

From Daniel Etcheberry
Posted July 13, 2010 at 6:40 AM
I remember when I was a kid, I was amazed when Shamu came out of the water and kissed a kid chosen from the audience. Sea World don't do that anymore. What do you think? Was that kiss too risky?

From Nick Markham
Posted July 13, 2010 at 8:52 AM
Nope, I don't believe they do (or even would at this point) that with Shamu, however they might with their sea lions (such as the ones in Clyde and Seamore take Pirate Island) or their Dolphins if you go to Discovery Cove!

From Rob P
Posted July 13, 2010 at 9:01 AM
Ahhh........Dont you just miss .those days before the health and safety bods took over our planet ?

From Carlos Montalvo
Posted October 3, 2010 at 7:09 AM
The trainers are not even getting close to the whales anymore. Now they have these metal bars separating them from the whales. They don't get in the water with them anymore. I went to the Shamu show 3 weeks ago (my last one was during Christmas) and it lacked that thrill of the interaction between trainers and whales. So no, no more kissing the whale!

From Bruce Lane
Posted October 4, 2010 at 9:25 PM

I've still not received my copy of the OSHA report (gotta bug them about it). HOWEVER...

I may disagree with plenty of things SeaWorld has done (or failed to do), but I will say this much: I believe cutting off all close interaction between whales and trainers will actually make things worse in the long run, in terms of maintaining a good rapport with the critters.

Yes, the whales can (obviously) be dangerous to the point of being lethal. So, though, can driving a car. So can crossing the street. So can walking through an airport, or flying anywhere. So can a few thousand other things we all do, each and every day, without a second thought.

Heck, Life itself can be dangerous to the point of being lethal!

I believe I can count, on the fingers of one hand, the number of people who have been killed by close association with orcas (or most other marine mammals, for that matter) since at least the mid-60's.

While events such as that which took Dawn's life are indeed tragic, is it truly a good reason to effectively punish an entire group of similar animals? (Don't try to tell me the whales don't enjoy contact, because I know from direct experience they do!) Is that how Dawn would have wanted things to go?

I truly believe these 'precautions' are an overreaction, a 'knee-jerk' if you will. I would hope, in time, this whole sequence of events will lead to a much better understanding of the whales themselves, and how to work best with them.

You cannot, after all, create trust in an atmosphere as toxic as that produced by irrational fear.

Happy travels.

From Carrie Hood
Posted October 7, 2010 at 4:07 PM
I believe Bruce said it best and I'm normally a stout supporter of Seaworld.

From Bruce Lane
Posted October 14, 2010 at 6:27 PM
Thanks, Carrie. ;-)

I'm posting because I have a minor update on my efforts with OSHA. I am assuming, at this point, my E-mail request was ignored for whatever reason.

With that in mind, I have now sent a formal written request, via USPS, citing FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) and asking for full details of what they found during their investigation.

I will post details of what I get back, plus my own conclusions, as soon as I receive the material and run through it.

Happy travels.

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