And hey, don’t get me wrong - if SeaWorld were to actually come up with some genuine research that would actually help wild populations and were willing to then take measures in conserving the wild populations in correlation with their results I’d be interested in what they had to say.
This, however, is for publicity. The results do not present new information, and I highly doubt SeaWorld will assist in the implementation of any changes in order to conserve wild whales as a result of their ‘newfound’ research.
Okay, okay, I’ll give them props for trying to drum up some good publicity.
News reports have gone up today claiming SeaWorld have been undertaking groundbreaking research into the metabolic rates (resting rates) of killer whales. And I hate to be the one to break the news to you all, but once again, it’s a PR stunt to try and make themselves (and the continued keeping of captive whale Tilikum) appear useful.
Firstly, the resting metabolic rate of orca has been known for around 20 years. Here is a paper from 1994, which after various studies on both captive and wild populations, came to solid conclusions on the metabolic resting rates of orca. In their supposed ‘recent’ study SeaWorld have simply applied a different method to achieve results that were already well known and well acknowledged.
Secondly, it is made clear to us that this ‘study’ was undertaken at least three to four years ago (maybe even longer), as the trainers are still in Believe wetsuits. It’s hardly as ‘recent’ as they’re claiming.
And thirdly - to use Tilikum - one of the oldest (by captive standards), most unfit, and most chronically sick and unhealthy animals in the entire collection is sure to produce unrealistic results if SeaWorld are insinuating that this is a reflection of wild whales. Tilikum alone will not produce enough reliable data to come to any sort of conclusion about a variety of whales both wild and captive. It is unreliable and not enough samples have been taken.
SeaWorld have obviously been holding this one back for at least a few years, and have decided to release it now as they are under massive pressure to appear scientifically relevant, with all the bad publicity floating around but unfortunately for them, when you take a little look into the matter further, it’s just about as superficial as anything else they do.
What’s sad is that the Onion wasn’t too far off when they made this picture. That’s pretty much what SeaWorld is gonna look like if they keep breeding their orcas at the current rate.
The list of musicians protesting SeaWorld Orlando practices continues to grow. PETA says that rocker Joan Jett sent a letter to SeaWorld president Jim Atchison asking that her hit “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” be removed from the theme park’s ” Shamu Rocks” killer-whale show.
Three orcas spyhopping in Alaska by Leslie F.
Look at these cuties.