photo credit Seattle City Brights
I've been wondering about this.
I'm sure you remember the incident at SeaWorld where orca Tilikum killed his trainer Dawn Brancheau.
SeaWorld has been fined $75,000 for safety violations investigated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This amounts to couch change for the famous and prosperous theme park, but still they're gonna go ahead and fight it...
"Why? Because the consequences of that finding are going to roll through the amusement park industry, affecting all the parks which display marine mammals like circus animals - and the Miami Seaquarium, where one of the Southern Resident orcas "Lolita" lives, will have to make substantial and costly improvements to her illegal and substandard conditions."
The park was fined for a bunch of little things, such as a missing railing on a stairwell, but the kicker was the "willful" violation of the trainers' safety.
"OSHA defines 'adequate protection' as a physical barrier, or any other engineering solution that gives the trainers the same level of protection as a physical barrier - in effect putting an end to whale shows that involve humans swimming with whales."
This is bad news for SeaWorld, and this is why they're fighting the OSHA findings. If the findings stand, it will bring a rapid end to the "dolphin shows" most sea park customers are used to, which is also obviously the main moneymaker.
Here's a great quote from the article:
"That means that, lacking the carnival appeal of human mastery over big animals, the amusement parks such as Seaworld and Miami Seaquarium are going to have put their money where their mouths are and present true educational shows - and any educational show will only underscore that the whales in their care have dismal lives, nothing like the wild animals they represent."
The article goes on and contains a great statement from a SeaWorld customer, which I won't paste here because I really think this one is especially worth reading in it's entirety. Please follow the link below!
Full article here (Seattle City Brights)