“I was employed with Seaworld for 12 yrs and was one of many to spend 6 weeks in Victoria, B.C., after SW purchased the 3 KWs from the marine Park which closed due to the unfortunate death of a trainer there who accidentally slipped into the pool and was drowned by the whales who had never been accustomed to having people in the water with them. With both females being pregnant and too close to gestation to transport them, staff members from S.W. rotated, doing “Whale Watch” shifts until the one surviving calf, from Heida was old enough to be transported. Nutka, the other female later died @ S.W. of Orlando from labor difficulties. Heida and her calf, Ki, were sent to TX, where I began my employment with S.W. Ki was never “right” in his behavior. All night long he would float vertically and bang the back of his melon (head) on the walls of the pool. Later I saw footage of him acting out in the middle of a show during the water work session. I wasn’t surprised, to say the least. I transferred to Orlando where Tili and Nutka had been placed. It was only weeks after I parted ways with the company when the transient was found, drowned, and floating in Tili’s pool. The shocking thing about this was, a calf had been born recently and the protocol required at least 4 people to be at pool side, observing and keeping records. It was estimated the person who was found dead in the pool, had entered the pool around midnight, yet nothing was seen or observed until 7am or so, and was discovered by a person working in Park operations while he was cleaning the stadium seating area. Where were the people who were supposed to be watching at pool side all night? Most likely, sleeping or watching tv inside the training office. But who knows? But, nothing prepared me for what I witnessed Dawn doing with Tili, just before she was taken into the pool and drowned. I am still and always will be at a total loss as to what could have gotten into her, as an individual, but into the company all together, to allow for her to put herself in that position with Tillikum, off all? I refuse to bash or degrade dawn, for having some momentary loss of reason, and her death is very saddening for me along with so many others. But the Seaworld Corporation should be held accountable at all costs for their negligence, not only in Dawn’s case, but so many others. I only wish that people would stop making it seem to the uninformed public, that the whales are or were acting in a purposeful attempt to Kill or harm any of those cases where injuries and death occurred. Please understand,just anto intent to explore in curiosity or to play, and even in a frustrated moment, with such an animal, which can hold his breath much longer than any human, and having extreme capacity to inflict much more physical damage would prove to anyone taking the time to think about these possibilities.and realize these fatalities were not malicious, viscous acts in Tilli’s mind.
I don’t advocate for the captivity of any living being. When I became employed with Seaworld, it was my honest effort to see to it as best I could, that while in captivity, at least one person truly did care for those animals and did all things possible to to keep them as comfortable as possible while they had to be there. Unfortunately, it became obvious that one or even several people with the best of intentions could win against a corrupt corporation.
physical harm or injury wasn’t the case”
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