From an ex-trainer’s point of view
You don’t have to be a trainer if you want to work with cetaceans.
Today, I am going to tell you about an article I read at the time it was published in December 2012. I particularly liked this article because it shows an approach on a child. When I talk about captivity to the people around me, I notice it’s kind of hard to launch the first argument. I don’t really know where to begin, fearing I might bore my audience right from the start. And the fact that, in this article, an ex-trainer reaches out to a little girl, somehow gave me some leads. Besides, I find that the writer was very reactive when she thought about writing this letter. Context:
In November 2012, Jillian Thomas was feeding one of the dolphins of the Dolphin Cove when the marine mammal lunged toward her and grabbed her hand. The dolphin was attempting to get the paper tray of fish that Jillian was holding at the time.
The attack left four puncture wounds on the young girl’s arm and was captured on video by the girl’s parents who wanted to warn, other parents of the dangers of feeding wild animals. The video soon went viral and Jillian’s story was picked up by the media.
Many reports applauded Jillian for being concerned about dolphin and for expressing a desire to become a SeaWorld trainer one day. But a former SeaWorld trainer reached out to the young girl in hope that she would reconsider her decision.
Samantha Berg worked as an Animal Trainer for SeaWorld of Florida for 3-1/2 years from February of 1990 until August of 1993. Berg worked alongside SeaWorld’s beluga whales as well as the killer whales of Shamu Stadium.
Berg now works as a licensed Acupuncturist at the Alaska Center of Acupuncture and is a member of Voice of the Orcas, a group of former SeaWorld trainers who have be banded together to reveal the truth behind SeaWorld, one of the most popular marine mammal entertainment parks in the world.
You can find the body of the letter here.
Thanks to Sam Berg’s letter, I begin to organise my thoughts when I talk to people who have no idea of the truth about captivity. One thing is for sure, I always end up by saying “you know, marine parks are a business working according to demand and supply, just like any other business. If people stopped going there, then owners of Marinelands would have no other choice than stop the captures and end captivity. So, promise me you will never visit any of those marine parks.”