Spring 2017

Spring 2017

We can safly say that these past three months have had their share of intense news.

Granny

First of all, on the 4th of January, we had to admit to ourselves that the orca Granny, had past away. The oldest matriarchal female, also known as J2, had not been seen since October 2016. Scientists had to admit the sad truth. She was about 105 years old. Something to argue with procaps: yes, orcas can live as long as we do. No, it is not OK that orcas die at a young age in captivity.


A couple of days after this sad news, on the 6th of January, our hearts cried again by the news of Tilikum’s death.

Who was Tilikum?
Huge male of almost 23ft weighed 12,500 pounds. His pectoral flukes were 6,5 feet long. Can you imagine seeing him in the ocean: swimming powerfully, free. No, he was captured at the age of 2 in Iceland in 1983.
In 1991, he is involved in the death of his trainer, Keltie Byrne. The park, Sealand, closes after that tragic accident.
Tilikum is then transferred to the notorious group SeaWorld.
In 1993, Warner Bros considers Tilly to play the role of Willy in the movie Free Willy. It turned out to be a role for Keiko, less aggressive. I’d like to point out that, to this day, Keiko remains the only killer whale to have been released to the wild.
In 1999, the body of a man is found on the orca’s back. The autopsy concluded he died from hypothermia and drowning.
In February 2010, Tilikum is involved in a third accident during which he kills his trainer, Dawn Brancheau. Several visitors witnessed the scene, but SeaWorld keeps claiming “staff mistake”.
In 2013, Gabriela Cowperthwaite directs a documentary trying to explain how such an accident had been possible. The documentary Blackfish tries to answer the following question: “how did the orca manage to kill a trainer who had over 16 years of experience?”

seaworld-stocksThe documentary came as a shock for the audience. SeaWorld lost half of his stocks value. The group got into several trials about the death of their employee, about its share of responsibility and about the very idea of orca captivity. Let’s remind ourselves that a law was issued in September 2016 prohibiting breeding of captive orcas.

Blackfish was like “the rice grain that could change everything”. People learnt about the hidden truth of captivity.

Big Splash

Unfortunately, Tilikum’s situation did not improve after the accident or the documentary. Quite the opposite in fact. Now considered as dangerous, he was not allowed any or few contact with the staff and the other orcas. His life was basically summed up to: swim around in a remote tank, make an appearance at the end of each show for the big splash, and be used as a sperm bank for artificial insemination.


These conditions clearly killed him, at only 36 years old. What a waste when we think what his life could have been in the wild…


I haven’t mentionned this subject for a while now, and since the 2016/2017 season has officially been over since February 27, I think it’s time to look at the data.

What? What season? What data? ➡  TAIJI
Horror, nightmare becoming reality, a Japanese village’s secret : the daily slaughter of dolphins. Why? Partly for their (toxic) meat (because of mercury), but especially for selling these dolphins to marine parks worldwide.

Yes, you heard right : this is where dolphins are being captured. The first step is to select the “pretty ones”, then all they need to do is train them before transferring them to a dolphinarium.
Know that each ticket you buy to a marine park pays for the slaughters happening in Taiji.

The 2016/2017 season (September-February, 6 months) is over.
In total : 1282 dolphins were taken into The Cove
 595 were slaughtered
➡ 232 were taken captive

Thinking we can rest now for the next six months before the 2017/2018 season starts is a lie. The nightmare does not stop for the 232 captive dolphins : over fifty percent die within the first few years living in captivity.

Spread the word, this has to end :

SOURCES
http://www.whaleresearch.com/so/dLbXFu__#/main
http://www.whalesanctuaryproject.org/2017/01/06/tilikum-and-granny/
http://uk.whales.org/news/2017/01/longest-known-surviving-wild-orca-dies
http://www.thedodo.com/seaworld-stock-price-year-low-1851664333.html
http://time.com/3987998/seaworlds-profits-drop-84-after-blackfish-documentary/
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2014/12/12/chart-what-the-documentary-blackfish-has-done-to-seaworld/?utm_term=.d755a562d394
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/films/2016/06/04/seaworld-vs-blackfish-the-film-that-saved-the-whales/
http://uk.whales.org/news/2017/01/seaworld-announces-death-of-tilikum
http://www.facebook.com/SeaShepherdCoveGuardiansOfficialPage/?fref=ts

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