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Voice of the Orcas: SeaWorld’s Decimation of the Southern Resident Orca Population

As a former trainer at SeaWorld I had first hand experience providing misinformation to the public, examples of which are depicted in the movie Blackfish. This included parroting false lifespan data during “education shows,” claiming that dorsal fin collapse is commonplace in wild orcas, it’s not, & also calling teeth drilling & flushing “superior dental care.” Another fiction repeated to the public was that food deprivation was never used. We’d say, “The whales get their food every day, regardless of behavior.” That is more misinformation. The whales were routinely withheld food, especially in the context of VIP shows, like when August Busch would visit the park, or when key animal separations were needed. The command was, and still is, “hold the animals at half-base.” Translation: If an animal, such as Tilikum, received 220 pounds of food as a daily base amount, it was an order to hold him at 110 pounds to ensure that he was “properly motivated.”

Source: Voice of the Orcas: SeaWorld’s Decimation of the Southern Resident Orca Population

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