Sea World Controversy

My thoughts on Sea World

I get asked about Sea World a lot and as a former marine mammal trainer, I felt like I needed to weigh in. That’s me in the photo below with a dolphin named Hiapo at the Kewalo Basin Marine Mammal Laboratory.

Jen Hancock training a dolphin in Hawaii 1989

Obviously most people saw Blackfish, and recently a new book has come out from a former trainer saying that the psychological and physical effects of confinement on orcas is  immoral. (see: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/03/150329-orca-blackfish-seaworld-dolphins-killer-whales-ngbooktalk/)

My response to this as a former dolphin trainer was duh! Why did it take him so long to figure that out? How could he not know going in that keeping marine mammals like dolphins and orcas in captivity is cruel? When I was taught to train – that was the first thing that was drilled into me. It’s emotionally and psychologically very hard on these captive animals because of the conditions of captivity.  Our job as trainers is to help keep them sane given the immense stress captivity causes.

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