Rescued Porpoise Looks Like an Egg…a Happy Easter Story


Meet Noodle, a young male harbor porpoise who was found on a beach in Maine last October. After a successful rescue and rehabilitation by several east coast organizations, he is now being assessed for release – but because of the camera angle looks like a smiling egg, just in time for Easter!
Noodle got his name because he was unable to stay afloat for the first 24 hours after he was found, so his rescuers built a floatation device for him out of foam noodles.

How Noodle got his name.

Find out more about Noodle and follow his progress at the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation site. And kudos to all the caring people who helped to rescue this little guy!

Dead Humpback Whale Found in B.C. Salmon Farm – Another Reason Not to Consume These Farm Raised Fish

Canada Press

Three great reasons to avoid farm raised Atlantic salmon; it is an unhealthy food choice, the farming practices trash the environment, and the nets kill marine mammals and birds.
According to The Globe and Mail, a humpback whale was found dead inside a British Columbia, Canada fish farm and so far no one knows how it got there. Some are claiming that the whale died at sea, but that seems unlikely.

“There is no visible trauma. It hasn’t been shot, thank goodness, it hasn’t been hit by a boat,” [Larry Paike, Director of Conservation and Protection] said Thursday. “So there are a number of possible scenarios. One it dies of natural causes, drifts into a hole in the predator net and once it bloats comes up underneath. That is kind of like trying to shoot a hockey puck from centre ice into a golf cup holder.
“A more likely scenario is it was feeding, became disoriented, confused … and somehow became encumbered with the ropes from the predator net, or the predator net itself, and then subsequently drowned.”
Mr. Paike said a necropsy would be done Friday to determine cause of death.
“Certainly water in the lungs would indicate to me it’s drowned,” he said.

Environmentalist David Suzuki says of the nets: “If net cages have problems keeping farmed salmon in, they also have trouble keeping out predators out. Fisheries and Oceans Canada reports that between 1996 and 2008, fish farmers killed 3,239 harbour seals and 7,678 Steller’s sea lions. Sometimes, the salmon farm nets themselves kill wildlife. In 2007, 51 sea lions got tangled in nets and drowned at a single farm.”
All to raise toxic fish: : Health details from the Environmental Defense Fund – Salmon » Atlantic salmon (farmed)
“This is an Eco-Worst choice. If you decide to eat it, we recommend the following due to elevated PCBs levels:

Women should eat no more than 2 meals per month
Men should eat no more than 1 meal per month
Kids age 6-12 should eat no more than 1 meal per month
Kids up to age 6 should eat no more than ½ meals per month”

 
Wildlife biologist Dr. Alexandra Morton has been working to save the once pristine waterways around Vancouver Island, B.C. where salmon farming takes place, and is passionate about saving the wild salmon from the ravages of the farming practices. She has created a fascinating film on the subject, Salmon Confidential (watch above, or on her website).

In the crowded farm conditions hundreds of thousands of farmed fish can quickly become infected by a pathogen and when a fish is sick, it emits the viruses, bacteria, or lice into the water around it. At the Cohen Commission one of DFO’s own scientists, Kyle Garver, testified that a single farm can emit 650 billion viral particles per hour during a disease outbreak.
The viruses, bacteria and parasites from these sick fish can quickly fill a channel. The inlets where these farms are placed are often around 1 km wide and 300 feet deep. 650 billion viral particles released per hour can quickly disperse through this small area.
Now when the wild salmon swim through these channels and inlets they are exposed to the plume of bacteria, viruses and/or lice- or whatever kind of outbreak the farms happen to be experiencing. The farms have become the gatekeepers to the wild salmon.
Sometimes the wild fish are lucky enough to pass when there is no outbreak on the farm, but in many cases they are exposed to some kind of pathogen (lice, bacteria, viruses). The same dynamics apply with the amplification of sea lice, bacteria and any disease- whether natural or exotic.

And in the end, the farms produce a product that is not safe to consume in quantity.
 

Horse Meat Found in Chicken Nuggets, the Scandal Grows

There is a real risk that you would wind up eating horses unknowingly if slaughter is permitted.

Horse meat in chicken nuggets?  That is just wrong on so many levels…

Following the news that horse meat was found in the Swedish Meatballs in franchises of Ikea and in hamburger patties in Europe, Greek officials checked their nation’s meat products,  and according to the UK Meat Trades Journal, the officials found horse meat in as much as 50% of their traditional sausages and hamburger patties, and trace amounts in schnitzel.
But the 10%  horse meat content in chicken nuggets is the real kicker, and leaves you wondering what to eat when in Europe or other countries where the slaughter of horses is permitted.
Can it happen here?  Absolutely, if the slaughter industry succeeds in their present push to open horse slaughter facilities again in the U.S. We have seen this kind of fraud time and time again in the U.S., the latest of which is the mislabeling of fish recently uncovered by Oceana:

-The study found mislabeling in 27 of the 46 seafood types tested. It revealed that 59 percent of fish sold as tuna in U.S. restaurants and grocery stores is not actually tuna.
Only snapper, mislabeled 87 percent of the time and in reality any one of six different species, was sold fraudulently more often.
Disturbingly, 84 percent of fish samples described as ‘white tuna’ were actually escolar. Escolar is a type of snake mackerel that has rich, buttery flesh, but unpleasant side effects. Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2283880/Fish-mislabeling-widespread-U-S-84-white-tuna-species-causes-distressing-gastrointestinal-effects.html#ixzz2OfHui7l1

Another example is the familiar Chicken McNugget, which only contains half chicken:

No one in his or her right mind would cook chicken like this. Yet every day, hoards of Americans consume these ingredients in Chicken McNuggets, which McDonalds claims are “made with white meat, wrapped up in a crisp tempura batter.”
However chicken only accounts for about 50% of a Chicken McNugget. The other 50% includes a large percentage of corn derivatives, sugars, leavening agents and other completely synthetic ingredients, meaning that parts of the nugget do not come from a field or farm at all. They come from a petroleum plant. Hungry?
Scariest perhaps is the fact that this recipe is a new and improved, “healthier” Chicken McNugget launched in 2003 after a federal judge called the deep-fried poultry bites “a McFrankenstein creation of various elements not utilized by the home cook.” Also terrifying is the fact that these McFrankenuggets are overwhelmingly marketed to children who love their fun shapes and kid-friendly size. The Organic Authority.

Let’s not add the worry that we might be served up ‘Black Beauty on a Bun’ when we think we’re getting a burger, or chicken, or sausage…please learn more about the risks of horse slaughter, and take action (from Habitat for Horses):
American Horse Slaughter Act of 2011 – “Amends the Horse Protection Act to prohibit the shipping, transporting, moving, delivering, receiving, possessing, purchasing, selling, or donation of horses and other equines to be slaughtered for human consumption. Authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to detain for examination, testing, or the taking of evidence: (1) any horse at any horse show, horse exhibition, or horse sale or auction that is sore or which the Secretary has probable cause to believe is sore; and (2) any horse or other equine that the Secretary has probable cause to believe is being shipped, transported, moved, delivered, received, possessed, purchased, sold, or donated in violation of such prohibition. Increases the cap on the amount of appropriations that may be used to carry out such Act.”
Take Action
Please make a brief, polite phone call to your two U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative. Look up your Senator’s phone numbers here and your state Representative here.
Then, send a follow-up note to your members of Congress. We encourage you to add your own thoughts about horse slaughter in the message builder.

Man Shoots Trusting Horse, Posts It on YouTube

Who pets a horse, takes out a gun and shoots it, then posts the video on YouTube?  Someone who believes slaughterhouses should be able to kill horses again in the U.S., and who thinks citizens of this country shouldn’t have the right to protest. Ironically though, he may as well have shot himself in the foot, because the video has created an angry backlash against the slaughter industry, and may impede their goal of reinstating horse slaughter in the U.S..
I have not, and will not watch this video (there is a link to it at the end of this article), and debated as to whether or not I would even write about it but it was this paragraph in an article that tipped the balance:

If you are one of those who make comments like, “Stop this” –  know that I am trying, but it is YOU that has to stop it. Don’t think that I and a few others can do it without your help. YOU have to put in the effort to pick up the phone, to send the email, to protest and support those that are fighting beside you. Don’t think you can just close your eyes and post the occasional comment. To “Stop this,” YOU have to get involved. Make the calls to your Senators and Representatives. On RT’s blog is a list of email addresses and phone numbers to those who need to be made aware that this incident arouses the anger of every mentally healthy American.  (J. Finch, Habitat for Horses).

I know first hand that people don’t understand the plight that faces horses in this country, they just don’t want to know.  Rescuing horses is heartbreaking business, made worse by people’s criticism (my favorite is “you must be rich”) and unwillingness to do anything or face the reality of the horse trade.  But the truth is, most horses have a gruesome end in slaughterhouses.
Horse slaughter is a cruel and barbaric process, and is anything but the benign endgame for horses that the slaughterhouses would have you believe. Sure, they kill the old and sick horses, but that is not what keeps them in business – they prefer healthy horses in good weight.  The racing industry and irresponsible breeders dump their horses there.  Buyers pose as rescuers and take in the horses that families can’t afford, then turn around and sell them to slaughterhouses. The horses’ deaths are violent and often bungled, and they suffer unimaginably.
Habitat for Horses has an excellent series of articles on this issue, with solid data to support the revelations of what really happens to beloved horses.

…slaughtered horses are far from old, sick, lame, or emaciated. A USDA-commissioned study conducted by the Colorado State University in 1998 at the two horse slaughterhouses in Texas (Beltex Corp. and Dallas Crown, Inc.) showed that 92% of horses arriving at the plants are in good or excellent condition and are less than eight years old. The remaining 8%, the study found, evidenced recent trauma and other welfare-related problems, which could be attributed to transport conditions. In fact. more than half of that 8% showed clear signs of fighting injuries during transport. Only 1.5% presented significant welfare problems and were deemed unfit for travel. The report does not seem to account for the harsh treatment horses endure at auction yards and slaughter feedlots, including dehydration, starvation, lack of shelter, and medical treatment of existing injuries, which no doubt would worsen with time and transport conditions. This fact is backed by photographic evidence taken at the slaughter plants holding pens. Undercover pictures taken at Dallas Crown, Inc. (the plant formerly located in Kaufman, Texas) show only young, healthy, well-conformed animals, which some injuries, such as bruising and lacerations, clearly received during shipping and handling by killer buyers. No old, diseased or skinny horses were observed, despite the pens being watched for several days at various times.

Although the slaughterhouses have not been able to kill horses in the U.S. for a few years, they are close to being able to open again in several states.

Habitat for Horses has this to say about the other video (see link at the end), where the horse is shot:
“You do not want to see the video. It is far too graphic and far too violent. It has value as an educational tool for those in the mental health field in the study of sociopathic behavior (currently called “antisocial personality disorder”) and for one other specific purpose – for it displays the typical personality of those involved in the horse slaughter trade. These same personalities crowd into every horse auction and every slaughterhouse, deriving their pleasure from killing and watching other kill horses.
If you believe the lies about “unwanted” horses, “starving” horses, about “peaceful euthanasia,” then yes, you need to watch it.
If you think sending your horse off to the slaughterhouse is really the way you want to discharge your responsibility for the animal you bought, then yes, you should watch it. This is the type of man to whom you are turning your horse over. If equine slaughterhouses once again open in American – this man will win.

Once again – Fair Warning – DO NOT WATCH – but if you must, click here“.

Killer Whale Attacks on Trainers (Video) and Mind-boggling Chart Documenting the Occurrences in and Out of the Water

Last year when this video was released it created a media storm, but the list of incidents (below) underscores how very dangerous it is to work with these whales in captivity even if people are not in the water. A big thank you to the Orca Home website for publishing this information!

Incidents between humans and killer whales in captivity –
a longer list than the parks would like to tell you!

Courtesy of Orca Home

“Several accounts of violent incidents with humans have appeared in books and news clips, with little information on the dates or details of those incidents. Other descriptions have made headlines, and some were captured on video tape (beware, those can be quite graphic). There are also anecdotal reports of incidents that were never officially documented.”

(The entries in bright blue are situations that took place out of the water., or where people slipped or were pulled in). Please go to the Orca Home website to find more information.

NO. DATE AQUARIUM WHALEs INCIDENT SOURCE
1960s and 1970s
#1 1968 New York Aquarium, USA Lupa When water level was lowered for pool cleaning, young female Lupa sent trainers scrambling from the pool, snapping her jaws threatening. Edward R. Riciuti, , New York, Walker & Co., 1973, pp. 227-228.
#2 1969 or 1970 Flamingo Park, England Cuddles Young male Cuddles became so increasingly aggressive, having a hold of at least two trainers, that keepers had to clean the pool from the protection of a shark cage. Cuddles also dragged keeper Don Robinson into the pool when he was at Dudley Zoo but that was possibly a PR stunt. Edward R. Riciuti, Killers of the Sea, New York, Walker & Co., 1973, pp. 227-228; Reading Eagle, August 15, 1971; Doug Cartlidge, personal communication, March 2010.
#3 1970s unknown unknown Karen Pryor writes, “I have since heard… of at least one killer whale which launched an unprovoked attack on a favorite trainer, in normal circumstances, savaged him very badly, and nearly killed him.” Karen Pryor, Lads Before the Wind, New York, Harper & Row, 1976, p. 220.
#4 1970’s Vancouver Aquarium, Canada Skana Trainer Doug Pemberton described young female Skana as the dominant animal in the pool. “She is capable of changing moods in minutes”. He described Skana and her young male companion Hyak 2 as “moody”, and recalled that, “Skana once showed her dislike by dragging a trainer around the pool. Her teeth sank into his wetsuit but missed his leg.” Cranky killer whales put trainers through their paces, The Province, May 5, 1978.
#5 1970’s Vancouver Aquarium, Canada Hyak 2 Undocumented report of young male Hyak 2 breaking a trainer’s leg by hitting it with his tail fluke. Story on internet sites but no original source known.
#6 early 1970’s Marine World California, USA Kianu Trainer Jeff Pulaski, accustomed to riding young female Kianu during performances, was thrown off and chased out of the tank. Don C. Reed, Notes from an Underwater Zoo, Dial Press, 1981, p. 250.
#7 early 1970’s Marine World California, USA Nepo Trainer Dave Worcester was dragged to the bottom of the pool by young male Nepo. Don C. Reed, Notes from an Underwater Zoo, Dial Press, 1981, p. 250.
#8 early 1970’s Miami Seaquarium, USA Hugo Administrative director Anthony G. Toran declared that working with young male Hugo has become too risky after Hugo had “made what appeared to be direct efforts to harm the human performers”. St. Petersburg Times, July 24, 1971
#9 early 1970’s Miami Seaquarium, USA Hugo Trainer Chris Christiansen received seven stitches in his cheeks after placing his head within the jaws of young male Hugo, closing his mouth on a mis-cue. Edward R. Riciuti, Killers of the Sea, New York, Walker & Co., 1973, pp. 232-233.
#10 early 1970’s Miami Seaquarium, USA Hugo, Lolita Trainer Manny Velasco recalled both young whales Hugo and Lolita becoming aggressive, lunging at trainers on the platform. Edward R. Riciuti, Killers of the Sea, New York, Walker & Co., 1973, pp. 232-233.
#11 early 1970’s Miami Seaquarium, USA Hugo, Lolita Trainer Chip Kirk got away with a permanent scar on his arm after being pushed around continuously by young male Hugo. Trainer Jeff Pulaski had been grabbed by Hugo, then had his wetsuit torn from him by both Hugo and Lolita. The Miami News, December 17, 1975
#12 early 1970’s Marineland of the Pacific, USA Orky 2 Unidentified male trainer was seized by the leg and held at the bottom of the pool until the man almost lost consciousness by young male Orky 2. Edward R. Riciuti, Killers of the Sea, New York, Walker & Co., 1973, pp. 228-229.
#13 1971/04/20 Sea World California, USA Shamu PR Secretary Annette Eckis, wearing a bikini, slid off the back of an orca she was riding for a publicity stunt. 5-year-old female Shamu seized her leg and swam around the tank refusing to release the screaming woman until familiar divers entered the pool. Eckis suffered lacerations and puncture wounds. Edward R. Riciuti, Killers of the Sea, New York, Walker & Co., 1973, pp. 229-231; Mike Lee, SeaWorld San Diego suspends Shamu show, San Diego Union-Tribune, February 24, 2010;Video.
#14 1974 Windsor Safari Park, England Winston 4-year-old male Winston, then known as Ramu, attacked trainer Doug Cartlidge. There was on official report which was sent to SeaWorld and all other facilities holding orca detailing the attack. SeaWorld have video of Ramu coming out of the water and trying to pull Doug Cartlidge from the training platform. It was part of the video showing all the hand signals before he went over there.
Winston also nearly had HRH Prince of Wales when he was swimming with him…but staff saw the “red eye” and got the prince out just in time. He also had a model and punctured skin on her leg…she sued but was paid off…
Doug Cartlidge, personal communication, March 2010.
#15 late 1970’s Marineland Antibes, France Kim Young male Kim took a trainer in his mouth and held him at the bottom of the pool. Finally releasing him, he allowed the trainer to exit safely. Story on internet sites but no original source known.
#16 1978/05/02 Marineland of the Pacific, USA Orky 2 Trainer Jill Stratton, 27, was nearly drowned when 10-year-old male Orky 2 suddenly pinned her to the bottom of the tank and held her underwater for four minutes. Cathleen Decker, Trainer Leaves Hospital, Isn’t Angry with Whale, Los Angeles Times, May 1978.
1980s
#17 1980’s Nanki Shirahama Adventure World, Japan Benkei Male Benkei pinched his trainer’s arm. Story on internet sites but no original source known.
#18 1984/02/23 Sea World California, USA Kandu 5 7-year-old female Kandu 5 took trainer Joanne Hay in her mouth and pinned her against a wall during a performance. Mike Lee, SeaWorld San Diego suspends Shamu show, San Diego Union-Tribune, February 24, 2010.
#19 1984/08/12 Sea World California, USA unknown Two killer whales grabbed the legs of trainer Bud Krames and pinned him against a glass retaining wall during a performance. Krames suffers bruises. Mike Lee, SeaWorld San Diego suspends Shamu show, San Diego Union-Tribune, February 24, 2010.
#20 1984/11/02 Sea World California, USA Kandu 5 7-year-old female Kandu 5 briefly grabbed the legs of trainer Georgia Jones during a Shamu show but released the trainer unhurt. The 4,500-pound killer whale took Jones’ legs in her mouth, but didn’t bite down. Mike Lee, SeaWorld San Diego suspends Shamu show, San Diego Union-Tribune, February 24, 2010.
#21 1986 Marineland Ontario, Canada Kandu 7 There have been reports of trainers being held underwater by the mammals. In 1986, one trainer was taken to the hospital when he fell off young male Kandu 7 and was dragged by the leg around the pool during a stunt. Enzo di Matto, Mahem in Marineland, NOW Magazine, October 10-16, 1996, Vol. 16 No. 6.
#22 1986 Marineland Ontario, Canada Nootka 5 4-year-old female Nootka 5 whacked one trainer in the head with his pectoral during a trick. According to a former trainer, the whale often leapt out of the water to strike trainers by the pool in the chest. Enzo di Matto, Mahem in Marineland, NOW Magazine, October 10-16, 1996, Vol. 16 No. 6.
#23 1986/11/16 Sea World California, USA Kandu 5 9-year-old female Kandu 5 pressed her snout against trainer Mark Beeler and held him against a wall for a few seconds during a performance before several hundred spectators. Dayna Lynn Fried & John Wilkens, Kandu bled to death, San Diego Union-Tribune, August 23, 1989; Mike Lee, SeaWorld San Diego suspends Shamu show, San Diego Union-Tribune, February 24, 2010.
#24 1987 Sea World California, USA unknown Numerous San Diego newspapers reported on a “white paper” disclosing at least 14 trainer injuries of various severity while working with orcas within a five-month period in 1987. Only a few of the incidents have been described in the media. Janny Scott, Waves of trouble at Sea World, Los Angeles Times, December 20, 1987, p. 1.
#25 1987/03/04 Sea World California, USA Kandu 5, Kenau A six-ton orca suddenly grabbed trainer Jonathan Smith, 21, in its teeth, dove to the bottom of the tank, then carried him bleeding to the surface and spat him out. Smith gallantly waved to the crowd – which he attributed to his training as a Sea World performer – when a second orca slammed into him. He continued to pretend he was unhurt as the whales repeatedly dragged him 32 ft to the bottom of the pool. Smith was cut all around his torso, had a ruptured kidney and a six-inch laceration of his liver, yet he managed to escape and get out of the pool. Later reports indicate that the whales involved had been 10-year-old female Kenau and 9-year-old female Kandu 5. Erich Hoyt, The Performing Orca, WDCS, 1992, p. 32; Video.
#26 1987/06/15 Sea World California, USA Kandu 5 Trainer Joanne Webber, 29, suffered a fractured neck when 9-year-old female Kandu 5 landed on top of her and pushed her to the bottom of the pool during a practice session. Webber had five years experience working with orcas. Ex-trainer suing Sea World for neck injury, San Diego Union-Tribune, June 15, 1988, p. B-3.
#27 1987/09/28 Sea World California, USA unknown Trainer Mark McHugh was bitten on the hand while feeding an orca between shows. Killer whale injures trainer, Daily Breeze, October 1, 1987.
#28 1987/09/30 Sea World California, USA unknown While working with one orca during a performance trainer Chris Barlow, 24, was being rammed in the stomach by another orca. Barlow was hospitalized with minor injuries. Killer whale injures trainer, Daily Breeze, October 1, 1987; Mike Lee, SeaWorld San Diego suspends Shamu show, San Diego Union-Tribune, February 24, 2010.
#29 1987/11/21 Sea World California, USA Orky 2 Trainer John Sillick, 26, suffered fractured vertebrae (T1 to T12), a fractured femur, and a fractured pelvis after 19-year-old male Orky 2 breached on top of him while riding on another orca during a performance. Sillick had less than two years experience working with orcas. Robert Reinhold, At Sea World, stress tests whale and man, New York Times, April 4, 1988, p. A-1;Video.
#30 end of 1988 Kamogawa Sea World, Japan unknown In May 1991, one of the trainers that swam with the orcas, told after a show that he had been pinned to the bottom of the pool by an orca and that it happened all the time. Peter Hamilton, Lifeforce Foundation, personal communication May 1991.
#31 1989/04/01 Sealand of the Pacific, Canada Nootka 4 Trainer Henriette Huber fell into the whale pool after 6-year-old female Nootka 4 closed her mouth on her hand while scratching Nootka’s tongue. Several stitches were required to close the puncture wound. Barbara McLintock, Whale bit me – ex trainer, The Province, May 3, 1991.
#32 1989/04/08 Sea World Texas, USA Kasatka 12-year-old female Kasatka mouthed a trainer’s leg. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010
#33 1989/09/30 Sea World Texas, USA Kasatka 12-year-old female Kasatka mouthed a trainer’s feet. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010
#34 1989/10/29 Sea World Florida, USA Katina 13-year-old female Katina mouthed a trainer’s waist. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010
#35 1989 Sealand of the Pacific, Canada Nootka 4 6-year-old female Nootka 4 had grabbed a tourist’s camera that was lowered to water level. Head trainer Steve Huxter grabbed the camera strap and was pulled into the pool. The orca had hold of his leg while he was pulled out by hand by fellow trainer Eric Walters. Dirk Meissner, Safety worries led to Sealand resignations, Times Colonist, February 22, 1991, p. A-1.
1990s
#36 1990/04/21 Sea World California, USA Orkid 1-year-old female Orkid bumped a trainer’s head. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010
#37 1990/07/06 Sea World California, USA Kasatka 14-year-old female Kasatka mouthed a trainer’s thigh. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010
#38 1990/07/28 Sea World California, USA Corky 2 24-year-old female Corky 2 pushed the mid-section of a trainer. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision September 2010
#39 1991/02/20 Sealand of the Pacific, Canada Haida 2, Nootka 4, Tilikum Trainer Keltie Byrne, 20, slipped into the whale pool and was carried into the middle by 11-year-old female Haida 2, and repeatedly submerged as the other two orcas, 11-year-old female Nootka 4 and 10-year-old male Tilikum, joined in. After futile attempts of rescue, Byrne drowned. Sea World Animal Profiles; Dirk Meissner, Whales pull trainer to death, Times Colonist, February 21, 1991, p. A-1.
#40 1991/07/31 Sea World California, USA Kasatka 14-year-old female Kasatka grabbed a trainer’s foot (termed “jaw popped on foot” in Injury Report) and fluked a trainer’s back. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010
#41 1992/04/02 Sea World Florida, USA Katina 15-year-old female Katina bumped a trainer’s hip. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010
#42 1992/10/11 Sea World California, USA Kasatka 14-year-old female Kasatka mouthed a trainer’s foot. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010
#43 1992 Sea World Ohio, USA Kayla 3-year-old female Kayla pushed a trainer back toward pool during training. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010
#44 1993/04/25 Sea World California, USA Kasatka 16-year-old female Kasatka tried to bite a trainer (not Kenneth Peters, btw), mouthed feet and legs. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010; Pauline Repard, Killer whale bites trainer, takes him to tank bottom, San Diego Union-Tribune, November 30, 2006.
#45 1993/07/15 Sea World California, USA Kasatka 16-year-old female Kasatka mouthed a trainer’s feet and legs, grabbed a knee and dunked the trainer, grabbed a foot and dunked the trainer. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010
#46 1993/08/03 Sea World Florida, USA Katina 17-year-old female Katina bumped a trainer’s body. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010
#47 1994/02/24 Sea World Florida, USA Katina 18-year-old female Katina bumped a trainer’s hand. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010
#48 1994/06/30 Sea World California, USA Corky 2 28-year-old female Corky 2 pushed a trainer. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision September 2010
#49 1994/10/23 Sea World California, USA Orkid 6-year-old female Orkid bumped a trainer’s thigh. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010
#50 1995/02/09 Sea World Florida, USA Katina 19-year-old female Katina pushed a trainer. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010
#51 1995/07/30 Sea World California, USA Takara 4-year-old female Takara swam over a surfaced trainer. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010
#52 1996/01/25 Sea World California, USA Orkid 7-year-old female Orkid opened her mouth at a trainer and mouthed a trainer’s thigh. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010
#53 1996/02/09 Sea World California, USA Orkid 7-year-old female Orkid bumped a trainer’s thigh, bumped a trainer’s body and fluked a trainer. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010
#54 1996/07/03 Sea World California, USA Orkid 7-year-old female Orkid pushed a trainer. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010
#55 1996/07/20 Sea World Texas, USA Kayla 7-year-old female Kayla split to slide out during the show after a non-bridged behaviour. At that time, a guest tried to touch her and she thrashed her head from side to side with her mouth open. No injury occurred. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010
#56 1996/11/22 Sea World California, USA Orkid 8-year-old female Orkid head popped a trainer’s arm. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010
#57 1997/10/03 Sea World California, USA Ulises 20-year-old male Ulises came out at a trainer. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010
#58 1997/11/15 Sea World California, USA Orkid 9-year-old female Orkid bumped a trainer’s hip. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010
#59 1998/06/23 Sea World California, USA Orkid 9-year-old female Orkid pushed a kayak with a trainer around. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010
#60 1998/07/16 Sea World California, USA Orkid 9-year-old female Orkid was performing a hydro-hop behaviour during a night show. The trainer accidentally hit her tail flukes with his hand upon his re-entry and she responded by hitting him in the stomach with her head. She responded to a stage call calmly. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010
#61 1999/03/09 Sea World California, USA Takara 7-year-old female Takara came out at a trainer. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010
#62 1999/06/12 Sea World California, USA Kasatka After her calf Takara split to a back pool during a show, 23-year-old Kasatka, the dominant female in the park, began to fast swim around the perimeter, grabbed trainer Kenneth Peters’ leg and attempted to throw him out of the pool at SeaWorld San Diego. Peters was pulled out of the pool by another trainer. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010; Killer whales: Other Sea World attacks, Orlando Sentinel, February 27, 2010.
#63 1999/07/05 Sea World Florida, USA Tilikum A dead man’s naked body was found at SeaWorld Florida in Orlando, scratched, bruised and draped over 18-year-old male Tilikum, the largest killer whale in captivity. The 27-year-old, later identified as a man with a history of mental illness, apparently made his way past security at SeaWorld, remaining in the park after it had closed. Wearing only his underwear, the man either jumped, fell or was pulled into Tilikum’s huge tank. A medical examiner concluded the man suffered hypothermia and drowned. Sea World Animal Profiles; Orlando Sentinel, July 6, 1999.
#64 1999/08/16 Sea World Texas, USA Kayla 10-year-old female Kayla became aggressive with a trainer during a waterwork sequence in the show after several behaviours without reinforcement, in combination with social problems between Kayla and adult female Winnie Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010
2000s
#65 2000s Sea World California, USA Corky 2 34-year-old female Corky 2 prevents a trainer from exiting the water by rostrum “blocking”. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision September 2010
#66 2000s Sea World Florida, USA Ikaika Young male Ikaika has a history of aggression, often of a sexual nature, which began with an attempt to breed a young calf at SeaWorld shortly before his transfer to Canada. SeaWorld’s veterinarians then sedated Ikaika twice daily with Valium to “try to mellow him out.” “We’ve already seen some of the precursors (of a human attack) up there, meaning he’s grabbed boots, he’s grabbed targets, he’s grabbed an arm before,” Chuck Tompkins, a senior executive at SeaWorld and head animal trainer, said in an affidavit. Those are signs Ikaika is testing his environment and seeing what he can do, Tompkins told the court. “And if you’re not aware of all the little things that killer whales do, you can get somebody really, really hurt,” Tompkins said in his affidavit. “I’ve got grave concerns on the safety of the staff and inevitably the safety of the animal because of the lack of change.” Liam Casey, Custody of killer whale plays out in court, Toronto Star, July 16, 2011.
#67 early 2000’s Sea World Florida, USA Tuar While a trainer was retrieving an article from the back of the mouth, young male Tuar clamped down on the trainer’s arm and held tight for several moments. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010
#68 early 2000’s Sea World Florida, USA Tuar Young male Tuar was involved in one swim over a surfaced trainer during waterwork with another young male, Tekoa. He did respond to a recall after two attempts. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010
#69 mid 2000’s Sea World Texas, USA Tuar Since his move to Texas in April 2004, young male Tuar has opened his mouth towards trainers on a few occasions while in the water with him. This behaviour seems to present itself when sequences are predictable, and has been during solo waterwork only. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010
#70 mid 2000’s Port of Nagoya Aquarium, Japan Ku Female Ku lunges at trainer. Video
#71 2001 Kamogawa Sea World, Japan Bingo 19-year-old male Bingo pushed his trainer through and under water during a show. Story on internet sites but no original source known.
#72 2001/08/01 Nanki Shirahama Adventure World, Japan Ran, Goro 13-year-old female Ran and 17-year-old male Goro broke a trainer’s leg during a show. Story on internet sites but no original source known.
#73 2002 Sea World California, USA Ulises 25-year-old male Ulises was doing a waterwork session in “A” pool. His trainer was on his back and wanted him to move closer to the acrylic by giving him the cue to “steer” him in a directional way. Ulises did not know this behaviour. Instead, he took this as a finger roll, the trainer fell off and Ulises began to go on a descent. He ignored the trainer on the porch trying to receive him and turned around to go back towards his trainer in the water. He turned ventral and scooped her up, and then started to become erect. She was able to get off at the porch and reinforce him. He was calm. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010
#74 2002/07/31 Sea World California, USA Orkid 13-year-old female Orkid was given the opportunity to rehearse pulling a trainer into the water by her bootie (sic!). After placing a foot in Orkid’s mouth several times Orkid pulled the trainer in the water and pulled the bootie off. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010
#75 2002/08/07 Sea World California, USA Splash, Orkid A female SeaWorld trainer was hospitalized and recovering from a broken arm after an incident at Shamu Stadium on Wednesday. The 28-year-old Tamaree was doing poolside training with 12-year-old male Splash and 13-year-old female Orkid. “She was playing with the whales, talking to them,” said SeaWorld spokeswoman Darla Davis. “The next thing we know, as it appears from the video, she was pulled into the water.” The park has its own video from a pool camera, and it also reviewed a video taken by a visitor who was recording his children nearby. Park officials said the trainer swam out of the water on her own. She was taken to a local hospital, where a pin was put in her arm. Doctors also are monitoring scrapes for possible infection. Shanna McCord, San Diego Union-Tribune, August 8, 2002.
#76 2003 Sea World Texas, USA Kayla 14-year-old female Kayla had refused multiple separations prior to the show opening. She proceeded to perform abnormally high bows on a fast swim cue, came back and received an LRS(* see below), performed another set of bows on the fast swim. She was then asked for a line up, tactile was applied and she lined up with a slight lean. As the trainer backed over the wall, she then came out of the line up towards him with her mouth open. No contact was made. She then performed a head bobbing behaviour and split to the front pool. After several minutes staff attempted control and they were able to separate her to the back pool to continue the show. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010
#77 2003/08/01 Sea World Texas, USA Kyuquot During a portion of the show, 16-year-old male Kyuquot refused to let a trainer exit the pool. He did not become aggressive, but refused callback tones and slaps, and would not allow the trainer to leave the pool. The trainer was able to get close enough to the glass to pull himself out very quickly, and Kyuquot then proceeded to fast swim around the pool, followed by sliding out at stage. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010
#78 October 2003 Sea World Texas, USA Kayla After the opening segment of a show, 15-year-old female Kayla refused to separate into the back pool for the ballet. She had been holding under control in the back during the “trainer intro”, began dipping her head under the surface, and then became “big-eyed”. It was decided then not to use her for waterwork during that show. She then refused separations to the back pool in a variety of contexts. During attempts to separate any of the animals for the show, she fluke splashed a trainer, and later motioned her head (mouth open) towards a trainer’s hand. No injury occurred. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010
#79 2004/05/17 Sea World California, USA Orkid 15-year-old female Orkid bumped a trainer’s thigh. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010
#80 2004/07/27 Sea World Texas, USA Kyuquot 12-year-old male Kyuquot repeatedly slammed trainer Steve Aibel underwater during a show. Aibel, who was uninjured, had trained Kyuquot for 10 years. Kyuquot refused a rocket hop during a show, then repeated it well. However, Kyuquot then refused to allow the trainer to exit the pool. He then proceeded to swim over the trainer, blocking any exit from the pool for two to three minutes. He refused several callback attempts, including tones, hand slaps, and attempts at control by trainers in various positions around the pool. Once the trainer was close to the middle of the pool, Kyuquot then calmed down, finally drifting close to the stage, where the trainer was able to quickly exit. During the whole incident, Kyuquot never once opened his mouth on the trainer. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010; SeaWorld San Antonio Killer Whale Trainer Has Close Cal, KSAT San Antonio, July 27, 2004; Video.
#81 2004/08/22 Sea World California, USA Ulises 27-year-old male Ulises was doing a Scuba session with his trainer in “A” pool (a spotter Scuba diver was also at the bottom), when he looped around, became erect, and then swam on top of his trainer. He ignored a hand slap and tone before responding to a second tone. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010
#82 Summer 2004 Sea World Texas, USA Kayla During a night show, 15-year-old female Kayla had performed the first two songs of the show acceptably, and then did two ventral squirt bow cues. She responded well to both LRS (* see below) that occurred, and then received a primary reinforcement for the second LRS. She was then asked for a fluke splash to the back, and then asked to separate to the back pool. During the separation attempt, she lunged at her trainer, although no contact occurred. After several minutes, she separated into the back pool, allowing the show to continue. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010
#83 2004/10/18 Sea World California, USA Kasatka A trainer was attempting to Scuba dive in “E” pool with 28-year-old female Kasatka and her 3-year-old male calf Nakai. The trainer did not have approval to swim with fins. He may have brushed her with his fins and she became aggressive, mouthing fins and Scuba gear. She eventually responded to a hand slap stage call. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010
#84 2005/04/01 Sea World Florida, USA Taku A SeaWorld Orlando trainer is expected to return to work soon after being injured by an “overly excited” killer whale, a theme-park spokeswoman said Sunday. 11-year-old male Taku, one of nine at the park that go by the stage name Shamu, swam rapidly past the trainer and circled back, bumping him repeatedly during the Shamu Adventure show at 12:30 p.m. Friday, spokeswoman Becca Bides said. “The trainer maintained control of the animal,” Bides said, and the show continued uninterrupted. The trainer, supervisor Sam Davis, was taken to Sand Lake Hospital for unspecified minor injuries and released the same day, she said.
Additional eyewitness account: “The trainer and Taku were about to slide on the slide out at the end of the show when Taku completly stopped and started “bumping” the trainer. The trainer was male and he finally swam out of the tank. I knew something was wrong because non of the whale except Kalina wanted to perform. Then they finally got Taku out to splash people at the end of the show, when this incident took place.”
Christopher Sherman, Killer whale jolts trainer, Orlando Sentinel, April 4, 2005.
#85 2005/04/14 Sea World California, USA Orkid During a two whale – one trainer interaction, 16-year-old female Orkid initially responded to a stage call but quickly reached back and pulled a trainer by her ankle to the bottom of “A” pool. Orkid responded to the call back tone. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010
#86 2005/05/06 Sea World California, USA Orkid 16-year-old female Orkid grabbed a trainer’s foot and dunked the trainer. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010
#87 2006 Sea World California, USA Corky 2 After a good playtime session including waterwork in “A” pool, while sitting at stage with a few trainers next to her, 40-year-old female Corky 2 began to mouth a trainer’s ponytail. She corrected quickly once asked by a trainer on stage to sit “heads up”. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision September 2010
#88 October 2006 Sea World Texas, USA Kayla After performing a sequence in the show, 17-year-old female Kayla was in the stage slide out with her trainer receiving secondary reinforcement. As the trainer attempted to point her back in the water, Kayla lunged at thim with her mouth open, contacting him and throwing him several feet. She immediately came back to control, separated to the back pool perfectly, and was very good behaviourally the rest of the day. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010
#89 November 2006 Sea World Texas, USA Kayla After performing a med pool separation well, 17-year-old female Kayla was receiving various secondary reinforcers while the gate closed when she pulled away from the wall. She was asked to come back to control, which she did. After a whistle bridge, the trainer went to feed her. Kayla lunged at her, knocking a bucket off the wall. No injury occurred. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010
#90 2006/11/15 Sea World California, USA Orkid A SeaWorld trainer was injured, when 18-year-old female Orkid grabbed senior trainer Brian Rokeach by the leg, pulled him to the bottom of the pool and held him under water for about 26 seconds. Orkid released Rokeach after Peters repeatedly slapped the water, the signal for the animals to return to the front of the Shamu Stadium stage. Rokeach suffered a torn ankle ligament but was not hospitalized. In response to the incident, SeaWorld increased to five the number of trainers who must be available during live performances and other times when trainers are in the water with the whales. Sea World Animal Profiles; Terry Rodgers, Marine park cited after whale attack, San Diego Union-Tribune, March 4, 2007; Video.
#91 2006/11/29 Sea World California, USA Kasatka 30-year-old female Kasatka attacked Kenneth Peters, SeaWorld San Diego’s most experienced trainer, during a show at Shamu Stadium. Kasatka grabbed the trainer’s foot and dove to the bottom of the 36-foot tank. They surfaced less than a minute later, but she ignored other trainers’ signals to draw her to the side. The orca dove a second time with the trainer for about a minute. Peters only escaped after other trainers worked a large safety net between the two. He suffered puncture wounds and a broken left foot. That’s the second reported attack by Kasatka on Peters. Sea World Animal Profiles; Pauline Repard, Killer whale bites trainer, takes him to tank bottom, San Diego Union-Tribune, November 30, 2006;Killer whale attacks Sea World trainer, CNN, November 30, 2006; Tony Perry, Killer whales endanger park staff, state says, Los Angeles Times, March 2, 2007; OHAS report; 10 News video; Death at SeaWorld.
#92 2007/04/06 Sea World Texas, USA Tuar 7-year-old male Tuar opened and closed his mouth around a trainer’s leg after a dive in prior to the ballet sequence of the show. No injury occurred. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010
#93 2007/04/10 Sea World California, USA Orkid 18-year-old female Orkid was doing an Artificial Insemination session. She had been a bit vocal but was asked for the roll over behaviour for an ultrasound. The trainer then asked Orkid to perform a slide-out behaviour. She refused this behaviour and then swiped her head making contact with the trainer which resulted in the trainer falling over the wall. She did perform the slide-out behaviour after this. The 35-year-old trainer was taken to a hospital for examination and was found to have suffered minor injuries after the bump from the 5,900-pound whale. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010; KFMB-CBS, San Diego, April 11, 2007.
#94 2007/10/06 Loro Parque Tenerife, Spain Tekoa A trainer at the Loro Parque theme park on Tenerife is in hospital after she was injured this weekend during a training session with 6-year-old male Tekoa at the centre in Puerto de la Cruz. The Canarias 7 newspaper says the incident happened at the pre-show warm up on Saturday, when the orca crashed into the trainer, injuring her right lung and breaking her forearm in two places. She was rescued by two colleagues after the marine mammal dragged her down to the bottom of the pool. The trainer is now said to be stable after surgery on Saturday. Later it becomes know that the injured trainer is 29-year-old biologist Claudia Vollhardt from Germany, who has worked at the park since 2003. OME News write that it was a male orca that hit the trainer and dragged her down after the impact. Then that same animal grabbed the trainer by the arm and brought her back up to the surface. Trainer attacked by killer whale at Loro Parque theme park on Tenerife, Typically Spanish, October 7, 2007.
#95 January 2008 Sea World Florida, USA Takara 16-year-old female Takara hit a trainer with her tail fluke, who was smacked off the slide-out. Video.
#96 2008/03/18 Sea World California, USA Kasatka 32-year-old female Kasatka came out at a trainer. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010
#97 July 2008 Marineland Antibes, France Valentin Not further detailed incident between 12-year-old male Valentin and trainer Nico, not officially reported. Story on internet sites but no original source known.
#98 2008/09/09 Marineland Antibes, France Freya 27-year-old female Freya pushed a trainer through and under water (not as part of the training or show). Video.
#99 2008/09/10 Sea World California, USA Kasatka 32-year-old female Kasatka came out at a trainer. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010
#100 Spring 2009 Loro Parque Tenerife, Spain Skyla In the spring of 2009, during a public show, 5-year-old female Skyla started pushing her trainer around the pool and up against the pool wall. Shortly thereafter, special protocols (limits on water work and a mandate that only senior trainers work with her) that had been standard practice for Tekoa after the incident in 2007 were enacted for Skyla as well. Tim Zimmermann, Blood in the Water, Outside Magazine, July 18, 2011.
#101 2009/07/17 Marineland Antibes, France Wikie 8-year-old female Wikie pushed a trainer through and under water (not as part of the training or show). Eyewitness account on internet site.
#102 September 2009 Loro Parque Tenerife, Spain Keto Not further detailed incident between 14-year-old male Keto and trainer Brian Rokeach, noted by fellow trainer Alexis Martinez. Tim Zimmermann, Blood in the Water, Outside Magazine, July 18, 2011.
#103 2009/12/24 Loro Parque Tenerife, Spain Keto A Loro Parque trainer has been killed by one of the whales during a training session. The trainer was 29-year-old Alexis Martínez, and the accident occurred at 10.30 am this morning during the first training session for the Christmas Special planned for the New Year. The other 7 trainers were also present in the training session. As far as can be determined right now, Alexis was hit by 14-year-old male killer whale Keto, and his death was caused by drowning because he was under the water unconscious for several minutes before he could be rescued. The autopsy report on Martínez was telling and states bluntly that his was a “violent death.” It describes multiple cuts and bruises, the collapse of both lungs, fractures of the ribs and sternum, a lacerated liver, severely damaged vital organs, and puncture marks “consistent with the teeth of an orca.” It concludes that the immediate cause of death was fluid in the lungs (i.e., drowning) but that the fundamental cause was “mechanical asphyxiation due to compression and crushing of the thoracic abdomen with injuries to the vital organs.” In other words, at some point Keto probably slammed into Martínez with such force that he caved in his chest. Trainer dies in accident at Killer Whale park in Tenerife, Typically Spanish, December 24, 2009;Tim Zimmermann, Blood in the Water, Outside Magazine, July 18, 2011.
2010s
#104 2010 Sea World California, USA Orkid 21-year-old female Orkid has been sliding out in various slide-out areas on her free time which has resulted in possibly dangerous scenarios for guests at the Dine with Shamu area. Changes are (were?) being made to the areas to help decrease the frequency of this behaviour in areas where person might be injured. Sea World Animal Profiles, Revision June 2010
#105 2010/02/24 Sea World Florida, USA Tilikum A veteran animal trainer whose dream was to work at SeaWorld Florida was killed Wednesday when one of the show’s killer whales dragged her underwater. SeaWorld said that 29-year-old male Tilikum pulled Dawn Brancheau, 40, into the orca’s tank about 2pm. Witnesses told that the animal suddenly grabbed Brancheau by the upper arm, tossed her around in his mouth and pulled her beneath the water as dozens of tourists looked on in horror. The coroner catalogued a fractured neck, a broken jaw, and a dislocated elbow and knee. Sea World Animal Profiles; Jason Garcia and Susan Jacobsen, Animal trainer killed at Sea World, Los Angeles Times, February 25, 2010;Tim Zimmermann, The Killer in the Pool, Outside Magazine, July 30, 2010.
#106 July 2012 Six Flags Vallejo, USA Shouka 9-year-old female Shouka repeatedly lunged at a trainer. Without Me There Is No You (Blog incl. video)

Here’s a little analysis regarding the killer whales which were involved in the incidents. It is telling that there are only very few incidents where the killer whale involved was still with its mother.
LRS:
To eliminate undesired behavior, SeaWorld trainers have developed a training technique called the Least Reinforcing Scenario (LRS). The LRS follows an undesired behavior. If a trainer requests a particular behavior and the animal responds with inappropriate behavior, the trainer must be careful not to reinforce the response. The trainer delivers an LRS – they stand still and do nothing. This way, they are least likely to deliver a reinforcer.
(in Animal Training at SeaWorld & Busch Gardens, Application of Philosophy: Training Techniques)
Marine mammal veterinarian Jay Sweeney:
“Aggression expressed by killer whales toward their trainers is a matter of grave concern. Show situations involving water behaviors with trainers and orcas have become popular in recent years. Aggressive manifestations toward trainers have included bumping, biting, grabbing, dunking, and holding trainers on the bottom of pools preventing their escape. Several situations have resulted in potentially life-threatening incidents. In a few such cases, we can attribute this behavior to disease or to the presence of frustrating or confusing situations, but in other cases, there have been no clear casual factors.”
(in Marine Mammal Behavioral Diagnostics, L. Dierauf (Ed.). 1990. Handbook of Marine Mammal Medicine, pp. 53-72.)
OSHA report on the Kasatka incident in November 2006:
“The contributing factors to the accident, in the simplest of terms, is that swimming with captive orcas is inherently dangerous and if someone hasn’t been killed already it is only a matter of time before it does happen. The trainers recognize this risk and train not for if an attack will happen but when.”
(in Occupational Health and Safety report, March 2, 2007)
SeaWorld response to OSHA report:
“‘We have proven over 40 years that we are very safe,’ said Mike Scarpuzzi, vice president of zoological operations at SeaWorld San Diego and a former whale trainer.”
(in Los Angeles Times, March 2, 2007; under pressure from SeaWorld the OHAS report was rewritten and the harsh critique all but eliminated)
Note: it seems quite obvious that keeping the top predator of our oceans in captivity was and always will be a dangerous business for all involved. Especially for the animals…

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Celebrate National Pi Day on 3/14

Pi Day Countdown From The Seattle Pi
While celebrating a numerical ratio may seem geeky to some, others find Pi to be sublime – in their view an irrational number that can transcendentally go on and on, never repeating itself into infinity, yet that is vital to everyday math, definitely deserves recognition.

And gradually, since it was first started 25 years ago, the celebration on March 14th has developed a following. In years past it has been overshadowed by the boisterous Saint Patrick’s Day celebration which follows a few days later, but this year with the box office success of “The Life of Pi”, maybe more people will take note of this significant day and join in the celebration.
Appropriately, Pi lovers dine on pies on this date, from pizza pie to pumpkin pie. They tell math jokes, write pi songs, rap, and make videos. Celebrations are often carefully timed around the first digits in the infinite string – for instance, 3/14 at 1:59 pm is the number 3.14159.

A blogger for Scientific American wrote in an article titled How Much Pi Do You Need:

Susan Gomez, manager of the International Space Station Guidance Navigation and Control (GNC) subsystem for NASA, said that calculations involving pi use 15 digits for GNC code and 16 for the Space Integrated Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation System (SIGI). SIGI is the program that controls and stabilizes spacecraft during missions.
…So NASA scientists keep the space station operational with only 15 or 16 significant digits of pi, and the fundamental constants of the universe only require 32. Yet in 2006 Akira Haraguchi of Japan recited 100,000 digits of pi from memory in 16 ½ hours, stopping for five minutes every hour to replenish his strength with onigiri rice balls. And the world record for number of digits of pi computed is 10 trillion, at least as of October 2011. Pi computation can be used to test computer precision, but I think this is a symptom of pi-mania rather than a legitimate need for pi. Other numbers could be used just as meaningfully, but we choose to use pi.

In this clip from Star Trek, Pi even saves the day!  It’s definitely appropriate to celebrate this number that makes GPS possible…we’d be lost without it.

And by the way, if you have 10 minutes to spare, you can hear someone singing a randomized version of the first 100 digits here (purists note – it is not accurate, but that is artistic license at work).