Another reason why whales and dolphins don’t belong in captivity…
SeaWorld not only uses strong chemicals to keep the orcas’ pools sparkly clean, they store the products all over their facilities – including next to fish and supplements that are then fed to the whales. These chemicals are easily made into rudimentary bombs – which has Homeland Security worried at one point, and an accidental mixing of chemicals resulted in SeaWorld employees being hospitalized. More recently, The Orca Project (see below) exposed the continued carelessness of SeaWorld’s handling of the chemicals. But SeaWorld is stuck using harsh chemicals in the pools, unless they train their animals to get out of the water for potty breaks.
Orlando Sentinel (2008)
SeaWorld Orlando could become a target for terrorists trying to obtain chemicals, according to a preliminary review of businesses, universities and other facilities across the country by the federal government.
The finding by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is tentative.
The 200-acre theme park is one of about 7,000 locations nationwide that Homeland Security identified this year as sites with potentially dangerous chemicals that could be vulnerable to attack or theft by terrorists.
The continuing review is part of Homeland Security’s year-old Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards, which are aimed at tightening oversight at locations where large amounts of one or more of more than 300 dangerous chemicals are stored.
The parks do not have large stockpiles of dangerous chemicals in any one location, but they do have many scattered throughout their sprawling resorts for use in everything from disinfectants to fireworks.
Six SeaWorld Orlando employees exposed to noxious fumes of chlorine gas were treated at a hospital after a contractor mistakenly mixed two potent chemicals Wednesday morning, authorities said. A SeaWorld spokesman said a worker “inadvertently mixed the chemicals [liquid alum and chlorine bleach] together” while delivering the pool-cleaning substances to a back area of Discovery Cove. The cloud of chlorine gas soon spread and sickened the six Discovery Cove employees. Activities at the park were not affected.
February 28, 2012
Through the Freedom of Information Act, The Orca Project acquired 71 photos taken at the scene during OSHA’s investigation (more photos can be seen HERE). Three of the pictures taken from inside a food storage area of the Fish House at Shamu Stadium depict shelving lined with boxes of Knox brand gelatin, a product widely used for enrichment, supplemental hydration, and for delivery of vitamins and medication to the killer whales. Stored on the same shelves with the unopened boxes of gelatin appear to be containers of two known harmful chemicals— bleach and a previously opened bottle of compressor oil.