Tag Archives: The Orca Project

SeaWorld’s Disasterous Chemical Use Sent Employees to the Hospital in the Past, Alerted Homeland Security, and Poses Health Risks to the Animals

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.

Orlando Sentinel (2001)

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.

Investigation Finds Hazardous Chemicals with Killer Whale Food Supply at SeaWorld (2012)

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.

SeaWorld’s Battle With The Government – Check ‘The Orca Project’ for Background Information and Updates

Dawn Brancheau and Tilikum

If you have not yet discovered The Orca Project, now is a great time to visit their website:   “Since its inception in 2010, The Orca Project has collaborated with some of the world’s top marine mammal experts, caring professionals and individuals from diverse backgrounds to cover the debate on orca captivity, the death of Dawn Brancheau and the history and current conditions of Tilikum’s confinement.”
Beginning Monday, 9/19/11, SeaWorld is going to court to fight the $75,000 fine leveled on them for “willful” safety violations associated with the trainer’s death last year, and The Orca Project has organized a page that provides links to all the background information on the death (including the autopsy report), and will update the proceedings this week frequently.

From The Orca Project:

We also encourage former and present trainers, marine mammal park employees (in the U.S. and abroad), scientists, authors, individuals and the media to contact us at info@theorcaproject.com to continue this important work. Confidentiality is assured if you wish to remain anonymous.

Please check this post often during the week. We will be providing updates from the court hearing in Florida and including them at the bottom of this post as the week’s events unfold. Also be sure to follow us on FaceBook and Twitter (@TheOrcaProject) for all the latest news and reports.