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Former SeaWorld trainer says that at the end of the day, Orcas are ‘just working for their food’ – October 20, 2015

In Conversation: Jeffrey Ventre

Jeffrey Ventre spent seven years as a whale and dolphin trainer at SeaWorld Orlando, during which time he became critical of the marine entertainment industry. Now a medical doctor in Washington, he has become a vocal opponent of the practice of keeping free ranging mammals in captivity. He has also worked to undermine SeaWorld’s claim that the trainer-cetacean relationship is at the heart of cetacean performances. Instead, he argues, marine entertainment shows are almost entirely incentivized through use of food. Ventre is featured in the book Death at SeaWorld, and in the movie Blackfish. Speaking recently with Sonar, a nonprofit cetacean research and advocacy group, Ventre discussed his work… more

by: Laura Bridgeman

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‘Animal Abuse and Harassment is a Pervasive Problem in the Wildlife Film Industry’ – August 25, 2015

In Conversation with wildlife filmmaker Chris Palmer

Chris Palmer is one of the world’s foremost wildlife documentary experts. Over the course of his nearly three-decade long career in filmmaking, Palmer has spearheaded the production of more than 300 hours of original programming for prime-time television and the IMAX film industry — work that won him and his colleagues many awards, including two Emmys and an Oscar nomination (for the film Dolphins). Palmer has swum with dolphins and whales, come face-to-face with sharks and Kodiak bears, camped with wolf packs, and waded through Everglade swamps. The veteran filmmaker is president of One World One Ocean Foundation and the MacGillivray Freeman Films Educational Foundation, which produce and… more

by: Laura Bridgeman

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SeaWorld Attempts to Muzzle Academic and Scientist Critical of Cetacean Captivity – March 6, 2015

Effort linked to company’s portrayal of any person or group who opposes captivity as being “radicals”

When it comes to silencing those who cause damage to their bottom line, SeaWorld clearly has no qualms with pulling dirty tricks.  At the American Cetacean Society's annual conference last November, SeaWorld defied convention and requested that a panel that included scientists who are staunchly anti-captivity not be recorded.

Now, one of those panelists is speaking out.

Orca at SeaWorld, San DiegoPhoto by Mike LiuDr Thomas White says SeaWorld’s current financial troubles are self-inflected due to its management’s failure to recognize the growing body of scientific evidence about cetacean intelligence and shifting public opinion about how animals should be treated.

Dr. Thomas White,… more

by: Laura Bridgeman

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Where in the World is Narnia, the Sochi Olympics Orca? – February 4, 2014

Activists have lost track of two captive killer whales slated to perform at the winter games’ opening ceremony

No one seems to know whereabouts of the two orcas, a female named Narnia and an unnamed juvenile male, that were reportedly going to perform at the upcoming Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

News that the two killer whales were scheduled to turn tricks at a dolphinarium in Sochi set off a furor among animal lovers and conservationists across the world last month.  An online petition demanding that White Sphere, the Russian company organizing the orca transfer, not display the whales had 453,441 signatures at last count.

photo of an orca breaching at seaphoto by Miles Ritter on FlickrAmid international outcry… more

by: Laura Bridgeman

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Taiji Dolphin Slaughter Generates Worldwide Condemnation – January 23, 2014

More than 250 dolphins captured, including albino calf, at least two dozen slaughtered for meat

The dolphin hunters in Taiji have kicked off the new year with a murderous and greed-driven rampage, their dolphin drive hunt in mid-January being one of the biggest in recent memory.

On January 16, five separate pods of bottlenose dolphins, totaling an estimated 250 individuals and including one baby albino, were brutally driven into the killing cove, made famous by the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove.

photo of dolphins penned by nets in a bloody covephoto by Ric O'Barry's Dolphin Project

Over the five harrowing days in captivity, families were torn apart as the fishermen collected a reported 52 “show-quality” dolphins to be shipped to the… more

by: Laura Bridgeman

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