Last week a fascinating show was aired on WMFE.org, the Central Florida NPR station, that looked at what SeaWorld needs to do to complete its recovery from the twin blows of a deflated economy and the death of a trainer who was attacked by the largest killer whale in the pod.
SeaWorld decided not to send a representative to take part in the show, but I found that the 1st half of the show was reasonably balanced and had some new insight I hadn’t considered. Alas, the second half of the show featured a decidedly one-sided view of what it was like to be a trainer and work with killer whales.
The episode is now online or you can download it as a podcast and is worth your time if you’re interested in the future of SeaWorld. Myself, as long as training is improved and safety procedures followed, I’d like to see trainers back in the water with the whales. The show has greater power when audience members see how close our future is tied to the survival of the ocean. Putting a barrier there dulls the impact.
Another group that’s interested in SeaWorld is PETA (people for the ethical treatment of animals). But rather than see improved safety in the pools, they want a judge to declare that keeping animals as part of a show, is the equivalent of slavery. I find that to be a pretty extreme position, but a judge didn’t see it that way and actually heard preliminary motions in the case. Let’s hope this case is thrown out on it’s ear before we’re having to free all the fish from our aquariums, dogs from our kennels, or cows from their ranges.