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Mon Mar 31, 2014, 07:33 PM

SeaWorld Puts Its Whales On Valium-Like Drug, Documents Show

Justin Carissimo

The theme park chain SeaWorld, already facing wide criticism from animal rights advocates, treats some of its marine mammals with psychoactive drugs, according to a document obtained by BuzzFeed.

Trainers give their orcas, also known as killer whales, the psychoactive drug benzodiazepine, according to the sworn affidavit filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in a dispute between the park company and the rival company Marineland over the transport of a prized killer whale, Ikaika, to SeaWorld.

Benzodiazepines are a type of drug that includes the common human medications Valium and Xanax. The orcas’ mental health issues, SeaWorld’s critics say, are a direct result of their keeping the mammals in captivity.

The questions about the drugs given to the whales, which also include a range of antibiotics, come as SeaWorld is reeling from a critical documentary. Blackfish tells the story of a killer whale named Tilikum, who’s been accused of killing three people but is still retained by SeaWorld. Tilikum’s genes are found in 54% of the whales in SeaWorld’s current whale collection, and has fathered at least 21 whales from artificial insemination.

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http://www.buzzfeed.com/justincarissimo/seaworld-puts-its-whales-on-valium-like-drug-documents-show

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Reply SeaWorld Puts Its Whales On Valium-Like Drug, Documents Show (Original post)
n2doc Mar 2014 OP
MoonRiver Mar 2014 #1
scarletwoman Mar 2014 #2
clffrdjk Mar 2014 #5
CFLDem Mar 2014 #3
MoonRiver Mar 2014 #6
Glimmer of Hope Mar 2014 #7
HipChick Mar 2014 #9
CFLDem Mar 2014 #10
MoonRiver Mar 2014 #11
whopis01 Apr 2014 #15
CFLDem Apr 2014 #16
MoonRiver Apr 2014 #17
auntsue Apr 2014 #14
Glimmer of Hope Mar 2014 #4
HipChick Mar 2014 #8
MoonRiver Mar 2014 #12
htuttle Mar 2014 #13

Response to n2doc (Original post)

Mon Mar 31, 2014, 07:34 PM

1. More horrific evidence that Sea World needs to become extinct!

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Response to MoonRiver (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 31, 2014, 07:37 PM

2. Totally agree! (nt)

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Response to MoonRiver (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 31, 2014, 07:44 PM

5. Agreed

 

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Mon Mar 31, 2014, 07:43 PM

3. I'm sorry is there an issue here?

 

Whales seemed pretty happy this weekend...

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Response to CFLDem (Reply #3)

Mon Mar 31, 2014, 07:45 PM

6. WTF?

Did you read the OP? These sentient beings are being pumped up with psychotrophic medications so they don't flip out due to the horrors of their enslavement!

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Response to CFLDem (Reply #3)

Mon Mar 31, 2014, 07:47 PM

7. Watch Black Fish if you can. Whales should never be held captive for human amusement.

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Response to Glimmer of Hope (Reply #7)

Mon Mar 31, 2014, 07:51 PM

9. After watching Black Fish

this shit just breaks my heart...

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Response to Glimmer of Hope (Reply #7)

Mon Mar 31, 2014, 07:54 PM

10. Ya I watched it.

 

"Mammal eating whale eats mammal"

No surprise it got snubbed. Went to SeaWorld the next day just so I could marvel at Tilly in the flesh.

My favorite part, though, was seeing the pilot whales they were rehabilitating!

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Response to CFLDem (Reply #10)

Mon Mar 31, 2014, 07:59 PM

11. Rehabilitation is one thing. Enslavement quite another.

Sea World should stick to rehabilitation and end enslavement.

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Response to CFLDem (Reply #10)

Tue Apr 1, 2014, 04:04 PM

15. If you actually watched it and that is what you got out of it

I am amazed.

When I watched it I saw, amongst other things, the story of a whale that has been systematically abused for the majority of its life. Not merely by the humans keeping it in confinement but by the other whales that it is kept with. Male orcas do not normally spend their life in close contact with females in a pod. The females that tillikum was housed with repeatedly attempted to drive him away, raking him with their teeth, leaving gashes in his body on a regular basis. In the wild he would have kept his distance but he was given no choice.

Sea World spends an incredibley tiny portion of their revenue on rehabilitation efforts. And while they may help some they certainly shorten the lives of the orcas that they keep. Their whales barely live to be a quarter of the age that a whale in the wild lives to.

I understand people's fascination with seeing these animals. I get the desire. Full disclosure: I worked with sea world Orlando in the early 90s. I helped develop some of the transducer systems that they use to communicate with the whales. I actually thought back then I was doing something to help further research and discovery and the study of these creatures. I now know what a farce that was and it sickens me that I had anything to do with the cruelty that happens there.

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Response to whopis01 (Reply #15)

Tue Apr 1, 2014, 04:36 PM

16. That's pretty cool you got to work there.

 

I think it'd be really awesome to be a trainer.

But anyways I saw a Tilikum that was abused by sealand and rescued by SeaWorld.

I don't think it's perfect. I wish they would turn the lake they have at Orlando into a giant home for them.

But I think what they do is more good then harm. And I that's why I had the reaction I did.

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Response to whopis01 (Reply #15)

Tue Apr 1, 2014, 05:21 PM

17. Thank you for that insightful post.

I had the horrible feeling while reading it that those who die young at Sea Hell are the luck ones.

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Response to CFLDem (Reply #3)

Tue Apr 1, 2014, 02:04 AM

14. "seemed" is the operative word

Imagine spending all your time in you bathroom, and having to do a "trick" for every bit of food.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Mon Mar 31, 2014, 07:43 PM

4. Horrible!

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Mon Mar 31, 2014, 07:50 PM

8. This is fucking disgusting...anyone who supports Seaworld

has blood on their hands..

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Response to HipChick (Reply #8)

Mon Mar 31, 2014, 08:02 PM

12. YES!

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Mon Mar 31, 2014, 08:40 PM

13. Whales. On drugs.

I've imagined a lot of crazy stuff in my time, but I have to say that the thought of whales on drugs has never crossed my mind once before today.

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