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SeaWorld still has some tough choices to make

Posted on Thursday, March 11th, 2010 at 11:27 am by

Remember Tilikum, the killer whale that was responsible for the death of SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau? Well, almost two weeks after the accident, some tough decisions must be made as to the fate of the largest killer whale in captivity.

SeaWorld reports that they have yet to decide whether Tilikum, who is twice as large as any other performing orca,  will continue to perform in shows. At this point, he is available for viewing as he takes turns swimming in the public gallery. During this time, SeaWorld is reviewing its safety policy regarding orcas, and trainers have been instructed not to enter the water with the animals. This can become a huge problem due to the large revenues brought in by the orca shows. Denis Speigel, an industry consultant at International Theme Park Services said that “they are the identifiable icon of SeaWorld and responsible for generating hundreds of millions of dollars to that organization.”

So what’s the verdict? Jim Atchison, SeaWorld’s chief executive says that “We’re not in the business of punishing our animals.” It’s good to hear the orca’s owners say that euthanaisa is out of the question.

[via wsj.com]

Felicia has been keeping aquariums since the early 90s and has a keen interest in taxonomy, aquaculture, and seahorses. she is the former Liveaquaria Diver's Den photographer and now works for Philadelphia area's largest aquarium specialty store The Hidden Reef.

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