Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Meeting Shamu: An Early Awakening

 Those of us who oppose captivity have arrived at this point in time united against the cruelty and inhumanity of what is nothing more than a cold calculating business often disguised as conservation or education but that is an illusion designed only to protect shareholders, do damage control and prolong the myth that captivity is good for us and dolphins, to any caring, unselfish persons this is blatantly wrong and many of us arrive at this conclusion in a myriad of ways and at different times of our lives.  A little earlier today I read Kathleen Cain's Facebook post on her visit to SeaWorld in Ohio in 1970 and am grateful to Kathleen for allowing us to share her story here.....


The year Seaworld of Ohio opened in 1970, I was nine, and I lived in St. Clair Shores, Michigan. My hardworking, middle class father saved what little spare money he earned, to take my family to see Shamu. We were so excited, but upon arrival, I stared into the eyes of the most captivating, beautiful creature, that I had ever seen. What I saw was sadness, loneliness, fear, and desperation. He spoke to my heart, and I fled up the stairs of the stadium in tears. I was not a crybaby child, so my parents were shocked, when I could not catch my breath, and begged them to help me get him out of there. They were speechless, and I fled back down the stairs to see him closer again,  When he pressed his face toward me, through the glass, I felt my heart crushing the breath out of me, and I threw up. My mom had to leave with me, and my dad was so pissed. I tried to make her understand, but that was then, and this is now.

When I turned twenty, I got my first job as a travel agent, I flew to Seattle for a familiarization trip. We took a boat out and saw a wild pod. That was the day that I cared less about myself, and more about the "cause".  I fell in love with Washington State, and talked about moving there, but unfortunately was not brave enough to do so.

So, here I am, a million years later, in Florida, hoping that the insanity of mammal captivity will end.

ORCA DEATHS AT SEA WORLD PARKS
1. Shamu - 6 years
2. Ramu - 15 years
3. Kilroy - 11.5 years
4. Kandu - 4 years
5. Orky2 - 20 years
6. Nootka - 20 years
7. Winston - 15.5 years
8. Kandu3 - 4 years
9. Sandy - 4.5 years
10. Kona - 6 years
11. Canuck - 2.5 years
12. Frankie - 5 months
13. Kandu - 15 years
14. Kenau - 15 years
15. Gudron - 19.5 years
16. Canuck2 - 4 years
17. Kona2 - 10 years
18. Kandu5 - 12 years
19. Winnie - 24.5 years
20. Kotar - 16.5 years
21. Shawn? - 1 year
22. Kahana - 12 years
23. Nootka4 - 12 years
24. Haidi2 - 9 years
25. Samoa - 8.5 years
26. Baby Shamu2 - 11 days
27. Katerina - 10.5 years
28. Splash - 15.5 years
29. Kenau's baby died in womb
30. Samoa's baby died at birth
31. Taku - 14 years
32. Nyar - 2 years
33. No Name- - 8 days
34. Hayln - 2 1/2 years
35. Taima - almost 21 years along with her stillborn baby
36. Bjossa - 21 years
37. Haida 2's baby died in womb
38. Stillborn to Kalina
39. Stillborn to Gudron
40. Stillborn to Nootka 4
41. Kona 2's baby died in womb
42. Corky 2 had miscarriage
43. Kandu5 had stillborn
44. Unna had stillborn
45. Sumar - 12
 46. Kalina - 25 years
*This does not include all the stillbirths and miscarriages or any deaths I can't find information on or were not reported.

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