Good Seaworlds Killer Whale Accidents And Keeping Them In Captivity Essay Example

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Slavery, Whales, Literature, Killer, Tilikum, Killer Whales, Time, Life

Pages: 6

Words: 1650

Published: 2021/02/16

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SeaWorld Parks

Corporate Mailing Address:
This is the proposal, in the given format as required from the material provided. I promised to write to the audience, and now I have given shape to this final proposal which I am presenting herewith. In this proposal, I have suggested ‘The Harmful Effects of Keeping Orcas in Captivity’. To complete this work, I had investigated the cruelty of keeping orcas in captivity. In my investigation I discovered the differences between orcas living in the wild and orcas living in captivity. Differences included: life span, behavior, and habitat.
After researching on this information, I recommend that SeaWorld relieves the captive orcas from performing and breeding, releases the young orcas back to the wild, while letting the older orcas live-out their remaining lives in captivity. I need three years to carry out and implement this proposal; the schedule is on page __. The proposal will cost SeaWorld __; the costs are detailed on page __.
After researching many different solutions, this was the best recommendation I have for SeaWorld, as mentioned above. This recommendation is both humane and cost effective. If you have any questions after reviewing this information feel free to contact me at 201-555-9898.
I am writing this memo to address the public concern, including mine, for the well being of the orcas and the trainers. My recommendation is to release the young orcas to the wild and to retire the older orcas from performing. Let the older orcas live out their lives in and no longer be bred. This will reduce the number of attacks on trainers as well as address the concerns of the public, knowing that the orcas would no longer be bred and kept captive.
Throughout the several years in the past, the attacks on trainers have never stopped SeaWorld from continuing the orca shows. In fact, the most recent attack was one trainer Dawn Brancheau who was killed in 2010 by one of parks of largest orcas (Tilikum), which I would talk about later in this proposal. (Zimmermann, 2010).
Visual Aid which shows Dawn moments before she is attacked. Looks like there is not mistake and the attack is from the Orca under captivity. (Zimermann, 2010).
If we do not solve the problem more trainers will be at risk of losing their lives. Not only is the staff at risk but the orcas are as well. The orcas are kept in inadequate conditions in terms of size and health of the water tanks and this decreases their expectation of life.
The whales like tilikum are brought, torn away from their families. They are then kept for close to a year in a small cement tanks till they could be brought to their final place of destination. Then they are kept for years in captivity which makes them away from their natural habitats. The whale like Tilikum could strike the trainers is baffling. He had struck a well experienced trainer, which means that there has been a vent to the frustration under captivity which comes out in the form of attacks. There are more incident of attacks and it is definitely a cruelty against these living beings. This research is aimed to expose this cruelty and to provide a way out of this practice of captivity. The ultimate object should be to discontinue this practice completely which attracts many to the shows. It is also in the order of things that the people may also discontinue visiting such shows in the move to show displeasure against this practice and support the cause of compassion to animals. This will also prevent the attacks to the trainers.
Other aspect of this research is that if the practice cannot be stopped altogether then at least the conditions of this captive places be improved. At least the shows could be decreased in number and the young ones who are born in captivity could be released in to their natural habitats. It is clear that the displeasure and frustration among the orcas could possibly the reasons of the attack. As shown in one of the visual aids, perhaps the trainer had made no mistake and the experienced trainer was attacked by the orcas. There are similar incidents reported from across the world.
Whereas the complete discontinue of such practice may take time and needs an active movement and support from the social activists, media and Government, but till that time, it is also proposed that the conditions of the captive places be improved upon. This will mean the expenditure of some budget and the indication is just provided here. The recommendation is to release at least the young ones and retain the old ones. The old ones may not be made to breed in captivity and discontinue or decrease drastically the frequency of such shows.
An extensive research was done to complete the research in this context. The nature of the research is exploratory as it needs to explore the incidents happened similar to the one cited of Tilikum. Similar incidents have happened and this research explores the reasons of the incidents and analyzed these happenings. Hence the research process follows the best practices of the exploratory research as recommended for this type of research. The findings and recommendations are reported, not only for the general use, but also for the use by the Water Parks which display these type of shows and keep the killer whales in captivity.
3. Problem Background
The killer whales under captivity display rather unpredictable behavior. In this research the case of Tilikum has been considered for the case study. This whale has been in captivity for more than 30 years. The whale was brought when it was only 2 years old from the sea near Iceland in 1983 whale had been trained for many years and has been remarkable shows to the audience at Water Park.
3.1 Problem illustration
The whale is the largest orca under captivity and weighs 12,500 lbs and measures around 22 feet long. The shows of the whale are illustrated in the below figure:
Such a health orca which has provided the shows for 30 years, could kill his trainer Dawn in the year 2010, by grabbing her by her arm and drowning into the water, is absolutely shocking. This is a quintessential example of the problem.
3.2 Problem Background
The situation of the orcas is pitiable in the captivity. They can hardly move. For instance, Tilikum was given the space where he his head and tail touched at the same time to the precincts of the captive space. This may give rise to irritable and unpredictable behavior and they give vent to their feelings by the horrible incident which resulted in the casualty. Many researcher believe that at time the orcas may display their wild characters as these are the killer whales and have the intrinsic character which has earned them this name. This is actually a huge problem and this incident could as well be the tip of iceberg, as many incidents are hardly being reported, unless the casualty occurs.
4 Recommendations
The recommendations are actually based on the research which was conducted. As stated, this research is exploratory in nature, in contrast to the scientific or deductive research. Therefore, the recommendations are based on the various observations, studies based on the incidents, accounts of those which had either closely studied the incidents or extensively researched such incidents and the steps taken or proposed by some as counter-measures. Clearly in this research paper, the analysis and recommendations are proposed which can add value to the already available researches and recommendations made by the authors previously. In the lines of this, following recommendations are being proposed:

Identify all such incidents which have happened and collectively analyze the reasons behind al such incidents

Try to make a generalization from the analysis of all the incidents.
Propose the counter measures to avoid the occurrence of such incident again
Properly study the reasons of irrational behavior of the killer whales and try not to provoke the whales which can trigger such behavior
As all the incidents were studied, the researcher was able to make some generalization based on the occurrence of such happenings, which have even resulted in the killing of the trainer. It is generally believed that following such recommendation will help prevent the mishaps related with the killer whales. The actual recommendations which the researcher would like to propose are as follows:
1. Study the behavior of the killer whales like orcas especially under captivity extensively. The existing state-of-art research is not to the level which helps one to accurately predict or even avoid the killings of trainers.
2. The researcher would also like to recommend that the an independent an extensive study is also required to be conducted of the irrational behavioral of the whales in the ocean. These are names as killer whales and several incidents have also occurred and reported which have triggered irrational behaviors of such whales.
3. It is strongly recommended that such practice of captivating whales for public amusement be stopped as soon as possible. In effect, strong measures need to be undertaken to curb such practices, in the name of amusement parks at the cost of animal freedom. This amounts to acute cruelty against animal.
4. As far as the existing parks are concerned where the whales already exist under captivity, it is recommended that the new born whales be rehabilitated to their original habitat or the best place for them to live, or at eh areas in ocean where their population currently exists.
5. Older whales like Tilikum may not be brought for displaying further shows and provided a better place to exist, which is more spacious and open. They should not be released into ocean as they may not be able to survive after living under captivity for decades.
5. Research and Evidence
As it was highlighted that this is an exploratory research which needs an extensive studying of all the incidents occurring similar to that of Tilikum which resulted in the killing.
5.1 Research Evidence – Information from

Many incidents have been studied and the main resource which was used for such study was from the following resource:

Orcahome. Incidents between humans and killer whales in captivity - a longer list than the parks would like to tell you! Retrieved from
The resource provides the details of even those incidents which the parks have attempted to hide. This is an extensive list of around 150 incidents. The full details of the incidents are given at the URL and part of it is reproduced in the below image. The incidents are from the world over which shows the magnitude of the problem

Summary of Evidences

5.2 Research Methodology
Research methodology used was as per the recommended practice for exploratory research methods as recommended by Saunders et. al., 2007. It is an iterative research process, where the search is started from the extensive search of parks and the related incidents. At each step, the attempt is made to analyze from the studies iteratively. The sources are filtered so as to focus into the selected and relevant sources and augment the findings through this process. The research process itself is illustrated in the below figure:
Research Methodology . Saunders et. al. ( 2007 )
It is in the form of a research onion where each layer is peeled and the findings augmented an enriched as we go deeper into the study. This method also helps to be stayed focus on the research topic and assists in getting the accurate findings, most relevant to the context of the research.
6 Implementation and Schedule
The implementation of this nature takes tremendous time and efforts. It cannot be undertaken overnight or in few months. However, I will try to undertake some activities as I highlight in the below schedule. It is out of my or the researchers scope to stop the practice without the intervention and active support of the animal right activists, or the support of the Government. However I will try to educate them and ate least target one zoo or water park and try and help to stop such practice. I will also try and publish the results of my activities.
6.1 Implementation

The implementation plan is shown below

The plan is of approximately 100 days
7. Budget
I have an estimated budget as per the below costs:

Approximately the cost will come out to be around $10000 to complete this activity set.

8. Conclusion
It seems quite reasonable cost that in the budgeted amount we can at least start focusing on the implementation activities. We can start with one zoo or park at a time and in approximately 100 days time we can start seeing the positive results. As it was pointed out earlier that this is an iterative research process, so depending on the nature and extent of success we can always improve upon this implementation plan.
This implementation can be further tweaked and extended with improvements to other parks and initiate a movement worldwide which can actually help to abolish this practice of captivating the animals. This will also help to prevent the attacks as prevention is always better than cure. Where we cannot prevent or abolish the activities, there we can always try to alleviate the situation by educating the concerned people.
9. References
Chua-Eoan , H. (2010). The Killer-Whale Attack at SeaWorld: How It Happened. Time. Retrieved from,8599,1968071,00.html
David Kirby. Death at SeaWorld: Shamu and The Dark Side of Killer Whales in Captivity. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2012. Print.
Orcahome. Incidents between humans and killer whales in captivity - a longer list than the parks would like to tell you! Retrieved from
Saunders T., Lewis P. and Thornhill A. (2007) Research Methods for Business Students. 5th Ed, Pearson Education.
SeaworldofHurt. Over 30 Years and Three Deaths: Tilikum;s tragic story. Retrieved from
Zimerrmann, T. (2010). Did Dawn Brancheau Make A Mistake, Or Was SeaWorld Taking Risks With Tilikum? Retrieved from


About the author
One of the sources I chose to use for my proposal paper is the book Death at SeaWorld: Shamu and The Dark Side of Killer Whales in Captivity, by David Kirby. David Kirby is a New York Times bestselling author and won the Investigative Reporters and Editors Award in 2005. He is also known for his other book, Animal Factory, which is an acclaimed investigation into the environmental impact of factory farms. He has won a collection of awards for his investigative work, so I felt that this author would be a good source for this research.
About my source
Death at SeaWorld is about the controversial consequences of having killer whales in captive statte. The book is also, in a sense, a biography of Dr. Naomi Rose, a marine biologist whose specialty is the killer whale (orca). The book talks about Naomi’s life growing up and her experiences as a grad student. Kirby also includes the story of the tragic death of trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010. She was attacked Feb. 24, 2010 at SeaWorld Shamu Stadium in Orlando. Tilikum (one of SeaWorld’s largest orcas) grabbed Dawn Brancheau by the arm and pulled her down into the water. She had drowned to death. Kirby puts that horrific animal-on-human attack of Tilikum and Dawn in context. For these many reasons, I chose this book as a source. Also, in my proposal paper I am including articles based on this topic. In the book David Kirby covers the media backlash. After the death of several people, author David Kirby mentions OSHA finding violations made by SeaWorld, for they said, “SeaWorld had willfully violated federal worker safety laws by allowing Dawn to assume such a dangerous position with a whale already involved in deaths of two people” (2012, 370). The OSHA investigation would use this finding against SeaWorld in court.
Visual aid 2: In this aerial view of SeaWorld, one can see how little room the orcas have. Inside the circle is Tilikum, whose nose and tail appear to be able to touch both sides of the tank at the same time.( SeaworldofHurt, nd).
This book is about the harmful and lasting effects of keeping whales in captivity. It also talks about the deaths that have taken place at SeaWorld because of the killer whales in captivity. The author’s point of view is that keeping animals in captivity is wrong and that it should not happen. This source will help me in my paper because it connects to my research. The book shows the repercussions of keeping whales in captivity and explores the negative effects it has on whales. Trying to control the orca’s natural habitat leads to tragedy for both killer whales and humans alike. Kirby includes a quote from Russ Rector (dolphin advocate) in his book that is quite profound: “Tilikum is a casualty of captivity, it has destroyed his mind and turned him demented” (322). Forcing these animals to live in this way leads to aggression against not only other whales, but also humans. Trainers who work with them every day are thus at high risk for sustaining serious injuries or even death. Kirby provides evidence on the subject of captivity of whales that supports my thesis.

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