Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee is angry — really angry — about the way Shamu is being treated at SeaWorld. In a letter to SeaWorld Orlando, Lee complains about the methods used by the theme park to obtain sperm from Tillikum – the orca responsible for the death of SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau this spring. Tillikum was brought to SeaWorld Orlando specifically for breeding purposes in 1998. He continues to appear in Shamu shows there and to be used in killer whale breeding programs. PETA, an organization which Lee has long supported, has called for the whale’s release back into the wild. Lee calls Tillikum SeaWorld’s “chief sperm bank.” “We know from SeaWorld’s own director of safety (as well as videos on the web) that the way you get his sperm is by having someone get into the pool and masturbate him with a cow’s vagina filled with hot water,” Lee wrote in the letter obtained by TMZ. “Even in my wildest days with Motley Crue, I never could’ve imagined something so sick and twisted.” As bizarre as it may sound, manual stimulation of animals is a regular breeding method used by zoos and aquariums for certain species. Thomas French’s […]
A 25-year-old killer whale unexpectedly died at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida, the park said in a statement Tuesday. The whale, named Kalina, died Monday evening after a sudden illness, according to the statement. The cause of death will be determined by a necropsy, the park said, adding that the results could take up to six weeks. The park said Kalina “showed no signs of illness as recently as Friday” and had a normal appetite Sunday. “She began exhibiting signs of discomfort Monday afternoon and died suddenly in the evening,” the statement said. Kalina is the third adult whale to die at one of SeaWorld’s three locations in four months. In September, 12-year-old male killer whale Sumar died suddenly at the San Diego park, and 20-year-old Taima died while giving birth to a stillborn calf at the Orlando park in June. The average life expectancy for male killer whales in the wild is about 30 years, while females generally live about 50 years. The average life span in captivity is significantly less.
SeaWorld has been fined $75,000 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for three safety violations, including one classified as willful, after an animal trainer was killed in February. In a statement Monday, Cindy Coe, OSHA’s regional administrator, said that SeaWorld knew of the inherent risks of allowing trainers to interact with dangerous animals. “Nonetheless, it required its employees to work within the pool walls, on ledges and on shelves where they were subject to dangerous behavior by the animals,” Coe said in the statement. SeaWorld denied what it called “unfounded” allegations by the U.S. Department of Labor agency and said it would contest the citations. “OSHA’s allegations in this citation are unsupported by any evidence or precedent and reflect a fundamental lack of understanding of the safety requirements associated with marine mammal care penalties,” a SeaWorld statement said Monday. In February, a 12,000-pound killer whale at the Orlando, Florida, SeaWorld pulled trainer Dawn Brancheau, 40, underwater and killed her as horrified park visitors watched. An autopsy report showed Brancheau died from drowning and traumatic injuries to her body, including her spine, ribs and head. The OSHA statement said the whale involved was one of three also involved in the […]