These are a great outreach tool for any anti-captivity campaign. Created by artist and Orca Research Trust volunteer, Lee ‘Okura’ Harrison, these cards introduce us to some of SeaWorld’s late orcas telling their own tragic stories.
These are the ones SeaWorld want us to forget.
In the 2003 anthology Between Species: Celebrating the Dolphin-Human Bond, Naomi Rose, senior scientist for Humane Society International (HSI), wrote a chapter titled ‘Sea Change’, which included this thought provoking paragraph describing her changing attitude towards killer whale captivity, which also serves as the part one conclusion of David Kirby’s Death at SeaWorld.
I have finished Part One: Blackfish of David Kirby’s Death at SeaWorld – an excellent review of the history of orca scientific study and captivity with detailed documentation of all major events and the stories of several individual whales.
Amongst many other important aspects, part one predominantly covers Tilikum’s capture, captivity at SeaLand (including the death of Keltie Byrne) and his eventual transfer to SeaWorld. It also covers the academic journey of marine biologist, now senior marine mammal scientist for Humane Society International, Dr. Naomi Rose. Kirby beautifully documents her interest in cetaceans from her fascination with dolphins at age 13, through the five years she spent studying and falling in love with orcas, to the completion of her groundbreaking PhD dissertation: “The Social Dynamics of Male Killer Whales, Orcinus orca, in Johnstone Strait, British Colombia”. 1992 was the year Naomi handed in her dissertation and the year she started to question the ethics of keeping killer whales in captivity.
So, it is with an already heavy heart, I begin Part Two: Dark Side.