Friday 4 April 2014

Letter when Tilikum arrived. - challenging Seaworld

Seaworld once again claim - 
''More Blackfish lies here is a copy of the letter SeaWorld Orlando sent out to all zoological staff when they acquired all the whales from SeaLand of the Pacific. It is clear that SeaWorld wasn't covering anything up.''

The Seaworld supporters are stating that Blackfish lied when the letter from Brad Andrews dated January 6th 1993 states that the trainers were warned about Tilikum, Haida and Nootka.
points made -
1. Haida, Nootka and Tilikum were involved in an incident at Sealand of the Pacific Ltd, where a trainer fell into the pool with the animals, could not be rescued because of the animals activity and drowned. 

2. Killer whales are wild animals whose wild nature and large size make physical interaction with them potentially dangerous.

3. all personnel are to strictly comply with the Seaworld Animal care/training safety manual sets forth the safety procedures regarding killer whales.

4. Any personnel unfamiliar need ask etc etc.

So Brad Andrews sent out the statement when the orca's arrived to make staff aware how dangerous they could be.

 In that case then how come Tilikum's Animal Profile also written by Seaworld to enable trainers to get a picture of the orca's states:
Aggressive Tendancies: 
Has negative history with trainers.
Please be advised that this whale was involved in an accidental drowning of a trainer at Sealand of the Pacific in 1991 and in an incident with a guest in his pool in 1999 at SWF.
Behavioural Incidents:
7/6/1999  Drowning - no specific behaviour noted
2/24/2010 Grabbed pony tail
                 Held trainer underwater
                 Carry tow trainer

Firstly the profile states it was an accidental drowning, which leaves the incident open to all sorts of interpretation by trainers.
The letter from NMFS to Brad Andrews chastises both Seaworld and Sealand of the Pacific as the reason for Tilikum's transfer was both Haida and Nootka were pregnant and extremely aggressive with Tilikum to the point where he was having to be separated for his own safety. They stated '' It is our understanding that , based on medical tests of the killer whales held at Sealand of the Pacific Ltd. in anticipation of Sea World's permit application, both Sea Land and and [sic] Sea World had at least two months advance knowledge of the imminent birth of at least one, and possibly two, killer whale calves. Sealand is responsible for these animals and should have taken steps to ensure that arrangements were made to hold the adult male killer whale, "Tillikum," at or nearby the Sealand facility or at another facility in Canada following such births. Sea World presumably has a significant interest in the well-being of these animals as well, and in the capacity of advising Sealand on their care, should have taken such steps even if Sealand had elected not to do so.'' So Seaworld were already acting as advisors and fully aware of ALL the goings on at Sealand of the Pacific, including Tilikum. It also states that Tilikum should be returned to either Canada or returned back to Iceland and he shouldn't be on display ''This agreement authorizes Sea World, Inc. to import one male killer whale, "Tillikum," for the purpose of providing medical treatment and care that is otherwise unavailable in Canada at this time. This authorization is effective until such time as a permit is issued in response to the application by Sea World, Inc. for the import of Tillikum for public display. Please note special condition 2 of the agreement. If a public display permit involving this animal is denied, under the terms of this agreement Sea World, Inc., is assuming the responsibility, including any associated costs, for the return of Tillikum to Canada and placement at a suitable facility to be identified by NMFS and the Canadian government, or, if no Canadian facility is available, for the return and release of Tillikum at the original location of capture. Additionally, special condition 3 of the agreement requires that, until a public display permit is issued, Tillikum may not be placed on public display. Special condition 4 makes clear that this agreement may be revoked at any time at the discretion of NMFS.''

Before the permit was approved Brad Andrews was already in touch with Iceland  trying to prevent the release back to Icelandic waters. Telling them that Tilikum would spread disease and be a risk due to his familiarity with boats etc, making sure that avenue was cut off to the NMFS.
Brad Andrews stated ''Sea World believes a determination of the feasibility requires an analysis of 1) the likelihood that Tilikum will survive if released; 2) the possible impact of Tilikum's release on the fishing industry, since Tilikum was maintained in a net enclosure at Sealand and is accustomed to human beings and nets; and 3) the potential impact of Tilikum's release on the marine environment. The last mentioned determination would require an in-depth analysis of the incidence and distribution of disease and disease causing organisms in the fish and marine mammal populations in Icelandic and Canadian waters, as well as an analysis of any possible latent pathogens being carried by Tilikum. While at Sealand, Tilikum was maintained in an ocean pen surrounded by a 500-boat marina and occasionally consumed fish native to the region. Even with a thorough examination of Tilikum, it is possible that the presence of some subclinical organisms not native to Icelandic waters might not be detected.
After considering the available information, Sea World believes it is not feasible to return Tilikum to Icelandic waters, primarily because Tilikum is not likely to survive once released. However, Sea World wishes to consult with the Government of Iceland and obtain its views on these matters, since any such release would be subject to the laws and jurisdiction of Iceland.''

Because of Brad Andrews raising unfounded excuses to Iceland they denied the permit to rehabilitate him.  Thorsteinn Palsson, Iceland's Minister of Fisheries, agreed with Sea World's assessment of the risks involved. In his letter to Andrews, he cited both concerns raised by Sea World about Tilikum's the release: that Tilikum may not survive in the wild, and that he might introduce diseases previously foreign to Icelandic waters.

The NMFS had already realized that holding Tilikum in the isolation tank was causing some issues as was the orcas being put into the 'module' which was also prohibited after the inquest into Keltie's death. Yet Seaworld still put on his Animal Profile that this was an accidental death, and in their supervisory role at Sealand they would have been aware of the points made and also be aware that Tilikum was reacting to his environment adversely right back then, yet nothing in any of the reports states that.

In Point 2 Brad Andrews states:
look at the 'drowning - no specific behaviour noted' Killer whales are wild animals whose wild nature and large size make physical interaction with them potentially dangerous. '
So why protest that fact when wanting Waterworks back after the killing of Dawn Brancheau?

Moving on to the next point in his Animal Profile - 1999
The profile specifically states - 7/6/1999  Drowning - no specific behaviour noted
Daniel P Dukes Autopsy report tells a completely different story. 

These were the Newspaper reports at the time  
NY Times which states -
'The man was sort of draped over the whale's back behind the dorsal fin,'' said Jim Solomons of the Orange County Sheriff's office. ''There was no obvious trauma.''
CNN reported  There was no obvious signs of trauma to the body. He wasn't chewed. He wasn't dismembered," said Jim Solomons, a spokesman for the sheriff's office.
As in the case of Dawn the question has to be raised as to who gave the Orange County Sheriffs office the statement of events?
Daniel P Dukes autopsy report(see link above) showed numerous pre death injuries including complete avulsion of the testes proving that Tilikum had indeed inflicted trauma, yet the profile available to trainers still says no specific behaviour noted. It seems to be becoming blatantly obvious that Tilikum does not like anyone near or in his tank.

Lastly the post about Dawn Brancheau. In the OSHA V Seaworld case  Andrews testified “The only thing that led to this event was a mistake made by Ms. Brancheau in allowing her long hair to float out into an area that Tilikum could grab it…”  SeaWorld witnesses also blamed Alexis Martinez for his death by their whale Keto, at Loro Parque in Spain which took place only months before Brancheau’s death.

As you can see there is no doubt that Seaworld issued the letter above so that is not a lie, but then its not exactly the whole truth is it? People can hardly call Blackfish a lie when court testimonies, Seaworld documents and NFMS documents show FACTS proving the contrary.

Once again the solution is either tell the whole truth or don't say anything at all. 

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