SeaWorld responds to video that suggests pilot whale was suffering

Posted Wednesday, July 31, 2013 12:35 PM | Contributed by Jeff

A viral video shot by a SeaWorld parkgoer showing a pilot whale out of water for several minutes during a show was actually normal behavior for the whale, SeaWorld says. The video was posted on YouTube by Carlo De Leonibus, 33, who said in the video description that the crowd became furious at the arena, "yelling to save the dolphin."

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013 12:48 PM

This reminds me of when Simon was not quite a year old. He would freak out when he was on his back and couldn't sit up or roll over. We would respond by rolling him over. As a result, he was delayed in a lot of his gross motor skills, because we helped him when we should have let him struggle to figure it out. This reminds me a lot of that.

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013 1:13 PM

Jeff said:

This reminds me of when Simon was not quite a year old. He would freak out when he was on his back and couldn't sit up or roll over. We would respond by rolling him over. As a result, he was delayed in a lot of his gross motor skills, because we helped him when we should have let him struggle to figure it out. This reminds me a lot of that.

That's pretty much what this is. The animals need to learn how to do it themselves. I'm sure the SeaWorld staff know how long whales and dolphins can stay out of the water before there are health issues and were hoping this whale would get back in by itself.

Helping it in doesn't help it learn. Unfortunately that seems like a hard concept for a lot of people to grasp.

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013 1:21 PM

I caught this story last week and a few questions entered my mind:

1. Did any media outlets actually contact Seaworld and wait for their official response before posting this mostly non-story?

2. When did random tourists become authoritative sources of knowledge regarding marine life?

3. Why was this a big deal? I'm sure these whales have "beached" themselves before in their training and I'm fairly sure that it was not suffocating due to being a mammal.

This story just reeked of sensationalism and trying to keep the buzz around "Dangerous Amusement/Theme Parks" going strong.

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013 2:37 PM

jglonek83, it's not necessary to quote someone when your responding to the person who's post is directly above yours. We know who your referring to.

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013 2:46 PM

Everyone, including the media, is an "animal expert" just like everyone is a "coaster expert" as we saw with the "one-click, three-clicks" reporting on Texas Giant accident.

The bigger question with SeaWorld though is they are targeted by so many animal-rights groups now, everything from videos like this to the movie Blackfish, how will all of this have an impact on SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment as a public company? Is it all enough to spook investors? This is the first time in the history of SeaWorld that they truly are the face of the company versus in the past where they were just a division whose financial impact on the larger company wasn't really significant.

Personally, I would be hesitant to invest in SEAS until I saw more diversity in the portfolio to shield the company from any impact negative publicity like this has on the company. Better still, maybe they should merge with another significant theme park operator, perhaps Universal or Cedar Fair, that provides immediate financial diversity with other strong performing parks.

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013 2:49 PM

Not that they should (I believe Jeff is 100% right with his analogy), but would Sea World's current OSHA regulations even allow a trainer to be that close to the animal and water to help if they wanted to?

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013 3:51 PM

Gonch originally submitted this via HuffPo. For the record, I don't generally post anything from them, as it's mostly designed as click bait.

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013 3:57 PM

You have a newer version of the story too. This is the response. My submission was simply accusation.

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013 3:58 PM

Yeah, and that's pretty lopsided "reporting."

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013 4:34 PM

Jeff said:

I don't generally post anything from them, as it's mostly designed as click bait.

Gotta stand by your convictions.

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013 4:37 PM

All this about "suffering" and Sea World, and we have escaped the mention of PETA for *this* long...? We need more suffering....PETA, PETA, PETA....

There, NOW there's some suffering...

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