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Free Lolita Update 88

Lolita Update #88
Lolita longs for the ocean
April 15, 2007

Lolita longs for the ocean!

A new 30-second commercial for Saab is quite effectively making our point about Lolita's desire to return to her native ocean. The commercial is called "Why Constrain the Power of Nature? The lyrics are:

A butterfly is caught inside a room, and tries to escape. Then an underwater orca blends into Lolita in a high breach, while a plaintive female voice sings a mournful cry...

I am a growing force without the motion
A glass of water longing for the ocean
I am a fire burning desperately
But you're controlling me
Release Me.
Beneath the images are these words:
Why constrain the power of nature
When you can release it.
Saab BioPower uses 85% renewable fuel.
Enhanced performance
And a smaller carbon footprint.

Another trainer injured at Sea World
Another captive orca seems to be acting up.

Oops! "Orkid's head came up inadvertently and hit her" they said, but orcas tend to be very aware of everything and everyone around them at all times, and this isn't the first time Orkid has registered her displeasure with trainers. I find it interesting that trainers are no longer allowed in the water with the whales.

One veteran orca trainer tells me: "that's how it starts! Normally a captive orca will butt before it attacks. The cover up is also exactly how the industry reacts. But I bet no one will be able to speak with the trainer, and I also bet SW still put a gag clause in their work contracts! I remember well the day in 1974 when Ramu attacked me at Windsor, he began by butting and hitting me with his pectoral fin, the teeth came later!!"
Below are excerpts from some of the news clips:
Killer Whale Injures Trainer At SeaWorld
04-10-07 at 5:38PM
SAN DIEGO -- A killer whale at SeaWorld Adventure Park was getting a sonogram to prepare for possible artificial insemination when she knocked her trainer off a low wall Tuesday. The 35-year-old trainer was taken to a hospital for examination and was found to have suffered minor injuries after the bump from the 5,900-pound whale, said SeaWorld spokeswoman Darla Davis.
"She just lost her balance," Davis said.

The 19-year-old whale named Orkid was getting her weekly ultrasound when she knocked the trainer off the wall next to the whale's tank, said Dave Koontz, another park spokesman. He said it was unclear if the whale intended to head-butt the trainer or accidentally bumped into her (emphasis ours).

SeaWorld monitors all of its female orcas for potential insemination. The park is reviewing the mishap.

Last November, Orkid grabbed a trainer and pushed him under water during a show at Shamu Stadium, tearing a ligament in the trainer's left ankle. Koontz said trainers do not believe Orkid's behavior was aggressive. (San Diego Union Tribune):
SeaWorld trainer slightly injured in fall
April 10, 2007

The trainer was sitting on a low wall around the pool when Orkid's head came up inadvertently and hit her, knocking her backward onto the concrete floor.

"She just fell backward and hit her head," Scarpuzzi said.
Trainer Injured by Killer Whale at SeaWorld
Park officials say it isn't clear whether the 59-hundred pound whale intentionally hit the trainer or accidentally head-butted her while being probed by a veterinarian. The 19-year-old whale was having a sonogram in preparation for possible artificial insemination.

In November, Orkid grabbed a trainer and pushed him under water (emphasis ours) during a show at Shamu Stadium, tearing a ligament in the trainer's left ankle. Another trainer was bit and held underwater several times by another seven-thousand-pound killer whale during a show in an unrelated incident two weeks later. That trainer escaped with a broken foot and was hospitalized for three days.
Killer Whale Injures Sea World Trainer
In November, a trainer was dragged and pinned under water several times by Kasatka, a 7,000-pound killer whale, during a show at Shamu Stadium. The trainer escaped with a broken foot and was hospitalized for three days.
That trainer made a full recovery, but changes were made to the show. Among those changes: Trainers were no longer allowed in the water with the killer whales. (emphasis ours)

Orkid, who weighs 5,900 pounds, was born in captivity. She has not had any calves

Sea World has a problem
The recent rash of incidents involving captive orcas bumping or biting trainers at SW San Diego may indicate that the seven captive orcas are losing their patience with confinement and regimentation. Orcas are acutely conscious and deeply social mammals. In natural habitats, they obey their social order absolutely. They limit their diets, their mating and virtually their every move to suit the community they were born in and belong to.
Captive orcas have a different set of problems, being moved from park to park, separated into various tanks, their diets and feeding schedules imposed by humans, and very little to do as a group beyond repetitious patterned swimming. Yet they form into a community somehow because they are such highly social mammals.

Now Kasatka, captured from Iceland in 1978, presumably the matriarch of the group, and Orkid, the next oldest female, born 19 years ago in captivity, seem to be showing their displeasure with their situation. We can assume the younger captives are learning the attitudes demonstrated by their elders.

For many years Sea World has used fairly benign methods to control their captive population, including rub downs and other socialization sessions to make the whales feel like members of the human community that controls them. Now it appears such pacification programs may not be working any more. The whales seem to have decided the humans are not part of their family after all. At this point the trainers are not allowed in the water with the whales. It will be interesting to see if the show will go on.

Much is going on to help bring Lolita home and to inform and advocate for her and her family Please consider a tax-deductible contribution to help Orca Network continue this work by clicking HERE. Thank you!

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