Girl calls over dolphins using a comb and a toothpick

Using a black plastic comb and a simple wooden toothpick, a girl beckoned some captive dolphins from the other side of their windowed prison.

Her dad, Brad Meszaros, writes:

My daughter tried several different ways to have the Seaworld dolphins come to her. She tried different toys, a cell phone, tapping the glass, and different movements, none of these worked consistently for her. She did some online research and found the comb method and thought she’d give it a try. The next time she went to SeaWorld, she played the comb for the dolphins and they loved it!

Clever, but SeaWorld? Seriously...? Are we still taking our kids there?

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SeaWorld promises to acquire no new orcas

SeaWorld, battered by criticism over its captive orcas, has promised to acquire no more of them. The decision comes after years of fading business fortunes in the wake of a disturbing documentary about the animals' psychological condition and associated human deaths. Read the rest

SeaWorld secret agents go deep undercover

Sounding like something out of a mediocre Hollywood movie, SeaWorld has copped to infiltrating animal rights groups and spying, under the guise of protecting them selves from "credible threats."

I also enjoy that "certain employees" were directed to these tasks. Seal trainers? Cotton candy spinners?

From the Orlando Sentinel:

Reading from a statement while speaking with analysts, Chief Executive Officer Joel Manby said SeaWorld's board of directors has "directed management to end the practice in which certain employees posed as animal-welfare activists. This activity was undertaken in connection with efforts to maintain the safety and security of employees, customers and animals in the face of credible threats."

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SeaWorld to end orca shows in San Diego

After years of public outrage, the disturbing exposé Black Fish and fading business fortunes, SeaWorld is to end its use of killer whales in shows in San Diego.

But new California regulations also played a big part in the decision, and it appears the circus will go on at locations in Texas and Florida.

The San Diego Union-Tribune:

Friday, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, said he plans to introduce federal legislation that would prohibit the breeding of captive orcas, end the capture of wild orcas and stop the import and export of the killer whales.

For now, the tank enlargement initiative in San Diego will be on hold, Manby said.

"We know, with the regulatory environment out there with orcas and what’s happened in California with the reputation, we’d be foolish if we didn’t look at options," Manby said. "...We're not comfortable putting $100 million into a market when there are regulatory questions. Until that whole issue settles, then we’ll make a decision at that time."

The move away from performances featuring killer whales, though, is not likely to silence its critics who still want to see the end of captive breeding.

“Today’s acknowledgement by SeaWorld does not end our push to halt inhumane orca captivity and breeding practices, but it’s a step in the right direction," said Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego. "More importantly, SeaWorld’s announcement contradicts their earlier statements that the company could not be profitable unless orcas were forced to participate in these circus-like shows...Clearly, SeaWorld can move away from being a giant circus that harms animal life and still have a viable business model.”

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PETA: SeaWorld infiltrated us

Chris Palmeri reports that an employee of SeaWorld posed as an activist and worked for the animal rights organization for years.

The claim, if true, could mark another public-relations black eye for SeaWorld, which has faced withering criticism of its marquee attraction -- trained killer whales performing for guests. The company has endured a critical documentary, boycotts and the loss of sponsorships. Attendance and revenue have suffered.

… SeaWorld didn’t respond to other questions, including whether McComb works for the company. McComb, reached by mobile phone using the number at the jresume.com site, declined to say if he was a SeaWorld employee and hung up when asked if he used the name Thomas Jones.

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