Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Poor Tilly

An amazing video surfaced from last weekend. Now i'm not sure if this is amazingly sad or amazing because it is outright defiant. This roughly 7 minute long video shows Tilikum basically refusing to perform the "One Ocean" show at SeaWorld Orlando. (I will attach the video below).

This poor Being is exhausted, bored of performing, hungry, and basically just wants to be left alone. This is so evident by the way he just continually swims around the tank in circles.

He manages a half hearted breach and splashes the audience a few times before completely losing interest.

The music continues, no one from SeaWorld says a thing, and it's comparable to the most awkward silence imaginable. People eventually have enough and the crowd starts filing out of the packed stadium.

It doesn't appear that anyone even cares about the distress this beautiful orca is experiencing. They're just miffed that he isn't performing for them. He's not entertaining them. I wish the people of SeaWorld would see that poor Tilikum is ready for retirement. This is no life for him and he needs to be moved to a sea pen so, hopefully, one day he may be released back into his natural habitat.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Tilikum Returns to Slavery

It has been just over a year since the tragic death of Orca Trainer Dawn Brancheau. Today, the whale responsible (Tilikum) will begin performing at Sea World Orlando once again.

Last summer the US Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration accused Sea World of recklessly putting its trainers in danger by having them in the water with the orcas, slapping them with a $70,000 fine. Since then park officials have spent millions of dollars making safety upgrades.

The 6 ton orca will be one of the main attractions in Sea World's new show "Believe."  Trainers are still not allowed to go into the water with the whales, and Sea World has said no one will ever swim with Tilikum again since that particular whale is responsible for 3 deaths.

Meantime, it is expected that an Orlando Judge will be asked to sign a “Protective Order” for the upcoming SeaWorld vs. OSHA hearing. That would effectively seal off the details of this high profile case forever.  The proceedings before Judge Ken S. Welsch were originally scheduled to begin February 14, 2011 but they have been rescheduled for April 25, 2011.

If an order is issued by the judge, it could bar the public from participating in the hearing and seal all content, including expert witness testimony from both sides. That includes documentation and evidence describing the perils associated with orca captivity.

This is an extremely important hearing for both sides of the "captivity arguement."

For Sea World the outcome will likely determine whether or not trainers ever enter the water with animals again. It could also set the theme park up for further litigation and make it an even bigger target for animal activists.

On the other side of the argument, Brancheau's death has spurred a growing number of former Sea World trainers to speak out about the health conditions many of park's orcas are suffering from, and the secrecy that shrouds that entertainment industry.

There is some speculation that Tilikum has been included in the show to generate some good PR for Sea World. The theme park has come under fire since Brancheau's death, largely because of Tilikum's isolation from other whales and his small living quarters.

If you want to join in the campaign to keep this hearing open to the public there are a couple of things you can do.

You can visit the United States Department of Labor on Facebook and tell them what you think. Click Here

You can also access the Facebook page of Secretary Of Labor Hilda Solis.  Click Here

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Guzoo Needs to Be Shut Down!

Let me just start by saying this is one of the most disgusting "zoo" establishments i have ever seen! Photos have just surfaced that show just how bad conditions have gotten at Guzoo in Three Hills, Alberta. The roadside zoo has close to 500 animals. Those range from rabbits, birds, goats and reptiles to tigers, bears, lions, monkeys, and camels.

These animals are all being kept in extremely small pens outside with no access to warm shelter. Their water bowls and buckets are frozen solid and there is feces everywhere in their enclosures.

Feral cats and dogs wander around the premises taunting animals in their pens, who are pent up and bored with no enrichment.

These photos were taken by Nic Burgess and posted on Facebook. Since he put these online a ferver has started to get this place shut down for good! Guzoo's license is up for renewal as of Friday (April 1st).

Photo showing produce (some of it still in bags) in the pen with pigs and goats.

You're looking at the tiger's water dish that is frozen solid and full of snow.

Carcasses piled up in various states of decomposition.

This pig is eating something that looks like a jacket.

This goat is bleeding and is also eating a gum wrapper.

The man who will give the final say on whether or not Guzoo's license is renewed is the Alberta Minister of Sustainable Resource Development-- Mel Knight.

Since these photos have surfaced Mr. Knight's Facebook page has been inundated with messages from people pleading with him to look into this so-called zoo and really consider how these animals are suffering before he makes his decision. Sadly, he has yet to come forward with any sort of response.

Media outlets throughout the province have taken notice though and are covering the issue.

As of yesterday SPCA officials had visited the farm. They are recommending that a veterinarian look at some of the animals. So i suppose only time will tell what their verdict is. In the mean time, the zoo's owner has threatened that if he's forced to close the doors his animals will not go anywhere else, adding that one of his lions is worth $10, 000 to a taxidermist.

If you would like to have your say you can get ahold of Mr. Knight by phoning, emailing, or facebooking.

Mel Knight  (780) 415-4815
and Facebook

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Small Miracle

A baby dolphin has been rescued in Japan after it was dumped in a rice paddy by the tsunami that hit that country's coastline. A man spotted the dolphin in a flooded field about 2 kilometers from the coast, and decided he had to do something to save it. He got in contact with a pet store owner, Ryo Taira, who has been rescuing abandoned animals since the tsunami hit.

Taira found the dolphin struggling in the shallow seawater on Tuesday. He tried to net it but failed, so waded into the field and cradled the animal in his arms. He tells Reuters that the dolphin was pretty weak by then, and assumed that's why they were able to catch it so easily by hand.

He and some friends wrapped the dolphin up in wet towels and were able to drive it back to the sea. When they set it free the dolphin appeared to perk up and made its way back out into the Pacific.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

World Water Day

Water is the essence of life, however, only about 1% of all water is available to sustain the world's human population, animals the globe over, and a myriad of freshwater aquatic ecosystems.

World Water Day became a reality in 1992 at a United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. Each year, World Water Day focuses on a different theme. The objective of World Water Day 2011 is to focus international attention on the impact of rapid urban population growth, industrialization and uncertainties caused by climate change, conflicts and natural disasters on urban water systems.

With events in the spotlight throughout the world, many people are seeing what they can do to conserve water. Here are a few ideas courtesy of National Geographic.
  1. Choose outdoor landscaping appropriate for your climate. Native plants and grasses that thrive on natural rainfall only are best.
  2. Install low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators. Because you’re saving hot water, you’ll also reduce your energy bill.
  3. If you’re in the market for a toilet, buy a low-volume, ultra low-volume, or dual-flush model.
  4. Fix leaky faucets. All those wasted drops add up—sometimes to 10-25 gallons a day.
  5. Run your dishwasher and washing machine only when full. When it’s time to replace them, buy a water- and energy-efficient model. Remember, saving water saves energy, and saving energy saves water.
  6. Eat a bit less meat, especially beef. A typical hamburger can take 630 gallons to produce.
  7. Buy less stuff.  Everything takes water to make. So if we buy less, we shrink our water footprint.
  8. Recycle plastics, glass, metals, and paper. Buy re-usable products rather than throw-aways, as it takes water to make almost everything.
  9. Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth and washing the dishes. Shave a minute or two off your shower time. Millions of people doing even the little things makes a difference.
  10. Know the source of your drinking water—the river, lake, or aquifer that supplies your home.  Once you know it, you’ll care about it. You just won’t want to waste water.

Also, why not shower together?!

My husband and i were watching a comic on TV last night. He was talking about how the first world looks at water, and what it would be like to have someone from a remote tribe in Africa come to your house. In this particular anicdote he was talking about a villager whoes job it was to go get water. This man had to walk 3 miles each way to bring back water for his village. The comic pointed out that our toilets would look like water holes to this man.

But it got more ridiculous from there... not drinking out of the kitchen tap because that was used to wash little bits of food off of our plates before they were put into the dishwasher which used more water to get rid of more little bits of food.

We take a lot of things forgranted, and fresh potable water i would have to say tops that list. I know that i will be doing my part today trying my hardest to conserve every last drop.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Marine Mammals Being Moved Out Of Fukushima Aquarium

Japans earthquake and resulting tsunami have also had a huge inpact on local zoos and aquariums, especially in the north part of Honshu Island. Donation programs are now in place to help provide proper food, shelter and healthy accommodations for these animals. Some of the affected aquariums are suffering from a shortage of gas, fuel for their heaters, food and suitable drinking water for both humans an the animals.

The Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (JAZA) is looking into sending food and other supplies to Sendai Yagiyama Zoo. Meanwhile as the radiation zone continues to grow in Fukushima the aquarium is looking at moving their marine mammals and birds to Kamogawa Sea World. Tomorrow Kamogawa will send trucks to Fukushima to pick up the animals. After the shipment is complete the Fukushima aquarium will be evacuated, the workers will have nothing to do without supplies and concern about radiation from the nuclear power plant in the area grows.

The cost of this transport is immense. JAZA is appealing to other members of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums for donations, but they are also accepting private donations. Click Here

Monday, 14 March 2011


In the wake of Friday's tragedy in Japan uncertainty is the name of the game. People uncertain where their loved ones are, the extent of the devestation is still uncertain, and the future of the nuclear situation remains uncertain as well.

Another dimension to the uncertainty is the lives of all animals in Japan who are suddenly homeless, lost, scared, seperated from their owners, or trapped and suffering somewhere.

We now know that all of the dolphins being kept in offshore sea-pens in Taiji have died. The 24 dolphins were killed when 6 seperate surges managed to push the pens into the jagged rocks at shore.

It remains a mystery though whether any more dolphins or whales were killed in marine parks throughout the country.

The future of the dolphin hunts also remains uncertain. We don't know the status of the banger boats in Taiji, although we have heard that some whaling vessels were detroyed. We were fortunate that the annual hunt ended early this year, but the loss of those 24 dolphins means a huge hit to the pocketbook for the fishermen. It remains to be seen whether they will apply for more licenses and resume the hunt.

Of course it will be quite some time before life returns to some sort of normalcy in Japan, so for now we must all ride that wave of uncertainty and hold out all hope for all the missing and hurt.