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Bill Would Ban Orca Shows at SeaWorld

California legislator say it's cruel to keep killer whales in captivity

(Newser) - A lawmaker in California wants to put an end to SeaWorld's orca shows. Assemblyman Richard Bloom, a Santa Monica Democrat, proposed legislation that would prohibit the shows featuring trained killer whales, reports CNN . If passed, it would affect only the park in San Diego, not SeaWorld's other locations... More »

Killer Whales Trapped in Ice Free Themselves

Local officials had warned that orcas were running out of time

(Newser) - The killer whales trapped in encircling ice 19 miles off the coast of northwestern Quebec have apparently freed themselves, reports the CBC . Officials had earlier warned that the pod was in danger. The dozen whales were discovered trapped in the ice Tuesday by an Inukjuak hunter, and cold weather had... More »

Whale Nearly Drowns Sea World Trainer in Video

Ken Peters pats orca's back, barely escapes alive

(Newser) - A chilling video of an attempt by a Sea World whale to drown her trainer has been shown at a hearing concerning workplace safety at the amusement park. The female orca Kasatka grabs trainer Ken Peters by one of his feet during a performance and drags him deep underwater in... More »

White Killer Whale Spotted

Orca, nicknamed 'Iceberg' spotted off Kamchatka

(Newser) - Nobody tell Ahab. Scientists have spotted what they believe is the first adult white killer whale ever off the coast of Kamchatka, the BBC reports. While white orcas aren't unheard of, all recorded sightings have been of young specimens. "This is the first time we've seen a... More »

PETA's Whale-Slaves Lawsuit Has Its Day in Court

But it's unlikely judge will free Willy from SeaWorld

(Newser) - PETA might think it's on "the next frontier of civil rights" with its lawsuit seeking to emancipate SeaWorld's "whale slaves," but a federal judge presiding over a hearing yesterday was a bit more skeptical, reports the LA Times . The animal-rights group, perhaps better known for... More »

Lawsuit Could Free Whale After 40 Years

Activists use Endangered Species Act in bid for trained orca's freedom

(Newser) - A trained killer whale named Lolita has been performing at the Miami Seaquarium since her capture in Puget Sound in 1970. Now, animal-rights activists have lodged an unusual lawsuit to win her freedom after all this time, reports the Seattle Times . They sued the federal government, arguing that the Endangered... More »

PETA Sues SeaWorld for Whale 'Slaves'

Says their treatment violates 13th amendment

(Newser) - Never known for half-measures , PETA is suing SeaWorld—for violating the 13th Amendment. You know, the one that outlawed slavery. In a federal lawsuit filed on behalf of killer whales Tilikum, Katina, Corky, Kasatka, and Ulises, the animal rights group contends that SeaWorld keeps its orcas in conditions that violate... More »

Whale That Killed Trainer to Perform Again

SeaWorld putting Tilikum back to work

(Newser) - Tilikum, the killer whale that drowned a trainer last year and has been involved in two other human deaths, is returning to show business. Officials at Orlando's SeaWorld say the 6-ton whale, the largest killer whale in captivity, will take part in shows beginning today. The park has spent millions... More »

SeaWorld Orca Dies Giving Birth

Orca who killed trainer is stillborn calf's father

(Newser) - SeaWorld Orlando lost an orca and its newborn calf today as the mother died giving birth. Both calf and mother were lost to complications associated with the whale birthing process, which SeaWorld personnel attributed to unusual positioning of the baby. The father of the calf was Tilikum, the orca who... More »

Rescuers Had to Pry Trainer From Orca

Workers also say they had trouble deploying nets

(Newser) - SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau had to be forcibly extracted from the mouth of the orca that killed her, say witness accounts released by police. The accounts rehash much already known information but paint a more complete portrait of the chaotic rescue efforts. After the whale bit down on Brancheau's ponytail,... More »

Hundreds Mourn Slain SeaWorld Trainer

Dawn Brancheau remembered as 'a great lady'

(Newser) - Family and friends remembered SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau today as someone who died doing what she loved. "You could see it on her face every day," a family friend said as he arrived at Brancheau's funeral in Chicago. "She loved what she did." Brancheau, 40, died... More »

Freeing 'Magical' Orcas Easier Said Than Done

Writer notes 'primal connection' with captive whale

(Newser) - Whales like the one that killed a SeaWorld trainer on Wednesday belong in the wild, Susan Orlean writes, and humans should “just take fabulous videos of them and project them on gigantic high-definition screens”—but when you see the creatures up close in captivity, they’re just so... More »

SeaWorld Will Resume Orca Shows

Company continues review into killer whale attack

(Newser) - SeaWorld will resume orca shows tomorrow while the company conducts a review of the events leading to a trainer's death at the Florida park. The "Shamu Believe" show will go on, but trainers will not be allowed in the water with the killer whales until after the review is... More »

SeaWorld Will Keep Killer Whale

Park will change procedure, won't euthanize orca

(Newser) - SeaWorld’s Orlando park said tonight it will keep the whale that killed its trainer yesterday. The 12,000-pound orca, Tilikum, had a history of violence before it grabbed Dawn Brancheau, 40, by her ponytail and dragged her to a death by drowning, and there have been calls for him... More »

Trainer Death Sparks New Call to Free Killer Whales

Captivity is cruel, and accidents are unavoidable, activists say

(Newser) - The death of a SeaWorld trainer is being met with the inevitable calls to free Willy, and end orca captivity once and for all. “These behemoths are denied all of their natural, instinctual inclinations,” one tells the Christian Science Monitor . “We humans tend to think, ‘Well,... More »

Orcas Storm Beach to Grab Seals

Killer whales surf ashore for dinner

(Newser) - Innovative killer whales are breaching a beach in Argentina to grab seals and sea lions in the first such behavior ever witnessed. A pair of orcas particularly adept at the brazen strategy, nicknamed Mel and Maga by observing National Geographic scientists, have been spotted repeatedly riding the waves to shore,... More »

To Find the Killer Whale, Scientists Think Like One

Off of Scotland, team stakes out its prey

(Newser) - Killer whales spend most of their time tracking their prey, and so do the scientists who study them. Marine biologists at Scotland's St. Andrews University spent 3 months among the Shetland Islands in search of their cetacean quarry, and caught sight of whales only about 12 times. They explain to... More »

Puget Sound's Orcas in Trouble

(Newser) - The orca population in Washington’s Puget Sound is dropping, and scientists think a scarce food supply is to blame, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports. A poor year for chinook salmon—and another is in the forecast—forced the killer whales to spend energy searching further afield for food. Two mature... More »

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