Lawsuit against SeaWorld brought by PETA, Richard O’Barry, Howard Garrett, Dr. Ingrid Visser and others.

View the Complaint filed in federal court Wednesday against SeaWorld to have five orcas released from captivity on the grounds they are being held in slavery and involuntary servitude. The orcas, Tilikum, Katina, Corky, Kasatka, and Ulises were named as plaintiffs. The suit was filed by their next friends including PETA, Howard Garrett, Richard O’Barry and Dr. Ingrid Visser.

Killer Controversy: Why orcas should no longer be kept in captivity | by: NAOMI A. ROSE, Ph.D.

Since 1964, when a killer whale or orca (Orcinus orca) was first put on public display1, the image of this black-and-white marine icon has been rehabilitated from fearsome killer to cuddly sea panda. Once shot at by fishermen as a dangerous pest, the orca is now the star performer in theme park shows. But both these images are one-dimensional, a disservice to a species that may be second only to human beings when it comes to behavioral, linguistic, and ecological diversity and complexity. Orcas are intelligent and family-oriented. They are long-lived and self-aware. They are socially complex, with cultural traditions. They are the largest animal, and by far the largest predator, held in captivity.
Evidence supports the position that orcas are ill-served by public exhibition. The early benefit of demonstrating to society that they are not mindless killers is uncontested2, but is no longer served by continued display. It is not a matter of opinion that orcas do not adjust to captivity; it is a matter of fact. After more than 45 years of exhibiting orcas for human amusement, while at the same time studying them in the wild, we have learned enough about them in both settings to realize that orcas do not belong in captivity.
Full Document

RE: The Oregonian- 10/3/10, KEIKO’S MESSENGER | by: NAOMI A. ROSE, Ph.D.
Today’s Oregonian article on “Keiko: The Untold Story” is a great profile of Theresa, but I was disappointed by the phrases “the orca went missing” and “Keiko surfaced two months later” regarding Keiko’s journey to Norway. As the scientific paper referred to in the article makes very clear, Keiko was never “missing.” That paper documents clearly that we knew where he was the entire time and that we tracked him continuously on his journey across the Atlantic. The same scientific paper came to the following conclusion about the specific question “Did Keiko Feed?”

“It is possible that Keiko did not feed at all during the time he was independent of human care. Newly captured killer whales are able to live without food for several weeks before eating dead fish (Hoyt 1998). However, this seems unlikely given the healthy appearance and behavior of Keiko when he was first observed in Norway, as well as the fact that a veterinarian, based on girth measurements, blood samples and photographs, concluded that the whale had fed (Cornell 2002).”

Yet the Oregonian article implies 1) that it was only my opinion that led me to conclude that Keiko fed while traveling to Norway and 2) that the scientific paper concluded that he did not feed adequately or even at all, when in fact the language in the paper is far more positive than that (e.g., it “seems unlikely” that he did not feed and his appearance was “healthy” when he arrived in Norway).  At no time in the film did I ever suggest that Keiko was entirely independent, so the article’s implication that somehow I unjustifiably did so is truly disappointing.