Rare Offshore killer whale megapod surfaces off Southern California

December 1, 2016

Read the Full Article at grindtv.com

Advertisements

Another SeaWorld Orca is ill, Kasatka

August 2, 2016

Kasatka, the 38 year old matriarch of the Sea World San Diego pod, is ill. Sea World announced on their blog that she is currently being given both oral medication and a nebulizer. She is said be be suffering from both a respiratory and bacterial infection. They go on to say that it is also an illness that can not be cured, only managed, though it is not contagious to the other whales.

While pneumonia is never mentioned in Sea World’s online announcement or the video, one has to wonder if that is the illness that plaguing Kasatka. Pneumonia is the leading cause of death cited for killer whale death, though it is usually only the final complication caused by another underlying problem. This is the second illness that Sea World has announced this year (Tilikum’s being the first). Another whale Unna died late last year in Texas just shy of her 20th birthday.

 

The statement on Sea World’s blog reads as follows

August 1, 2016

Kasatka is the matriarch of our killer whale family at SeaWorld San Diego.  In her early 40s, she is a mom, grandmother, and is beloved by all her trainers and veterinarians.

We have been treating Kasatka for a bacterial respiratory infection for several years. Because of the great relationship she has with her trainers, Kasatka participates in her own husbandry and veterinary care where she is given her medications, both orally and through a nebulizer that allows the medicine to go directly to her lungs.

As Kasatka and her immune system age, she is having a more difficult time fending off the illness and her medication takes longer to have an effect.  However, our animal care team remains passionately committed to providing her the best possible care to ensure that her illness is properly managed and that she continues to live a quality life.

She has good days and not-so-good days, but Kasatka is part of our family and there is nothing our trainers and veterinarians won’t do to provide her with treatment, comfort, love and care.

Source: SeaWorld Cares.com

 

 

More killer whale sightings reported in northeastern Hudson Bay

July 8, 2016

Changes to ice conditions could be one of the reasons behind a number of recent killer whale sightings in northeastern Hudson Bay, according to one marine biologist, and they could be after the same marine prey as Inuit hunters.

“In the case of Nunavut and Nunavik, these animals are likely eating the same marine mammals that are culturally and economically important to Inuit harvesters, so there is always the risk of potential competition of killer whales coming in and eating the same belugas and seals and that sort of things that the harvesters are depending on,” said Jeff Higdon.

There have been several reports of killer whale sightings around the Belcher Islands and in the waters off the west coast of the Ungava peninsula in Northern Quebec in the past month, including reports of two washed up carcasses.

“Killer whales are not normally seen around the island, but since winter to this spring several sightings have been reported,” said Lucassie Arragutainaq, chair of the hunters and trappers organization in Sanikiluaq, Nunavut, in Inuktitut.

He said hunters spotted the carcass of what appeared to be a washed-up killer whale in June along the Belcher Islands. Samples were collected and sent to a Fisheries and Oceans Canada lab in Winnipeg for testing.

Earlier this week, a killer whale was spotted further north near Puvirnituq, Que.

Last month, further south near Whapmagoostui, Que., there was another possible sighting.

And then this week, another carcass reportedly appeared near Sanikiluaq.

“A hunter was asked to get samples of it, but we think the dead whale washed away as he couldn’t find it in the area where someone claims to have seen it,” Arragutainaq said.

Sightings of killer whales in northeastern Hudson Bay have not been confined to the warmer months. Hunters from Sanikiluaq also reported seeing the whales earlier this year in January.

Three years ago, Jeff Higdon would have been skeptical of the sightings during the winter. But that changed when a dozen killer whales were found trapped in the ice in January 2013, about 30 kilometres off the coast of Inukjuak, Que.

Unlike other populations of killer whales like in the Pacific Ocean, who have enough data collected on them to form personalized health records, the marine biologist who works as a consultant including clients in Nunavut, said little is known about the whales on the other sides of Canada.

“The ones in the northwest Atlantic, eastern Canadian Arctic, we don’t really have a good understanding about of abundant these things are. We actually have little to no data on how abundant they are,” Higdon said.

“Most of what we know about this population of killer whales in particular, most of what we know about this population of killer whales in Nunavut and Nunavik, has come from local harvesters.”

Higdon said changes to sea ice and a possible growth in the killer whale population may be some of the reasons why year-round sightings are being reported.

“It’s not simply population growth, it’s animals going into different areas where they historically haven’t been found as well, and as far as the reason why they’re going there is anybody’s guess at this point.

Source: msn.com

After Dubai controversy, Sea World mulls Saudi entry

Nearly 100,000 animal rights campaigners signed a petition to protest the opening of a Sea World park in Dubai last year. (Sea World San Diego)

US aqua-themed attraction operator SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment is reportedly eyeing Saudi Arabia for expansion, according to reports.

The company’s chief executive Joel Manby was quoted as expressing an interest in the country after meeting with Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman this week during the royal’s US tour.

“Saudi Arabia has beautiful coastlines filled with marine life and wild animals and it is in need for a tourism push. We are waiting for the opportunity to go there,” Manby was quoted as saying in the Saudi press.

SeaWorld previously planned an adventure park in Dubai in conjunction with the larger World of Discovery theme park. However, the park, which was due to open in 2012, was scrapped in the fallout of the 2008 financial crisis.

More recently, the company said in a May 2015 conference call with analysts that it had signed a deal with a partner to assess the development of a park in the Middle East.

Despite no confirmation of a location the plans were met with some resistance in Dubai, where a petition against the attraction reached nearly 100,000 signatures last year.

PETA and other organisations later protested against the opening of a SeaWorld park in the emirate.

Saudi Arabia has embarked on a push to increase its tourism and entertainment options under the country’s Vision 2030.

Earlier this week US theme park operator Six Flags was also reported to be investigating a potential partnership in the kingdom after executives met with Prince Salman.

However, the operator later denied the rumours with a spokesperson saying it had a GCC exclusive deal with Dubai Parks and Resorts, which recently secured funding for its own Six Flags park.

Theme park operators have shown a renewed interest in the Gulf Cooperation Council in recent years, with two new attractions set to launch in Dubai in 2016 alone.

Indoor park IMG Worlds of Adventure will open its doors in August with zones themed around Marvel, Cartoon Network, Lost Valley Dinosaur Adventure and IMG Boulevard.

This will be followed by Dubai Parks and Resorts in October, an attraction with three parks, the Hollywood themed motiongate, Bollywood Park Dubai and Legoland Dubai.

In April plans were also unveiled for a $1bn Warner Bros themed park on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island.

Source: albawaba.com

Saudi Arabia’s deputy crown prince meets with SeaWorld execs

Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with executives from SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment on Tuesday during his visit to San Francisco.

SeaWorld’s CEO Joel Manby said that his company were looking at all the options for expanding global operations in tourism and looking for new partners, including Saudi Arabia.

“Saudi Arabia has beautiful coastlines filled with marine life and wild animals and it is in need for a tourism push. We are waiting for the opportunity to go there,” Joel said.

SeaWorld has over 12 destination and regional theme parks that are grouped in key markets across the United States, many of which showcase zoological collections of over 800 species of animals.

The company received 22.5 million visitors last year, including 3.3 million visitors from outside the United States.

It registered a revenue: $1.37bn ending December 2015 with a net income at $49.1m.

Providing a space for entertainment and promoting culture is featured prominently in Saudi Arabia’s vision for the future that was announced in April.

Under the vision, Saudi Arabia has said it is planning to provide “land suitable for cultural and entertainment projects. Talented writers, authors and directors will be supported.”

Prince Mohammed bin Salman is currently visiting the US where he met with American officials last week including US President Barack Obama. He’s currently meeting with technology giants in Silicon Valley in talks about further investments.

He met a day earlier and signed a memorandum of understanding was signed with Cisco Systems to help develop the digital infrastructure in Saudi Arabia.

To watch the video of the press release check out the original article here

California Makes New Move to Ban Orca Captivity

June 21, 2016

67

The California State Assembly has overwhelmingly approved a bill that would ban orca captivity for “display, performance, or entertainment purposes,” a move that activists hope will inspire similar actions in other states.

Legislators approved the California Orca Protection Act, a rider to an Assembly budget bill, on Thursday by a vote of 48–28, mostly along party lines, with Democrats favoring the legislation. Violators would face fines up to $100,000.

In addition to banning shows, the act also prohibits the breeding of any captive orca in California and makes it illegal to “export, collect, or import the semen, other gametes, or embryos of an orca held in captivity for the purpose of artificial insemination.”

The measure makes it illegal to export or sell an orca in California to another state or country unless authorized by federal law, or if the transfer “is to another facility within North America that meets standards comparable to those provided under the Animal Welfare Act.”

Under that provision, whales could be retired to sea sanctuaries in the United States or Canada, as envisioned by groups such as the Whale Sanctuary Project.

SeaWorld, though, has no intention of releasing any of its animals.

“Could it be done to move whales to sea cages? Yeah, it technically possibly could be done,” SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby said during an investor conference call on Wednesday. “But is it the safest thing for our animals? We do not believe it is.”

There are significant exemptions to the legislation.

Orcas can be held in captivity as long as there is an “educational presentation,” which the act defines as “a live, scheduled orca display in the presence of spectators that includes natural behaviors, enrichment, exercise activities, and a live narration and video content that provides science-based education to the public.”

To Read David Kirby’s full article please visit TakePart.com

SeaWorld Stock UP 2.69%

June 20, 2016

SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:SEAS) announced that Jack Roddy has joined the company as the new Chief Human Resources & Culture Officer and Jill Kermes has been promoted to Chief Corporate Affairs Officer. These appointments are effective June 20, 2016.

SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:SEAS) traded 2.09 Million shares and its share price fell -1.67% to close at $15.30. Company has 2.80% insider ownership. SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:SEAS) quarterly performance is -22.35% while its year to date (YTD) performance is -19.39%.

Source: kcregister.com

SeaWorld Ups Kermes to Lead Corporate Affairs

June 20, 2016

Jill Kermes, an agency vet who moved to SeaWorld Entertainment in 2013, has been named chief corporate affairs officer of the embattled theme park operator.

“Jill has been instrumental in building out the company’s corporate affairs department and overseeing the evolution of our company’s reputational efforts,” said president and CEO Joel Manby.

On the agency side she was a senior VP at Ketchum and managing director of Public Strategies. She was also VP of corporate and brand communications for Volkswagen Group of America and communications director for Gov. Jeb Bush in the early 2000s.

Kermes’ promotion is effective June 20.

SeaWorld VP of communications Fred Jacobs stepped down last December as the company tackled continued fallout from the documentary “Blackfish” and calls for reform of its treatment of captive animals.

Manby said he will lean on Kermes’ counsel as the company works to “execute on our future plans and increase our advocacy efforts for animals in the wild – in our parks, with our guests and through engagement with policymakers, conservation groups and other constituencies.”

Source: odwyerpr.com

SeaWorld addresses sanctuaries

June 20, 2016

SeaWorld addresses sanctuaries at its shareholder meeting

Though it was a meeting aimed at investors, several questions at Wednesday’s SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. shareholder meeting were focused on animals, rather than financial performance.

A couple of those questions mentioned the National Aquarium in Baltimore‘s recently announced plans to build a seaside sanctuary for its Atlantic bottlenose dolphins by 2020.

The aquarium says it is scouting locations in Florida and the Caribbean and is soliciting donations. One of its dolphins, Jade, was born at SeaWorld in 1999 and transported to the National Aquarium in 2006.

“We have the utmost respect for the National Aquarium,” Chief Executive Officer Joel Manby said. “We certainly know they’re going to take into account what we think are some health challenges of taking dolphins born and raised in an aquarium and placing them in an unfamiliar ocean environment, but having said that, we know they intend to pursue this experiment in a very mindful way and to monitor the health of their dolphins as they move them.”

Another inquiry about seaside sanctuaries was from, in Manby’s words, “our friends at PETA.” Actress Gillian Anderson submitted a question on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, a longtime SeaWorld critic, asking when the company would retire its orcas to sea sanctuaries.

“Could it be done to move whales to sea cages? Yeah, it technically possibly could be done,” Manby said. “But is it the safest thing for our animals? We do not believe it is.”

The shareholder meeting was online only. Questions were addressed but not read aloud in their entirety.

There were questions about collapsed dorsal fins on killer whales, the health status of the killer whale Tilikum, and what attendance changes there have been since SeaWorld announced in March it would end its orca breeding.

It’s too soon to measure change, Manby said. . . .

To read the full article please visit the Orlando Sentinal