Death at SeaWorld: Shamu and the Dark Side of Killer Whales in Captivity

Death at SeaWorld: Shamu and the Dark Side of Killer Whales in Captivity

by David Kirby
4.2 40

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Death at Sea World: Shamu and the Dark Side of Killer Whales in Captivity 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 40 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've been following The Orca Project blog ever since the attack at SeaWorld in 2010, so nothing in this book was new or astonishing to me. It does, however, provide a rather bleak look into the dark history of killer whale captivity as well as insight into one of the major corporations involved in keeping them in captivity today. Regardless of one's thoughts on the issue, I think everyone ought to read this at least once. This book has revived my interest in getting a graduate degree in marine science and doing some research on some of the less studied populations of killer whales throughout the world.
kawherp More than 1 year ago
I grew up visiting Sea World and the hope that one day I would do cetacean research myself. I have a career in the life sciences that was partly inspired by my experiences at the parks. However, we now know a lot more about these magnificent animals and have a mountain of evidence that captivity is bad for their physical, mental, and social/emotional well being. Even after Dawn Brancheau was attacked and killed, I believed it was an accident. But the more I read on the internet, the more skeptical I was about that conclusion. This book convinced me that Dawn was deliberately killed by the orca known as Tilly. I do not blame him. I blame the system that took him from his mother and set him up to mentally deteriorate over the subsequent years he has been in captivity. David Kirby asked two questions in this book: 1. Is captivity good for orcas? 2. Is captivity good for society? He carefully compiled the evidence, explained the viewpoints of those on both sides, and most importantly, cited his sources. Some of the individuals mentioned in his book declined to be interviewed. I think Mr. Kirby did a very credible job of explaining their views as carefully and accurately as possible. He recognizes that many of those in favor of captivity truly love and respect the whales and want what is best for them. But in the end, the answer to both questions is an emphatic no. Captivity is not good for orcas, it’s not even a neutral, lateral move. It’s harmful to them. And when you start looking at how many trainers have been injured and how few individuals leave the parks genuinely educated about cetaceans or instructed on concrete actions that will benefit wild whales, you have to conclude that the captivity of orcas is not good for society. We know far more about orcas than we did when the first individuals were captured and displayed for a paying public. We are now faced with the choice of loving these whales to death (as we currently do) or truly accepting responsibility for their welfare by cleaning up the oceans they call home.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Full of information, facts, points to think about, different views, etc. It was difficult for me to not constantly be reading this book. As a teacher, I think this book should be highly suggested reading for high school/ college students with an interest in animals and the various related subjects of study. As a knowledge seeker, this book inspired me to find out more information about the activist groups and books/ articles mentioned. Orcas have been my favorite animal since I was about 4 years old...and always will be. As part of all living things who share this earth, we should do all we can to help protect - especially those without voices.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Some of these reviews of absolutely horrible. What some of you are not getting out if this book is that animals, no matter how big or small, should not be kept in captivity for human entertainment. Saying that this book is just to get the reader "feeling" is a terrible argument. Yes, the book is supposed to connect to the human side of the reader, its supposed to get the reader feeling. Some of you are missing the point. The deaths are horrible but at the same time you have to expect them. You cannot get into a fish tank with a killer whale and expect to not be in danger. Orcas are far more intelligent than humans. By saying this book sucked and you will be returning to sea world in the summer is not a review. It is simply you being an arrogant jerk. The book puts thoughts into the readers minds that they may not have thought about before. It is an excellent book and is worth every cent. Yes, the book will make you feel, but isn't that what's supposed to happen when you read about animal cruelty? This book is absolutly fantasic. It is a must read. The points it makes are in the interest of the animals, not the humans.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is packed with valuable and underrated information and it somehow still reads like a fast-paced novel. It's easily one of the most inspiring books I've ever read. David Kirby's passion for animal rights somehow manages to shine through his objective research and reporting. It's an absolute must-read for anyone who has ever been or wanted to go to SeaWorld.
JYKWA More than 1 year ago
In my first and last visit to SeaWorld (the one in San Diego), I remember feeling perturbed as I watched these whales "perform." I felt it was not right to confine these magnificent creatures in swimming pools - maybe large by human standards but still tiny compared to the oceans they could roam - and demeaning to make them perform tricks for the crowd's entertainment. Mr. Kirby clearly articulates the reasons behind my instinctive unease. Well-researched and incisive, the book tells us why it is wrong to take the whales or any animals out of their natural habitat. Especially when commercial motivations are involved. A must-read for anyone concerned about environmental and/or animal rights issues.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a season pass holder of Sea World...I had no idea. As a mom... I just wanted to cry. This is an amazing book!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We should all educate ourselves and not help perpetuate the incarceration of these majestic animals. Too many Orcas and humans have already suffered and lost their lives. Some, like Tili, continue to
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although i am not done reading this book yet, i totally agree with David Kirby, ORCAS DO NOT DESERVE TO BE IN CAPTIVITY!!!!!!!! THEY ARE INNOCENT CREATURES THAT NEVER DID ANYTHING TO US TO MAKE US PUT THEM IN FREAKING CAPTIVITY!!!! SEAWORLD, PLEASE FREE THE ORCAS!!!!!!!
MichelleBB More than 1 year ago
One of the best books I have ever read. So sad but much needed education on the cruel captivity and marine park greed at Seaworld and parks world wide. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Aswome book ever
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penny3966 More than 1 year ago
David Kirby is a gifted investigative writer.....this was a book it seems he felt compelled to write. If you want the inside story of how heartbreaking captivty is for Orca,please read this well written book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DBaBeZ More than 1 year ago
very long read and sometimes hard to follow with all the info but really informitive and after watching blackfish and reading this book i will never give up informing my friends and anyone else who will listen how unfair and cruel these places are. Naomi rose is an amazing woman and i hope all her efforts and everyones effort involved are rewarded . LOVE this book.
Elphaba2324 More than 1 year ago
Loved it. Stuck on Orcas for a while now.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is a great book to read about the killer whales and etc.... but also have to watch blackfish on cnn and watched the show twice andis so intresting and want to know more about the creaturee and first of all is not the kiler whales false and blame the trainers and the trainers have to work and train with killer whales and other really hard not to get kill or hurt like othet trainers of what happen.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a young child, I always wanted to be a "Shamu Trainer." After reading this book, however, I am glad fate had other plans for me! This book opened my eyes to the horrible lives the Orcas at Seaworld lead & made me realize that Seaworld is nothing more than a money-hungry powerhouse that basically sentences these magnificant creatures to a shortened life of horrific slavery. Despite knowing the whales are wild animals, I underestimated the true danger inherent in working with them. I remember my last visit to Seaworld San Antonio (in 2009) & I can't believe the trainers were still picking a child from the audience to touch & kiss Shamu during the shows. Thank God nothing bad happened during those interactions! The book also educated me on the true nature of wild Orcas & I am hoping to be able to see them in their natural habitat one day. Overall, the book was well written, although slightly slow moving in some spots. It caused me to search for Naomi Rose on the internet & also search for & watch the recorded attacks that occurred at Seaworld. I recommend this book to all whale lovers & anyone who has ever spent money visiting a Seaworld...it might just change your mind about going back!
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