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tv   Blackfish  CNN  July 4, 2015 4:00pm-6:01pm PDT

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orange county fire rescue. >> 6600 sea harbor drive. seaworld stadium. >> okay. >> we actually have a trainer the water with one of our whales. the whale they're not supposed to be in the water with. >> okay. we'll get someone in route. >> through gate number 3 to shamu stadium. >> gate 3. >> orange county sheriff's office.
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>> we need someone to respond for a dead person at seaworld. a whale has eaten one of the trainers. >> a whale ate one of the trainers? >> that's correct. ♪ ♪ do you believe? >> my parents first brought me to a seaworld park when i was very young. from that point forward, i was hooked. it meant everything to me because, you know, i'd never
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wanted anything more. >> i remember, you know, being probably in first or second grade watching national geographic specials or mutual of omaha specials and seeing whales and seeing dolphins. and as a little kid, just being really incredibly inspired to it. i never went to seaworld. i grew up in new york so i went to the bronx zoo. >> grew up on a lake with horses. we'd swim the horses. >> i grew up around the ocean. >> i came from the middle of the country in flatland kansas. >> from virginia traveled down, did the theme park thing in orlando when i was 17. and saw the night show at shamu stadium. very emotional, you know, popular music. and i was just -- i was very driven to want to do that. >> and i saw what the trainers did. and i said, that's what i want to do. >> one of the trainers there, he goes, what are you doing out there? you should be a trainer. i go, i don't know how to train animals, i've never trained animals in my life. >> how do you prepare yourself
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for an encounter with an 8,000-pound orca? >> i always thought you needed a master's degree in marine biology to be a trainer. >> it takes years of study and experience to meet the strict requirements necessary to interact in the water with shamu. >> come to find out, it really is more about your personality and how good you can swim. >> i went and tried out, got the job right away. i was, like, yeah. i was so excited. so, so excited. >> i really wanted to be there. i really wanted to do the job. i couldn't wait to get in the water with the animals. i really was proud of being a seaworld trainer. i thought this was the most amazing job. >> i showed up there on my first day not really knowing what to expect. i was told to put on a wetsuit and get in the water. >> hi, mom. >> i was scared out of my wits. >> first of all, i put my wetsuit on backwards because i was raised on a farm in virginia. my first thought and memory of that time was that dolphins are
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a lot bigger than they look when you get in the water next to them. >> well, i watched this sea lion and otter show and this guy mike moracco, he comes out during the show with a dress on as dorky, the alter ego of dorothy, in a dress with the sea lion, the coward sea lion and walking along with a basket. i thought, i will never, ever do that, you know. two months later, hi, i'm dorky. walking out on stage with the sea lion. >> i was overwhelmed and i was so excited. i mean, just seeing a killer whale is breathtaking. >> i was just in awe. it's shocking to see how large they are and how beautiful they are. >> being, you know, in the presence of the killer whales
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was just inspiring and amazing and i remember seeing them for the first time, just not being able to believe how huge they were. you're there because you want to train killer whales and that's your goal. i didn't know it was going to happen, so i wasn't expecting it. and one day they say okay, sam, you're ready to go. you're going to stand on the whale, you're going to dive off the whale. the whale's going to swim under you and pick you up again. then you're going to do a perimeter ride around the pool. they just told me to go do it and i did it. wow, i did -- i just rode a killer whale. >> when you look into their eyes, you know somebody is home. somebody is looking back. you form a very personal relationship with your animal. >> there's something absolutely
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amazing about working with an animal. you are a team. and you build a relationship together, and you both understand the goal, and you help each other. >> i've been with this whale since i was 18 years old. i've seen her have all four babies. we've grown up together. >> that's the joy i got out of it is just a relationship like i've never had. >> i have to know, are you nervous? >> i'm scared. >> no. >> nice hair, jeff. >> jeff ventre will go over there.
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>> dawn. >> that's dawn. >> wow. >> i'm going to be a supervisor one day. >> i knew dawn when she was new. she was a great person to work with, and she obviously blossomed into one of seaworld's best trainers. >> this is dawn brancheau, the senior trainer here at shamu stadium. >> i guess you can say i knew dawn in a past life. >> it a tough job, isn't it? >> we do go through a lot of physical exertion. you do a lot of deep water work, breath holds, high-energy behaviors with the animals. obviously they're giving out a lot of energy, too but we're working together and having a hot of fun as well. >> she's beautiful, blond, athletic, friendly, everybody loves dawn. >> i mean this so sincerely, watching you perform yesterday, you are amazing. >> thank you. >> you really are. >> she captured what it means to be a seaworld trainer. she had so much experience that it made me realize what happened to her really could have happened to anyone.
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>> this is detective rivera with the orange county sheriff's office. today's date is february 24th, 2010. the time is 4:16. in the room with me is thomas george tobin, is that correct? >> right. >> did you see any blood in the water or anything like that? >> well, that's part of it. she was scalped, and there was no blood. >> okay. >> so pretty much we knew then the heart wasn't beating. >> once they were able to pull her away, how did he let go of her? >> he didn't. >> he never let go of the -- >> of the arm? >> the arm. >> he swallowed it. >> he swallowed it. so the arm is nowhere -- >> right. >> osha on behalf of the federal government is basically suggesting that swimming with orcas is inherently dangerous and that you can't completely predict the outcome when you enter the water or enter their environment. >> that's the crux of the osha case.
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stay out of proximity with the animals and you won't get killed. >> it will have a ripple effect through the whole industry. this was national headline news. >> seaworld's whale performances may never be the same. >> right now the theme park is arguing in court to keep the whale trainers in the water. something osha says is extremely dangerous. >> these are wild animals and they are unpredictable because we don't speak whale. we don't speak whale, we don't speak tiger, we don't speak monkey. >> tempers flared between two sides today when osha's attorneys suggested seaworld only made changes after dawn brancheau's death outraged the public. >> osha doesn't want the trainers going back in the water without a physical barrier between them and the whales. >> being in close proximity to these top predators is too dangerous. >> they won't be getting in the water and riding on whales, things like that? >> if you were in a bathtub for 25 years, don't you think you'd get a little irritated, aggravated, maybe a little psychotic? >> the situation with dawn
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brancheau didn't just happen. it's not a singular event. you have to go back over 20 years to understand this. >> it was a really exciting thing to do until everybody wanted to do it. >> what were they telling you you were going to do? >> capture orcas. >> they had aircraft, they had spotters, they had speedboats, they had bombs they were throwing in the water. they were lighting their bombs with acetylene torches in their boats and throwing them as fast as they could to herd the whales into coves. but the orcas had been caught before, and they knew what was going on, and they knew their young ones would be taken from
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them. so the adults without young went east into a cul-de-sac and the boats followed them thinking they were all going that way while the mothers with babies went north. but the capture teams had aircraft, and they have to come up for air eventually. and when they did, the capture teams alerted the boats and said, oh, no, they're going north. the ones with babies. so the speedboats caught them there and herded them in. and then they had fishing boats with seine nets that would stretch across so none could leave and then they could just pick out the young ones. >> we were only after the little ones, and the little ones, you know, big animal still, but i was told because of shipping costs, that's why they only take the little ones.
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>> they had the young ones that they wanted in the corrals, so they dropped the seine nets and all the others could have left, but they stayed. >> we're there trying to get the young orca into the stretcher, and the whole fam-damly is out here 25 yards away maybe in a big line and they're communicating back and forth. well, you understand then what you're doing, you know. i lost it. i mean, i just started crying. i didn't stop working, but i, you know, just couldn't handle it. just like kidnapping a little kid away from a mother. everybody is watching, what can you do?
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but the worst thing i could think of, you know, i can't think of any worse than that. now, this really sounds bad, but when the whole hunt was over, there were three dead whales in the net, and so they had peter and brian and i cut the whales open, fill them with rocks and put anchors on their tail and sink them. well, really, i didn't even think about it being illegal at that point. i thought it was a pr thing. >> they were finally ejected from the state of washington by a court order in 1976. it was seaworld by name that was told do not come back to
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washington to capture whales. without missing a beat, they went from washington to iceland and began capturing there. >> i've been part of a revolution and two change of presidents in central and south america and seen some things that it's hard to believe, but this is the worst thing that i've ever done is hunt that whale. ♪ sealand has been a part of ♪ music playing if you haven't heard about the latest sale
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at by now, ♪ music playing it's because you're willfully ignoring me. ♪ music playing book now and save during the fourth of july sale at ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ sealand has been a part of victoria for over 20 years. we specialize in the care and display of killer whales. >> by the time i started when he was 4, he was up to 16 feet long and weighed 4,000 pounds. >> i had actually seen tilikum quite a number of times. he was right across the street here in victoria. all sealand was was a net hanging in a marina with a float
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around it. >> tilikum was the one we really loved to work with. he was very well behaved and he was always eager to please. >> when he was first introduced, everything just went fine and dandy. but the previous head trainer used techniques that involved punishment. he would team a trained orca up with tilikum who was untrained, he would send them both off to do the same behavior. if tilikum didn't do it, both animals were punished. deprived of food to keep them hungry. this caused a lot of frustration with the larger animal, the established animal. and would in turn get frustrated with tilikum and would rake him with his teeth. >> there would be times during certain seasons that tilikum would be covered head to toe with rakes. rakes are teeth on teeth and raking the skin and from head to toe. you could see blood and you could see scratches and he would just be raked up. >> both females would gang up on him.
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tilikum was the one we trusted. we never were concerned about tilikum. the issue was really that we stored these whales at night in what we called a module which was 20 feet across and probably 30 feet deep. as a safety precaution because we were worried about people cutting the net and letting them go and the lights were all turned out. so there is no stimulation, just in a dark metal 20 foot by 30 foot pool for two-thirds of their life. >> when we first started, they were quite small and quite young, so they fit in there quite nicely, but they were immobile for the most part. >> it didn't feel good. it just didn't. and it -- it was just wrong. >> we started having difficulty getting them all into this one small steel box, to be honest. that's what it was. it was a floating steel box. >> that's where food deprivation would come in. we would hold back food and they
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would know if they went in the module they would get their food. so if they were hungry enough they're going to go in there. >> during the winter, that would be 5:00 at night until 7:00 in the morning. >> when you let them out, you'd see new tooth rakes and sometimes you'd see blood. >> closing that door on him and knowing that he's locked in there for the whole night is like -- it's a stab. it -- whoa. >> if that is true, it's not only inhumane, and i'll tell them so, but it probably led to what i think is a psychosis that he was on a hair trigger. he'd kill. >> an employee is dead after an encounter -- >> at a canadian park called sealand of the pacific. >> the victim keltie byrne was a championship swimmer and a part-time worker at sealand.
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>> as seen in this home video, rescuers used a huge net -- >> workers' efforts were hindered by the agitated whales. >> i would like to use this summer but my more immediate goal is to swim fast at nationals. >> it was sort of a cloudy gray day, and we were looking for something to do, so we thought why not go to sealand? it was kind of like this dingy pool with these whales. >> it just felt a little bit like an amusement park that was kind of on its last legs and everything was a bit gray. >> yeah, it was like a swimming pool. >> yeah. >> three whales in a swimming pool. >> yeah. and they would come up and touch the ball, and there was -- i think there was some tail
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splashing and there was some -- >> jumping. >> -- with the fish. >> they hold the fish and the whales jump up. and i remember saying, oh what a fun job, you know. she's so lucky. and then i saw her walking with her rubber boots and she tripped and her foot just dipped into the edge of the pool, and she lost her balance and fell in, and then she was pushing her way up to get out of the pool, and the whale zoomed over, grabbed her boot, and pulled her back in. at first, i didn't think it was that serious because you see -- you see the trainer in the pool with the whale and you think, oh, well, you know, the whales are used to that, you know. then all of a sudden you started getting -- there was more swimming, more activity, more thrashing. and she was starting to get panicked. and then as it progressed, you started to realize, well, something's not right here. >> she started to scream. and she started looking around and her eyes were like bigger and bigger and realizing that i really am in trouble here. >> and then they would pull her under, and then they would come up and then when she -- when they came up she'd be help me, help me.
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then they would take her down again. >> and she would be submerged for several seconds up to, i don't know, maybe a minute. you don't -- you're not keeping track. >> so, you know, it was harder and harder for her to, you know, to, you know, get the air in because she was screaming. and my sister remembers her saying, i don't want to die. condolences to keltie's family. >> yeah. that we couldn't help her. it was pretty wretched. >> sealand closed. it's probably a good thing. i mean, it was a little pond, and i think the owner, you know, made the right decision for whatever reasons. i don't believe he's a bad guy, a bad man. i think he was shocked by the whole affair too. >> the blush was gone from the business, and he decided that that was it.
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we should shut down. >> no one ever contacted us. there was an inquest. no one ever asked us to say what happened. you know, we just left. >> there was no big lawsuits afterwards, and there's no memorial. and, you know, the only thing remaining of keltie byrne is, you know, what's left in the folks' minds who recall the case. >> so in the newspaper articles, the cause of death is that she drowned accidently, but, you know, she was pulled under by the whale. >> well, there's a bit of smoke and mirrors going on. i mean, one of the fundamental facts is that none of the witnesses were clear about which whale pulled keltie in. >> yes, yeah. it was the large whale, tilikum. the male is the one that went after her. and the other two just kind of circled around, but he was definitely the instigator. and we knew it was that whale because he had the flopped-over fin. like, it was very easy to tell.
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>> sealand of the pacific closed its doors and was looking, i guess, to make a buck on the way out and these whales are worth millions of dollars. >> when seaworld heard that tilikum was available after this accident at sealand of the pacific, they really wanted tilikum because they needed a breeder. so i don't even think that anybody even was questioning like, is this a good idea? >> my understanding of the situation was that tilikum and the others would not be used in shows. they would not be performance animals. our understanding of their behavior was it was such a highly stimulating event for them, they were likely to repeat it. >> sealand was -- we were all young and a bit of sea cowboys, and we weren't so technical and scientific as seaworld. so we all had this vision that they knew more than us and they were better than us and tilikum would have a better pool and better life and he'd have better
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care and he'd have better food and be a great life for him. so it was like okay, tili, you're going to disneyland. lucky you. that's why i have the spark cash card from capital one. i earn unlimited 2% cash back on everything i buy for my studio. ♪ and that unlimited 2% cash back from spark means thousands of dollars each year going back into my business... that's huge for my bottom line. what's in your wallet? ♪ ♪ you're only young once. unless you have a subaru. (announcer) the subaru xv crosstrek. symmetrical all-wheel drive plus 34 mpg.
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orcas' intelligence may be even superiors to man's. as parents they are exemplary, better than many human beings. and like human beings, they have a profound instinct for vengeance. presenting "orca." >> if you go back only 35 years, we knew nothing, in fact less
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than nothing. what the public had was superstition and fear. >> a fight to the death. between the two most dangerous animals on earth. >> what in hell are you! >> these were the vicious killer whales that, you know, had 48 sharp teeth that would rip you to shreds if they got a chance. >> what we learned is that they are amazingly friendly, and understanding and intuitively want to be your companion. >> are you recording this? >> and to this day there is no record of an orca doing any harm to any human in the wild. ♪ ♪ >> they live in these big families, and they have life
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spans very similar to human life spans. the females can live to about 100, maybe more. males to about 50 or 60, but the adult offspring never leave their mother's side. each community has a completely different set of behaviors. each has a complete repertoire of vocalizations with no overlap. you could call them languages. the scientific community is reluctant to say any other animal but humans uses languages, but there's every indication that they use languages. >> the orca brain just screams out intelligence, awareness. we took this tremendous brain and we put it in a magnetic resonance imaging scanner. what we found was just astounding. they've got a part of the brain
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that humans don't have. a part of their brain has extended out right adjacent to their limbic system. the system processes emotions. the safest inference would be these are animals that have highly elaborated emotional lives. it's becoming clear that dolphins and whales have a sense of self, a sense of social bonding that they've taken to another level, much stronger and much more complex than in other mammals including humans. we look at mass strandings, the fact that they stand by each other. everything about them is social, everything. it's been suggested that their whole sense of self is distributed among the individuals in their group. >> five of them. these orca are going to attack this sea lion. they have been breaking the ice
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off and swimming around him. oh, here they come two of them look. underneath there. you can see them underneath. they made a big wave. look at that. big wave. oh, yeah. >> oh, god, no, no, no. >> if you can't watch the bullfight, you better leave. here they go, look at this. three of them. >> oh, god, oh, no, oh, god. >> it's all over. >> no, not yet. >> yeah, it's all over. it's all over. ♪ >> the first nations people and the fishermen on the coast, they call them blackfish. they're an animal that possesses great spiritual power, and they're not to be meddled with.
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i've spent a lot of time around killer whales, and they are always in charge. i never get out of the boat. i never mess with them. the speed and the power is quite amazing. rules are the same as the pool hall. keep one foot on the floor at all times. even after seeing them thousands of times, you see them and you still, you know, wake up. ♪ hold on for one more day really? hey, i know there's pain. why do you lock yourself up in these chains?
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he arrived, i think, in 1992. i was at whale and dolphin stadium when he arrived. he's twice as large as the next animal in the facility. >> right at about 12,000 pounds. that's -- that's incredible. he looks fantastic. >> when tilikum arrived at seaworld, he was attacked viciously, repeatedly, by katina and others. in the wild, it's a very matriarchal society. male whales are kept at the perimeter. in captivity, animals are squeezed into very close proximity. tilikum, the poor guy is so large, he couldn't get away because he just is not as mobile relative to the smaller and more agile females.
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and where was he going to run? there's no place to run. >> i think he spent a lot of time in isolation. seaworld claims, oh, no, he's always in with the other -- with the females. but from what i saw he was mostly put with the females for breeding purposes and he didn't spend a lot of time with the other whales. >> it's for his own protection, you know, he gets beat up, and so by segregating him, it provides a physical barrier so the females can't kick his butt. >> tilikum is pretty much kept in the back, and then brought out at the very end as like the big splash. he was always happy to see you in the morning. >> hi! >> there we go. >> good boy. >> look at his choppers. >> maybe because he was alone. maybe because he was hungry. maybe because he just liked you. who knows what was going on in his head. >> want to whistle? [ whistling ] >> yes? >> that was really loud. >> he seemed to like to work.
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he seemed to be interested. he seemed to want to learn new things. he seemed to be enjoying, you know, working with the trainers. >> he, for me, was a joy. he really responded to me, and i -- you know, every day i went to work i was happy to see tili. >> that's cute. >> you're being too cute. >> i never got the impression of him, while i was there, that, you know, oh my god, he's the scary whale. not at all. >> maybe some of its just our naivety or whatever. you know, because we weren't given the full details of keltie's situation. >> turn around. smile, buddy. >> i was under the impression that tilikum had nothing to do with her death.
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specifically, that it was the female whales responsible for her death. what i found really odd at first was the way they were acting around this whale and what they told esseemed to me to be two different things. the first day he arrived, i remember one of the senior trainers at seaworld, tilikum was in a pool and she was walking over a gate and she had her wet suit unzipped tied around her waist and making cooing noises and going hey, tilikum. what a cute little whale. and she was just kind of play talking at him. and one of the supervisors said, get her out of there! just screamed at her. like, get her away from there, they were so worried that something was going to happen. and i remember thinking, why are you guys making such a big deal out of this when he didn't actually kill her? well, clearly management thought there was some reason to exercise caution around him. you know. clearly, they knew more than they were telling us. >> ladies and gentlemen, the next two behaviors you're going to be seeing you can only see right here at seaworld. >> jeff was out in the audience
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filming one of the shamu shows. it was a perfect show. all the hot dog sequences, waterworks sequences went off great. >> i was really excited just to be capturing this because it was kind of turning out to be a great show. a show that's kind of complete, it doesn't -- it probably only only happens a few times a week. >> at the very end of the show, liz was working tilikum and apparently tilikum lunged out of the water at her. >> and i had captured tilikum coming out of the water kind of turning sideways and appeared to me to try to grab liz, and at that moment, the tape became unusable. i was just kind of basically instructed to get rid of the tape. wanting to kind of preserve the tape, i actually used the editing equipment and snipped out that little half second or second when he did that and stitched it back together so it just kind of looked like a glitch in the tape. and i'm like, look at this! and it's like, no, this is no longer useable. so we had to destroy the tape.
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♪ ♪ ♪ it's pretty outrageous that seaworld would claim there was no expecting tilikum coming out of the water, because they had witnessed him coming out of the water and it's written into his profile. he lunges at trainers. >> when we visit seaworld we tend to take for granted the fact that shamu has been provided with a safe and comfortable habitat.
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>> this is killer whales' natural behavior. >> i spewed out the party line during shows. i'm totally mortified now. there is like, something like, look at namu. you know. namu's not doing that because she has to. >> namu is doing this because she really wants to. >> oh, my gosh. some of the things i'm embarrassed by, so embarrassed by. at the time i think i could have convinced myself that the relationships that we had were built on something stronger than the fact that i'm giving them fish. you know, i like to think that. but i don't know that that's the truth. i had been there awhile and i had seen a few other things along the way that made me question why i was there and what we were doing with these animals. >> on november 4th, 1988, a
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killer whale at seaworld gave the performance of a lifetime. don't miss this small miracle. come see our new baby shamu. >> i know it was naive of me, but i thought that it was our responsibility to do as much as we could to keep their family units together since we knew that in the wild that's what happens. ♪ yes, sir, that's our baby >> kalina was the first baby shamu. >> baby shamu, seaworld's newest star. >> she had become quite disruptive and challenging her mom a little bit and disrupting some shows, and that kind of thing. ♪ she's got the whole place jumping ♪ ♪ shamu, she's that baby whale >> it was decided by the higher
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ups she would be moved to another park when she was just four, four and a half years old. and that was news to us as trainers that were working with her. to me it had never crossed my mind that they might be moving the baby from her mom. the supervisors basically was kind of mocking me like, oh you're saying poor kalina? you know, what she's going to do without her mommy? and that of course shut me up. so the night of the move we had to deploy the nets to separate them and get kalina into the med pool and katina was generally a quiet whale. she was not an overly vocal whale. after kalina was removed from the scene and put on the truck and taken to the airport and her mom katina was left in the pool, she stayed in the corner of the pool, like, literally just
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shaking and screaming, screeching crying like i'd never seen her do anything like that. and the other females in the pool maybe once or twice during the night they would come out and check on her and she would screech and cry and they would just run back. there was nothing that you could call that watching it, besides grief. >> those are not your whales. you know, you love them, and you think i'm the one that touches them, feeds them, keeps them alive, gives them the care that they need. they are not your whales. they own them. kasatka and takara were very close. kasatka was the mother, takara was the calf. takara was special to me. they were inseparable. when they separated them, it was to take takara to florida. when they separated kasatka and takara, it was to take takara to florida. once takara had already been
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stretchered out of the pool, put on the truck, driven to the airport, kasatka continued to make vocals that had never been heard before. they brought in the senior research scientist to analyze the vocals. they were long-range vocals. she was trying something that no one had even heard before looking for takara. that's heartbreaking. how can anyone look at that and think that that is morally acceptable? it's not. it is not okay. igns of damage i. are you sure you're not ignoring them in your body? even if you're treating your crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, an occasional flare may be a sign of damaging inflammation. and if you ignore the signs, the more debilitating your symptoms could become.
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stand by, dean. >> let's go live to seaworld where dean gomersoll is joining us for a sneak peek. hi, dean. tell us about the new show. >> good afternoon, richard. the new show is whale and dolphin discovery. what it does is it shows the relationship we have between all our animals here -- >> there's so many things that were told to us. they tell you so many times that you start believing it, you know. >> all the animals here get along very well. it's just like training your dog really. >> i was blind. i was a kid. i didn't know what i was doing
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really. >> nice. good job. >> ladies and gentlemen, this a david from maryland. go ahead and wave at everyone, david. >> i just really bought into what they told us. you know, i learned to say what they told us to the audience. >> hello out there. children are some of shamu's biggest fans. we can do just about anything we want. i thought i knew everything about killer whales when i worked there and everything about these animals. i really know nothing about killer whales. i know a lot about being an animal trainer or a killer whale trainer, but i don't know anything about these animals' natural history or their behavior. i really in some ways believed a lot of what i was learning from them because why would they lie? >> because the whales in their pools die young, they like to say that all orcas die at 25 or 30 years. >> 25 to 35 years. >> 25 to 35 years. >> they're documented in the
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wild living to be about 35, mid-30s. they tend to live a lot longer in this environment because they have all the veterinary care. >> and of course that's false. we knew by 1980 after half a dozen years of the research that they live equivalent to human life spans. and every other potentially embarrassing fact is twisted and turned and denied one way or another. >> so in the wild they live less. >> like the floppy dorsal fins. >> 25% of whales have a fin that turns over like that as they get older. >> dorsal collapse happens in less than 1% of wild killer whales. we know this. all the captive males, 100%, have collapsed dorsal fins. >> and they say that they're a family, that the whales are in their family. they have their pods, but that's just, you know, an artificial
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assemblage of their collection, however management decides they should mix them and whichever ones happen to be born or bought or brought in. that's not a family, you know? come on. >> you've got animals from different cultural subsets that have been brought in from various parks. these are different nations. these aren't just two different killer whales. these animals, they've got different genes. they use different languages. >> well, what can happen as a result of them being thrown in with other whales that they haven't grown up with, that are not part of their culture is there's hyperaggression. a lot of violence, a lot of killing in captivity that you don't ever see in the wild. >> for the health and safety of the animals, please do not put your hands in the water. >> there's always sort of this backdrop, this underpinning of tension between animals. whale-on-whale aggression was
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just part of, you know, the daily existence. >> we ask that you use the stairs and aisleways as you exit. please do not step on the seats. these areas may become wet and therefore slippery to some footwear. thank you. >> in the wild, when there's tension, they have thousands of square miles to exit the scene, and they can get away. you don't have that in captivity. >> could you imagine being in a small concrete enclosure for your life when you're used to swimming a hundred miles a day? >> sometimes this aggression became very severe, and, in fact, whales have died in captivity because of this aggression. >> i think it was 1988 kandu trying to assert her dominance over corky rammed corky. it fractured her jaw, which cut an artery in her head, and then she bled out. that's got to be a hard way to go down.
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i saw that there was just a lot of things that weren't right. and there was a lot of misinformation and something was amiss. and i sort of compartmentalized that part of it and did the best that i could with the knowledge that i had to take care of the animals that were there. and i think all the trainers there have the same thing in their heart. they're trying to make a difference in the lives of the animals. you think, if i leave, who is going to take care of tilikum? that's why i stayed. i felt sorry for tilikum. i mean, if you want to get down to the nuts and bolts of it, i stayed because i felt sorry for tilikum, and i couldn't bring myself to stop coming and trying to take care of him. ♪ >> gosh, do i love coming out here every day and having the audience just love what we're doing with the animals.
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how do i make this animal as beautiful as they are and have people walk away loving this animal. if they're touched and they're moved, i feel like i've made a difference to them. >> i left in january of 2010, a month before dawn passed away. she was, like, a safety guru. i mean, she was always double-checking and making sure that everyone was doing the right thing. i remember she would record every show that she did and she would watch it and critique herself, and she was constantly trying to be better. when i found out it was dawn, i was shocked. that could have been me. i could have been the spotter. what if i was there and i could have saved her? you know, all these things go through your mind. >> john sillick is the guy who
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in 1987 was crushed between two whales at seaworld of san diego. now, even though i had been working at seaworld for six months, i had no idea that that had even happened. i never even heard that story. and the seaworld party line would say it was a trainer error. >> it was john's fault. john's fault. he was supposed to get off that whale. for years i believed that, and i told people that. i actually started at seaworld like five days after that event occurred, and we weren't told much about it other than it was trainer error. and, you know, especially when you're new into the program, you don't really question a whole lot. well, you know, years later when you actually look at the footage, you go, you know what, he didn't do anything wrong. that whale just landed on him. that whale just went to the wrong spot. it could have been aggression. who knows? but it was not the trainer's fault at all, watching that video.
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>> when i saw the video of the killer whale landing on john, i mean, it just absolutely took my breath away. i gasped. i watched it two or three times. and every time i saw that i gasped. i could not believe what i was seeing. what kept his body together is basically his wet suit held him together. but i know he's had multiple surgeries, and he's got tons of hardware in his body. and it's hard for me to believe i didn't actually see that video while i was actually an animal trainer. it seems to me every person who works with killer whales should have to watch that video. >> tamary -- you know, tamary made mistakes. the most important one was interacting with whales without a spotter. so she's putting her foot on orchid. she's taking her foot off. she's putting her foot on orchid. she's taking it off. watching the video, knowing
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orchid, your stomach drops because you probably know what's going to happen. she grabbed her foot. tamary whips around, and she grabs the gate. you see her just ripped from the gate. at this point, tamary knows that she's in trouble. she's under the water. splash and orchid both have her. she's totally out of view. no other trainer knows this is happening. people start to scream, you know, the park guest that was filming it. you hear -- you don't see her, but you hear tamary surface. you hear her just scream out, somebody help me. and the way she screamed it, it was such a blood-curdling -- like she knew she was going to die. robin, when he ran over, he made a brilliant decision. he told the trainer to run and take the chain off tasaka's gate. by taking that chain off it would give the precursor to orchid that kastka is coming in.
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kastka is more dominant than orchid so orchid let her go. her arm, it was u-shaped. it was compound fractured. she's very lucky to be alive. that's for sure. ♪ >> i believe it's 70-plus, maybe even even more, just killer whale trainer accidents. maybe 30 of them happened prior to me actually being hired at seaworld. and i knew about none of them. >> i've seen animals come out at trainers. >> something is wrong. >> i've seen people get slammed.
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>> the whales, they're either just playing or they're upset for a second. it was just something that happened, you know. >> it's a culture of you get back on the horse and you dive back in the water, and, if you're hurt, well, then we've got other people that will replace you. and you came a long way. you sure you want that? >> a seaworld trainer is recovering today after a terrifying ordeal in front of a horrified audience. ♪
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>> for some reason, the whale just took a different approach to what it was going to do with a very senior, very experienced trainer, ken peters, and dragged him to the bottom of the pool and held him at the bottom. let him go. picked him up. took him down again. and these periods he was taken down were pretty close to the mark, you know, a minute, a minute 20. when he was at the surface, he didn't panic. he didn't thrash. he didn't scream. maybe he's just built that way.
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but he stroked the whale. and the whale let go of one foot and grabbed the other. >> that's a pretty deep pool, and he took him right down. i think that's to two atmospheres' pressure. apparently mr. peters is an experienced scuba diver, and i think that knowledge probably contributed to how he was able to be hauled down there that quickly and stay calm and know what to do. he knew what he was doing because you can see him in the film, you can see him ventilating. you can see him ventilating really hard so he knows about swimming and diving and being under water. he may have been assuming he was going under again.
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i did not walk away unimpressed by his calm demeanor during that whole affair. i would be scared [expletive]. ♪ >> he was near to the end. presumably, ken peters had a relationship with this whale. maybe he did. maybe that's what saved him. but peters got the whale to let him go. they strung a net across, and ken peters pulled himself over
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the float line and swam like a demon to a slide-out because the whale was coming right behind him. the whale jumped over it and came right after him. he tried to stand up and run, but his feet were damaged. he just fell. he scrambled. and they take this as a prime example of their training working. they say to stand back and stay calm. and that did work. they claim this is a victory of how they do business. and maybe so. but it can also be interpreted as a hair's breadth away from another fatality. ♪ ♪
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hi, shamu. hi, everybody. we're the johnsons from detroit, michigan. we sure had a great time when we visited seaworld. it's one of our favorite places. >> yeah, i like when shamu gets everybody wet. >> when t whales get up close to the glass and start kicking up the water, whammo, you're a goner. ♪ >> orange county sheriff's deputies have identified the 27-year-old man found dead in a killer whale's tank at seaworld. the victim is daniel p. dukes from south carolina. dukes was found yesterday draped over the back of tilikum, the
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largest orca held in captivity. >> well, all i know is the public relations version of it. he was a young man that had been arrested not long before he snuck into seaworld. maybe he climbed the barbed wire fence around the perimeter and stayed after hours. >> perfect story line, a mentally disturbed guy hides in the park after hours and strips his clothes off and decides he wants to have a magical experience with an orca and drowns because he became hypothermic. right. so that's the story line, and none of us were there to know the difference. >> he was not detected by the night watch trainers who were presumably at that station. >> there are cameras all over seaworld. there are cameras all over the back of shamu stadium pointing every which way. there are underwater cameras. i find it hard to believe that nobody knew until the morning that there was a body in there. they have a night watch trainer every night. that person didn't hear any splashing or screaming? i mean, i just find that really suspicious.
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>> one of the employees -- i don't know if it was a physical therapist or somebody -- was coming in in the morning, and there was tilikum with a dead naked guy on his back kind of parading him around the back pool. the public relation spin on this was that he was kind of a drifter and died of hypothermia. but the medical examiner reports were more graphic than that. for example, tilikum stripped him, bit off his genitals. there was bite marks all over his body. >> now, whether that was post-death or pre-death i don't know, but all i can comment on is that the guy definitely jumped in the wrong pool. ♪ >> so why keep tilikum there? this guy has a proven track record of killing people.
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he's clearly a liability to the institution. why keep him around? well, it's quite simple to answer. and that is that his semen is worth a lot of money. >> over the years, tilikum has been one of the main breeding whales at seaworld, which is brilliant because they can inseminate way more female whales because they can just get his sperm and freeze it, and he's basically operating as a sperm bank. in a reputable breeding program, rule number one is you certainly would not breed an animal that has shown a history of aggression towards humans. imagine if you had a pit bull who had killed. i mean, that animal would have likely been put down. but in the entire seaworld collection, it's like 54% of the whales in seaworld's collection now have tilikum's genes.
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>> the fall is to assume all killer whales are like tilikum. you have to look at their learning history from birth. you have to understand why tilikum was a hazard to anybody in the water. and you have to understand none of the other killer whales at seaworld in that system are that way. >> what about the incident at loro parque? >> first of all, i can't speak with specificity about loro parque. i wasn't there. in fact, i know very little about it, probably about as much as the general public knows. ♪
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[ speaking foreign language ] >> loro parque is in the canary islands, which is an autonomous region of spain. it's the largest tourist attraction in all of spain. and when seaworld sent the orcas
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to loro parque, everybody was always questioning, like, how did they make that leap to send four young orcas to a park off the west coast of africa with trainers who a lot of them had never been around orcas before. nothing was ready. the venue wasn't ready. it wasn't ready for the orcas. it wasn't ready for a show. the owner of the park didn't want to lose revenue by shutting down the pools and repairing them. so for three years the animals ate the pools, and for three years the animals had problems with their teeth and stomachs. so that's why the animals are enduring the endoscope procedures. those are still seaworld's animals, and they are responsible for those animals. loro parque doesn't have a good
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reputation. people that work in the business know the reputation of places, and loro parque does not have a good reputation. they didn't spend the same amount of time as the seaworld trainers, did not go through the same regimen the seaworld trainers went through. and alexis really was the best trainer. and i did say -- i said, you're the only trainer there that can hold his own with a seaworld trainer. but i said, you know, you need to be careful.
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>> anywhere along the line it could have been stopped because everyone knew it was a tragedy waiting to happen. but no one ever did anything about it. and in the end, it was the best trainer who lost his life.
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>> those were seaworld's whales. they were trained using seaworld's techniques. and their training was being supervised at the time of the fatal accident by one of their senior trainers from san diego.
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>> for somebody to get up and say in a court of law they have no knowledge of the linkages between seaworld and this park in tenerife is -- well, either she doesn't know and is telling the truth, or it's just a boldfaced lie. and get us energized! i'm new ensure active high protein. i help you recharge with nutritious energy and strength to keep you active. come on pear, it's only a half gallon. i'll take that. yeeeeeah! new ensure active high protein. 16 grams of protein and 23 vitamins and minerals. all in 160 calories. ensure. take life in.
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as trainers, we never forget shamu's true potential. we see it each and every day. that's why all of our interactions are very carefully thought out, especially our water work interaction. whoa! you big dork. especially our water work interactions because they're potentially the most dangerous. >> i'd been expecting it since the second person was killed. i'd been expecting somebody to be killed by tilikum. i'm surprised it took as long as it did. >> first tonight, a six-ton killer whale has lived up to his name, killing an experienced trainer at seaworld orlando today. >> a tourist at an earlier show said the animal seemed agitated. >> trainers complained the whales weren't cooperating. >> the whole show, the main show, was a disaster that day. >> there were whales chasing each other, and eventually the
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trainers decided that they had to stop the show because they couldn't get the whales under control. >> tilikum was in the back pool set up to do a dive shamu performance with dawn. >> likely she saw what had gone on during the main show and so she had probably felt more pressure to do a good show. when you watch the whole video, you can see that tilikum is actually really with dawn in the beginning of the video. there's a couple of behaviors she asked him to do where tilikum jumps right in and does exactly what she asks him to do. >> there seemed to be a point in the session where things went south, so to speak. and in my humble opinion, it was at that missed bridge, whistle
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bridge, on the perimeter pec wave. >> she asked him to do a perimeter pec wave where she asked him to basically go all the way around the pool and wave his pectoral flipper. and she blows her whistle, which is a bridge, which tells the animal you've done a good job, come back and get food. but he missed that cue. and he went all the way around the pool on this perimeter pec wave. >> we're going to let him keep on waving. >> my interpretation is that he didn't hear the whistle. >> so not only did he not hear the bridge, then he went and did a perfect behavior and came back, and what he got was what we call a three second neutral response, which is a way to let the animal know, no, you didn't do the correct thing. you're not going to get rewarded. and then we're going to move on. then you can also see through the video that dawn is running out of food. >> the animals can sense when you're getting to the bottom of your bucket of fish because they can hear the ice clanging around and the kind of fishy, soupy water at the bottom.
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and the handfuls of fish they're getting delivered by the trainer are all getting smaller. so they know that they're coming down to the end of session. >> when you see the difference between the beginning of the video and the end of the video, you can see that he's just not quite on his game anymore. >> there's no food left. she kept asking him for more and more behaviors. he wasn't getting reinforced for the behaviors that he was doing correctly. he probably was frustrated towards the end. >> then she walked around the perimeter of "g" pool. he followed her. and then continued over into the rocky ledge area where she laid down with him to do a relationship session, which is quiet time basically. >> tilikum at some point grabbed ahold of her left forearm and started to drag her and eventually did a barrel roll and pulled her in. may have started as play or
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frustration and clearly escalated to be very violent behavior that i think was anything but play. in the end, you know, he basically just completely mutilated that poor girl. >> they were gathering all of the trainers at the texas park. he said, there's been an accident at the florida park, and a trainer was killed. hearing that it was dawn, i couldn't believe it. i just remember saying to myself, not dawn, it can't be dawn. he said that -- and he still has her. and i just was so disturbed by that and the reality of how powerless we are. >> evulsion, laceration, abrasion, fractures, fractures and associated hemorrhages, blunt force traumas to the main
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body, to the extremities. to see this meted out against a trainer -- and i cannot fathom the reason -- it's shocking. the lawyer for osha asked me what i thought we'd learned. and i'm sitting in the courtroom and i've got the keltie byrne case file in one hand and i've got dawn brancheau in the other, and they're almost to the day 20 years apart. i'm looking at these two things. my only answer is nothing. in fact, it's not a damn thing. we have not learned a damn thing for something like that to happen 20 years apart. ♪ i built my business with passion. but i keep it growing by making every dollar count. that's why i have the spark cash card from capital one. i earn unlimited 2% cash back on everything i buy for my studio. ♪ and that unlimited 2% cash back from spark means thousands of dollars each year going back into my business...
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could you tell if this was an accident or -- >> did this female trainer work with this whale on a regular basis? >> i don't know. apparently what happened is we had a female trainer back in the
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whale holding area. she apparently slipped or fell into the tank and was fatally injured by one of the whales. >> at first, seaworld reported a trainer slipped and fell in the water and was drowned. that was the first report. >> it wasn't until eyewitness accounts disputed that that they had to go back in their huddle and say, wait a minute, we've got to come up with a new plan. >> new tonight, seaworld has confirmed a killer whale pulled a woman into the water. she didn't fall into the tank as the sheriff's department initially reported. >> the new plan is that he grabbed her ponytail. this is a subtle way of placing the blame on dawn's shoulders. she shouldn't have had a long ponytail. or if she did have that ponytail, it should have been up in a bun. >> dawn, if she was standing here with me right now, would tell you that that was her mistake in allowing that to happen. >> they blamed her. how dare you? how disrespectful for you to blame her when she's not even alive to defend herself. >> he grabbed her ponytail and pulled her into the water. that's as simple as it gets.
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>> there are photographs of plenty of other trainers doing exactly the same thing that she was doing. so i knew that seaworld was lying about the fact that this was her fault. >> the ponytail, in all likelihood, is just a tale. the safety spotter apparently who didn't actually see the takedown came up with that. >> are you excited? >> during the spotter's testimony, osha pushed him to say that he wasn't really sure that it was her ponytail that was in the whale's mouth, that he just saw her underwater and assumed it was the ponytail. osha contends that the whale came up and grabbed brancheau's arm, saying that that was another level of aggressiveness. seaworld is saying it was not an aggressive move. >> one of seaworld's top curators, chuck tompkins, said when dawn brancheau was pulled off that ledge it wasn't necessarily aggressive behavior by the whale. >> the initial grab was not an act of aggression. this is not a crazed animal. >> the industry has a vested interest in spinning these so that the animals continue to
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appear like cuddly teddy bears that are completely safe. you know, that sells a lot of shamu dolls. it sells a lot of tickets at the gate. and that's the story line they're going to continue to stick with for as long as thy can. >> recognize that those that say this is a crazed animal that acted out and grabbed dawn maliciously, they want to prove the theorem that captivity makes animals crazy. and that is just false. >> all whales in captivity have a bad life. they're all emotionally destroyed. they're all psychologically traumatized. so they are ticking time bombs. it's not just tilikum. >> we have to separate what
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happened to dawn -- and, as tragic as it is and no one wants to see it happen again, can seaworld create an environment where it never happens again? yes, i absolutely believe they can. what if there were no seaworlds? i can't imagine a society with the value we put in marine mammals if those parks didn't exist. >> i'm not at all interested in having my daughter who is 3 1/2 grow up thinking that it's normalized to have these intelligent, highly evolved animals in concrete pools. i don't want her to think that's how we treat the kin that we find ourselves around on this planet. i think it's atrocious. >> this hearing is expected to last all week with osha continuing to work towards this theory, that seaworld knew there was a calculated risk of injury or death but put trainers in the water with the whales anyway. while seaworld will say that dawn brancheau's death was an isolated incident. reporting live in seminole
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there's something wrong, you know, with tilikum. there is something wrong. and that's -- when you have a relationship with an animal and you understand that he's killing not to be a savage, he's not killing just because he's crazy, he's not killing because he doesn't know what he's doing. he's killing because he's frustrated and he's got aggravations and he doesn't know how to -- he has no outlet for it. >> now tilikum is spending a great deal of time by himself and basically floating lifeless in a pool.
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>> three hours now, and he hasn't moved. >> they try to sugarcoat it by saying he comes out in the front pool every once in a while. now he's doing shows. you know what he does in a show? he does a few bows, and then he goes back into his little jail cell. that's his life. >> i feel sad for tilikum. a regal thing like him swimming around the tank with his fin flopped over like that compared to a wild bull killer whale that size, which is one of the most kinetic and dynamic things you can imagine. i feel sad when i see him. >> it's time to stop the shows. it's time to stop forcing these animals to perform in basically a circus environment.
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and they should release the animals that are young enough and healthy enough to be released. and the animals like tilikum who are old and sick and have put in 25 years in the industry should be released to an open ocean pen so they can live out their lives and experience the rhythm of the ocean. >> this is a multibillion-dollar corporation that makes its money through the exploitation of orcas. >> they're not suitable to have in captivity. >> the whales are really bored. you deprive them of all this environmental stimulation. >> and i think that in 50 years we'll look back and go, my god, what a barbaric time. ♪
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>> dawn brancheau, d.b., dream big. dawn was the most loving, giving person you ever met. her smile just radiated. she fulfilled her life. ♪ ♪ ♪
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16 grams of protein and 23 vitamins and minerals. all in 160 calories. ensure. take life in. i'm a troubleman in san francisco.lopez. i've been with the company for 29 years. a troubleman restores and troubleshoots electrical issues, getting customers' power back on. we're 24/7, 365 days a year. i love my job. going up in the bucket and seeing all of san francisco, it's an exhilarating feeling. i was born and raised in san francisco. this is where i live and there's a sense of pride in providing
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♪ we saw whales swimming in straight lines with straight dorsal fins. i was so honored to be there. and i was so thankful that i had sunglasses on because the tears were kind of coming out, and it were kind of coming out, and it was moving. -- captions by vitac --
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>> announcer: on behalf of eli lilly and company, welcome to the special presentation of "glen campbell i'll be me." for nearly 140 years, lilly has been dedicated to making life better through our medicine. and for the last quarter century, we have been working to discover treatments for alzheimer's disease. we're making progress, but a breakthrough can't come soon enough. tonight we're proud to partner with cnn to bring you this powerful film.


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