Kahana And Kenau: Two Orca Deaths Deconstructed

Kahana Rising

The analysis of how and why orcas die in captivity provides interesting and often surprising insights into how they lived. So orca necropsies (which are the equivalent of human autopsies) can make for interesting reading. However, you need a specialist to interpret their meaning. So when I saw that the FOIA document dump from NMFS that Russ Rector securedcontained two full orca…

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Threat Assessment Gone (Very, Very) Wrong

So, we are filling our oceans with plastic:

I have just returned with a team of scientists from six weeks at sea conducting research in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch — one of five major garbage patches drifting in the oceans north and south of the Equator at the latitude of our great terrestrial deserts. Although it was my 10th voyage to the area, I was utterly shocked to see the enormous…

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The Full Tilileak Document Dump

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Earlier this summer, dolphin advocate Russ Rector managed to use FOIA to secure the release from the National Marine Fisheries Service of all documents in their files related to the purchase and import of Tilikum, Haida (and her calf), and Nootka from Sealand of the Pacific to SeaWorld.

I’ve previously posted some of the documents, and analyzed them over on The Dodo (here, here, and here).


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Can Test Tube Meat Replace Dead Cows?

Test tube #meat is not the solution. @the_pitchfork #vegan #vegetarian

James McWilliams has his doubts:

David Steele, a molecular biologist and head of Earthsave Canadatells me that lab meat “is extraordinarily unlikely to work.” Tens of thousands of calves, he notes, “will have their hearts punctured … to collect the liter or so of serum that can be taken from them.” The claim that lab meat might be propagated with blue algae, he says, “is patently absurd” as “no…

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Do We Really Need To Reinvent Food?

#SiliconValley doesn’t need to reinvent #food. Someone already came up with vegetables. #meat

There are to basic approaches to diminishing or eliminating the environmental, health and animal welfare impacts of easting animal protein.

One is to reinvent meat and animal protein by creating plant-based substitutes, and Kate Murphy in the New York Times takes a look at all the venture capital and brainpower that Silicon Valley is throwing into this approach:

Call it Food 2.0.


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Tilikum At Sealand, Uncut

Tilikum At Sealand, Uncut. 8-minutes of revealing video.

I’ve got a post over at The Dodo, featuring the newly released 8-minute video SeaWorld made at the end of 1991, showing Sealand and Tilikum’s circumstances there. The video was submitted to the National Marine Fisheries Service in support of SeaWorld’s application for an emergency permit to transport Tilikum to SeaWorld Florida. Boy, do I wish we had had this video when we were putting Blackfisht…

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The Global Livestock Footprint

It’s pretty massive. According to National Geographic, only 55% of the world’s crop calories are consumed directly by people. Fully 36% of the world’s crop calories are used for animal feed. And since it takes 100 calories of grain to produce 12 calories of chicken, or 3 calories of beef, that’s not very efficient.

Here’s what it looks like:

With the global population expected to hit 9 billion by…

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Animal Care KNOWS


Over the past few years, the more I heard about the Animal Care staff at SeaWorld, the more I wanted to be able to hear their stories. They seemed to be involved in everything: births, deaths, rescues, illnesses, transports. If anyone could add texture to what we know about the lives of the animals at marine parks it was Animal Care workers.

Over the past ten months I have been speaking with…

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Interesting Notes From The Virgin Captivity Summit

In February 2014, Sir Richard Branson, in response to criticism of Virgin Air’s involvement with tourism to marine parks, pledged that Virgin would no longer partner with organizations that take marine mammals from the wild. To develop that pledge, and Virgin’s business strategy going forward in a time of increased debate about the ethics of marine mammal captivity, Virgin convened a two-day…

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TiliLeaks: Tilikum’s Traumatic Final Weeks At Sealand

I’ve got a new post up at The Dodo, examining the set of documents from activist…

TiliLeaks: Tilikum’s Traumatic Final Weeks At Sealand

I’ve got a new post up at The Dodo, examining the set of documents from activist…

For The Record: SeaWorld Pool Dimensions

Okay, this is only for people who are deep, deep in the weeds. Every once in a while I get an email asking me for the sizes of SeaWorld’s pools. And I have never really had rock-solid information on the dimensions. So, apart from the insights into SeaWorld’s thinking about Tilikum, Haida, and Nootka contained in Russ Rector’s FOIA’d documents, I was glad to see that SeaWorld’s 1991 application to…

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The Tili Files: SeaWorld’s Permit Application For Tilikum Reveals Complacency

The Tili Files: #SeaWorld’s 1991 Permit Application Finally Public #Blackfish

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After years of persistent FOIA appeals, dolphin advocate Russ Rector has managed the very worthwhile feat of getting NOAA to release more than 1000 pages of documents related to SeaWorld’s purchase of Tilikum, Haida, and Nootka from Sealand Of The Pacific. I am going through them and posting some of the details and insights that the documents contain.

My first post, about the back and forth…

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