Tommy Lee wants to make SeaWorld sex tape

Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee has thought a lot about whale masturbation this week.

Lee contends that to obtain sperm for breeding purposes, SeaWorld has someone “masturbate” Tillikum, a killer whale at the theme park who was responsible for the death of trainer Dawn Brancheau earlier this year.

Lee says it is “sick and twisted,” and that it violates SeaWorld’s own policies regarding trainer and whale interaction, which were revised after Brancheau’s death.

On Wednesday, SeaWorld responded to the rocker’s letter complaining about whale breeding practices by saying that Lee needs to “spend more time checking his facts.”

So, in a second letter — which PETA sent to Gadling today — Lee suggests that the best way to check his facts would be to come to Orlando and see the collection of whale semen for himself.

“To settle this, how about PETA and I come to SeaWorld and videotape the process, and then people can decide how natural it is?” Lee writes.

“It might make your dramatic news releases about a new orca pregnancy or birth less appealing, but the public deserves to know. And they’ve undoubtedly never seen a sex tape like this.”

Manual stimulation of animals is a regular breeding practice used with livestock and with some species at zoos and aquariums.

[Image credit: Flickr user Bread & CBG]

SeaWorld to open new Shamu show next spring

Shamu will get a new show next spring at the SeaWorld parks in Orlando, San Antonio and San Diego.

The killer whale show will replace “Believe,” which debuted four years ago. There’s no word yet as to whether SeaWorld’s killer whale trainers will be in the water with the orcas in the new show.

The trainers have been out of the water since the February death of Dawn Brancheau at SeaWorld Orlando, forcing a hasty rework of “Believe,” a show which focuses on the interaction between killer whales and humans. I have seen the show twice since the rework, and the storyline just doesn’t work now, because the trainers were such a big part of it.

SeaWorld Parks President and CEO Jim Atchison told the Orlando Sentinel that the new show was in the works before Brancheau’s death, but the timetable for launching the new show has been accelerated. Atchison also said the safety review launched in February has influenced the new show’s development.

More details about the show are expected to be released in the next few weeks.

[Image credit: Flickr user Abi Skipp]


SeaWorld Orlando fined $75,000 in whale trainer’s death

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has announced $75,000 in fines for SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment.

The fines are related to safety violations found during a 6-month investigation at SeaWorld Orlando, following the February death of killer whale trainer Dawn Brancheau.

Brancheau drowned in a tank at SeaWorld after being grabbed and pulled under by a killer whale used in the Shamu shows at the theme park.

SeaWorld has already said it would challenge the findings, releasing a statement to the Orlando Sentinel that denied their validity:

“OSHA’s allegations in this citation are unsupported by any evidence or precedent and reflect a fundamental lack of understanding of the safety requirements associated with marine mammal care,” the statement said.

This morning on ABC’s Good Morning America, Linda Simons, a former SeaWorld health and safety director, accused the company of obstructing OSHA’s investigation. Simons said SeaWorld officials refused to turn over key documents or make certain officials available for interviews with the federal agency.

According to Simons, the documents included details about the aggressive histories of some of the company’s killer whales.

Simons was hired by SeaWorld about two weeks before Brancheau’s death, and fired on April 20. SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment said her comments this morning were “unfounded charges” from a disgruntled employee.

GadlingTV’s Travel Talk – Atlantis Launch, Wakeboarding, Seaworld, & Magic Playoffs!

GadlingTV’s Travel Talk, episode 18 – Click above to watch video after the jump

In our last Orlando installment, we showed you the retired side of life in Orlando – and now we’re going full throttle.

Because Orlando is famous for its theme parks, we discuss the biggest, best, and most bizarre theme parks around the world. We’ll tell you where you can pay to wear a gasmask and ‘experience communism’, drive tractors, and who holds the title for the most rollercoasters in one park.

As we explore Orlando’s adventurous side, we head to Titusville for a live Shuttle launch, teach Stephen how to wakeboard, ride roller coasters at Seaworld, and witness our first NBA playoff game. Enjoy!

If you have any questions or comments about Travel Talk, you can email us at talk AT gadling DOT com.

Subscribe via iTunes:
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Actually want to experience survival drama for yourself? Visit Europe’s strangest attraction!
There’s only two more shuttle launches left! Find out all the details on the remaining launches from NASA.
Thinking of picking up wakeboarding? Read these beginner tips first!

Hosts: Stephen Greenwood, Aaron Murphy-Crews, Drew Mylrea
Special Guests: Nathan, our wakeboard expert.

Produced, Edited, and Directed by: Stephen Greenwood, Aaron Murphy-Crews, Drew Mylrea

Music by:
This Holiday Life
“Mission Control to My Heart”

See Shamu and all of SeaWorld from the comfort of your desk

Everyone takes a lot of pictures when they go to SeaWorld, but Google Maps recently went and documented every street at SeaWorld parks in Orlando, San Antonio and San Diego, as well as Orlando’s Discovery Cove and Aquatica for their Street View feature.


“Now, no matter where you are, you can enjoy an online experience of our parks including seeing their scope and diversity while planning your vacation. The only thing missing is getting splashed by the real Shamu or taking on the best roller coasters in the world,” says Joe Couceiro, chief marketing officer for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment.

Street View, which Google started using in 2007, is coming soon to more of SeaWorld’s ten parks. If you happen to be at Busch Gardens and see someone pedaling the 250 pound Trike Google uses to capture its 360 degree images, you’ll know what’s up. Watch the video above to see what it looks like!

A virtual visit to SeaWorld may not be as exciting as the real thing, but it’s a fun (and free) way to get pumped for an upcoming trip. Click here and search “SeaWorld” to zoom in on Shamu, the roller coasters, and anything you like from the comfort of your desk.

Video courtesy of SeaWorld.