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.
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]
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, 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.
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.