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Risso's dolphin at surface

My lucky number – 13 years studying amazing Risso’s dolphins

Everything we learn about the Risso's dolphins off the coast of Scotland amazes us and...
Dead sperm whale in The Wash, East Anglia, England. © CSIP-ZSL.

What have dead whales ever done for us?

When dead whales wash up on dry land they provide a vital food source for...
Risso's dolphin © Andy Knight

We’re getting to know Risso’s dolphins in Scotland so we can protect them

Citizen scientists in Scotland are helping us better understand Risso's dolphins by sending us their...
Pilot whales pooing © Christopher Swann

Talking crap and carcasses to protect our planet

We know we need to save the whale to save the world because they are...
Fin whale (balaenoptera physalus) Three fin whales Gulf of California.

Speaking truth to power – my week giving whales a voice

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting is where governments come together to make decisions about whaling...

Why do whales and dolphins strand on beaches?

People often ask me 'why' whales and dolphins do one thing or another.  I'm a...
A spinner dolphin leaping © Andrew Sutton/Eco2

Head in a spin – my incredible spinner dolphin encounter

Sri Lanka is home to at least 30 species of whales and dolphins, from the...
Orca (ID171) breaches off the coast of Scotland © Steve Truluck.

Watching whales and dolphins in the wild can be life changing

Whales and dolphins are too intelligent, too large and too mobile to ever thrive in...

SeaWorld's new exercise device

Amid news of falling ticket sales and share prices, comes an announcement about the development of a “killer whale treadmill” at SeaWorld’s Orlando park.

The “treadmill”, a pump that creates a moving stream of water in a tank, reportely as part of the park’s environmental enrichment programme for orcas, has reportedly been tested on Tillikum, the unfortunate star of the excellent Blackfish, the documentary about orcas in captivity that’s currently doing the rounds of cinemas across Europe. 

Could this development be the result of an admission by SeaWorld that its captives lack stimulation and need tools to help them develop more natural behaviour?

Such an exercise device in no way provides an adequate alternative to swimming free in the wild and the fact remains that orcas are inherently unsuited to captivity, as attested by the lengthening list of orca illness, premature death, trainer injury and death. 

About Cathy Williamson

Cathy Williamson was policy manager of our End Captivity Programme until July 2021.