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Mindful conservation – why we need a new respect for nature

'We should look at whales and dolphins as the indigenous people of the seas -...
tins of whale meat

How Japan’s whaling industry is trying to convince people to eat whales

Japan's hunters kill hundreds of whales every year despite the fact that hardly anyone in...
Common dolphins © Christopher Swann

Did you know dolphins have personalities?

Kidzone - quick links Fun Facts Our Goals Curious kids Kids blogs Fantastic fundraisers Gallery...
Microplastics on beach

Blue whales and the menace of microplastics – how we’ll solve this problem

Our love affair with plastic began in the 1950s when it revolutionised manufacturing. But what...
A dolphin called Arnie with his shell.

Dolphins catch fish using giant shell tools

In Shark Bay, Australia, two groups of dolphins have figured out how to use tools...
Common dolphins at surface

Did you know that dolphins have unique personalities?

We all have personalities, and between the work Christmas party and your family get-together, perhaps...
Leaping harbour porpoise

The power of harbour porpoise poo

We know we need to save the whale to save the world. Now we are...
Holly. Image: Miray Campbell

Meet Holly, she’s an incredible orca leader

Let me tell you the story of an awe-inspiring orca with a fascinating family story...

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.