February 25, 2010

Barker: Free the Whales

Posted: 04:27 PM ET

Bob Barker will be a guest tonight on Larry King Live at 9pmET!

This is a letter that Bob Barker wrote to Hamilton James, President and COO of The Blackstone Group - the company that owns SeaWorld.

Dear Mr. James:

I am writing on behalf my friends at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and their more than 2 million members and supporters around the world, as well as everyone who wants to see whales and dolphins living free in their ocean homes and human beings protected from needless attacks when those animals are kept in captivity.

The death of yet another trainer at SeaWorld did not have to happen, and I must appeal to you to take strong action now so that it never happens again. I know that the Blackstone Group was asked to close the SeaWorld theme parks when you acquired them last year. I urge you to make that humane move now and to start moving the captive orcas and other marine mammals to transitional coastal and wildlife sanctuaries and replace them with state-of-the-art virtual reality exhibits such as those used in the hugely popular "Walking With Dinosaurs" exhibits that wow youngsters and adults alike. The experience would be like watching free-living wild animals, whereas captive animals' unnatural and neurotic behavior patterns are dull to watch and undeniably linked to their oppressive environments.

This is not the first time that a trainer has been seized, thrown against the walls of the tank, and held down to drown. I cannot imagine what the sight of such a hideous event would do to a child in the audience. Deaths of animals and human injuries are also common.

The intelligent, social, ocean animals kept in the most pitifully small tanks at SeaWorld are denied everything that is natural and important to them. In the wild, they swim up to 100 miles a day in the open ocean, but captured dolphins are confined to small tanks where the reverberations from their own sonar bounce off the walls, driving some of them insane. Some of these animals were violently captured from their homes, many are forced to learn circus-style tricks, and according to whistleblower tips from trainers, withholding food and isolating animals who refuse to perform are common training methods. The only thing that people learn from visiting a SeaWorld theme park is how miserable life is for animals held there.

I am most respectfully urging the Blackstone Group to immediately set in place a firm and rapid plan to release the animals to sanctuaries that can provide them with a more natural environment. I can be reached through PETA at 202-540-2199. I would appreciate hearing from you. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Bob Barker

Filed under: Bob Barker • Larry King Live

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Maria Copelli   February 25th, 2010 5:14 pm ET

Mr.Bob Barker,I salute you! I totally agree with you,these animals belong back in there natural habitat,the anaimals are trying to convey there frustrations,to you who own these exhibits,they are wild animals ,and so mcuh time and money is spent keeping them caged,when in nfsct why not use these moneys to make exhibits liw the one you mentioned for Dinosaurs!I feel so sad this tragdy has happened ,it should not! But I feel as you do,change the ways we as humans can see them ,there are ways that can work. I hope these business people will take heed to what has happened ,and they too will take to heart your well thought out letter,Mr. Barker thank you so much for getting right on this matter of utmost importance!Love Maria C.

A. Smith, Oregon   February 25th, 2010 5:26 pm ET

Oregon brought a Orcha from a Mexico resort swimming pool. Many Oregonians across the State raised funds to feed that killer whale while Wille-Kiko the Orcha was rehabbed prior to his release back into the Ocean. Then after a full year of rehab and medical treatment, Willie-Kiko the Orcha Killer Whale was released into the Ocean where he thrived for another 10 years before his death.

Some readers might remember the Hollywood movie this effort by a large group of Oregonians inspired, FREE WILLIE was the title.

Yes, it IS POSSIBLE to free Wild Orchas that have been in captivity back into the Ocean to join other Orcha Pods and thrive. It is possible to rehab a Orcha Killer Whale that had tragically been kept far to long in a tiny aquarium and needed substantial rehab prior to being released into the wild.

Kiko died where she wanted to live, in the Ocean, Wild and Free!

Thank-You Kiko for bringing out the very best in Oregonians and for your inspiration for others to do the same.

Cajazz76:24:8   February 25th, 2010 5:50 pm ET

I applaud Bob Barker's valiant efforts to protect a species that has, as many have, been tortured and violated, in ways we have never seen just to fill a dinner plate or suffice our morbid pleasure's.

Where is the SPCA in standing up and stopping these immoral spectacle's. It seem's they are like a street I used to live on.....ONE WAY!

Who is stupid enough to believe Zoo's and Sea World's and Disney's exist to enhance the species they torture and demean... Go get and train a pile of PET ROCK'S to supplant !!! You do it for PROFIT!

Maggie from Australia   February 25th, 2010 6:30 pm ET

I beleive the whales and dolphins should be set free.Animals are not meant to perform its just not natural or humane.I know the intention may be to protect in some way the species and of course the recent tragic death of the trainer is so sad but they should be set free even with all the dangers in the oceans...i.e the Japanese whale hunters!Repugnant!Please support those who are trying to stop this dreadful slaughter.

Terry, TX   February 25th, 2010 6:43 pm ET

Oh....shut up....either put the whale down as you would a mad dog ... or set it free.... where it will die and be food for other sea creatures. This whale has a developed a behavior of killing humans.... enough already.
We don't need Barker and Peta in this at all. They just need to shut up.

Maria Copelli   February 25th, 2010 6:52 pm ET

Terry ,tx they need to Free this creature once and for all.It doesnt belong there in captivity ,they are saying to us 'ENOUGH IS ENOUGH'....Take care Maria C.

Judie   February 25th, 2010 7:44 pm ET

You Go Bob Barker!
Boycott the parks that put these beautiful orcas on show,boycott the Circus,these animals suffer beyond what you can imagine.Speak for those who can't. They all live horrible,cramped lives and should be set free and sent back from where they came from. If people didn't go to these places they would have no choice but to close.
********** GOD BLESS ALL ANIMALS THAT SUFFER ABUSE OF ANY KIND ! ******************************************************************

Terry, TX   February 25th, 2010 7:47 pm ET

To Jules Kirby....we are not talking about a whale killing a human in the wild....we are talking about an animal that has killed 3 humans....actual, factual and will not stop killing. Fine ...set it free... it will die and be food fodder for other sea creatures. Who cares....something needs to be done. "Read and write" is obvious I read and write and what are you the "SPEECH POLICE".

Terry, TX   February 25th, 2010 7:59 pm ET

To Cajazz76:24:8....quoting "You have a behavioral attitude that most will see as needed to be PUT DOWN!" Just like a Peta freak....advocating killing a human for giving the only two logical solutions....verbal speech....over killing an animal who has killed humans three times.

We put down mad dogs....aggressive animals...any animal that is a threat to human life.... this whale is no different. I guess you don't step on cock roaches and just scoop them up and release them in the wild.

I guess you disagree with the killing of the alligators who eat humans also. Where I would furnish the bullets? So let's just agree to disagree.

Cajazz76:24:8   February 25th, 2010 9:07 pm ET

@Terry TX.

How displeasing to see the words aggressive and threat and human and not realize that man himself is an animal. With the ability of broadened speech allowing mankind his catharsis through divinity, whereas he forgive's himself for his imperfection's, yet denies an non-speaking animal none. I would be appalled by statistic's confirming all the animal's of the earth combined, are the true threat to mankind and to his existence. We are considerably less than a silly human race. PETA has nothing to do with my evaluation of you and your consensus, your pea-sized brain does!

Cajazz76:24:8   February 25th, 2010 9:19 pm ET

@Terry Tx.

Please accept my apology for my last comment. It was done is in discourse to your lack of compassion for creatures who do not volunteer to jump through hoops and carry human's on their back for what to me seems morbid pleasure. Little do we realize nor assume we have a balance to support in nature and there are animals with intelligence.

Dodie   February 25th, 2010 9:39 pm ET

Thank you Bob Barker and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). It was established by Sea World, the Orcas only purpose is to generate added income through reproduction and shows. There seemed to be little concern by Sea World for the Orca’s mental and emotional health.

Orcas (Orcinus) have the largest brain of any creature on this planet. Even though some of the brain is devoted to echo location and other biological needs, the convoluted cortex, an area responsible for sophisticated cognitive processing, is as large as mans. These are incredibly intelligent beings and will behave in ways similar to man; hence, acting out violent behaviors when highly stressed due to unnatural tiny enclosures and circus performances.

I completely support you, Bob Baker, with the transitioning of these great and intelligent creatures of the ocean to coastal and wildlife sanctuaries.

Dodie   February 25th, 2010 9:41 pm ET

@ Cajazz76:24:8

Orcas have an incrediably sophicated language. They just do not speak English :~)

Dodie   February 25th, 2010 9:44 pm ET

@Terry, TX

You cannot equate an Orca with a mad dog! Orcas probably have as many words in their language as we do. We humans are just not intelligent enough to understand their language. We teach them sign language and they understand all concepts... including abstract concepts!

I suggest... Orcas are more intelligent on many levels than Humans!!!

Ruth Deel   February 25th, 2010 10:08 pm ET

Leave the whales in the ocean where they belong and are most
contented. Putlting them in a small pool where they get little
chance to move around much is cruel and unneccessary.
We do not need to see them perform. It is for someone's profit
only. Too bad about the death of the trainer but sometimes
the mammal can rebel against his confinement and having
to perform.

Sherry N. Calif.   February 25th, 2010 10:12 pm ET

Free all ORCAS and dolphins!

michael armstrong sr.   February 25th, 2010 10:14 pm ET

Whale talk you done hit a nerve free willy you money grubbing Al Gore want a bees premeditative murder is Sea Worlds future .

michael armstrong sr.   February 25th, 2010 10:17 pm ET

They want to use this whale to breed and create more captive whales thats the reason for none release and the cost of life is optional .

Cajazz76:24:8   February 25th, 2010 10:17 pm ET


I am aware Orca's are deficient in English. All those I have spoken to converse in French, and am pitiful in French. Cest ce bon ce bon, at least the Orca's are, not me.

michael armstrong sr.   February 25th, 2010 10:22 pm ET

This is an inteligent creature unlike others this animals will survive the sea .

michael armstrong sr.   February 25th, 2010 10:23 pm ET

Julie sea world needs to be sued for murder .

michael armstrong sr.   February 25th, 2010 10:25 pm ET

Its all about money Bob..

Ann-Virginia   February 25th, 2010 10:26 pm ET

I applaud Bob Barker for his work to sae animals.He has been a champion for them for a long time,but I strongly disagree with releasing the Orcas into the wild because many have been in captivity for years & some were born into captivity & would not be able to survive out in the real world.I do,hoever,think that all Sea World parks should stop making these magnificant Orcas perform stupid tricks for human pleasure.Put them into an environment with lots of room to swim & be Orcas as they were meant to be & since we are responsible for care now,we should be charged with their care for their life.Do not breed anymore into captivity.

michael armstrong sr.   February 25th, 2010 10:26 pm ET

All these people needs to stand before a judge for murder .

michael armstrong sr.   February 25th, 2010 10:27 pm ET

No kidding lady set that whale free .

A. Smith, Oregon   February 25th, 2010 10:29 pm ET

Orcha's are very intelligent.

I wonder if Tilly realizes that all of his offspring are born into slavery and the sad life of captivity?

For those that don't realize it, Tilly is the sole male breeder for all captive born Orchas in America.

Dodie   February 25th, 2010 10:30 pm ET

@ Cajazz76:24:8

We need to learn "Orcaish" so we can converse with them!

After all, who are we to make them learn our language! It shows how unintelligent we really are. lol

PJ   February 25th, 2010 10:30 pm ET

Bob Barker hit it right on the head!!!!! Those animals belong in the wild and it's cruel and selfish to keep them there to perform for our enjoyment. So what so many people go there and enjoy the show! That doesn't make it right!

Jen   February 25th, 2010 10:31 pm ET

Can a whale that has been kept in captivity be released into the wild? Would it survive?

michael armstrong sr.   February 25th, 2010 10:32 pm ET

Put Jack in a rabbit cage and see how he likes it this whale would have been put down if it wasnt such a cash crop .

michael armstrong sr.   February 25th, 2010 10:33 pm ET

Money has caused an unexcepteble murder and thats what it is .

A. Smith, Oregon   February 25th, 2010 10:34 pm ET

@ Michael, good point. A lifetime behind bars crushes the most hard-core criminals. I've seen so many beautiful big game cats that lost their souls behind their containment cages in tiny zoo's. Their eyes grow empty and blank, their spirit long gone.

drbhaldave   February 25th, 2010 10:35 pm ET

Hi larry : according to bob barker ,Why don't we release all cats dogs and all the circus animals we have in U.S.A . and give shelter to homeless people a good home to live in... ... love your show ..

Dodie   February 25th, 2010 10:35 pm ET

Jack may know terrestrial animals, however, he does not understand or know Marine Mammals! Move on and out Jack!!!

Larry, I wish you could interview John C. Lilly! He was awesome. He spent 40 years research on the Orca and bottle nose dolphin!! He proved their intelligence... Too bad he is deceased!

Ann-Virginia   February 25th, 2010 10:35 pm ET

Terry,Tx.If man had not been so stupid in capturing a wild Orca in the first place,we wouldn't be having this discussion & everybody wouldn't be jumping in your face.Your comments are a typical human response which is,if an animal acts other than we think it should,the answer is to kill it.You are so wrong.

PJ   February 25th, 2010 10:36 pm ET

Jack Hanna is an idiot!!!!! So what many of them have been born in captivity. That still doesn't make it right to keep them confined that way. Just watch them in their natural habitat and you'll see how cruel this is. I will never watch Jack Hanna again.

Dodie   February 25th, 2010 10:37 pm ET

@ Ann-Virginia

Well Stated! Thank You

Rachel   February 25th, 2010 10:37 pm ET

INGRID AND BOB BARKER ARE TRUE HEROS!!! They truly care about the real well being of Whales and all creatures.

Jack Hannah is for himself in his stupid little costume and is not thinking of whats best for wild animals he really is bad news ....he supports the slaughter and gunning down of WOLVES.

Keep up the great work Peta, HSUS and Bob Barker!!!

michael armstrong sr.   February 25th, 2010 10:37 pm ET

A Smith Sea World is responcible for this ladys death and they knew this creature will kill witch makes them responcible for murder with no manslauter this was premeditated murder .

PJ   February 25th, 2010 10:38 pm ET

Hey folks, Sea World and other places like this can't make money if people don't pay to see the shows!!!! BOYCOTT SEA WORLD!!!

cajun chei   February 25th, 2010 10:38 pm ET

why is such a bad keep to keep whales at Sea World when millions of us keep cats and dogs in our homes everyday

Ramona   February 25th, 2010 10:40 pm ET

I can't believe Peta asking to free orca's that have been bred in capivity. I have been numerous times to Seaworld Orlando and may parks with anmals and I can say at 47 I have learned more but seeing the dedication these trainers have My daughter is studying environmental science and oceanology and wants to be able to save and protect our environment we need to learn from the sea in a controlled environment. The trainer who lost her life is tragic and my heart goes out to the family and Seaworld but please follow through with teaching us to respect our world that we can and can not see.

rick gorman   February 25th, 2010 10:42 pm ET

Everyone I know is sad about the Seaworld's workers death, but I went to Seaworld this year, and it was the greatest show I have ever seen. I am dissapointed in your show that you put two whiners up against such a great man like Jack Hanna who has done more for animals that almost anyone alive. Go Jack H.!!!!

michael armstrong sr.   February 25th, 2010 10:43 pm ET

These creatures were not bread in captivity they was kidnaped from the wild all the captive births have died so far turn the whales loose .

Nate   February 25th, 2010 10:45 pm ET

Today, the conversation of this country is ironically is surrounded by “health care and a Killer Whale”. Both healthcare and captured whales are contingent upon wellbeing. This poor whale’s life has been compromised since its capture. It has not had the conditions it was born into.

The whale did what nature intended it to do and people are talking about killing it; this is total insanity. I am appalled by Jack Hanna’s capitalalistic reason for captured animals. Sadly, I was a contributing designer on a major American Aquarium. Today, I would not have accepted the commission or participated in its design and construction. Nature is perfect and man cannot replicate it; this whale belongs in the ocean. It is my hope that the Sea Worlds of our World will be non-existent in the future.

Cajazz76:24:8   February 25th, 2010 10:50 pm ET

@cajun chei

Many people adopt animals from shelter's and give them good homes. Their pet's live as free in many homes and are considered family, There is an ability within us all to live in unison with certain animals, just not all. The key, I believe, is to know the boundaries and respect them.

Freda Cerne   February 25th, 2010 10:51 pm ET

PETA should lookout for the animals that are being mistreated every day. The animals at Sea World are taken care of. How are children suppose to learn about these animals if places like Sea World are shut down.
I myself have educational shows for children where a company brings out animals that most of these children will never see or learn about. This year we did not have the animals and the children were so disapointed because as I said this is the only experance they have to learn, see and touch these animals.
Ingrid and Bob Barker are the same type of people who believe the death penatility shoud be stopped because someone may get hurt, I believe if you do the crime man up and take the punishment and if that is death so be it.

Cajazz76:24:8   February 25th, 2010 10:53 pm ET


It is to our detriment they do not teach us their language. -_-

Dodie   February 25th, 2010 11:00 pm ET


Maybe they are smart enough not to teach us their language :~)

German Siqueiros   February 25th, 2010 11:05 pm ET

Please ask that person from sea world,if He volunteer to be the first human animal to pass two years on a cage,like the killer whale was on a water thank.
Thank you

Ramona   February 25th, 2010 11:07 pm ET

the Orca that killed the trainer has successfully mated and produced 12 orca's at seaworld that would make it bred in capitivity And not all have died that were born at seaworld. All I am stating is if they are bred its great to have this all be about free willy its not its also about learning about our world and in a controlled enivornment so that we will have this planet a bit longer. I guess the whales that are killed for money in the wild is ok but foriegn countries and they are exploited but no one saves them but for a few who venture to do this where is PETA there?? They are slaughtered and nothing is done. People forget this is about learning not just the shows. Having said that lets see what Seaworld does vs what they don't do

Mike   February 25th, 2010 11:07 pm ET

I wonder how Jack Hanna would feel about living the rest of his life in an area the size of a Seaworld whale tank? He could have the same deal, free food for three shows a day. And imagine the scientific benefits from studying his behavior. Maybe there should be a new movement, Put Jack in a Whale Tank for Life.

Cajazz76:24:8   February 25th, 2010 11:11 pm ET

One last great act of defiance..I...better?

Dodie   February 25th, 2010 11:15 pm ET


Would their tongue sticking out wagging in the breeze at us ....suffice?

Cajazz76:24:8   February 25th, 2010 11:18 pm ET


Or mooning they have pretty posteriors!

Dodie   February 25th, 2010 11:21 pm ET


Would you like to check out their "pretty posteriors" and let me know? I would stay away from the one that bites! You would never know where he might like to bite!

Dodie   February 25th, 2010 11:23 pm ET

oops... lost the last sentence... when you are checking out his posterior!

Kevin   February 25th, 2010 11:24 pm ET

By the way... All SeaWorld marine habitats are filtered continuously. Water is pumped in, filtered (and cooled if necessary) to a standard above the Orca's natural habitat. This "used" water is pumped back into the ocean, after going through multiple filtration processes, returning cleaner than when it entered the various SeaWorld facilities. The environment is getting a boost from SeaWorld. The animals in the wild benefit from both the knowledge gained by studying the animals in captivity AND the cleaner water returned to the natural wild habitat.

Cajazz76:24:8   February 25th, 2010 11:29 pm ET


He..pretty posterior...?..Ah.hem!

Onigirl   February 25th, 2010 11:30 pm ET

I can't believe they deleted my last comment.

I said Jack Hanna made a rediculous comparison of space flight to keeping wild animals in cages and tanks. ( I did call him a knumbskull)

Orcas are not puppies, they should be free.

There is a reason they call them wild animals.

cindy roberts   February 25th, 2010 11:32 pm ET

I agree with Rick. I have been to Seaworld several times. The trainers have the utmost love & respect for the animals. Their dedication to these animals is undeniable. Seaworld helps to save these animals & educate people about them, hence promoting respect for them. How many people would actually be able to see these animals in the wild? As far as Peta is concerned, they are not concerned about humankind, let alone animals. Search for yourself about Peta on the web & you will see what hypocrites they really are.

Dodie   February 25th, 2010 11:36 pm ET

Are you anal retentive or just enjoy preforming endoscopic examinations... ie. colonoscopies? Is this your fancy?

cindy roberts   February 25th, 2010 11:43 pm ET

I don't expect my comment to be publicized, as they all are somewhat censored. As far as my comment about Peta, read newsweek article dated April 28, 2008 entitled " Peta and Euthanasia" about how Peta euthanized animals.

cindy roberts   February 25th, 2010 11:45 pm ET

Wow, you are really into the colon. Are you educated?

Kevin   February 25th, 2010 11:47 pm ET

I had said in an earlier (deleted) comment, that Killer Whales should be referred to as Orca. They are predatory, not killers, and they are more closely related to dolphins and porpoises than whales.

Kevin   February 25th, 2010 11:50 pm ET

Jack Hanna should have been given a chance to reply to the PETA bologna!

Dodie   February 25th, 2010 11:50 pm ET

Nope! No education here! Just life's many wonders and total appreciation. They say a healthy colon makes for a happy person. Can you imagine if yours stopped working???? You would be in a world of S**T!!!

Judie   February 26th, 2010 12:09 am ET

Sea World is all about $$$$ if they cared it would be free for people to come and learn and study maybe one animal then let it go back or just take injured ones nurse them back and let them go,its not about learning ita about making $$$$ on animals that have no say in the matter. If they were not fenced in where do you think they would go?
Makes me sad to think about the freedome they deserve. 🙁

Judie   February 26th, 2010 12:11 am ET

sorry typo **freedom**

jules darling   February 26th, 2010 12:11 am ET

Tillikum has been captive for 27 years almost my age. He has been separated from his mates and children. The more and more that comes out of this story the more disturbing this story rolls out to be.

cindy roberts   February 26th, 2010 12:12 am ET

I guess if veterinarians really cared, it would be free. I guess if doctors really cared, it would be free. So I guess they don't really care because they charge $$$$

James31   February 26th, 2010 12:33 am ET

@Jack Hanna is very knowledge and great with animals but he often side-steps some of the real or controversial issues. I saw him do that in discussions about horse rating at the time we all were hoping Barbaro would make a full recovery.

James31   February 26th, 2010 12:56 am ET

@Jules, thanks for sharing. I hope this man's art keeps him from losing his mind; a sad way to live for man or mammal.

cindy roberts   February 26th, 2010 1:15 am ET

@ Jules darling,
I'm sorry, but am I understanding that you are feeling sympathy for a man convicted of murdering 3 people including a prison guard, & somehow relating this to this blog?

jules darling   February 26th, 2010 1:25 am ET

@cindy roberts. No not at all. I am saying that this man who did wrong and has to be in solitary confinement even has the right to draw and speak and express himself. This whale who did no harm to be captured has no voice.

robyncaffrey keyser west virginia 26726   February 26th, 2010 1:34 am ET

att : larry



Jordon from TX   February 26th, 2010 1:47 am ET

I agree with Terry there is no reason that the whale shouldnt be put down, or released. There is no reason for this animal to be around humans anymore. As for PETA president lady coming on toniight saying she wants to close down Sea World that is rediculous. You get rid of the orcas that are problems you dont close down parks for it. PETA is a joke.... I love animals but I would never take away something like seaworld where they teach you about all of the animals. The trainers do love all of the animals there and they know the risks everytime they get in the water with them. As for everyone saying that all the orcas and dolphins need to be set free well then whatever pet you have just go ahead and take your animal where it originated and set it free....

Taka from Sasabo   February 26th, 2010 1:53 am ET

James 31

You like the whals. They are beauty and I like people who see they need the live we do too. Is 31 yuo age. I live Japan and am 25.

cindy roberts   February 26th, 2010 2:09 am ET

Jules darling,
Yes, according to law, this man has the right to express himself, a right his victims no longer have. Would you feel as strongly about his rights if his victim was your daughter/mother/father, etc? Again, as I said, I have visited Seaworld several times over the years, & I am awestruck by the dedication that the trainers have for the animals. I ask you as well as others, have you personally been to Seaworld? Have you observed the interaction between the trainers & the animals? I do not believe that they should be criticized for what they do. They are not training animals to fight one another, they are not euthanizing them, & if they didn't care about the animals, why would they chose that career in the first place? No,we do not live in a perfect world. Animals have & will attack, whether willingly or not. What has happened to the human elemet in this equation? People are more quick to criticize than show fellow feeling & empathy for this trainer & her family. Would these same people who are quick to criticize others do the same if it were one of their family members who perished?

jules darling   February 26th, 2010 2:28 am ET

cindy roberts,
No I do not support places of animal captivity. You cannot at any degree argue that these mammals would be happier having not been stolen from their mothers nearly thirty years ago. Then taken away time and time again from their mates and children and stuck in the confines of glass walls for their entire lifetime. In order to do tricks, in their minds to eat, they would go through periods of starvation and whipping if they did not do so. They do not enjoy doing this. Veterinarians relate the flop in their dorsal fin to their high levels of stress.
The issue is not empathy towards this woman and the tragic accident. These are not house pets. They did not need training out in their habitat. A man earlier wrote that he knew this woman, and that she would never blame the whales. So just as some ignorant tourist do not assume that this woman did not believe these whales should have been freed and she understood the animal's nature and possible consequences of working with them.
It is an infraction as a being whether it be man or animal to be held against ones own will. Especially without the chance of freedom of speech. Have you not seen the photos of where this animal is now? Even if we murdered we would not be tied down to a bed and gagged.

cindy roberts   February 26th, 2010 2:30 am ET

@ Taka
u r 25, u have lots tu lurn, including English. Munkye is smart enough to open door, escape & even bite owner.

jules darling   February 26th, 2010 2:33 am ET

cindy roberts and Taka:
Cindy, Taka is from Sasabo JAPAN. Clearly you have not traveled farther then your meal ticket allows which is Orlando Florida. I think you caught what he meant. Please go on about how one should, and I quote from you "show fellow feeling & empathy" towards fellow man. Ha. You just ate your own words.

Taka from Sasabo   February 26th, 2010 2:38 am ET

cindy ruberts

give yu 25 years to lern Japanese, see if yu better then me. Whut kine peenuts yu like?.never lern engish in schuol lern Chinese insted then French. Yu just speek red nick languge. Ask agin yu lik salte or plan peenuts?

jules darling   February 26th, 2010 2:40 am ET

taka you are very funny. translates well enough into english. you should be happy to be japanese. here our education is an abolute failure

Taka from Sasabo   February 26th, 2010 2:44 am ET

jules roberts

nice talk to yu. I am lady but like yur lessen yu teech cindy roberts. She off the huk and shuld be treeted lik munky. Give good lessen she neads, Whut yu think?

Taka from Sasabo   February 26th, 2010 2:48 am ET

jules darling

i mak misteaks, call yu wrung nemes surry I did that.

cindy roberts   February 26th, 2010 2:50 am ET

Jules darling,
Wow! I hope you are on my jury if I'm ever convicted of murder. Maybe I could get that break at freedom! Did these animals really get whipped? Where did you find this info? I would like to read the source. Also as an ignorant tourist, I didn't quite get your statement on this, it was not clear. Could you expound on this? As far as the issue not being the trainer involved, would this issue even be discussed had not the trainer died?

Taka from Sasabo   February 26th, 2010 2:51 am ET

cindy roberts

leeve munky out the cagea, Yu get incage and eat peenuts i give yu, haha.

cindy roberts   February 26th, 2010 2:53 am ET

guess you did not get to read taka's nasty reply to me b/c it was deleted. By the way, for someone who has never been outside Orlando, I just got back from FP

Taka from Sasabo   February 26th, 2010 2:55 am ET

cindy roberts

I write inenlish bad, but reed very good. Yu cant write good inenlish eether. Sound lik rid neck.

cindy roberts   February 26th, 2010 3:08 am ET

Had you not said nasty, sexually suggestive things, I would not have responded as I did. Obviously your comment was inappropriate or it would not have been deleted. I do not make fun of others nationality. My response was in sarcasim because of your nasty reply. What is a rid neck? I assume you mean red neck. This is a term normally reserved to a southerner. I did not say I was from Orlando, so do not assume I am a southerner.

Taka from Sasabo   February 26th, 2010 3:18 am ET

cindy roberts

Yu off the huk agin..How can just yu been incage hava sex, not sen peenuts for tu jus yu. Thnank yu for tru speeling, tak one tu know speeling. les say yu neck reely reely pink. ok red easer to say. ben yur countre red neck all plac.

Linda in Arizona   February 26th, 2010 4:11 am ET

Seaworld and other corporate animal abusers exploit wild animals for profit. These whales are held prisoner. Does anyone believe they would hang around if they were given the opportunity to be free? Jack Hannah has a conflict of interest from his admitted association with SeaWorld. He also makes his living by exploiting animals. He has no credibility whatsoever, and he's an intellectual lightweight. His argument about everything SeaWorld does being justified because millions of people come to their shows is specious. Lots of people went to see the gladiators and lions in the Coliseum too. That didn't make it right. Thank you Bob Barker. Your post is reasonable and helpful.

claudia   February 26th, 2010 4:24 am ET

Oh please release these animals back into their own environment. What did they do wrong to be imprisoned in these cages?

Jordon from TX   February 26th, 2010 4:37 am ET

your right jules we would sit in jail if it was in texas until it was your turn for your injection.... if the animal is put to sleep im assuming all hell would break loose and the FEMA lady would throw a fit? big deal there is no reason wy this animal should be allowed to be around trainers anymore and what will happen if you let it free? wouldnt it be even a bigger danger to humans that may have some kind of interaction to him? this is dumb there is no argument here you put the animal to sleep as you do anything that kills a human. end of story. This close the Sea Worlds BS needs to stop because that will be a huge mistake. if you have a problem with them "exploiting the animals" which im sure you have taken your kids to see.... then just dont go dont ruin something that people actually enjoy bevause you want to take the side of people who just want to argue about something to get their name in the paper.

Valmai   February 26th, 2010 5:17 am ET

I was witness with my family to Tillikum and his behaviours while he was in Oak Bay (Victoria , British Columbia) I feel it is very important to know and speak out about the way Tillikum and the two other killer whales played. They would have a great training session and then the trainers would throw in two large bouys or round floats that were tied together with rope. The whales would spend hours vying to grab the rope and take the bouys away from each other, Tillikum being the largest would be able to submerged the toys to keep them the longest. This was their playtime, this stimulate and excited them to no end. The docile whales through the training turned very active and almost silly when the bouys where finally thrown into the water at the end of the day. I think that Tillikum having ten years of playing with these toys that he so loved, feeling for the frayed ropes so he could take off with the toys and drag them under might have been part of his reaction with his recent trainers unfortunate death. The trainer in Sea World Florida was indeed in the water voluntarily with Tillikum just seconds to the accidental death. There is video of her floating on her stomach and smilling with Tillikum. An admitted no – no with Tillikum as this whale gets super excited with toys in the water. I know that when Tillikum left Victoria, British Columbia after the trainer here fell into the water and was taken down (like when playing keep away with the toys in the water) it was stipulated that no one play with him in the water. Please ensure that no harm comes to him, as he is a beautiful soul. If you have seem him up close and personal as I have, you would agree with me that he is just like a kid playing in the water and not wanting to harm. If he wanted to harm the transient that ended up in his pool he would have eaten him, not displayed signs of rescesitation by having the man on his back, this is what killer whales do when their young are having difficulties and need assistance getting to the surface for air. Please watch over Tillikum for us please! Thank you from British Columbia Canada

TK fr: an Asia City Just Simple Loves To Watch Larry King Show!   February 26th, 2010 6:13 am ET

Man cannot try and make man-made Edens! Especially with SEA Animals!!! It will only stifles the natural growth of them! I was WORRIED AND TERRIFIED WHEN I READ AN ARTICLE ABOUT THE NEW multi-millions GM RESORTS IN Singapore were thinking and suggesting that they were going to put :THE WHALE SHARKS into the display tank!!! That is a brainless thought and totally should not be done! The Whale Shark feeds on millions of plakton I was thinking WHERE ARE THEY GOING TO FIND OR HOW ARE THEY GOING TO FISH PLAKTONS for this free roaming poor whale sharks!??! The last thing we animal lovers want to see, hear or read about is " Whale Shark Kills Tank Cleaner!" We humans for the sake of profits starts to capture animals : Thinking we really know them enough! Just Look At The Poor Animal Guy Steve Erwin got killed so unexspectedly by the sting ray! Who would have expect the Sting Ray could attack this way!!!???

Francois Martin   February 26th, 2010 7:00 am ET

Larry, I'm dissapointed that you didn't give enough time for Mr Hanna to respond to the outrageous comment from the PETA president and Bob Barker. Also having 2 PETA people against one defending Sea World is not fair. Your apology in not having enough time doesn't ring true (you certainly had enough time promoting "The Hurt Locker")!

Zoos and aquariums like sea world are important for funding research into our knowledge of wild animals and how to promote conservation.

Janice from Australia   February 26th, 2010 7:27 am ET

I believe "we do the best we can with the knowledge we have at the time", Terry tx – I would like to think that in the future you have more knowledge & compassion, work at an animal shelter for a week, that is all the time it will take you to open your heart to the animal world.
As for Sea World I believe, they believe they are doing the right thing eg educating humans. We DO NOT have the right to educate humans by incarcerating animals (who don't have a choice) to do so. Whether it is whales, dolphins or orangutans in Indonesia, if we looked after the planet/ stopped hunting/ taking WILD animals as pets, these animals would flourish and we could see them in the wild for many years to come. Please close all these institutions incarcerating such mammoth animals, they are wild, they are NOT killers – we have put them into unnatural situations and deaths will continue. Any wild animal is unpredictable. Why do we have to try and conquer everything that is good, this story leave me incredibly sad FOR ALL ANIMALS that are misunderstood.

Patricia Sommers   February 26th, 2010 8:57 am ET

I find it unbelievable that Seaworld officials blame this death on the woman's hair !! I have heard right from the beginning, downright lies coming from these people,starting with a report that she FELL into the water. They ALLOWED her to be on a tray, in the water with this KILLER whale.

Jules Kirby   February 26th, 2010 9:15 am ET

TK fr: an Asia City Just Simple Loves To Watch Larry King Show!
Is this true? That would be an outrage however a lot of things happen in other countries and in The USA we only hear about ourselves. Selfish beings that we are, Whale Sharks would be less likely to do as Tillikum did, they are gentle beasts and I do not see what they would have to offer as they do not jump or do theatrics. The line must be drawn. If it is for scientific research then these scientists need to stop clowning them around for show. The stresses of the small confines along with what they are forced to do for food, as in tricks and then the confines of their "cell" are unforgivable.

Gerald Jolly   February 26th, 2010 11:06 am ET

A message for Jack Hanna.

I shall never forget my experience on Vancouver Island, when two friends of mine and I rented a 32 Ft. Bayliner boat for a day so that we could go, (ON OUR OWN) a observe Orcas in their natural invironment.

That day we were blessed, because we were able to follow a pod of Orcas feeding on salmon for nearly four hours.
However, during that period of time my two friends expressed disappointment because they were hoping to see "PEOPLE RIDING ON THE BACKS OF THOSE ORCAS, BUT NOT ONE HAD A RIDER"

THese same two friend and I had travelled to Camaroon the year before to observe Chimpanzees in their natural invironment, and luckily we were fortunate enough to observe a troup of approximately 20 Chimpanzees, but again my friends came away very disappointed, because "NOT EVEN ONE OF THOSE WILD CHIMPANZEES WAS RIDING A TRICYCLE"

When we askedJack Hanna the world famous??? naturalist why were we not able to witness this normal behavior by Orcas and Chimps, he sais unfortunately for these poor animal, they had been subjected to mans "IDIOCY"

After hearing their misguided (Hero, Jack Hanna) make those comments, the senior executive of Sea World said. "THERE IS NO MONEY TO BE MADE BY KEEPING THESE ANIMALS IN THE WILD"

Jason   February 26th, 2010 11:11 am ET

i've been reading this blog, i have only one thing to say.... to all of you who have a fish aquarium, go to the ocean and let them go, after all an aquarium is way too small of a confinement for fish who are accustomed to live in the sea. if you have a bird, let it go, after all, a cage is too small compared to the great outdoors they are used to. if you live in a small apt, home, or mobile home, let all you animals free, after all this is too small of an area to confine them to. if your kid has a hamster, gunea pig, set it free, chances are its confinement is to small. go protest pet stores, all the animals are confined in small areas. if you have an area large enough for your animals, dont dare teach them tricks, they should not be forced to perform. ban americas funniest home videos, after all, many of them show animals performing. ban the westminster kennel club, they make animals perform . ban drug & bomb sniffing dogs, after all they are forced to perform. come on people, if yu are going to stand up for a cause, at least be consistent!

Gerald Jolly   February 26th, 2010 11:28 am ET

I think the most idiotic story that I ever read about keeping wild animals for public enjoyment was the story about a woman that had a python, that was nearly 18 ft. long and she would take the snake to entertain children at birthday parties and such events.

One day as she was getting her stuff ready for the show she left her van with the snaked, and her baby in the Van while she was setting up for her show, 20 minutes later when she got back to her Van she noticed that snake had a large swelling on it's body, but her baby was nowhere to be found.



When Mr. Wonderfull "JACK HANNA" was asked what did he think happened to that baby he answered.

DUH! Pythons have been known to eat monkeys and large rodents ect. could it be possible that the Python ate the baby HO! HO! HO!

Just Simple Loves To Watch Larry King Show!   February 26th, 2010 5:02 pm ET

Hi Mr Larry King, It is not your fault! When such terrible incidents do occur peopke tends to avoid or push away the blame so as to maintain their pool of investors! Moreover in today morning International desk with Rosemary Church, BBC, and among many other station media they got to defend for themselves!

Terrible Heartless Answer!
When we askedJack Hanna the world famous??? naturalist why were we not able to witness this normal behavior by Orcas and Chimps, he sais unfortunately for these poor animal, they had been subjected to mans "IDIOCY"

After hearing their misguided (Hero, Jack Hanna) make those comments, the senior executive of Sea World said. "THERE IS NO MONEY TO BE MADE BY KEEPING THESE ANIMALS IN THE WILD

One would really Wonder WHAT IF IT WAS THEMSELVES, THEY LOST A LEG or THEIR LIVES ARE NOT NORMAL ANYMORE OR WORST their love ones die because of an Animal Attack??!! During Holidaying or it could happen anywhere where there are wild life! Would they be so carve-up still or be so carvelier!

A Precious Life Has Been Lost Here! (Hey! Palma-Frost Brain What is Making Money?? More Important?!) It is So Wicked, Cruel, Heartless to speak of self -pocket at this point of time!!!!

The Animal Kingdom, the marine sea life, the trees and this world's condition have been doing VERY(x3) WELL Before Greedy Human Merchants starts exploting, murdering and destorying nature with their not so bright idea of money making! Stands no where when face with the force of nature when control to wipe out cruel, greedy humans off the face of this earth! Nature have thrive on it's own from the begining! without mankind interferring!!!



3. YOU CAN NEVER ASK A Tall & Big Size American Man to Drive a
small Asian made car! The animal finds your pool is too small!! It is
saying :" you humans keep saying the pool is the biggest in the
world!" BUT the Orca is telling," you where I came from MY HOME
THE SEA IS BIGGER THAN YOuR PooLS! You are not me, what
looks big to you is because YOU ARE smaller than me BY SO Many
Times!! Take the no 10 and multiply by men packing them like
Sardines(Oops!) equal to one BIG FAT FuULL ORCA me; MR GIANT
ORCA!" Weee Are NOT THE SAME sS i zz ZZ eE!!! SIZE =ME &
size = You tiny Human
Mr Orca: "Hello! Do You Study in University? If so you should
understand I am an Orca not a tiny Human like you!"

If time proves that the ORAC has to be free, many would agreed when Nature Calls! When you Got To Go! You Got To Go! SET ME FREE!!!

Ramona   February 26th, 2010 11:30 pm ET

jason u couldn't of said it better !!!!! forget we need not learn from other species either lets live in our shell and hope we know how our world and how to save it.

Jessie from Auckland, NZ   February 27th, 2010 12:53 am ET

You know, we humans were made a little higher than animals, as it is written in The Bible. You would think we would have more intelligence, I'm afraid not.

Animals should not be for our amusement alone. Some of them yes, are there for our food........... and even then there are the arguments going on.......that we don't need to kill animals..........that we humans can exist on a fruit and vegetarian diet.

I think it's bad time we gave animals.......... a bit more respect........... than what we are giving them now.

Need to look at the............. " MAN IN THE MIRROR"!.

A. Smith, Oregon   February 27th, 2010 4:28 am ET

The US Senate should craft a bill that would make it illegal to keep any Orcha Whale in captivity over 1/2 of its expected lifespan before releasing that Orcha Whale back into the Ocean.

I can think of no greater memorial to the brave and dedicated Sea World trainer Dawn Brancheau who tragically lost her life showing the world how beautiful and graceful these huge sentient creatures are.

Oregonians rescued Willie-Kiko a female Orcha Whale from a Mexican resort tank and after medical rehab successfully released Willie-Kiko back to the Ocean where she lived free for her last 10 years and died as a free Orcha Whale with her pod mates.

Suspicious   February 27th, 2010 1:13 pm ET

J & R sounds like they are employed with "S.W."
If there was a choice given All Animal Lovers Would Like To Have All The Spieces Free Roaming Around The World & Be Living where all animals are harmless and live togther peacefully. All we need to do is get near them without them fearing & harming us and vice versa. It is totally true that it is important to get to know as many spieces as one human life permit, But to get to know these animals by harming them just isn't normal..sigh! NO thanks to imperfection and the first rebellion.....

Er...Kinda Of/Feel A Little Suspicious About Jason & Ramona commands   February 27th, 2010 1:48 pm ET

J & R sounds like they are employed with "S.W." (No offence)
Be a reasonable...We are only Talking About Freeing Tilikum the Orcas/Killer Whale cause it seems to have shown some killing instincts like those in the wild! It even kill a bird pelican floating in the pool during past show performance......Don't you all think that Tilikum finds the Man-Made Pool Is Too Tiny For It ?
It would be not 100% to free the world's domestic animals living in homes and they are domestic very different from a wild animals that truely should be free like The American eagles, orcas, the Great Whites, the American Baison and any other wild animal etc etc.
Perhaps another bad incident needs to happen(hopefully not!!!) before the point get through or brought home!!!
If there was a choice given All Animal Lovers Would Like To Have All The Spieces Free Roaming Around Us The World & Be Living where all animals are harmless and live togther peacefully. All we need to do is get near them without them fearing & harming us and vice versa. It is totally true that it is important to get to know as many spieces as one human life permit, But to get to know these animals by harming them just isn't normal...! Of course this is not possible now ............Looks like it 's No Thanks to imperfection and the first rebellion.....causing so much terrible tragic through out human history.........!

Arthur Lance, Jr.   February 27th, 2010 3:41 pm ET

Deart Mr. King,
I am a retired educator. I have watched the Health Care debate for many years and have always been entrigued by the polling that CNN and others have done. I have wondered if ever the polling has ever
been done State by State in regards to support for Health Care. Also, what is the make-up in relationship to Democratic and Republican carried States in the Last Presidental election. I would surely appreciate more information of the National polls in regards to the sampling populations that are be used and where the individuals are being polled (i.e. polled in relationship to population or states sizes, every state in the sample, etc.). Please pass this on the appropriate
pollosters in your organization and help me to glean a better reality as to who supports and/or not support Health State by State.

Clearer Polling For The Public

j   February 27th, 2010 9:30 pm ET

geez ......didn't think you could out do yourself but you did.....hope you don't mind i coppied and need to paste it to my vegan daughter.... in law school...(who eventually wants to defend animals after she pays off her loans) she does not like blogs and gets mad at me........anyway again a great post...yeahhhh for

Paula Drakeford   February 27th, 2010 10:12 pm ET

Hey Mr. Larry King, I have a son over in Japan in Okiniwa he said they had an earthquake an hour before it hit Chile. Now their in danger of an Tsunami . He is on an Military Base. I'm a little concern that no one in U. S. seen to be that concern about Japan. Is it because there not part of U.S. A. if so please inform the media that we do have a base there.

Thank You

Jessie from Auckland, NZ   February 28th, 2010 5:23 am ET

Just another thing I would like to know is.......... if this whale Tilli had been involved in other unfortunate incidences before..........shouldn't they have been more careful with it.

Even going so far as to ban human contact with it or releasing it immediately back to the wild. The red alert flags should have been flying.

Jessie from Auckland, NZ   February 28th, 2010 5:41 am ET

Also, you can't compare animals of this size with domestic animals, I don't think.

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