I wish to thank you for your March 19 "Editor's Note," "SeaWorld: one guy's take." I've been a resident of San Diego for 34 years and visited SeaWorld once, years ago. The "Shamu Show" broke my heart, and the memory of the orcas performing tricks is forever etched in my mind.
It's time to end the cruelty and captivity of orcas at SeaWorld. I commend the producer of Blackfish, Richard Bloom, ASPCA, San Diego Humane Society and everyone involved in passing the Orca Welfare and Safety Act.
Patricia R. Trandal, San Carlos
Sweet deals for SeaWorld
Regarding your March 19 "Editor's Note" about SeaWorld: Thanks to the San Diego City Council, we were SeaWorld San Diego for a month. But for local school kids on free field trips to the park, they didn't get to see primo attractions involving dolphins or killer whales. And while it was a chintzy business decision from management, maybe that's not all bad.
Let's acknowledge that SeaWorld has improved some of its past practices: Orcas are no longer required to wear giant sunglasses as they perform stunts for the paying public, and the highly social marine creatures may no longer be taken into captivity from Puget Sound.
But SeaWorld also breeds its captive killer whales—and that's how they got into trouble with inbred orca Tillicum, who drowned a trainer, the subject of the documentary film Blackfish.
But let's also acknowledge the mutual benefit that exists between corporate SeaWorld and our city—$14 million in rent and a bunch of low-wage jobs. It's a sweet deal all the way around. SeaWorld charges a fortune to get in—$84 per adult (and that's anyone from age 10 up) and $78 per kiddie (ages 3 to 9). The separate parking fee is $15. If an "adult guest" (age 10 and up) wants to have a "dolphin interaction" in the water, the fee is $215. Between now and May 24, there's a twofer deal—buy one ticket / get one free—only available in advance, not at the gate. (Presumably, that's until proposed orcaprotection legislation in Sacramento gets killed off by SeaWorld lobbyists.)
Frances O'Neill Zimmerman, La Jolla
Teach your children well
Regarding your March 19 "Editor's Note" about SeaWorld: Great article, dude. My feeling exactly. I would never want to teach my child that it's OK to keep orcas in tiny tanks and to make them do stupid tricks for our entertainment.
I don't care what the PR department at SeaWorld says or what the mayor who has accepted a $2,800 campaign contribution from them says. That's not the way to teach respect for nature. This is 2014, not 1975—that stuff is neither cool nor acceptable anymore.
Julian Christian, Bay Park
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