[PDF / Epub] ☀ Beneath the Surface: Killer Whales, SeaWorld, and the Truth Beyond Blackfish By John Hargrove – Horse-zine.co.uk



10 thoughts on “Beneath the Surface: Killer Whales, SeaWorld, and the Truth Beyond Blackfish

  1. says:

    I ve thought a lot about my response to this book, mostly it was sadness and hatred This is a topic that I feel very strongly about I m not a big fan of zoo s or aquariums, but I hate Sea World If for some reason you think its okay that we are keeping these beautiful, extremely intelligent animals in what to them is basically a jail cell, then read this book Hell just do some basic research and you ll see that it isn t right Now obviously and sadly the 30 or so whales currently in captivity won t ever be able to return to their natural home but the author John Hargrove gives a good solution in this book A solution good for the whales, but also good for the trainers, who I do believe truly love these animals, they re just stuck between a rock and a hard place You can be a prisoner and genuinely like a specific prison guard and that prison guard may genuinely like you but that doesn t take away the fact that you re in prison Hargrove suggests we move them to ocean pens, they d finally be in the ocean but they would still have the protection of the trainers to take care of them And we should most definitely stop the breeding program It would make me very happy if there was never another whale born in captivity And because I know the only thing Sea World truly cares about is their bottom line, they could still make money by letting people observe the whales and having the trainer educate them, not with stupid tricks but with actual facts Unfortunately I don t have much hope of this ever happening, because like Hargrove said in his book, if they have to admit to one thing, they have to admit to it all More then 50 years of wrong doing isn t something a company is going to cop too out of the goodness of their hearts So its up to us as consumers to make a difference, and spread the word Please don t support Sea World in any way Maybe once their stock prices drop enough they ll realize that we won t accept their morally disgusting treatment of their whales, and all of their other animals any Edited May 29 2015 I would just like to share that Ontario where I live has just passed a bill that bans the buying selling of Killer Whales and also the BREEDING of Killer Whales There will never be another whale held in captivity in Ontario after the ones we have pass away I am so damn proud right now I am literally crying Please, please, other provinces and states, take notes and try to create similar bills These animals are not meant to be kept in tanks Edited Sept 21 2017 Just wanted to let my fellow Canadians know that there is a bill, Bill S 203, currently stalled in parliament that would ban the captivity and breeding of whales, dolphins, and porpoises ALL across Canada It s been stuck in parliament for a while now, which baffles me since this seems like a no brainer to me, but I d just like to encourage any Canadians who read this review to contact your representatives and make it clear to them that they should support this bill These animals should not be in captivity


  2. says:

    When you read a book by a Whistleblower you aren t sure if you are going to get an informational read or maybe just some angry diatribe by the individual about how the Corporate World treated them poorly So, when I asked for this book to review I was a bit worried about what I would find I didn t want the angry diatribe.I was pleased that the book did not just come off as a way for John Hargrove to paint SeaWorld as a terrible monster Now, with that said it did not let SeaWorld off the hook, it did do a number on their reputation by the disagreements that Hargrove pointed out from his experience.But the book gives a good history of the work with Orca Whales and how that came about It also gives a good view of how you become a trainer with the whales and the amount of work needed to get to the level of being an in water trainer although OSHA has removed that privilege since 2010 Hargrove gives us a glimpse of his childhood and his dream of becoming a trainer It gives good insight into the mind set of an individual who wants to work with an 8,000 pound killer whale.The book describes the training of the trainer as well as the training of the whales It gives you a glimpse into the personalities of the whales and how they act and re act to certain situations It also paints a good picture of how the whales can be unpredictable It gives several harrowing stories of the tragedy that can happen when a bored whale decides to play with a trainer and almost kill that trainer.There are also the discussions of the perils of a whale in captivity They become bored They become lethargic They become susceptible to infections and disease that can cause their early death It gives you the true response of a trainer who loves his whales when he realizes the trauma to the whales of the captivity Let s be honest, any human knows that an animal in a zoo or water park is not in their natural environment and that can never be perfect.Hargrove also gives a good description of the intelligence of these whales How they watch the trainers, watch other whales and absorb the information around them They make intelligent decisions, they sometimes make decisions that show they are having a tantrum or are bored and looking for a way to have fun in their environment, and that sometimes is at the trainers expense.I enjoyed the book and thought it did a good job of describing the situation I wasn t put off by the way Hargrove gave out information that was detrimental to SeaWorld, frankly what he said is just common sense if the average person were to stop and contemplate the problems of keeping a killer whale in captivity.One thing is clear, these whales are highly intelligent, they are highly social, they have their own cultural hierarchy that keeps them in line and they enjoy interaction with humans to an extent and don t inherently desire to hurt humans, and in no way is it their desire to eat a human or kill one because of an inbred animal nature towards that event These whales are aggressive in the wild, not towards humans but towards their natural prey.Enjoy the read


  3. says:

    Finished it in one sitting Never gave much thought to what it takes to train killer whales It was such an eye opening Great learning experience RIP to all those who lost their lives working with those amazing and unpredictable animals.


  4. says:

    The first thing I want to say is that I went to Sea World when I was younger I saw the trainers in the water with the orcas and I thought it was one of the most magical things I had ever seen in my life To see these big beautiful whales working together with humans was incredible and both the trainers and the whales looked so happy But one thing that shocked me was the marks on the whales that I now know are called rake marks When I asked my dad what those were he said that they were marks from fights and that they were probably from life in the wild This was back when most people still saw Sea World as a good thing and so I didn t question it When I heard about Tilikum killing a trainer I was really shocked because I had seen that whale perform and like I said, all of the whales looked so happy Then Sea World said that it was just an unfortunate accident and that it was the trainers fault and I just kind of accepted that Until I watched Blackfish a few years ago Blackfish completely opened my eyes and I could not believe all of the lies from Sea World I thought this book was a good book because it was from one of the trainers who worked with whales for Sea World He writes about the good and the bad and he writes about his own personal experience so it is quite interesting The thing I loved the most was the fact that he wrote about the whales with such love and passion and I could really feel that I thought that he really did love his job solely because of the whales Most of the good things involved the whales and the trust and affection he shared with the whales Most of the bad things involved Sea World itself the poor living conditions for the whales, the unethical treatment of whales when it came to things like breeding and separating whales etc and the unloyalty Sea World had for their trainers The one thing I disliked about this book was the writing style This could have been a 5 star book but the writing was really lacking First of all this book wasn t written in chronological order I usually don t like when things aren t chronologically ordered anyway but the events John described were all over the place and he jumped back and forward so many times it was confusing Sure, he broke the book up into blocks of topics but I feel like it would have been much better if he had told the story from start to finish I would recommend this book to everyone Sea World should not be open I think the solution is the same thing John spoke about, an open sea pen for these whales so they can live the rest of their lives in happiness They cannot be placed in the wild because Sea World have screwed them up but they should be released from their prisons Captivity is always captivity, no matter how gentle the jailer When you are trapped by a whale that has gone over to the dark side, you still can hope that you can look the orca in the eye and redirect him or her But in SeaWorld the corporation, there is no soul to peer into I had a boyhood dream that came true, almost magically, like something out of a children s storybook In time, I discovered that the gorgeous dream was only part of the story, that the bigger story was of a nightmare, for myself and for the whales SeaWorld s pools may be large in human scale but they do not in any way approach the breadth and depth the orcas have available to them in the ocean SeaWorld s history proves that we will never be able to predict orca behavior completely certainly not aggressions But all of that water is a drop in the bucket compared to the killer whales natural habitat It is like putting a whale in a bathtub SeaWorld says that its animals receive all of their food regardless of how they perform throughout the day This is falseThe reality is that it was still happening even as I resigned in August 2012 I know of whales whose food base usually ranged from 180 to 250 pounds per day being restricted to as little as 59 pounds of food Many of us chose not speak out about the conditions at SeaWorld because management might assign us away from the whales, But as the years passed at the marine park, it became evident that the whales were not happy or well adjusted, much less thriving If the whales out in nature were harmless to human beings, why then did we have to be so wary of their moods in captivity Why did we have to worry about orca aggressions Boredom manifests itself in other ways Whales will rub their faces against the wall or sometimes bang their heads against the sides of the pool Some orcas even develop eating disorders similar to human bulimia nervosa Killer whales, longing for stimulation, have learned to regurgitate food just to keep themselves busy Almost all the whales in SeaWorld wear down their teeth by obsessively rubbing them on the ledges, floors and stages of the pool Sometimes, a whale can break off a tooth in the process On average, trainers drill and then irrigate 10 to 14 teeth for the whales who need it It is the rare whale that doesn t In the wild, orcas can tell if a seal they have been pursuing is tired or injured because their sonar allows them to sense the heart rate and breathing of their prey A lot goes on inside these whales because they are inmates of SeaWorld Unable to sense her daughter s presence in any of the adjoining pools, Kasatka was sending sounds far into the world, as far as she could, to see if they would bounce back or elicit a response When Sea World separated Kasatka from her daughter The culture and behavior of wild orcas vary greatly throughout the world, just as with people who hail from other nations Gathering them in the quarters of even the biggest of aquatic theme parks is like squishing people who speak different languages into a single jail cell for years In the confines of SeaWorld, there is nowhere to swim away to escape and so violence is not just a threat but often a consequence I personally think, she says, all captive orcas, whether caught in the wild or born in captivity, are behaviorally abnormal They are like the children in Lord of the Flies unnaturally violent because they do not have any of the normal societal brakes on their immature tendency toward violence Young calves are never left in the company of adult males from outside their matrilines in the wild At SeaWorld, the father of a one and a half year old calf attempted to breed with her after the mother was shipped to another park in the corporation SeaWorld likes to say that they own only five orcas captured in the wild More accurately, they have owned 32 killer whales captured in the wild throughout the company s history, only five of whom have survived I know how long the whales at SeaWorld lived 36 have died, 50 if you count stillbirths and miscarriages Looking at the lives of those 36 which include orcas who were born and died in SeaWorld as well as orcas that were already a certain age in the wild before being captured the average life span was only ten and a half years If you add in the stillbirths and miscarriages, that average life span drops to seven and a half years Among the calves born in SeaWorld who survived than ten days, the average life span is only 8.8 years Since Takara was separation from Kasatka, her calf Kohana, just three at the time, had been taken from her and sent to Spain and, when Takara was moved to Texas, her three year old son Trua remained in Florida In the wild, mother and calf are in perpetual motion that is their natural state But staying motionless is a skill that orcas have to learn in order to survive in artificial pools In one instance in Japan, adult whales grabbed and pulled the calf of another orca through the steel bars of a gate separating them from each other, tearing the young orca apart in the process Ulises did not produce viable sperm, according to lab results shared with the trainers At least in the beginning After Tilikum killed Dawn Brancheau in 2010, SeaWorld claimed that Ulises sperm was successfully used to impregnate eight year old Kalia in 2013 I d like to see DNA proof of that Immediately after Tilikum killed Dawn Brancheau in February 2010, we were told of a corporate directive that all viable orca females were to be impregnated via artificial insemination, as fast as we could, and again and again The company denies separating mothers and calves, and when a mother and her offspring are assigned to separate parks, SeaWorld explains that the calf has been weaned But orcas are unlike other animals A calf is always a calf, no matter how old the whale becomes, it is always its mother s son or daughter Worst of all, they would impregnate whether through artificial means or natural breeding females that in the wild would be too young to breed Our moral responsibility is not to diversify the gene pool of these orcas We took these whales from the ocean and put them in a captive situation and now we are breeding them because we want whales in our collection in order to make money Our responsibility is to make their lives better, not to impregnate them again and again in an abnormal way 19 calves were taken from their mothers in SeaWorld s history, including Kasatka and Katina, who were captured from the wild and thus, wrested from their mothers Only two of the 19 separations were medically necessary, most likely because the mothers abnormally young themselves became excessively aggressive toward their calves As the judge noted in his decision, SeaWorld failed to document several known events of undesirable behavior by killer whales when working with trainers Dr Marino says that the killer whale s highly elaborated neocortex allows the orca to make conscious choices about who to eat and who to fight with It s not just a flip the switch reflex If an orca goes after a trainer, it is not playing It is a conscious act, she explains, not a reflexive one The trainers who swam with the whales would on occasion get eye burns serious enough to require medical attention because of high chlorine levels in the water Water quality, however, was far worse in France One trainer s eyes were so badly burned by excessive chlorine that he had to wear patches over them for than a week or risk blindness if he exposed them to light my belief that while the relationship between trainer and whale can be beautiful, the overall situation that of captivity makes the orcas dysfunctional and dangerous What every experienced trainer knows with 100 percent certainty is that Tilikums behaviour with Dawn was an aggressive act the very kind we try to avoid by meticulously documenting orca behavior I never worked in the Orlando park nor have I ever trained Tilikum But I know what orca aggression is Alexis and Dawn loved their jobs and loved the orcas they worked with But after they were killed, SeaWorld blamed them for their own deaths I asked to see the video that I knew existed of Tilikum attacking Dawn because a camera is always on to record what happens in the pools I was told, Leave it alone There is nothing to learn from it SeaWorld spins its stories this way to minimize the damage to the corporation and to manage the commercial image of the orca The company likes to pretend it is a scientific organization for the purposes of public relations But it gets little respect from scientists The orcas have become so dysfunctional due to years of captivity that they would likely not survive in nature All of the reasons its orcas cannot be returned to nature stem from the fact that they have been psychologically and physically damaged by captivity.


  5. says:

    John Hargrove was only six years old when he first saw his first Sea World Show From that time on, that was the place he wanted to go Not only did he want to be an Orca but he want to be an expert trainer Every time he went to the show, he stayed after and asked trainers so many questions Being an expert trainer became his dream He began working at the lowest paying jobs in Sea World He worked on the swimming requirements and a college degree to get a job with Sea World He worked in the U.S and France and even today has never lost his fascination for Orcas.Then he started noticing things that he did not see at the shows.John developed an empathy for the whales who out of boredom ate paint of the wall of their tanks The whales held in captivity developed medical problems that they do not have in the wild They can grow blind from the chlorine in the pools They are used to sandy bottoms instead of hard concrete How can we use whales for entertainment when it hurts their lives so much Whales need to eat 150 pounds of assorted fish every day no matter how good or bad their performance Also the captive whales behave differently towards other whales than those are freedom They suffer psychological damage, hurt themselves, other whales and humans He describes it as them slipping into the dark side.John Hargrove wrote a very emotionally and intellectually compelling book about why we should not hold this immensely large and intelligent being captive It is not good for the whales and it is not good for us As time passed, his body could no longer take the many broken bones and his spirit could no longer seen his friends hurt or killed He realized that is greed for money not concern for the whales that drives the production of these shows He describes his naivety when he was a child with hero trainers and even later but then he started to see the truth of what was really going on His argument is written very compelling and he uses his own personal experiences to show how he began to see what the whales lives were truly like I thank him for his bravery is writing this book John Hargrove has joined with those want the present captive whales taken care of and never have any whales captured or born captive I saw on Sea World Show a long time ago and never returned I left with an uneasiness and ache in my heart for the animals there John Hargrove has opened this ache and let the pain be felt There are constructive thingst that we can do We can start thinking differently It is time I received the Advance Reading Copy from Vine at no cost but that in no way influenced my thoughts or feeling in this review.


  6. says:

    After watching the excellent documentary BLACK FISH, I was further inspired to read John Hargrove s account of his experiences as a Sea World orca trainer BENEATH THE SURFACE takes a closer look at the world of aquarium trainers and the care treatment given to ocean mammals, specifically killer whales The book centers on orcas that John personally worked with This was a fascinating read and a great companion resource to the documentary Highly recommended On a side note, Tilikum, the giant male killer whale who was kept in captivity for decades, sadly and mercifully died earlier this year His entire life in captivity was both a physical and a psychological prison, and Tilikum was a mentally frayed animal because of this As far as I know, Sea World has finally stopped breeding and capturing orcas for their parks For the remaining animals, there is no longer any physical contact allowed in the water between them and their trainers.


  7. says:

    If Death at SeaWorld see previous review represents the scientific and political argument against whales in captivity, Beneath the Surface gives us the heart and soul of the matter Less quantifiable perhaps, but no less valid.John Hargrove was a veteran trainer at SeaWorld by the time he consciously realized the fundamental inhumanity of keeping whales in captivity and left the company in 2012 So wonderfully dedicated and connected to the whales he worked with, Hargrove spent many years defending SeaWorld s practices, and, once disillusioned, trying in vain to protect the whales from SeaWorld itself Hargrove takes us behind the scenes as he wrestles with the internal conflict that plagues many animal lovers and zoo goers the relationships and bonds we form with captive animals are indeed incredible, but the foundation of those relationships and the consequences of circumstance are inherently destructive Cherishing his whale companions and their wellbeing, Hargrove ultimately had to come to terms with the fact that human care is insufficient captivity is cruel and, at times, fatal to whales and people alike In Beneath the Surface, Hargrove re visits the familiar charges against captivity But he does so emotionally, and from behind the curtains at SeaWorld, rather than a desk at the Humane Society or research facility He validates from first hand experience accusations of chronic malnutrition, behavioral problems, life threatening dental and gastric complications, inhumane breeding practices, and, of course, the tiny, unstimulating, and often dangerous living environments Ultimately, SeaWorld seems to be a corporation focused entirely on money For decades, SeaWorld has lied and bullied itself out of facing the truth and taking accountability for their actions or lack thereof They ve put effort toward remedying problems only when forced to do so by court mandates or public outcry, and only with the most minimal intervention they can get away with Wild animals are beautiful and mysterious and awe inspiring And that s why we should protect and hold their wellbeing above all else above money and entertainment and sport It is my belief that holding wild animals hostage particularly those that are highly intelligent, mobile, and social for our own entertainment is outrageously selfish Not to mention counterproductive if conservation, education, and respect are our goals Humans can t replicate the sea Humans can t re create the magnificently intricate social bonds that are formed by orca families Humans can t fulfill the needs of these emotionally and physically complex 6 ton creatures What we CAN do is preserve the ocean rather than Shamu Stadium We can rediscover our humanity, re direct funds to clean up our act, and watch the orcas and a whole bunch of other cool critters play and feast and flourish Cheesy, sure But infinitely beautiful.


  8. says:

    I looked forward to reading this book for months I am absolutely disappointed by this book.I wanted it because I thought it would be about the cruelty of SeaWorld and captivity of its whales I thought it was going to be a former employee shedding some light on what happens backstage Not so Most of the book, is in fact, his autobiography Most of what he has to say about SeaWorld is heavily touched with nostalgia and regret Many phrases about how he regrets the loss of being able to swim with the whales How he regards whale work as a lost art Yes, I know that working with a whale in the way that he did for 20 years would be incredible and exciting, but I think talking about it in such a lighthearted way doesn t do the whales themselves any justice The whales don t deserve captivity and all the negative health affects that have come with it Hargrove spends so much time talking about how special and wonderful he is, I think this book he wrote was to glorify himself than to share any feeling about SeaWorld Honestly though, any feelings he s had about SeaWorld in the book so far seem to be bittersweet Go watch Blackfish or read Death at SeaWorld This book has no science and no heart I gave up on this book because of its lack of science He says right out the gate he s not a scientist This book relies heavily on his feelings, and the way he talks about himself is very skewed, he knows he s the best He s arrogant and cocky This book does harm than good to the anti captivity movement he s trying to support.


  9. says:

    A very important book about marine animal captivity Stories like these are not everyone s cup of tea, but I am very interested in those so I read books like these even though it can get a little depressive This is a honest story, kind of sad It s also adapted to a TV production so if you d rather watch I recommend that as well.


  10. says:

    With regards to a book of this nature, the topic at hand, and the powerfully heartbreaking story it is, star rating this book seems wrong, however that s what the ratings are here for and five stars doesn t even begin to express what John Hargrove put into it I have so much to say about this book, the mask that Seaworld hides behind, the most Gorgeous Beings of the OCEAN , where they belong, but are kept in captivity in horrendous, horrific, heartwrenching abuse all for the Love of a good show As I typed those last few word my eyes just filled up with tears because of the truths I was blinded to, the words the Author told to open my eyes, the lies and the memories that my family and I created making Seaworld like a part of the family, before my family broke apart So my last good memories just happen to be from a place where what I deeply fell in love with, with my entire heart and soul, are from a place that lied I m trying to make peace with that while at the same time trying to create a balance of sorts for the Love I had for Seaworld and the devastating truths that this author ex 14 year trainer of Seaworld and now activist to shut Seaworld down As I said above, I have much to say here about the book and Mr Hargroves story I really need some time to let this sink in, to get through a thought or a sentence without crying and to give the Author and the marine life the review of this book they so deeply deserve They deserve our support They deserve our attention, action, and appreciation They deserve everything everyone can do to help make a difference I m literally crying too hard over this at the moment to formulate and type out a review that will suffice All I can ask while I let this sit for a bit is for everyone to get involved The author, the publisher have videos posted on Twitter which I will share here by tomorrow I urge everyone with a heart that beats to please grab a copy of this book, read it, really read it and listen to this author Thank you to Goodreads PalgraveUSA and johnjhargrove for the gift of this book It s a heartbreaking story, however the truth should ALWAYS come first As I ve posted on Twitter to the Author, I support him and all who are a part of the mission to Shut Seaworld Down Please know that this is not my review it s a mess typed through tears from a Beautiful family story that once was as I deal with what I ve learned really is , however there will be one up asap and I ll recommend this book to everyone, share it and post the links to all pertinent information to help this cause I stand as strong as I can with all involved at making a difference The first place I feel is the best start for anyone whom would like to stand with us, is in this book Please stand up and join in


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Beneath the Surface: Killer Whales, SeaWorld, and the Truth Beyond Blackfish download Beneath the Surface: Killer Whales, SeaWorld, and the Truth Beyond Blackfish, read online Beneath the Surface: Killer Whales, SeaWorld, and the Truth Beyond Blackfish, kindle ebook Beneath the Surface: Killer Whales, SeaWorld, and the Truth Beyond Blackfish, Beneath the Surface: Killer Whales, SeaWorld, and the Truth Beyond Blackfish e21c1d632b51 Now A New York Times Best Seller Over The Course Of Two Decades, John Hargrove Worked With Different Whales On Two Continents And At Two Of SeaWorld S US Facilities For Hargrove, Becoming An Orca Trainer Fulfilled A Childhood Dream However, As His Experience With The Whales Deepened, Hargrove Came To Doubt That Their Needs Could Ever Be Met In Captivity When Two Fellow Trainers Were Killed By Orcas In Marine Parks, Hargrove Decided That SeaWorld S Wildly Popular Programs Were Both Detrimental To The Whales And Ultimately Unsafe For TrainersAfter Leaving SeaWorld, Hargrove Became One Of The Stars Of The Controversial Documentary Blackfish The Outcry Over The Treatment Of SeaWorld S Orca Has Now Expanded Beyond The Outlines Sketched By The Award Winning Documentary, With Hargrove Contributing His Expertise To An Advocacy Movement That Is Convincing Both Federal And State Governments To ActIn Beneath The Surface, Hargrove Paints A Compelling Portrait Of These Highly Intelligent And Social Creatures, Including His Favorite Whales Takara And Her Mother Kasatka, Two Of The Most Dominant Orcas In SeaWorld And He Includes Vibrant Descriptions Of The Lives Of Orcas In The Wild, Contrasting Their Freedom In The Ocean With Their Lives In SeaWorldHargrove S Journey Is One That Humanity Has Just Begun To Take Toward The Realization That The Relationship Between The Human And Animal Worlds Must Be Radically Rethought