Letters to the Editor, Opinion

Letter to the Editor: Sea World isn’t a ‘cruel circus’

I have to admit that I once had the same opinion as columnist Natasha Tomchin in thinking that Sea World was some cruel circus for killer whales and dolphins, keeping them caged and breaking out the whip to make them do tricks on demand.

But then I went to Sea World the weekend before last and got to see things differently. I signed up for the Behind-the-Scenes Tour, fed dolphins, sea lions and sting rays, petted a penguin, came close to a polar bear and saw what most patrons don’t see. On the tour, our guide took us to the part of the park that is usually closed to guests. There, I saw that Sea World is not all about the shows. The animal rehabilitation program was amazing. I was especially touched by a 65-year-old sea turtle who had been caught in a fisherman’s net. When he pulled the turtle on the deck, her spinal cord snapped, paralyzing her, and when he took the hook out of her mouth, he accidentally ripped off her lower lip. She never does shows or goes on display, but the Sea World vets still take care of her, feeding her by hand to simulate the bottom lip she’s missing.

There were so many animals back there that we never see in the rest of the park, and that don’t bring in any revenue, but are cared for as if they were as profitable as the show whales. There’s an extensive animal hospital, and rescue center, and they’ve even operated on animals as small as tree frogs, which they don’t even display at the park. Sea World has its own rescue team that goes out when someone in the area calls about a marine mammal in distress, even if the animals will never be shown and Sea World will foot the bill to take care of the animal for the rest of the animal’s life.

While the shows are the main focus of the park, if you talk to any of the trainers after a show you will see that these are people who do care about the animals and their comfort and safety. The place really is more about the animals than just people’s entertainment. I invite Natasha to try the Behind-the-Scenes tour and see that there is an entire world just out of sight that is like nothing we would expect.

Asia Davis is a senior majoring in political science and international studies.

April 10, 2011

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

It’s the play Miami Hurricanes fans will never forget — and Florida State fans are trying to forget. ...

Miami Hurricanes fans might recall their favorite college football players in past years dreaming of ...

The new quarterback is usually the ones fans gush over. For the University of Miami, last season it ...

Debate all you want, but University of Miami football coach Mark Richt made it clearer than ever Wed ...

Last year, when University of Miami tailback Mark Walton attended the Atlantic Coast Conference Foot ...

UM dining services team earns national recognition for special event catering. ...

From hammerheads to great whites, University of Miami researcher Neil Hammerschlag is a dedicated sp ...

An ACLU report authored by UM sociologists documents racial and ethnic disparities in Miami-Dade Cou ...

Following the summit between Trump and Putin, reaction from politicians, pundits and former intellig ...

A School of Communication associate professor played an important hand—an artistic one!—in World Cup ...

Miami senior Tyler Gauthier was named to the 2018 Fall Watch List for the Rimington Trophy presented ...

Miami junior wide receiver Ahmmon Richards was among those named to the watch list for the 2018 Bile ...

University of Miami junior running back Travis Homer was named a preseason candidate for the Doak Wa ...

Six former Canes competed on NBA Summer League teams, with three averaging at least 10 points per ga ...

Quick Hits gives University of Miami volleyball fans an opportunity to get to know the new student-a ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.