Saturday, March 4, 2017

Elizabeth Shares Her SeaWorld Orca Images with the World

At Voice of the Orcas, Carol, John, Samantha and I continue our evidence based advocacy work via writings, interviews, symposiums, consultation, sponsoring legislation, journal articles & Superpod conferences. We also partner up, when we can, with young leaders. 

On 24 February 2010, and as former SeaWorld (SW) trainers, we were compelled to speak out when it became apparent SW was misinforming the public and skewing facts surrounding the death of their star trainer. The captivity giant is also famous for spreading misinformation regarding captive orca longevity, dental health, collapsed fins, social strife and more. Note the rake marks on Amaya's head below. 

Image from Elizabeth shows a fresh and fairly deep rake mark on Amaya's head

Participating in the captivity debate has taken us abroad, and it's been the young people we've met, globally, that give us hope. The younger generation gets it. It gives us great pleasure to link up with students who shifted their dream from "orca trainer" to animal advocate.

Photo by Elizabeth: Shows two collapsed dorsal fins on Keet & Ikaika "Ike" 

This blog features Elizabeth, a young marine biology student who, like us, felt the need to speak up for the orcas at SeaWorld. She does her work of taking high quality still images and videos, with a camera. After this paragraph, we turn the blog over to her, including images she wants you to see and the inspiration for her work. Note that she lives in San Diego and uses her access to the park to collect these photos, all from SeaWorld's California "collection" 

From this view, Corky has no viable mandibular teeth. You can see bore holes and evidence of teeth grinding on concrete. Photo by Elizabeth 


Hi, my name is Elizabeth... 

I was that kid…  Entranced by the lights, the music and the energy that was so thick you could feel it in the air. But most of all I was mesmerized by the raw power of the Killer Whales. As I got older I realized the truth that SeaWorld so desperately tries to hide. 

A fresh rake make (still red in color) is seen on the right dorsal surface of Keet's body (caudal to the dorsal fin) 

I witnessed a very aggressive attack between two orcas that changed the way I viewed them in captivity.  After years of doing my own research on the captivity industry and learning how SeaWorld obtained many of its orcas I decided to take action. I’m currently in school for marine biology to help bring change for these animals. Before I decided to go to school I really wanted to be a SeaWorld trainer. 

The skin covering Nakai's lower jaw has not healed properly since it was scraped or bitten off 

Some may call me a hypocrite... but the way I see it, I was blinded, like many, when it comes to SeaWorld. My goal is to help people wake up. Or at least give them accurate information so they can decide for themselves what they think. 

Rake marks are unusually prominent on this young orca, Makani 

My goal isn’t to have SeaWorld shut down. But to have them cycle out big animals that are not suited for captivity and urge them to do right by "their" animals.  I've collected numerous photos and videos that show the truth. These animals suffer every single day. Collapsed dorsal fins are not “normal” as most trainers would have you believe. 

Fungal infections seen here on Kasasata are caused by stress, in-discriminant antibiotic use and water quality issues, per the Merck Veterinary Manual

Broken and worn down teeth are not “normal."  It’s time we all stand together and put an end to this. Even if you don't have a degree or have any experience, you can still do something to help these animals. Speak up for them at school or online. Go to protests and help sign petitions to end their suffering. 

"We all have a choice to do right by them and we all have a voice to speak for them" Elizabeth 


Another perspective on Amaya's rake marks.   Photo by Elizabeth


  1. Right on Elizabeth. Keep up your work.

  2. Thank you Elizabeth, much of the public didn't get it about Seaworld. I am confident that Blackfish the documentary, and continued work of activists like yourself will eventually end captivity not just for orca, but for other animals as well. Much appreciation !

  3. Thank you for your passionate commitment to the #Blackfish

  4. Thank you for your passionate commitment to the #Blackfish

  5. WOW Keep up the great work and thank you for sharing your information and photos, so I in turn can share them.

  6. Please don't stop informing the public and educating about these sentient beings, who may very well be more intelligent than humans. Whether or not they are smarter, they do not deserve to be neglected, abused, and exploited for human "entertainment" or for any other reason.

  7. This is an amazing piece. I hope other people get to look at it from this perspective. Animals should be protected.

  8. Do you have any pictures of Lolita at Miami Seaquirium?

  9. Great reporting. I wish you the best in your future endeavors 🐬

  10. It is amazing that people can be so self absorbed that they reject any and all factual information while continuing to support the exploitation and abuse of animals for their own amusement. The many of us that care are winning the battle for the voiceless. It is a slow victory but it is coming even to the point of mandates of no more breeding and no more importation in CA.Thank you very much for your dedicated work to end the suffering of these animals and for giving us tools of information to pass along. All the very best to you.

  11. So sad. But I love your message & that your determined to make a difference. I just found this great site that sells orca prayer bracelets & the profits go to support orcas in the wild. Check it out.

  12. WOW Keep up the great work and thank you for sharing your information and photos..
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  13. SHARE SHARE SHARE!!!!! share this around the world to open the masses eyes so they stop going to SeaWorld, No demand - No market!