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Faulconer, Zapf Set To Declare ‘SeaWorld San Diego Month’ For Park’s 50th Anniversary

An orca whale at SeaWorld in July 2011.

Flickr

Above: An orca whale at SeaWorld in July 2011.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Councilwoman Lorie Zapf are scheduled to issue a proclamation Tuesday honoring the 50th anniversary of SeaWorld San Diego, following a planned protest by animal rights advocates.

The theme park opened a half-century ago Friday and gained popularity with its "Shamu'' orca performances. SeaWorld later built parks in Orlando and San Antonio.

More than 156 million visitors have passed through the gates in San Diego, according to the proclamation.

Faulconer and Zapf plan to declare this "SeaWorld San Diego Month'' in the city. They credit park employees for rescuing and caring for animals, conducting research, educating students and employing youth.

The proclamation comes not long after a Democratic assemblyman in Santa Monica introduced a bill to ban shows involving killer whales. Assemblyman Richard Bloom said the legislation was inspired by the film "Blackfish,'' which details the living conditions of marine mammals at SeaWorld.

Protestors from PETA outside SeaWorld on Oct. 3, 2012.
Enlarge this image

Above: Protestors from PETA outside SeaWorld on Oct. 3, 2012.

Before the City Council meets, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals will hold a rally outside City Hall. PETA has for years accused SeaWorld of mistreating animals.

"Mayor Faulconer should be condemning SeaWorld for its cruel treatment of orcas and other animals, not celebrating its greed,'' said PETA spokeswoman Katie Arth. "SeaWorld should use its resources to create a humane, animal-free theme park and retire the suffering orcas to large seaside pens."

The City Council also is scheduled to hear second readings of actions to close the Children's Pool in La Jolla to people during harbor seal pupping season, to establish regulations for food trucks and to rescind the increase of a construction fee that pays for affordable housing projects.

Comments

Avatar for user 'Mmikey'

Mmikey | March 18, 2014 at 8:17 a.m. ― 5 months, 2 weeks ago

how much campaign money did this cost seaworld ?

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | March 18, 2014 at 8:38 a.m. ― 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Just picked up my seaworld passes this weekend. We have to show support to businesses that fight the encroaching progressive communists.

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Avatar for user 'Animallover'

Animallover | March 18, 2014 at 1:22 p.m. ― 5 months, 2 weeks ago

I agree with you, JeanMarc
These people (PETA) are nuts, and they are considered terrorists by the USDA
They recently tried to publicly excoriate President Obama for swatting a fly
I can't believe anyone could take these idiots seriously

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | March 18, 2014 at 1:39 p.m. ― 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Animallover the funny thing is these insane people have no idea that they are nothing but pawns, useful idiots, fooled into thinking they are fighting for some noble cause. PETA members are completely insane. Only someone with a mental disorder could think to put the well-being of an animal above that of humans.

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Avatar for user 'Animallover'

Animallover | March 18, 2014 at 2:15 p.m. ― 5 months, 2 weeks ago

JeanMarc--you are so right. PETA is the last group anyone in charge of setting public policy regarding animals should listen to--Google "PETA euthanizing dogs and cats at their shelters". These people don't care about animals! These people are against zoos (even though most accredited zoos are helping animals to not go extinct). I was serious about the President Obama and the fly-swatting thing--how can anyone listen to them? Also, they have threatened violence against people who disagree with them and they have donated to Animal Liberation Front, which the govt. considers a terrorist organization--how are they allowed to even exist????

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | March 18, 2014 at 2:50 p.m. ― 5 months, 2 weeks ago

I agree with everything you said, except for the very last sentence... now, personally, I wish we could eradicate extremist types of people like this, but my desire is overpowered by my belief that the constitution should be adhered to without compromise. I am free to criticize the oppressive government, and groups like PETA and the Westboro Baptist Church are protected under the constitutional amendment granting us the right to free speech. If people commit crimes, by all means punish them for their crime. Belonging to a group is not a crime, nor is associating with a group of people.

Yes the ELF and PETA and other animal rights tree hugging freaks often threaten violence and carry out arson attacks and bombings, and the people responsible for those actions, or who had knowledge of them, should be persecuted and imprisoned.

I believe Japanese whaling ships should hire snipers to shoot Sea Shepherd members that threaten the lives of the crew on board. These are rogue groups with serious mental problems.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | March 18, 2014 at 4:15 p.m. ― 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Anyone who is not a complete and utter idiot knows that keeping large mammals who are instinctively created to swim in pods in the open ocean enclosed in small tanks while forcing them to perform circus tricks at whim in a coliseum-type setting is not good for the animals.

Those who defend SeaWorld simply choose profit over the well-being of the animals.

Faulconer, Gloria and now Zapf have all decided money is more important than the welfare of these animals.

Cock fighting is profitable too, maybe the city should allow cockfighting here to lure tourists who want to engage.

Puppy mills are profitable. Maybe our ridiculous mayor and Ms. Zapf want to declare April Puppy Mill Month and then declare May Pet-shop Acquired Ear Infection month to keep the festivities going even longer.

Circuses are profitable too.

Maybe at the next council meeting when it's Ms. Zapf’s turn to talk, she should be prodded by a sharp poker the way elephants are when forced to perform for crowds.

I find the cowardly mayor, Zapf, and Gloria (quoted in the LA times as opposing Mr. bloom's bill because he wants SeaWorld's money) despicable in their immoral choice of money and the millions in rent SeaWorld is forking over at the peril of the of animals.

I can only hope the other council members stand-up to these bullies and come out in opposition to this.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | March 18, 2014 at 4:19 p.m. ― 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Peta, Peta, Peta, Peta, Peta.

I see Jean and Animalhater found their new dog whistle to attract fellow animal haters.

A lot of non-Peta members and people not affiliated with Peta in any way shape or form are against what SeaWorld does to these animals.

But keep up your yeti-like dog-calls to try and marginalize reasonable people who think killer whales should not be forced to live in small tanks and perform circus tricks at whim to a screaming coliseum.

It only make you look like the unreasonable ones.

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | March 18, 2014 at 6:03 p.m. ― 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Peking - animals just aren't very high on my priority list. I do not believe they are being tortured while in captivity, but even if they were, WHO CARES? They are just animals. They are not humans. Why don't you people spend all this effort trying to end human suffering and when there are no more humans in captivity and suffering, then you can move on to animals. What a complete waste of time. Nutcases.

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Avatar for user 'sdreefer21'

sdreefer21 | March 18, 2014 at 9:28 p.m. ― 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Peking do you have any pets?

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | March 18, 2014 at 9:49 p.m. ― 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Jean:
"Just picked up my seaworld passes this weekend. We have to show support to businesses that fight the encroaching communist"

Your avatar picture is of an East Asian boat (possibly Communist Chinese?) dangling the bloody body of a large sea animal, possibly a whale.

It definitely speaks volumes that SeaWorld's defenders now are people who glorify whaling with a picture like this one.

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | March 19, 2014 at 1:12 a.m. ― 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Pekin that is a Japanese whaling ship. What is wrong with harvesting food from the ocean? A whale is no different from a mackerel or tuna.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | March 19, 2014 at 8:26 a.m. ― 5 months, 2 weeks ago

I just find it interesting that someone who supports SeaWorld, in fact someone who just bought passes for SeaWorld, favors the cruel and controversial Japanese whaling industry and glorifies it with a picture like you have displayed publicly.

Ironic, don't you think ?

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | March 19, 2014 at 8:57 a.m. ― 5 months, 2 weeks ago

I do not think whaling should be controversial that is why I chose this picture. I do not think there is anything wrong with taking a whale from the ocean and eating it. Do you think catching a fish with a fishing pole is cruel? My picture depicts the same thing, but with a whale instead of a fish.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | March 19, 2014 at 9:53 a.m. ― 5 months, 2 weeks ago

@John Markkk, I wasn't aware that American Communists were interested in taking over Sea World as part of their programme!!!

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | March 19, 2014 at 9:58 a.m. ― 5 months, 2 weeks ago

JOHN MARKKK says " a whale is no different from a mackerel or a tuna."

Not ONLY is John Mark deficient on issues of economics, immigration, US history, world history, Islam, and Mexico, he needs to take marine biology 101. Yes a whale is a mammal--tuna and mackerel on the other hand, are fish and a lower species. Huge difference.

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Avatar for user 'Animallover'

Animallover | March 19, 2014 at 10:52 a.m. ― 5 months, 2 weeks ago

JeanMarc, I agree with you, except I am against whaling, regardless of who does it. As far as the orcas at SeaWorld, I know they are well taken care of. Projecting human feelings onto them does them more of a disservice--saying their tanks are too small and that they are unhappy is difficult to determine because they can't talk. I think all the negatives about orcas in captivity are outweighed against the positives. I also think there is nothing wrong with making money--that's how SeaWorld can afford to carry out all the rescue and rehab work they do.

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Avatar for user 'Animallover'

Animallover | March 19, 2014 at 10:54 a.m. ― 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Oh, and I almost forgot--I left out something important from my reply above: Because SeaWorld makes money, it can afford to keep thousands of people EMPLOYED. That is a good thing! They also pay A LOT OF TAXES!

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | March 19, 2014 at 11:07 a.m. ― 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Even if they were deliberately torturing animals, if the result was the creation of thousands of jobs and millions of tax dollars paid, I would say "go ahead and torture!"

Missionaccomplished I am sorry but there are no "higher" and "lower" species except for Humans (higher) and all other living things (lower). Just because a whale breathes air doesn't mean it's more special. What about chickens? Or mice? Are they also higher on the pecking order of life because they get their oxygen from air instead of water? Your statement lacks logical reasoning.

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Avatar for user 'MaoTzu'

MaoTzu | March 19, 2014 at 1:09 p.m. ― 5 months, 2 weeks ago

"@John Markkk, I wasn't aware that American Communists were interested in taking over Sea World as part of their programme!!!"

Yes duck, we are, as the great chairman once said, "first Seaworld then the whole world..."

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | March 19, 2014 at 1:12 p.m. ― 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Animallover: "As far as the orcas at SeaWorld, I know they are well taken care of".

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

How do you know this?

Many experts who have dedicated their lives to the study of orcas have expressed concern over their treatment at SeaWorld.

Dr. Naomi Rose, for one, who is a well-respected expert on orcas has come out in favor of the proposed legislation by Mr. Bloom.

Look, I think many of the people who work at SeaWorld are well intentioned and they do truly care for the animals, but they are being very naive if they think that a life in a small tank coupled with the high stress of being forced to perform circus acts for large crowds in a coliseum is good for the animals.

And, unlike the naive workers there, the corporate shills running SeaWorld have PROFIT as their first priority, NOT the well-being of the orcas or other animals that live at the marine circus.

The facts are there - morbidity and mortality rates are higher amongst captive orcas than those in the wild.

Certain physical abnormalities and ailments are also much higher.

Take, for example, the flopped-over dorsal fin. Nearly every whale in captivity has this condition, but it occurs far less in natural orca pods.

If one were to base their entire "education" by going to watch SeaWorld circus shows, one would conclude this physical abnormality is normal because, unfortunately, it has become normal for the orcas being housed at the marine circus park.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | March 19, 2014 at 1:18 p.m. ― 5 months, 2 weeks ago

The SeaWorld apologists remind me of an interview I saw with John Jamelske, the man who held women captive in a dungeon in his basement for many years.

In an interview from prison he was stunned that people thought he did anything wrong.

"I fed them well, I even gave them steak dinners" he said.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | March 19, 2014 at 1:23 p.m. ― 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Today's list of comments from SeaWorld Supporter JeanMarc:

===

"I believe Japanese whaling ships should hire snipers to shoot Sea Shepherd members."

"Animals just aren't very high on my priority list. I do not believe they are being tortured while in captivity, but even if they were, WHO CARES? They are just animals."

"Even if they were deliberately torturing animals, if the result was the creation of thousands of jobs and millions of tax dollars paid, I would say "go ahead and torture!""

===

For those who go to SeaWorld, this is your company.

Is that what you want to teach your kids? Torture is ok so long as it is profitable?

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | March 19, 2014 at 1:25 p.m. ― 5 months, 2 weeks ago

This is the exact reason why more education is needed to increase empathy towards other beings.

Convincing SeaWorld to end their captivity of large mammals is part of that education and move towards a more compassionate society.

Pure and simple.

"The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated."
- Mahatma Gandhi

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | March 19, 2014 at 3:22 p.m. ― 5 months, 2 weeks ago

I completely disagree with Ghandi, who worshiped cows and starved himself to death like an idiot, and I disagree that empathy towards other beings needs to be increased. Animals are here for humans to consume. All of my statements above stem from this fundamental belief and it will never change. I do not have sympathy for animals, I think they are just food. I would not torture animals myself, and I would stop someone from torturing an animal. But I believe that humans are infinitely more important than any animal will ever be.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | March 19, 2014 at 4:28 p.m. ― 5 months, 2 weeks ago

JM,

Someday I hope you try to feel a little empathy and connect with another animal.

We are all the same. All mammals operate with the same biology. All mammals operate with the same nervous system. All mammals have a mind that can think and feel emotion.

We should not limit our empathy to those with equivalent intelligence. All the beings of this planet are deserving of compassion.

And this is not coming from a wild extreme leftist. You know my other positions JM and we agree on many things. I just hope you eventually see what I see on this issue.

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | March 19, 2014 at 6:12 p.m. ― 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Yes California I agree with you on a lot of things, don't take this personally my friend. I just have absolutely none of those feelings towards animals. Maybe it's the way I was raised. I would never hurt or abuse an animal, but I will always think of them as nothing more than livestock.

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | March 20, 2014 at 7:42 a.m. ― 5 months, 2 weeks ago

JM, even if you view all non-human animals as a resuorece, would you not agree that in some cases those resources should be conserved?

e.g. what do you view as the relative virtue of these two sets
a) The last viable breeding pair of polar bears
b) Richard Allen Davis and John Lee Malvo

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | March 20, 2014 at 8:59 a.m. ― 5 months, 2 weeks ago

The double standard on this issue, especially in San Diego, is appalling.

I hope KPBS will keep a non-biased approach to this story even though our own city government has decided to glorify animal cruelty because they get $14 million in rent from those doing it.

Here's one example of the double standard:

PETA gets mocked as being "crazies" because they think orcas have rights and shouldn't be imprisoned, but SeaWorld a few years ago opened a Twitter account for Shamu, and people thought it was perfectly normal.

Can you imagine if PETA had opened a twitter account for Shamu and tweeted things like "My home seems kind of cramped" or "I'm tired, I wish I didn't have to perform circus tricks today". They would be ridiculed as insane.

Yet, SeaWorld can open a twitter account for Shamu and tweet things like "Oh I love my trainer, and I have such a good time performing tricks!!!!" and the dopey population and local government of this backwards cowtown thinks that's perfectly normal.

I am lividly disappointed in the city in which I live, choosing not just to allow this type of animal abuse to occur within our borders, but to go so far as to name a month glorifying the animal prison circus!!!!???????

We are a laughing stock, and this poor decision by the mayor and city council has much bigger implications.

Dump the Olympic bid NOW.

No international good will event wants to have anything to do with a backwards hick city that glorifies the imprisonment and exploitation of orcas.

Our mayor and city council should be disgusted with themselves when they look in the mirror.

And, they are on the wrong side of history. It might not be tomorrow, and it might not even be in the next five years, but eventually SeaWorld's animal exploitation will not exist anymore and will be one of those "what in the world were they thinking" things that people did a long time ago that is no longer accepted in civil society.

And all these years later, Kevin Faulconer, Todd Gloria, and Lorie Zapf will have their names permanently attached to what will be regarded as a barbaric, antiquated practice of animal cruelty.

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | March 20, 2014 at 1:42 p.m. ― 5 months, 2 weeks ago

benz72 of course, yes, I think we should protect all species from extinction or endangerment, and protect their natural habitats. Definitely. Animals are a vital part of our eco system and a resource we should not deplete. I just don't think keeping two orcas at sea world is going to decimate their population so it doesn't really bother me at all.

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