And Finally

Seaworld refutes accusations of looming orcatastrophe

By | Published on Friday 10 December 2010

SeaWorld in Florida has hit back against accusations levelled at the marine park by Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee and animal rights group PETA.

In a letter, published earlier this week by TMZ, Lee accused owners of putting staff in danger by keeping a killer whale, named Tilikum, in captivity for breeding purposes. Tilikum has killed three people this year, and is no longer supposed to come into direct contact with humans, though, says Lee, the whale is the park’s “chief sperm bank” and staff “masturbate him with a cow’s vagina filled with hot water”.

Commenting on the method by which semen is extracted from the whale, Lee wrote: “Even during my wildest days with Motley Crue, I never could have imagined something so sick and twisted”.

But a spokesperson for SeaWorld told TMZ: “The process of collecting semen for [artificial insemination] doesn’t differ in any meaningful way from the techniques employed in managing livestock or other species for zoological display. Contrary to the charges made by PETA and repeated in Lee’s letter, our trainers do not now nor have they ever entered the water with Tilikum for this purpose. The safety of SeaWorld staff and the welfare of our animals are our highest priorities”.

They went on: “If Mr Lee’s information on Tilikum and SeaWorld’s artificial insemination program for killer whales comes from PETA we’re not surprised that it’s wrong. PETA is as careless with facts as they are extreme in their views. Whatever his views on SeaWorld, Mr Lee would be wise to spend more time checking his facts”.