Is Shamu Still Alive? How Much is Shamu Worth?
Is Shamu Still Alive? As a result of the 2013 Netflix documentary “Blackfish,” both SeaWorld and its former star killer whale Shamu are mired in controversy. Former trainers spoke out against the marine park and the scandals it has covered up in the documentary.
Since then, several high-profile figures have spoken out against SeaWorld, more and more people are turning their backs on cetacean captivity, and the theme park’s income and attendance have taken a nosedive. Shamu, the most well-known killer whale at the marine park, is largely responsible for the attraction’s success.
Is Shamu Still Alive?
Shame is no longer alive. Shamu was purchased by SeaWorld in San Diego in December 1965. After an incident on April 19, 1971, she announced her retirement from the stage.
Many of SeaWorld’s killer whales, including the original Shamu, have shown signs of distress, irrationality, and even dangerousness as a result of their captivity.
The creatures at SeaWorld haven’t been the only ones hurt there. In addition to the aforementioned, orcas have also been responsible for significant harm to people. Not only does it bite, but it also goes further. Tilikum, the main character of “Blackfish,” is seen to have killed three individuals, including two of his trainers.
The senior animal trainer, Dawn Brancheau, drowned in 2010 after Shamu at SeaWorld Orlando’s “Dine with Shamu” show dragged her to the bottom of his tank. He killed Keltie Byrne, a trainer at the defunct Vancouver marine park Sealand of the Pacific, about 20 years ago.
As a result of a bacterial infection, Tilikum passed away in 2017. He was about 36 years old. The male orca can live up to 70 years in the wild.
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Though it no longer engages in orca breeding, SeaWorld does indeed feature wild orcas in its parks. There are currently ten orca whales living in SeaWorld San Diego. There are a total of five in Orlando.
SeaWorld also has a marine mammal park, where animals including dolphins, sea lions, walruses, sharks, and even beluga whales are housed as attractions. There have been pleas made for these marine creatures to be relocated to protected areas at sea.
For What Reason Is Shamu More Relevant Now Than Ever Before?
The public’s perception of marine animals used in shows has shifted since the days of Shamu and her successors. In particular, Tilikum has brought attention to the cruelty that exists at SeaWorld.
“His life has impacted how we regard SeaWorld and the marine park industry,” co-author Tim Zimmerman once wrote for National Geographic. The morality of keeping and exhibiting formerly free-ranging, intelligent species was reevaluated after his death.
British Airways, United Airlines, Virgin Holidays, WestJet, and Air Canada are just some of the airlines and travel businesses that have severed connections with SeaWorld in recent years. The welfare of animals has been cited by all of them.
“This was a choice our leadership team took totally on their own and believes the decision is entirely in keeping with our caring culture,” Lauren Stewart, a WestJet spokesman, told the Calgary Herald last year.
Travel company Thomas Cook also stopped visiting SeaWorld before filing for bankruptcy, citing “ethical concerns.” This was described as “bold and gutsy” by Nigel Thompson, the travel editor at the British daily the Mirror.
The interest in seeing performing marine creatures, he continued, has decreased among the British public. It harkens back to a less progressive era.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Happened to the Original Shamu?
Where does Shamu come from? When SeaWorld first started, Shamu was only the fourth orca they had ever captured. In the 1960s, she was a resident performer at SeaWorld San Diego. Shamu died from captivity after being held for six years.
How Much is Shamu Worth?
While you may think of Shamu as a friendly, splashing whale, accountants will only see her as a “subject asset” with a “total fair market value” of $1.55 million and a “remaining useful life” of 20 years.