Hazards that captive animals face.
This list will be updated whenever I come across something to add so remember to check back on it from time to time. If you want the source for a particular incident - just ask.
- Orca Tekoa swallowed a plastic toy that trainers dropped
- A dolphin called Bubbles in the Gasser families travelling circus had to have a flipper amputated after catching a serious infection that caused the fin to rot and Gangrene set in. She recovered and performed in shows again but died a few months later after developing Hepatitis. The dolphins also regularly suffered stomach problems due to the difficulty of finding good quality fish when travelling around.
- Keiko swallowed a brass ball, a float and a rope at Reino Aventura (only the float was ever recovered)
- A bottlenose dolphin died at Edmonton Mall after swallowing money dropped in her tank.
- A penguin at Marwell Zoo died after swallowing a pencil dropped in the tank by a tourist.
- A bottlenose dolphin at Mashwitz died after swallowing a diving glove
- Two dolphins died at Luna Amusement Park after being fed lead bullets by a visitor.
- A dolphin at a park in Bahrain died after swallowing wire
- 1966/68 during experiments at the Vancouver Aquarium seals are strapped to boards for blood withdrawal and some seals being “starved” to test “imposed nutritional stress” and the results of “complete fasting”. Sea lions are confined in “metabolic chambers” backstage.
- Tasko the sealion swallowed coins that had been thrown into his pool at Adelaide Zoo
- A dolphin in a park in Argentina died after becoming stuck in plastic coating of the pool.
- WDSC reports show that glasses, paper, stones, coins, bottle tops, metal souvenirs, pacifiers, watches and cigarettes have all been placed inside dolphins mouths during ‘swim with’ programs by visitors.
- Overcrowding and isolation of belugas at the Vancouver Aquarium results in wounds caused by aggression. Nanuq was sent to Sea World in 1997.
- 2002 at the Vancouver Aquarium, Pacific white sided dolphin Whitewings dies when staff puts arm down her throat to try to remove pool debris from her stomach.
- Winne the orca swallowed various objects in her tank including money and tiles
- After his death a buoy was found in Kanduke the orca’s stomach.
- After his death they found multiple rocks and pieces of wire in Rocky the sea lion’s stomach at the Zoological park in Asheboro N.C
- While at the Oregon Coast Aquarium, a woman threw a handful of jewellery into Keiko’s pool.
- Pearl the dolphin at Miami Seaquarium died after swallowing a bottle cap.
- Kotar the orca died after a gate crashed down onto his head.
- Inouk the orca at Marineland France swallowed a bucket lid in 2002 which he regurgitated a week later and played with for some time.
- 1985 at the Vancouver Aquarium, Beluga Sanaq dies from shock during an antibiotic injection.
- Orca Tekoa was forced to continue to perform despite bleeding from wounds he suffered after having been attacked by the Loro Parque other male orca Keto halfway through a show in 2007.
- At Reino Aventura Keiko was regularly fed stale fish that had not be frozen or chilled (It was SeaWorld who sold them this fish for two years).
- A sea lion called Bo ate sunglasses, a set of keys and a chain at Louisville Zoological Park.
- Splish a Harbour seal died after swallowing money at Moody gardens, Texas.
- Loro Parque orca’s had to endure endoscopies after eating paint off the tank walls.
- Linda a bottlenose dolphin in Hangzhou Polar Ocean Park needed emergency surgery after an audience member threw a bottle into her tank during a show which she quickly swallowed. Afterward she required peptic ulcer medication and antibiotics.
- It is not the first time Linda has mistaken an inedible item for food. She swallowed an entire plastic carpet in June 2009. The park hired a basketball player to reach into her mouth to extract the carpet.
- In 2006 staff at China’s Royal Jidi Ocean World hired the world’s tallest man to extract plastic shards from several of their dolphin’s stomachs.
- Dolphin Jiang Bo swallowed a volleyball and needed an endoscopy to remove it at Nang jing Underwater World.
- Orca Cuddles swallowed a plastic trumpet that trainers were trying to teach him to ‘play’ for shows. He unsuccessfully had his stomach pumped several times but later regurgitated the item.
- Orca Freya received a radiation burn during an x ray that took over three years to heal.
- Orca Kim swallowed 15 (yes 15) footballs that were used during shows. He regurgitated most of them but had to have multiple endoscopies when he became sick afterwards (even breaking a trainers leg during one procedure)
- In 1968 at the Vancouver Aquarium Skana was partially sucked out through a broken window and jammed tight. She was badly cut and needed 120 stiches
- During her first few years at Loro Parque, Skyla was continually on medication for dental problems and chronic pain due to the poor condition of the pools and which lead to her receiving the multiple endoscopies (wither she is still on medication now is unknown but likely).
- In Dec 2008 at Loro Parque, bio balls in the filtration system broke down overnight. Staff arrived next morning to find the whales swimming in a pool covered in millions of tiny sharp plastic balls.
- At Loro Parque in 2009 the shows were due to resume after months of noisy construction work had been carried out on the main pool. Divers reported that the pool floor was still filthy and littered with dirt, debris and cigarette butts with visibility less than an arms length. The supervisor refused to cancel the shows but was forced to when the whales refused to enter the pool.
- 1983 at the Vancouver Aquarium Staff dropped the water gate on the sea otter, Clamchops, and traped him underwater. The drowning was uncovered by the media several months later
- In 1983 the Vancouver Aquarium realizes that oily foods will harm the sea otters’ fur and make them freeze to death.
- 1989 the Vancouver Aquarium gets sea otters from the Exxon Valdez oil spill and experiments on them for lucrative grants.
- Orca Keet swallowed the plastic ball from the end of a target poll when it was left in the pool as a toy while at SeaWorld’s San Diego park.
Florida’s Sun-Sentinel examined 30 years of federal documents pertaining to marine animals and found that nearly 4,000 sea lions, seals, dolphins, and whales have died in captivity, and of the 2,400 cases in which a cause of death was listed, one in five animals died “of uniquely human hazards or seemingly avoidable causes”
If you have any questions about any of these points, feel free to ask.