Texas Liberal

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Blog Readers Demand To Know—What Is Done With Shamu’s Body After He Dies?

A search engine question I often get at Texas Liberal is, “What happens to Shamu after he dies?” I get this about twice a week.

Because of my loyalty to the blog reading public, I e-mailed this question to Ask Shamu. Here’s the reply—

When any animal dies at our park, we first perform a necropsy (animal autopsy) to determine the cause of death. Large marine mammals are rarely studied in any real detail, so if something like a killer whale passes away we will donate the remains to the scientific community around the world for research purposes. 

I realize the real question is why are you keeping a killer whale in captivity to start with—But they were good to reply.

So-Called Shamu is in the above picture.

Poor brainwashed creature.

September 14, 2007 - Posted by | Sea Life

19 Comments »

  1. The only government solution to health care will be the private sector with government regulation.

    every other form of universal health care on the planet always has…and continues…to be inferior. Take an honest, open-minded, and humanistic look at it and you’ll realize this truth. Inferior and sub-standard “Free” & “Universal” health care is a waste of tax-payers money.

    Comment by Keith | October 20, 2007

  2. Thanks for the comment.

    I think people reading this post know health care is very expensive and that if government does not get involved in some ways people will go without needed treatments and help.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | October 20, 2007

  3. The government is involved, its called Medicare and Medicaid. Its breaking our backs now!

    Comment by Jan | October 21, 2007

  4. Hardly so. It’s helping people who might otherwise go without care.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | October 21, 2007

  5. Thanks for the information, but do you really think that it is fair to slam Sea-world? They are a great organization, these animals are treated extremely well and improve information that can help their cousins still in the wild. They get veterinary care and many of them, if not born in captivity are animals who were rescued from tragic situations. Yes, the concept of an animal being trained for entertainment is a hard thing to accept, but they are doing many awesome things to further interest in the animals in the wild. My friend is actually going to become a vet because of sea world inspiring her to help animals. They aren’t all bad.

    Comment by Lauren R | October 22, 2007

  6. And I agree with you about the health care issue. My boyfriend is studying here, but is from Canada and is appalled at the fact that a middle-class person (such as myself) cannot afford health care. In all honesty I am appalled as well

    Comment by Lauren R | October 22, 2007

  7. I don’t doubt the people are decent who care for the animals. I don’t automatically have a bad view of the handlers. But the idea of keeping such large smart animals in a tank for entertainment is, in my view, simply wrong.

    Thanks for your comment on the health care issue and thanks for both comments.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | October 22, 2007

  8. We study our dead (as in people)to advance medicine & help the survival of our species. So why is it “so wrong” to do it to a whale? One dead whale could be the answer to 2 more to live longer…

    Comment by The McEvil One | December 13, 2007

  9. I don’t really care what they do with the body. They’d might as well study it. It’s just that they should not capture the creature to start with.

    Thanks for the comment.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | December 14, 2007

  10. The Orca in the picture is Corky 2, not Shamu. She (Shamu) died in 1971. Contrary to popular belief, they are not all named Shamu. They all have their own names, which are used all the time, including during the shows. Shamu is just a generic name. I don’t mean to correct you, but that was bugging me.🙂

    Comment by You don't need to know | June 19, 2008

  11. All right-Thank you for the comment.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | June 20, 2008

  12. none of these whales were “captured.” Each of the animals has been born in the park, setting them “free” into the wild would only be killing them. Nothing is demanded of these animals, you can’t demand an 3,000-12,000 animal to do anything. They are asked for behaviours, and if they do them great, if not, they still get there food, they still get treated like royalty. They don’t HAVE to do the show, they do it because they want to.

    Comment by KylieMarie | June 28, 2008

  13. Just how are they asked if they would like to do the show?

    Comment by Neil Aquino | June 28, 2008

  14. If the animal is sick, or is just feeling tempremental, or in any other way doesnt want to perform, they just wont leave their tank and aren’t forced to go by being proded or frightened. thats how.

    and I agree with everyone that has defended sea-world. those animals are treated extremely well, are guarenteed food and safety from predators. also, i will say again that most animals only make it into the park because they were rescued from situations that would’ve otherwise killed them, or are born there. sea-world was started under another name, and was in fact, originally a rescue orginazation.

    while, yes, the natural way of the world is always better, I don’t think that they are doing the animals harm. If you knew anything about animal behaviors, then you would know that the very fact the animals are breeding in captivity is proof that they are content. Animals won’t breed if they don’t feel safe and happy.

    I am an avid animal lover like all of you, and am going to become a zoologist, traveling around the world to study animals in their habitats and assist in conservation, just so you know.

    Tata, i just happened apon this site in an image search, and couldn’t help putting in my opinion lol. : )

    Comment by rb_500 | April 27, 2009

  15. Neil Aquino – whales are trained using a method called Positive Reinforcement. In short, this means that they are never punished for doing something wrong, they are instead rewarded for getting it right. If a whale, for whatever reason, does not feel like performing, they simply wont. Like rb_500 said, you can’t make an animal of that size and power do anything it doesn’t want to do. They are not punished for not wanting to participate, and they will still be given their food every day. These animals generally enjoy interacting with their trainers, and the “oohs and ahhs” from the crowd I’m sure act as a form of secondary reinforcement to the orcas. A Whale that has been kept in human care for a good portion of its life as well as whales that were born in human care are not good candidates for release back into the wild. Simply put – they will die. They are not adapted for life in the wild. Remember Keiko? These animals are in human care, living happy lives and being well taken care of. I agree that animals should not be taken out of the wild, but they no longer are (this practice was banned in the US in the 80s), and the ones that have been put into human care (because they were either caught decades ago or were bred at a facility) should be allowed the opportunity to live the rest of their time out in an enjoyable manner.

    Comment by JJ | June 9, 2009

  16. JJ–Thanks for the comment—

    I don’t doubt that the trainers are good people who care about the animals.

    And it appears that I was incorrect that these killer whales are captured in the ocean anymore. Though they were at one point chased down by speed boats.

    If it does not seem that an animal would do well in the wild than maybe it should not be released.

    That said, no creature that size wants to live in small tank and the idea that an animal that swims around the ocean is happy in a tank seems very unlikely in my view.

    So why don’t we please stop breeding these creatures to spend a whole life in whale jail.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | June 9, 2009

  17. JJ–Thanks for the comment—

    I don’t doubt that the trainers are good people who care about the animals.
    JJ–Thanks for the comment.

    I don’t doubt that the trainers care about the whales.

    And it appears that I was incorrect that these killer whales are captured in the ocean anymore. Though they were at one point chased down by speed boats.

    If it does not seem that an animal would do well in the wild than maybe it should not be released.

    That said, no creature that size wants to live in small tank and the idea that an animal that swims around the ocean is happy in a tank seems very unlikely in my view.

    So why don’t we please stop breeding these creatures to spend a whole life in whale jail.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | June 9, 2009

  18. I know what they say but it is not true because those traners help those anamails in need.

    Comment by nevaeh lucero | May 18, 2011

  19. I love free willy and i was there when it happened OK ?

    Comment by Summer | July 22, 2011


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