Texas Liberal

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Another Killer Whale Dead At San Antonio Sea World

From the Houston Chronicle

A 2½-year-old killer whale died Sunday night at SeaWorld San Antonio, becoming the second orca to die at the theme park in the past eight months. Early Monday, Sea World officials said the female killer whale named Halyn died unexpectedly.

But Sea World spokeswoman Fran Stephenson said Monday evening that the whale had been under a 24-hour watch and was on two courses of treatment after her behavior changed earlier in the weekend. She said she didn’t know what those changes were.

Tissue samples from the whale will be examined to establish a cause of death, she said, but that will take about six weeks. “While we recognize that death is part of the life cycle, we are saddened over the unexpected loss of this animal,” a SeaWorld press release said.

Halyn was one of five killer whales at SeaWorld San Antonio’s Shamu Theater, but Stephenson said Halyn didn’t perform regularly because she was young.The whale was, however, featured in educational presentations and behind-the-scenes tours.

The death comes almost eight months after Taku, a 14-year-old male orca, died Oct. 17 at the park. Officials said that death was unexpected as well. Tests showed Taku died of pneumonia, a respiratory infection.

I’ve said a number of times on this blog that killer whales don’t belong in tanks.

Above you see a picture of a killer whale that did not have to be trained to jump.

Please click here for my post on what is done with killer whales after they die at Sea World

Please click here for my post on the death last year of Taku the killer whale at San Antonio Sea World

Here is some good information about killer whales

June 17, 2008 - Posted by | Sea Life, Texas | , , , ,


  1. They aren’t “tanks” they’re pools. These killer whales do belong there, they were born there. You can go on rants about how they don’t belong there all you want, but they’re treated like royalty. Nothing is demanded of them, the trainers are the most loving and kind people you could ever meet. Why don’t you try visiting a park, taking a behind the scenes tour and learning about what goes on before you continue to bash these parks.

    Comment by KylieMarie | June 28, 2008

  2. In relation to the size of an ocean what is the difference between a tank and a pool?

    They are treated like royalty in the sense of a king not allowed by his retainers to leave the palace.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | June 28, 2008

  3. I have beenn behind the scenes and the Whales really love what they do. I do wish they could concentrate on Captive Breeding, to get it perfected. These Orcas do miss their families (pods), and are very smart. This added stress shortens their life span. If they were captive bread then they wouldn’t have anything to miss. And their families would also perform. It’s the same senario with the Coral Reefs and the Aquarium Trade. Captive Breed.

    Comment by Toby Williams (in Texas) | July 21, 2008

  4. i am more worried about the starving children and abused workers and raped women of the world than the whales. they are in my top 1000 but far from my top 10

    Comment by bill brady | July 21, 2008

  5. I have no problem with the use of animals in captivity used for the purpose of education. Learning how these animals “tick” may save them in the future from adversities in their outside environments (including man?).

    Comment by Zoocat | August 22, 2008

  6. Zoocat–It is hard to have confidence that Sea World has at heart the good of these creatures. I think money might well be the bottom line.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | August 23, 2008

  7. So you really shouldn’t bash on the POOLS they are kept in. They are treated with the best respect, love and care. They even have people watch them so that noone is in the stadium while there isn’t a show. These whales can’t be released back into the wild they would die within a month cause they don’t know how to hunt for themselves. Most of the whales these days have been bred in the care of man so they can’t really miss their families if the family is in the care of man as well. So know your stuff before you go on your rants! RIP Halyn! You will be missed. I was there when Halyn and Taku passed away! very emotional for me and im sure it was even worse for the trainers! My heart goes out to all who ever came into contact with either one of these whales!

    Comment by Andrew | March 2, 2009

  8. How about if they use the Shamu’s they have already jailed until they die off and not going to the ocean to get any more of them?

    Comment by Neil Aquino | March 2, 2009

  9. The United States no longer captures whales from the wild. This practice was banned in the 80’s. Saying these animals are “jailed” and “prisoners” shows ignorance. These animals would die if they were released out into the wild, and the benefit of having them in human care is that the public can become educated and take an active interest in the conservation of wild populations of cetaceans. And while yes (though I can’t say for sure, I have no idea), money may be at the root of Sea World, the trainers and keepers of these animals are far from being concerned with such matters. Trust me, trainers don’t get paid very much! They are driven instead by a certain love and devotion towards caring for these animals. And by no means are these animals forced to do anything. Do you really think a tiny human could force a 5+ ton animal with many sharp teeth to do anything? These orcas are participating because they want to, not because they are being forced to do anything. The bond between trainer and animal is very strong, and the interaction is very reinforcing for the animals. Deaths are always going to occur, despite how unfortunate they may be. I don’t believe there is a facility in the world where things of this nature don’t occur. Its not for a lack of better care that this happens. Sea World has some of the best care and training methods in the industry. I will leave off my rant here. But please, think a little bit before the next time you bash someone.

    Comment by JJ | June 9, 2009

  10. Very ignorant comment from some very ignorant and selfish people here. The ones who fall for the ‘Shamu’ joke. For you people, watching killer whales and dolphins jumping around is educational.
    Why don’t you people try seeing the orcas in their NATURAL habitat in the Pacific Northwest. Maybe you might learn something then; that is it CRUEL to keep such large mammas in tiny TANKS… how would you like to be kept in a bathroom all your life? Sure you can get fed the best quaşity food and treated like royalty, but would you not rather be FREE? Have a think before you try to guess how those whales feel. Some are ISOLATED, with no other orcas for company. You people make me ashamed to be human.

    Comment by Pauline | February 23, 2010

  11. I went to Sea World this summer with my Uncle…and when we were there we swam with the Baluga Whales. I know they are different from the Orca Whales but, they are not treated any different. They are not expected to do much, they are cared for and loved as if they were apart of the trainers family. The whales believe it or not are better in the pools at sea world than in the ocean. And POOLS are bigger than what you think. They have tons of room to swim!!! I can see where some of you are coming from but seriously. Get over yourselfs. And most of the whales that are at Sea World are BORN there!!!!!!!

    Comment by Paige Marie | October 7, 2010

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