- All the adult males have a collapsed dorsal fin and some of the females, a result of restricted space and surface, and resting motionless for abnormally long periods.
- We witnessed stereotypic and obsessive compulsive behavior such as banging their faces and heads against the pool walls and floor.
- Obsessively picking at and peeling the paint on the pools, ultimately ingesting it.
- Often these behaviors were so obsessive they resulted in physical injury to the whale but they still would not stop.
- Nearly every single killer whale regurgitated their food after we ended our interaction.
- Obsessive regurgitation carries with it a host of health issues related to the stomach acid which damages the lining of the esophagus and further destroys the already damaged teeth.
- This damage occurred by obsessively rubbing their teeth down on pool walls and ledges resulting in pin holes developing in the teeth. Once these holes formed, We were forced to manually drill the tooth in what is known as a pulpotomy, then have to invasively irrigate the drilled holes in the teeth with a metal catheter every day, two to three times per day.
All these issue are a direct product of boredom from living in such a horrifically sterile environment.
At SeaWorld of Texas we consistently forced our whales to go into the smallest pool of the facility, the med pool, which is only 8 feet deep and roughly only 15 feet by 25 feet. Reasons for forcing one or more whales to repeatedly go into this pool, nearly every show, ranged from: keeping a whale from disrupting a show, to keeping whales separated, or simply not having enough staff. These whales were forced to float motionless in this 8-foot-deep pool for up to hours at a time.
I fought this issue with management but still could not stop it.
I was a trainer at Shamu stadium in California when Daniel Dukes was killed in Florida in 1999.
I was a trainer at Shamu stadium in Texas when both Alexis Martinez and Dawn Brancheau was killed and horrifically dismembered. So I was privy to that information, but they still withheld information. After Alexis was killed, I was swimming in shows again after only two days and still did not have any details of what happened. It would take two and a half to three weeks before we did.