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SeaWorld Called Out On Massive Failure

<p><strong>Roka / Shutterstock.com</strong><span></span></p>

Even the state of California is ticked off with SeaWorld.

California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health (CAL/OSHA) cited and fined SeaWorld San Diego for failing to protect its employees from killer whales, local news outlet U-T San Diego reported Thursday night.

The four citations total $25,770, and two of the citations speak specifically about orcas and the employees who "rode on the killer whales and swam with killer whales," who can grow to be as long as 32 feet and weigh up to 22,000 pounds.


The park said it will appeal the citations. In a written statement, SeaWorld said that the recent citations issued by Cal/OSHA "were not precipitated by any workplace incident, accident or injury, and they reflect a fundamental misunderstanding of the requirements of safely caring for killer whales in a zoological setting."

It seems SeaWorld insists on keeping this position, and keeping orcas captive, even after ex-trainers have come forward to blow the whistle on these claims and the 2013 documentary "Blackfish" showed the public what orca captivity really looks like - including an account of how a top orca trainer, Keltie Byrne, was killed by Tilikum the orca in 1991. The park has focused rather on vamping up its image with a new marketing campaign, which backfired spectacularly.

These citations add to SeaWorld's growing list of problems. Not only is the park a danger to its human employees, recent research shows that the captive life isn't good for orcas either. And four lawsuits filed against the mega-park in the last two months include claims that SeaWorld lied about orca well-being to the public. Not to mention Barbie's resignation.

And now, even the state of California is pissed. It's hard to imagine there's anyone who likes SeaWorld at all.