Monday, June 7, 2010

Sea World Killer Whale Dies...

While giving birth!

Can you even imagine what this would feel like? It reminds me of the song by Tim McGraw titled "Don't Take That Girl."

At what point will people realize and take responsibility for our actions and stress induced fatalities, all caused by our / humans selfishness and worse for the pure purpose of entertainment and money.

The part I find saddest is how little we know about these animal's emotions. Spindle cells, are cells that help process emotion and encourage the development of social interaction... and more.

It appears that large whales have been evolving these cells for 30 million years - twice as long as humans, according to an article in New Scientist ahead of publication of the scientists' findings.

Whales also have more of these emotion-controlling cells, and early research indicates that they may have up to three times as many spindle cells as humans. In humans, these cells help process emotions and encourage the development of social interaction.

But even though the cells allow humans to feel love, more work will be needed to judge whether love is the same for humans as it is for whales, Professor Hof, the vice-chairman of the department of neuroscience, said from his office at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.

What does all this mean? To us it may be just a loss, to the whale, this is traumatic.... it is painful more than even a human mother can imagine.

I remember meeting a mummy Elephant in Thailand, who was made to carry logs in her last phases of pregnancy, and she was made to walk up this cliff, and just as her and her Mahout (Elephant handler) got to the top, she delivered her baby. Just as the baby fell to the ground, he rolled down the cliff and died.

She became so upset, and her emotions were filled with anger and turmoil.... She became rebellious, and non-compliant, acting as though she literally lost her mind. She felt helpless... her life probably came to a stand still.

Why do we feel as humans, we are the only animals to feel loss in this manner. This is the part that saddens me most, to even begin to feel what Taima must have been feeling moments before her death.

A few months ago we lost a Killer Whale trainer, today we loose a Killer Whale. The value of their lives, the value of this kind of entertainment, the welfare of both people and animals in this industry we call animal entertainment, is quickly forgotten.

Here is the rest of the story:

A killer whale at SeaWorld Orlando died Sunday from complications that arose while she was giving birth, officials said.

The park said Taima, a 20-year-old orca born at SeaWorld Orlando in 1990, died late in the afternoon, approximately 20 hours after going into labor Saturday evening.

The calf was stillborn.

"Everyone is very saddened by the loss … Everyone is reeling," said Dr. Chris Dold, vice president of veterinary services for Orlando-based SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. Taima "was a member of the family."

Taima was one of eight killer whales at SeaWorld Orlando. She had successfully given birth to three calves in the past.

Dold said Taima's fetus was in an unusual position in the birth canal during the delivery process. The orca also experienced a condition in which the placenta was delivered before the fetus itself.

After Taima was unable to deliver her calf, park veterinarians attempted to assist. But SeaWorld said the complications ultimately proved too severe.

Dold said SeaWorld has not had a mother killer whale die while giving birth in more than 25 years. The company, which operates SeaWorld marine parks in Orlando, San Diego and San Antonio, says it has recorded 26 successful killer-whale births since its first in 1985.

Losses of the fetus are more common, although Dold said the rate of killer-whale stillbirths is significantly lower in SeaWorld's parks than it is in the wild. The park considers it a successful birth when the calf has reached one year of age.

"There are lots of these kinds of complications that can occur … We know they happen in the wild, we know they happen in collections," Dold said. "We know they happen everywhere."

SeaWorld says it will not know the definitive cause of Taima's death until a full post-mortem investigation is completed, a process that is expected to take up to six weeks.

A second orca at SeaWorld Orlando is also pregnant. The 32-year-old orca Katina is due to have her seventh calf in late October. Both Taima and Katina were impregnated by Tilikum, the six-ton orca who drowned trainer Dawn Brancheau earlier this year.

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