Yet Another "Mysterious" Death at SeaWorld


SeaWorld has had quite the banner year ... if we're talking about funeral banners. Just last week, they lost yet another killer whale, bringing Shamu's 2010 death toll to 3 orcas and 1 trainer.

Sumar was a 12-year-old orca. Born in captivity, Sumar was separated from his mom — who he would have stayed close to his entire life in the wild — when he was just a calf after she reportedly attacked him during a show. (It should go without saying that, in the wild, they wouldn't have been subjected to the stress of turning tricks for food in a small tank in front of an audience.)

Earlier this year, while Sumar was living in exile in San Diego, his father, Tilikum, was involved in the death of a trainer. Tilly is pimped out by SeaWorld in, as Marc Bekoff aptly puts it, their "whale mill" operation, where they continue to breed killer whales like it's a puppy mill, and ship the calves all over the country with no regard for their family bonds. A couple months ago, Sumar's mother, Taima, impregnated yet again by Tilly, died along with her stillborn calf.

That's a pretty troubled life story for someone of any species. But, nonetheless, SeaWorld called Sumar's death "mysterious," much like the previous deaths had been "unexpected."

By Stephanie Feldstein

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