Death at SeaWorld - David Kirby

Death at SeaWorld

By David Kirby

  • Release Date: 2012-07-17
  • Genre: Nature
Death at SeaWorld book review score

3.5 Score: 3.5 (From 136 Ratings)

Death at SeaWorld David Kirby Book Review Score: ★★★★★ 5/5 stars

From the New York Times bestselling author of Evidence of Harm and Animal Factory—a groundbreaking scientific thriller that exposes the dark side of SeaWorld, America's most beloved marine mammal park

Death at SeaWorld centers on the battle with the multimillion-dollar marine park industry over the controversial and even lethal ramifications of keeping killer whales in captivity. Following the story of marine biologist and animal advocate at the Humane Society of the US, Naomi Rose, Kirby tells the gripping story of the two-decade fight against PR-savvy SeaWorld, which came to a head with the tragic death of trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010. Kirby puts that horrific animal-on-human attack in context. Brancheau's death was the most publicized among several brutal attacks that have occurred at Sea World and other marine mammal theme parks.

Death at SeaWorld introduces real people taking part in this debate, from former trainers turned animal rights activists to the men and women that champion SeaWorld and the captivity of whales. In section two the orcas act out. And as the story progresses and orca attacks on trainers become increasingly violent, the warnings of Naomi Rose and other scientists fall on deaf ears, only to be realized with the death of Dawn Brancheau. Finally he covers the media backlash, the eyewitnesses who come forward to challenge SeaWorld's glossy image, and the groundbreaking OSHA case that challenges the very idea of keeping killer whales in captivity and may spell the end of having trainers in the water with the ocean's top predators.

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User reviews about this book

  • Great!!

    By Howrseluver22
    This books is very factual and interesting. Many people who are saying this isn't accurate got their information from seaworld which isn't a trustworthy source. I have done my research and that research lines up with this book.
  • Negative reviews, seaworld paid supporters?

    By Arcticbabe2006
    Given the few bad reviews and the way they are written, it wouldn't surprise me if they're paid by seaworld or lifetime members of the parkand are completely oblivious to the difference between animal conservation and corporate money makers. Sea World is a corporate money maker which is why they hired a lobbyist against the new proposed bill. They don't want to lose money. This books is well written, exposes truth that some people just don't want to admit to. I'll NEVER understand when and where in history humans thought it would be okay to take animals out of their natural habitat and use them for entertainment and profit. Disgusting. If you wouldn't do it to a child, don't do it to an animal.
  • Fantastic book

    By Michelle Gray
    An amazing and fascinating read. I went into this book closed-minded and in love with SeaWorld and going there as much as possible. I live 10 minutes from SeaWorld San Diego and have an annual pass. This book changed my opinion and view of SeaWorld 180 degrees. I had no idea what was going on behind the scenes at SeaWorld, and how different orcas are in captivity than in the wild. I will not be renewing my SeaWorld pass this year. I am literally a changed person because of this book.
  • Wonderful Book!

    By DeziEzi
    I haven't actually read this book yet. I just wanted to give it a good review because of all the bad reviews with complete garbage as their reasons for why this book is bad. Also, I have to say that the idea that whales should not be released back into the wild because they will just fall over dead not knowing how to fend for themselves is ridiculous. What about all the other animals that have been raised in captivity and then released into the wild? It happens all the time. Orcas are at least as intelligent as lions and wolves that I know have had cases of being raised from pups and then released. I have to say it's especially ridiculous to think that an animal taken from the wild will not be able to readapt. What about human prisoners? We let those people back out expecting them to be fine after captivity. Looking forward to actually reading the book.
  • I love it

    By Gymnast-Gymnastics
    Very good book. You will love it if you are trying to get to the bottom of what really happens in captivity and more about the death of DAWN.:(
  • Not very accurate but thought provoking

    By Smsms23
    Information and interviews were just released about the death of dawn the trainer and there was only one orca, tillikum, there not two others...the book is okay but the writer should have gotten the facts straight first if they had wanted to prove a point. no one is going to listen to a liar. I am anti captivity and have never and will never visit seaworld but seriously when you want to win an argument you always have to have proof and facts. Otherwise don't even bring up the makes all the people against captivity look stupid
  • Amazing book

    By Riri's IPAD
    Oh my . All the negative comments here is clear they are supporters of sea world. They dont even put a bit of effort in let it appear a neutral comment! I am a nobody person not affiliated with neither part but when i started to look at it from a perspective and read about orcas and their intelligence and social complex and their family bonds and the way they live in the wild i could not agree more than orcas do not belong in captivity. I didnt do much. I just went over the internet and research orcas conservation organizations and i just read what they had to say and i started learning about orcas in the wild vs captive ones and it came really clear to me why they are unsuitable for captivity. The book explains it really really well. The book is yes written by a journalist but STATES ALL FACTS AND ALL INTERVIEWS OF SCIENTISTS, former trainers and people who know orcas very very well and studied them for many years. Orcas experts. People who dedicated their lives to orcas. The author is simply putting the pieces together in the form of a book but the data in it is no news. Simply you never heard of it. And even with all that ton of information a mistake in an orca gender may happen. Most books have mistakes. Cmon. People who say they are all lies is simply lying. They are all facts. All the trainers deaths and all the incidents where orcas have attacked trainers are all documented. Latest one has been released two weeks ago didn' t you see it was all over the news. Just look for kasatka video attacking ken peters. This is coming from a company which say they have complete control over their orcas. The fact has been investigated at the time by the CAL OSHA which in a statement issued a warning and wrote "If someone hasn't been killed already," the summary said, "it is only a matter of time before it does happen." Just three years later, in December of 2009, Keto, a SeaWorld orca on loan to Loro Parque in the Canary Islands, killed his trainer Alexis Martinez. Two months later, Tilikum killed his trainer, Dawn Brancheau, at SeaWorld Orlando. And what about all the orcas that have died in captivity? To you who are saying these are lies i invite you to visit the whale and dolphin conservation society and read about orcas facts and the faith of all captive orcas especially those captured in the 70s in puget sound. Then if you think it is all lies you can call them and let them revise the data maybe? I think this book is a must read and will let you understand how incredible these animals are and how much you would love to see them in the wild. And by the way nobody is saying that they must all be released in the wild and bye bye. You are mislead. For some orcas there are already plan to be released in seapen in areas where they were born, their home. Look at Lolita who has been kept in captivity for 42 years which 22 alone without any orca companionship. There is a release plan for her in a sea pen close to her family, which is still there. A great book which will let you know better one of the most amazing incredible animal on our planet. You will love orcas even more.
  • Insightful, Respectful & Well-Written

    By Levanger
    Seems to me the writer is being unfairly portrayed as someone with an reviewers that have nothing but. You can't argue with the facts, and Mr. Kirby has presented them in an illuminating and educational way. I went into the book with an open mind, as a middle-of-the-road mom who has visited both Sea World and Marineworld/Africa USA; I came away riveted and feel that I learned a lot.
  • Nalani is a female not a male

    By Leesiri
    I am surprised that a book was written by someone that does not even know or care about these Whales. Know the Whales before you write about them and add some pictures, so the ones that know and love these Whales would at least get the pictures to get us to buy the book. Would have sold more books if they knew the Whales. There is a lot of positives about these Whales. And the Whale Kasatka that was holding the trainer by the foot should have let her back and see about her crying Baby. This is why she was upset If she wanted to she would have taken his foot off besides other parts. Know the Whales. Then you would understand cause this book is a lie. Love the Whales and Dolphins
  • Fascinating at the very least

    By lb424
    At the very least, it's a very interesting read. Whether it's totally factual or not, it's hard to put down. Definitely gives you something to think about. Keeping animals captive for our own enjoyment is something everybody should be questioning.

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