July 29, 2011

"When will Waterwork come back?"

Normally the articles we post deal with strictly news and updates about SeaWorld, but after seeing so many tweets by our followers and my personal interest in this topic, I took the time to write an editorial. I'd love to hear your suggestions.

SeaWorld has been known for the education, interaction, entertainment, and care of marine mammals, and considered one of the best marine mammal parks in the world. After the incident with Tilikum, the killer whale, back in February 2010, as many of us know, some major changes in the park has changed, most noticeably, the "waterwork" aspect with killer whales. Waterwork is the interaction between killer whale and a trainer in the water. The killer whale trainers at SeaWorld Orlando, San Antonio, and San Diego have not fully entered the water with the whales since this time, and left many guests wondering, "When will the trainers go back in the water?"

First off, working with killer whales in the water takes a large amount of time; for new trainers, they spend 2-4 years interacting with the whales prior to entering the water. The process is slow, yet gradual before the trainers start performing many of the high flying behaviors one would see in the show.

Second off, the trainers cannot instantly jump into the water now after over a year of staying out. Right now, SeaWorld states that the trainers are working with the whales in the medical pool (this pool includes a false bottom that can be raised to a higher level as needed) to start having the whale accustomed to being in the water with the trainers again.

One issue that may prevent One Ocean to include waterwork for some time is the building of a false bottom in the main stage area. This process will take quite a bit of time, as we have seen with how much time construction on Dine with Shamu has taken. If the Entertainment Department decides to hold off on waterwork performances, it could be up to two years before we see those behaviors integrated into the show.

So, what does this all mean? Will it be tomorrow, or will it be in 2 years? Honestly, no one can put an exact date on when this will happen. With the One Ocean show originally designed with the trainers out of the water, the trainers must then go through rehearsals with the whales and the show director, the corporate side of SeaWorld, specifically zoological operations, the entertainment department, and the CEO, must together decide if waterwork to resume. My prediction is within the next year, either late 2011, or early 2012. Once the Dine with Shamu pool is open with the new false bottoms (it looks like it will be open late August), the trainers can safely work on the amazing behaviors that we all love. Hopefully then, we will all see waterworks back to the way it was.


Al said...

Please sign this petition to help bring back waterwork. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/let-sea-world-trainers-back-in-the-water-with-killer-whales/

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