Death At SeaWorld set to become a drama series

Tilikum the orca, SeaWorld
image courtesy Heather Murphy

Since the book was first published in 2012, David Kirby’s groundbreaking investigative thriller Death at SeaWorld has become a must-read for those interested in the debate surrounding the keeping of killer whales in captivity and specifically, the dedicated fight against the giants of the cetacean public display industry, SeaWorld.

Now due to be made into 10 part tv series by Fremantle this will be a fictionalised adaptation of the true story behind the book. Production is scheduled to begin in late 2021 and promises, like Blackfish, to be a very thought-provoking piece, further exposing the dangers to both animal and human, when confining large, ocean-going predators such as killer whales to tanks for entertainment.

Read the Freemantle release here

Beluga whales released into wider bay area

image courtesy WDC

Following our earlier report on 12 August, DFE is delighted to share the news today that Little White and Little Grey, two belugas brought to Iceland from Shanghai last year for the SEA LIFE TRUST Beluga Whale Sanctuary, are exploring the wider Klettsvik Bay, where the sanctuary is located, for the first time. The sanctuary has been created in partnership with DFE member Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC).

Cathy Williamson, WDC’s End Captivity programme lead said; ‘We’re delighted that Little Grey and Little White are now exploring the wider bay and adapting well to their new, natural, stimulating environment. As well as providing a home for Little Grey and Little White, we look forward to welcoming other belugas to the sanctuary and encouraging the development of sanctuaries in other parts of the world.”

Little Grey and Little White’s amazing journey back to the ocean will be told as part of a new two-part feature-length documentary to be shown on ITV this October over consecutive nights, showing the complexities and dedication around the world-first project with comedian and animal lover John Bishop an integral part of the two-year mission.

More details and video footage here

Brussels move to ban dolphinaria

Dolphinaria-Free Europe is supporting plans being put forward by the Government in Brussels to introduce a ban on the keeping of cetaceans in captivity.

Brussels Minister for Animal Welfare, Bernard Clerfayt has proposed the bill, supported by Victoria Austraet, an independent member of Parliament of the Brussels-Capital Region.

The bill is currently in the draft phase and will now be presented to the socioeconomic council and to the Council of State for advice. When this has been done the draft bill can be presented to parliament to vote upon and if successful, this would mean that the keeping of dolphins or whales as attractions for public display would no longer be allowed.

For two belugas, sanctuary – a more natural home

Image: Aaron Chown/PA courtesy WDC

Two beluga whales, Little White and Little Grey, have been transferred to a sanctuary site in Klettsvik Bay, Iceland, following their arrival in the country last year from an aquarium in Shanghai.  The SEA LIFE TRUST Beluga Whale Sanctuary has been established in partnership with DFE member Whale and Dolphin Conservation.

Full report here

Attica Park moves female dolphin to Italy

Further to our recent report that the dolphins from Barcelona Zoo had been moved to Attica Park, Greece, it has come to our attention that the female bottlenose dolphin known as Veera has been moved by Attica to Oltremare, Italy.

Veera, along with two male dolphins (Eeveretti and Leevi), was moved to Attica in 2016 from Tampereen Särkänniemi in Finland who announced they would close their dolphinarium in October 2015. This latest move means that she has now been separated from her son, Eeveretti, born in 1996 whom Attica has retained.