bondedwiththesea

bondedwiththesea:

Ugh omg. Please. Guys honestly. Do any of you know Juno at all? I have the privilege of getting to visit him an average of once a month, since I’m a member at Mystic, and this has become a normal behavior for him. While I’m definitely NOT saying this behavior is a good thing, it’s also most likely NOT an aggressive behavior, at least not with Juno. 

Here’s the backstory behind WHY Juno does this, which the article clearly failed to state, and what the staff members do about it:

Juno is naturally a very curious and interactive whale, more so than most other whales. It could be because he’s younger, or it could also be that he’s just a generally friendly whale who enjoys people, much like Takara (an orca) and her children (Trua, Kohana, and Sakari). Regardless, he LOVES people, especially his trainers. When Juno arrived at Mystic he observed Kela, one of the other belugas, occasionally jaw popping at small children at the glass. Now Kela, although she seems to enjoy watching people, does not like small children. If a child is tapping the glass or sometimes even if they’re just standing there, Kela will sometimes come over and jaw pop at them as a way of saying “BACK OFF!” In Kela’s case, when she jaw pops, she means it aggressively. Now Juno, prior to coming to Mystic, did not really know what jaw popping was. I’m sure he’d seen it before, but he’d never really seen how people react to it (Specifically, the jumping/laughing/shrieking of small children)

After watching Kela do it, Juno picked up the behavior, and soon found out that he could jaw pop at people to get a reaction out of them. I’ve seen Juno come by the glass and jaw pop at 3-5 kids in a row, kids who were not even touching the glass, let alone hitting it or screaming. Juno jaw pops 90% of the time for the reaction, not out of aggression. Once Juno knows you won’t react, he also stops jaw popping. Juno jaw popped at me once, in August 2011, and I didn’t react at all that first, and apparently last, time. He has not jaw popped at me since. He normally won’t jaw pop at trainers or any other workers as well, and 9/10 times he only jaw pops at children under 6/7 years old. 

Now the staff DOES watch people around the UV areas. There’s usually staff there all day during the summer (normally volunteers although a trainer does come down sometimes as well), and during holiday events (such as their Fall-O-Ween activities and their Christmas activities). In the off-season/winter months, there’s staff there usually every other hour or so. If the staff is there, they are usually on mic, and will repeatedly tell people “We ask that you do not tap on the glass as it bothers the whales, thank you!” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that statement. Also, staff members will come down and ask people to stop tapping if they see them doing it. Now staff members COULD tell people that jaw popping is an aggressive behavior, but the whole point of zoos and aquariums is to show people that these animals are not out to murder them (as people previously thought of most animals) and therefore telling people that Juno’s jaw popping is an aggressive behavior (which, as I previously stated, in his case usually is not) that could cause people to fear and even hate belugas, which is the exact opposite of what Mystic is trying to do. 

While I, along with the staff and trainers, wish Juno would stop jaw popping for his own good, it’s a very bad habit to break, and one that’s almost impossible to stop unless they kept Juno away from guests, which would also be cruel, as he does seem to very much enjoy watching people and interacting with guests from behind the glass. If Juno was as stressed out and aggravated as this article claims he is, he wouldn’t be by the glass and he wouldn’t continue to come by the glass. Mystic has a very large, hidden back area he could go to where he wouldn’t hear or see the people, and Mystic also has a secluded back pool that he could go to, however, Juno continues to stay by the glass doing his thing. Clearly he must get something out of it, or he wouldn’t be there.

(Note: the information above comes from my own observations, information from volunteers, and information from trainers)

Take this in guys, do some research before you believe everything you read.

Each animal is all their own and the people who try calling Juno’s jaw-popping “sad” and “aggressive” clearly know nothing about him in real life.

Juno is a ham, a happy, healthy, captive-born beluga who loves interacting with people at the glass.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeeE6X2WdBU

acomplexsimpleton

satanic-cactus:

empty-venus:

Breaking news: White fuckboys on twitter bitching how funny it is that Beyoncé is a feminist when she and her dancers were provocative and half naked. Despite feminism being about empowerment and a woman’s right to do whatever the hell she pleases with it, they just don’t seem to be able to grasp this concept.

In other news, men still don’t know what feminism is, still bitter that they aren’t Beyoncé and still making themselves look like asses on the internet.

And now the weather.

do they like not know how to grasp a simple concept? how fucking stupid do you have to be. who said feminism meant wearing more clothes???? so many questions, and also so many stupid people.

cetacean-captivity

johnniebobonnie:

ablackwell97:

Where is the uproar? Where is PETA and other “animal activists”? Where are the celebrities trying to raise awareness about this? Oh that’s right, they are all advocating against SeaWorld, a place where the animals are well taken care of, are healthy and thriving. Meanwhile, the Southern Resident Orca population is at 78 individuals and is showing no signs of increase. They have not successfully produced a calf since 2012 and are expected to go extinct within our lifetime, but no one seems to care. The animal activists do not care about the well being of wild orcas, they care about publicity. Also, let’s talk about life expectancy with these two orcas. Lulu was a 37 year old female. If life expectancy is 80-100 for females like the “activists” claim, why didn’t she make it to that point? Indigo was a 13 year old male, he didn’t reach his life expectancy. But it doesn’t agree with the “activist’s” agenda, so they want to ignore it and pretend like it doesn’t matter, so it doesn’t weaken their case. The sad truth is that there will not be orcas in the wild soon. With over fishing, pollution, and human harassment in the form of whale watching boats, these animals are beyond stressed and they are on the decline. Within the next few generations, aquariums and marine parks are going to be the only places you can see orcas.

THIS!!!! Focus on real problems, not made up opinions!

(Do you think waterwork behaviors with Killer Whales should return to shows again?)

Mark Simmons- A resounding “Yes.” Whether in shows or another capacity, the ability to interact bodily and directly with the whales is a favored form of stimulation and enrichment (for trainers and the animals). Remember, Tilikum (who was responsible for the only death in a SeaWorld park) was not raised in the SeaWorld system. He was never taught human-whale water etiquette. Worse, he has an abusive history in his past life and one of the results is the aberrant possessiveness of foreign objects in the water; a dangerous combination. Judging the safety of killer whale/human water interaction on the basis of one highly unique outlier (Tilikum) is an injustice to the many other whales in SeaWorld parks. Between my wife and me, we represent nearly 23 years of killer whale waterwork, thousands upon thousands of in-water interactions. In that time, neither of us ever had one single incident to speak of. When you watch Blackfish you’d think a trainer couldn’t survive a week at SeaWorld. I watch Blackfish and I can’t reconcile the world they portray with the world I know intimately. It’s a shame that most do not have this frame of reference and therefore fall victim to heavy-handed artistic license (to put it mildly).

I’d also caution against delineating “shows” as having any bearing on this topic. Shows are nothing more than another type or variety of interaction between the whales and trainers. They are immensely rewarding experiences for the animals – in fact, by association the show pools are the most popular “hang out” for the animals even in their private time. From my own experiences (and allowing a little interpretation here), I’d go so far as to say many of the animal’s love “showing off” for audiences. Yet there’s a much more important function of shows. We live in a society that invests billions in entertainment. From NFL, NBA to NASCAR and Hollywood; entertainment drives our attention. Imagine if marine life conservation and animal awareness were entertaining. Imagine if it were not.