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Mr. Brad F.

Vice President
Zoological Operations
Sea World, Inc.
7007 Sea World Drive
Orlando, Florida 32821-8097
Dear Mr. Andrews:
National Oceanic and Atmoapher-ic Adminiatr-etion
""" .... ....... = ....' .. .." 1APINE SC::; ./ICE
S . e,...., Scr 'IQ. Mary:anc 20910
Thank you for your letter requesting authorization to import and
temporarily house an adult male killer whale (Orcinus orca)
presently being held at Sealand of the Pacific Ltd. in Victoria,
British Columbia, Canada. We are also in receipt of a supporting
statement from the Government of Canada and a copy of a
supporting request from Sealand of the Pacific Ltd. for placement
of the animal at your facility since it cannot be adequately
cared for in Canada.
It is our understanding that, based on medical tests of the
killer whales held at Sealand of the Pacific Ltd. in anticipation
of Sea World's permit application, both Sealand and and Sea World
had at least two months advance knowledge of the imminent birth
of at least one, and possibly two, killer whales calves. Sealand
is responsible for these animals and should have taken steps to
ensure that arrangements were made to hold the adult male killer
whale, "Tillikum," at or nearby the Sealand facility or at
another facility in Canada following such births. Sea World
presumably has a significant interest in the well-being of these
animals as well, and in the capacity of advising Sealand on their
care, should have taken such steps even if Sealand had elected
not to do so. such temporary holding arrangements, whether they
involved construction of temporary pens or other enclosures,
should have been possible, at least for the few months necessary
to consider and decide upon the permit application pending from
Sea World for the import of these killer whales for public
display. In this manner, the present need for an emergency
import authorization could have been prevented. However, such
reasonable and prudent precautionary steps necessary for the
health and welfare of Tillikum were not taken by Sealand or Sea
Under these circumstances, NMFS arranged independent verification
of the facts and circumstances outlined in your request. We
appreciate your and Sealand's cooperation in this regard. As a
result of this verification, NMFS has concluded that the best
interests of all the killer whales concerned, particularly that
of Tillikum, the newborn calf, and the calf expected to be born
in the next few months, including present and anticipated future
medical treatment otherwise unavailable in Canada, would be best
served if an emergency authorization is granted for Tillikum's
Enclosed are two signed originals of Cooperative Agreement No. 1Q
issued pursuant to 16 u.s.c. 1379(h) and 16 u.s.c. 1382(c)
between the National Marine Fisheries Service and Sea World,
Inc . Please sign both originals of the Agreement and return one
to the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, National Marine
Fisheries Service, u.s. Department of Commerce, 1335 East-West
Highway, SSMC1, Room 7324, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910. The
u.s. Department of Agriculture's regulations and standards,
"Specifications for the Humane Handling, Care, Treatment, and
Transportation of Marine Mammals," have been incorporated as
conditions of this Agreement. When Tillikum is received at your
Sea World of Florida facility, please update your inventory by
completing and returning the enclosed inventory form.
This agreement authorizes Sea World, Inc. to import one male
killer whale, "Tillikum," for the purpose of providing medical
treatment and care that is otherwise unavailable in Canada at
this time. This authorization is effective until such time as a
permit is issued in response to the application by Sea World,
Inc. for the import of Tillikum for public display. Please note
special condition 2 of the agreement. If a public display permit
involving this animal is denied, under the terms of this
agreement Sea World, Inc., is assuming the responsibility,
including any associated costs, for the return of Tillikum to
Canada and placement at a suitable facility to be identified by
NMFS and the Canadian government or, if no Canadian facility is
available, for the return and release of Tillikum at the original
location of capture. Additionally, special condition 3 of the
agreement requires that, until a public display permit is issued,
Tillikum may not be placed on public display. Special condition
4 makes clear that this agreement may be revoked at any time at
the discretion of NMFS.
If similar circumstances should arise in the future, while the
health and welfare of marine mammals will continue to be of
paramount concern to NMFS, lack of action necessary to ensure
marine mammal health and welfare in the face of available
information will not constitute sufficient grounds for issuance
of an emergency import authorization. If you have any questions
concerning the enclosed Agreement or its reporting requirement,
please contact the Permits Division, Office of Protected
Resources (301/713-2289).
i ~
Office of Protected Resources
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
1335 East-West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
This Agreement is entered into under the authority of Sections
109(h) and 112(c) of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 (16
u.s.c. 1379(h) and 16 u.s.c. 1382(c)) (MMPA) by and between the
National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce and Sea
World, Inc. (Sea World).
NMFS and Sea World have entered into this agreement for the
purpose of importing one (1) adult male killer whale (Orcinus
orca), "Tillikum," heretofore in the custody of Sealand of the
Pacific Ltd. in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada to render
medical treatment and care necessary to ensure the animal's well-
It is hereby agreed that the whale referred to herein will be
placed under the care and custody of Sea World at the Sea World
of Florida facility in Orlando, Florida, until a public display
permit is issued applicable to this animal or, if such a permit
is denied, until other disposition is arranged in accordance with
special condition 2 below. Sea World agrees to comply with the
u.s. Department of Agriculture's regulations and standards for
marine mammal transport and captive maintenance, the special
condtions listed below, and the attached conditions, which are
expressly made a part of this Agreement.
Special conditions:
1. Before the adult male killer whale referenced above,
"Tillikum," is imported, a certification from an independent
veterinarian (not affiliated with Sea World or Sealand of
the Pacific, Ltd.) must be submitted to NMFS stating: that
the protocol for the transport and acclimation of Tillicum
to the Sea World of Florida facility in Orlando, Florida is
acceptable (particularly change in temperature
considerations), and that Tillikum is in sufficiently stable
condition to be transported.
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2. If a permit is not issued for the importation of this killer
whale, NMFS, after consultation with Canadian governmental
officials, may require that Sea World return Tillikum to
Canada to a facility identified by NMFS and the Canadian
government or, if no Canadian facility is available, return
and release Tillikum at the original location of capture.
This condition may be invoked solely at the discretion of
NMFS, and, if so invoked, Sea World agrees to pay all costs
associated with such alternatives. In this regard,
authorization for export will not be granted until protocols
for transport and/or release have been reviewed and approved
by NMFS in consultation with the Marine Mammal Commission
and the Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health
Inspection Service.
3. The killer whale imported under the authority of this
agreement may not be placed on public display until such
time as a public display permit is issued applicable to this
4. This agreement may be revoked, and the provisions of special
condition 2 invoked, at any time at the discretion of NMFS.
Continued temporary holding by Sea World of Tillikum is
solely subject to NMFS discretion.
5. This agreement shall terminate upon issuance of a public
display permit to Sea World applicable to the killer whale
imported under the authority this agreement, unless
terminated sooner in accordance with special conditions 2 or
4 above.
The terms of this Agreement will become effective upon signature
of Sea World.
u.s. Department of Commerce
National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
1335 East-West Highway
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910
Date: ___ _
Sea World, Inc.
7007 Sea World Drive
Orlando, Florida 32821-8097
By= __
Brad Andrews
Vice President
Zoological Operations
Date: 1/f/t;z.

The required methods of care, maintenance, and transpor-
tation are those established by the Department of
Agriculture's regulations and standards-Marine Mammals;
Humane Handling, Care, Treatment, and Transportation.
The Holder of this Agreement shall not transfer the care and
custody or otherwise dispose of any marine mammal except
with the approval of, and subject to such terms and condi-
tions as the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries may
a. Records.
The Holder shall maintain sufficient written records
regarding all marine mammals to allow for adequate
identification of individual animals. Such records
shall include, but are not limited to species, physical
description of the animal, date and method of acquisi-
tion, capture location or facility from which the
animal was acquired, and identifying characteristics
either natural or artificially produced.
b. Reports.
i. In the event of mortality of any marine mammal,
the Holder shall provide a report within 30 days
of the death, including autopsy and clinical
history, in a form consistent with accepted
veterinary medical practices, and a copy of the
records required in Section 3a.
ii. Within 90 days of the execution of this Agreement,
and by December 31 of each year, the Holder shall
submit a report on the health and condition of all
marine mammals that have been under the care and
custody of the Holder since the date of the
Agreement. These reports shall include: informa-
tion on the identification of the animals, the
species, sex, age, location of acquisition,
documents under which the animals were held, and
current status. This information may be submitted
in the format of the attached inventory form.
iii. The Holder shall submit such other reports as the
Assistant Administrator for Fisheries may herein-
after require.
c. Inspection.
The Holder shall permit any employee(s) of the National
Marine Fisheries Service, or any other person(s)
designated by the Assistant Administrator, to inspect
records and facilities insofar as such records and
facilities pertain to activities conducted in accor-
dance with the Agreement, or pertain to the Assistant
Administrator's responsibilities under the Act.
a. The Holder may be authorized to conduct scientific
research on any marine mammal held under this Agreement
provided such scientific research is approved in
advance by the Assistant Administrator.
b. The provisions of this Agreement may be amended in
writing upon reasonable notice by the Assistant
c. A violation of any of the terms and conditions of this
Agreement shall subject the Holder of this Agreement,
any person or agent operating under the authority of
the Agreement, or both, to penalties, enforcement
procedures, and other limitations provided in the
Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended.
December 27, 1991
December 30, 1991
December 31, 1991
National Oceanic and Atrnoapheric Adrniniatration
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910
F - William w. Fox, Jr.
F /PR - Nancy Foster ~ ~
Recommendation to Grant an Emergency
Authorization to Import a Killer Whale for
Medical Treatment Otherwise Unavailable;
Importation from Sealand of the Pacific, Ltd.
in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada to Sea
World of Florida in Orlando, Florida
Sea World Inc. officials (SW) request a
meeting to deliver SW's response to NMFS
request for additional information (i.g.,
concerning SW's permit applications) and to
discuss options for addressing Sealand
situation in consideration of the birth of a
killer whale calf on December 24, 1991.
Meeting with SW - SW verbal request for
emergency import request submitted. NMFS
raises numerous questions, including
proposing and discussing numerous
alternatives. The applicability of Section
109(h) of the MMPA is discussed. Conference
call with on-site SW officials at the Sealand
of the Pacific, Ltd. facility in Victoria,
British Columbia, Canada. Follow-up meeting
is scheduled for the next day to view SW
videotape and to hear SW response to
questions and SW objections to proposed
alternatives. NMFS contacts canada DFO to
discuss SW request.
Meeting with SW - SW videotape of
Tillikumjmedical pool viewed. NMFS requests
that sw submit a complete written request
addressing all questions and all reasonable
alternatives, with supporting
statements/requests from Sealand, other
Canadian facilities capable of killer whale
relocation, and Canadian government. NMFS
notes Sealand's and SW's advance knowledge of
the pregnant condition of two of the killer
whales and questions SW as to why adequate
preparations were not made by Sealand or SW
January 2, 1992
January 3, 1992
January 6, 1992
January 7, 1992
to hold Tillikum temporarily in an
alternative enclosure/facility in Canada
pending other arrangements and/or issuance of
an import permit to sw. NMFS suggests that
SW addressfexplain this inaction in their
written request for an emergency
authorization to import Tillikum.
SW informs NMFS that the gate between medical
and main enclosures was opened the evening of
December 31, 1991; that no change occurs in
the situation, particularly regarding the
imminent jeopardy to the health and well-
being of the adult male; and states their
intent to submit a thorough written request
on Friday, January 3, 1992. NMFS discusses
situation with Canada DFO. Expressions of
concern received from a number of animal
protection organizations regarding situation
and circumstances; and reservations and
opposition expressed as to whether a
"rumored" emergency import authorization
should be granted. In calls with HSUS and
Sea Shepherd, NMFS confirms and discusses
verbal request and SW intent to submit
written request.
Certain animal protection organizations
express opposition to an emergency import
authorization requested by SW. HSUS requests
delay to consider alternatives and allow for
independent/objective verification of
circumstances and examination of animals.
Sea Shepherd states intent to consider legal
action to prevent emergency import
authorization. sw submits written request
and supporting statements from Sealand and
other Canadian facilities at 4:30PM along
with ten minute videotape of the Sealand
facility. Canada DFO supporting letter
received by FAX at 7PM.
sw confirms no change to status of adult male
killer whale. NMFS consultation with Marine
Mammal Commission and APHIS; and decision to
send NMFS and MMC representatives to Sealand
to observe, verify, and report back.
Basic situation of immediate concern
regarding the health and well-being of the
adult male is confirmed by NMFS and MMC
Sea World, Inc., has requested that NMFS grant an emergency
authorization under 109(h) (2) of the MMPA to import "Tillikum,"
an adult male killer whale from Sealand of the Pacific, Ltd. in
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada to Sea World of Florida,
Orlando, Florida. Incorporated as supporting attachments to the
request are letters from Sealand of the Pacific (sent to
Moshenko/DFO), Vancouver Aquarium, and Marineland of Canada in
Niagara Falls, Ontario; a copy of an APHIS inspection report for
the SW/Orlando facility dated January 4, 1992, and 3 copies of a
videotape of the Sealand facility and "medical module" in which
Tillikum is confined.
The circumstances of the emergency as stated in the Sea World
request and in discussions with Sea World officials are that
there are three adult killer whales being held at Sealand of the
Pacific in British Columbia, one male, "Tillikum," and two
females. One of the females, "Haida," gave birth to a calf
(unknown sex) Christmas eve. The other female, "Nootka," is
pregnant and believed due sometime in the next few months
(showing signs of lactation at present). Since Christmas eve
Tillikum (about 20 feet in length) has been confined in a small
"medical" pool, 23ft X 31ft and no more than 12 feet deep.
Although the gate between the med pool and the main pool
(approximately 75ft X 100 ft) has been open since New Year's eve,
12/31/91, Tillikum has only made brief forays out (no more than a
few seconds each) and immediately returned. Observers, for Sea
WorldfSealand and representing NFMS and the MMC, have noted that
the females, particularly Nootka, appear to be "encouraging" him
to stay in the med pool ("chasing" him back in whenever he
appears to be edging out into the main pool. All concerned
appear to agree that continuous voluntary/involuntary holding of
Tillikum in the "med" pool seriously jeopardizes his health
(pulmonary problems being of most serious concern, in the absence
of normal exercise and swimming/diving behavior; most recently,
skin lesions and the potential for infection are of increasing
concern). Sea World also maintains that there is an urgent need
to maintain a separation between the male and the femalejcalf
pair(s), that the presence of a mature breeding male in the same
pool with the females and calve(s) is a serious risk to the
health and welfare of the calve(s).
(See letters and attachments from Sea World dated January 3 and
January 6, 1992; and letter and attachment from Robert Moshenko,
Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada dated January 3, 1992)
Is the health and well-being of killer whales being held at the
Sealan of the Pacific facility in jeopardy requiring immediate
NMFS has independently observed and verified Sea World's
assertions that Tillikum is being essentially confined on a
continuous basis in the small "medical" enclosure. Expert
opinion and advice, including that relied upon in the Canadian
government's supporting letter, are that such confinement
involves serious risk to the health and well-being of Tillikum.
Under these circumstances, adequate medical treatment is
unavailable at the Sealand facility. Alternative arrangements
for alterations to the Sealand facility, relocation to another
Canadian facility, or construction of a temporary enclosure
elsewhere in Canada have been considered and rejected by
SealandfSea World because of logistical difficulties or that the
length of time required to accomplish them would involve an
unacceptable level of increased jeopardy to Tillikum.
Essentially, Tillikum must have access to a larger enclosure for
the exercise and allowance for normal behavior (swimming and
diving) necessary to maintain his health and well-being.
Upon learning more than two months ago that one or both female
killer whales were pregnant, Sealand, and, if not Sealand, Sea
World should have made the alternative temporary arrangements
necessary to hold Tillikum in adequate facilities following the
birth of one or both killer whale calves. However, Sealand and
Sea World did not take these necessary precautions to protect the
health and well-being of Tillikum. This inaction has
precipitated the urgency of the circumstances presented in Sea
World's request for an emergency authorization. (This inaction
is referenced in the proposed transmittal letter, second and
closing paragraphs.)
The necessity to take action in the interest of Tillikum's
continued health and well-being was verified independently today
by Dr. Marilyn Dahlheim of NMFS's Marine Mammal Laboratory and
Dr. Murray Johnson who conducted observations on behalf of NMFS
and the Marine Mammal Commission. This confirmation of urgency
is also based on Dr. Dahlheim's and Dr. Johnson's review of
observation records being kept by Sea World and Sealand. Robert
Moshenko, DFO, is also on-site at the Sealand facility and
corroborates the observations of Dr. Dahlheim and Dr. Johnson
compounding this assessment of the urgency of the situation, Sea
World has noted that, if NMFS authorizes the emergency import, it
will then take some time to arrange logistics (747 or DC-10 type
jet transport, etc.) for the transport.
The legal issues regarding the applicability/interpretation of
Sections 109(h) and 112(c) of the MMPA to these circumstances are
addressed in a separate memorandum prepared by GCF (attached).
During the last week, several animal protection/humane
organizations have expressed opposition or concerns regarding Sea
World's request (see attached letters/FAX's from The Fund for
Animals, Sea Shepherd, and Lifeforce). These and other
individuals representing animal protection/humane organizations,
by FAX (attached) and in phone conversations, have raised a
number of issues and expressed various concerns regarding the
proposed emergency import, including:
the credibility of the information submitted by Sea World
(The circumstances and urgency have been confirmed by
independent observers),
the validity of the concerns and urgency as expressed by Sea
World (essentially confirmed by independent observers),
encouraging consideration and implementation of some
alternative short of import to address the situation
(although the pursuit of an alternative short of import has
been repeatedly and strongly urged by NMFS as well, it
appears that other alternatives are indeed, at this point,
not available or are not worth the additional risk to the
animal which may result from the time required to implement
such alternatives),
urging the immediate release of the animal to the wild
(Tillikum was captured in Icelandic waters. The time
required to prepare an adequate release protocol and make
logistical arrangements for the return and release of
Tillikum in Icelandic waters would involve an unacceptable
increased risk to Tillikum's continued health and well-being
pending such arrangements.)
questioning Sea World's motives in consideration of their
inaction during the previous few months despite advanced
knowledge of the imminent birth of one and possibly two
calves, and expressing concern as to the precedent that may
be set and potential future abuse thereof if NMFS grants an
emergency import authorization under these circumstances
(See proposed transmittal letter, second and closing
paragraphs. Additionally, this decision fundamentally
concerns the health and well-being of the killer whales
presently held at Sealand and whether an emergency
importation of Tillikum is essential for medical treatment
otherwise unavailable at this time in Canada and essential
to the health and well-being of the females and calf(ves).
While Sea World's conduct in the last few months and serious
precedential concerns are important and should be
considered, these considerations are not controlling
relative to the immediate health and welfare requirements of
the Sealand killer whales, particularly Tillikum.)
The Canadian government, represented by Robert Moshenko, CITES
Management Authority, Department of Fisheries and Oceans,
submitted a supporting letter dated January 3, 1992 (received by
FAX at 7:00PM on January 3, 1992). This letter, stated in the
form of technical advice, references a letter from Joseph R.
Geraci, VMD, Ph.D, " ... a qualified marine mammals veterinarian
who the Department of Fisheries and Oceans frequently relies upon
as a consultant .. " who states that: "The enclosure is far too
small for the animal to swim around or exercise as it should.
One can expect a whale under such circumstances to exhibit
aberrant behavior that can lead to altered feeding patterns,
aggression, and other signs of stress that will eventually affect
the animal's health. I believe the animal is at risk under the
present circumstances. Were I responsible for its health, I
would move hastily to relocate the whale to a more suitable
facility." (quoted from Dr. Geraci's letter to Mr. Moshenko dated
January 3, 1992). Mr. Moshenko goes on to state that no other
Canadian facilities are available to "accommodate, even on a
temporary basis, the male killer whale at Sealand."
We have determined that this request, supporting letters,
accompanying documentation, and observations by NMFS and MMC
representatives establish the urgent nature of the circumstances
meriting authorization of the import of Tillikum for the purpose
of medical treatment otherwise unavailable as provided for under
Section 109(h) of the MMPA.
The Canadian government has recommended approval of the emergency
import authorization as being necessary for the continued health
and well-being of this adult male killer whale. NMFS determined
that confirmation of the Sealand circumstances and observation of
the killer whales were important in assessing the merit of
various allegations and assertions. Observers representing NMFS
and the MMC have confirmed the circumstances and urgency asserted
in sea World's request. Qualified members of Sea World's staff
will be present to supervise the collection and transport of
Tillikum. The killer whale will then be imported from Canada
after a CITES permit is issued for their exportation.
NMFS has consulted at some length with the MMC regarding these
circumstances. The MMC has expressed their support for granting
the emergency import authorization.
Therefore, I recommend that this emergency import authorization
be granted for the import of Tillikum by Sea World for the
purpose of medical treatment otherwise unavailable, subject to
both the special and general conditions included in the proposed
cooperative agreement (attached).
Because of the substantial controversy associated with killer
whales in captivity and, particularly, the controversy associated
with this request by Sea World to import Tillikum on an emergency
basis, I respectfully request your concurrence with the attached
~ ~ ~ ~
I ~ I do not concur I wish to discuss
February 19, 1992
Dr. Nancy Foster
Director. Office of Protected Resources
and Habitat Programs
National Marine Fisheries Service
1335 East-Hest Highway, Room 8268
Silver Spring. Maryland 20910
RE: Marine Mammal Collection/Inventory Report
Dear Dr. Foster:
Two copies of the attached serve as an update
to our inventory reports.
O.l LU
Barbara D.
Director, National Affairs
1776 I Street, N.H. #200
Washington. D.C. 20006
Attachment: Marine Mammal Collection/Inventory Reports
SHF-Oo-9201 NMFS Inventory/Transfer Report
SHC-Tt-8428 NMFS Inventory/Mortality
SHC-Tt-8428 Sea Horld Gross Necropsy Reportf'(r,
SHF-Zc-7344 NMFS Inventory/Mortality Report ,
SHF-Zc-7344 Sea World Gross Necropsy Report_ t
Sea World, Inc.
7007 Sea World Drive
Orlando, FL 32821-8097
(407) 351-3600
FAX ( 407) 345-5397
Busch Entertainment
OMO NO. 064K-OOK5. EXP 4/30!)1
TYPE OF REPORT: Inventory/Transfer
NAME C. ANIWAL HOI DB: Sea Wor J d. Inc.
SfliCIES SCIIiN1'IfiC HAW: Ore i nus ore a
_ _ ~ T I O N )(
SWF-Oo-9201 M
AN lQ 1/9/92 Ex.
. .
COMMON NAME: Ki 11 er Wha 1 e
Transferred from __ N/A G-C -
Sealand of the
Pacific Victoria -
B.f. Canada
(Subject to issuanc

of Public Display
. - .
January 7, 1992
Ms. Ann D. Terbush
Division Chief - Permits and Documentation
National Marine Fisheries Service
1335 East West Highway
Room 7324
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Dear Ms. Terbush:
The purpose of this letter is to provide supplemental
information regarding our request to immediately transfer
Tillikum from Sealand of the Pacific to Sea World of Florida. As
stated in our permit application of November 7, 1991 and in our
letters of January 3 and January 6, 1992, the complications
arising from the birth of a killer whale calf at Sealand require
the immediate transfer of Tillikum.
In addition to the skin condition discussed in our
January 6, 1992 letter, the attached memorandum from Dr. McBain
to me details new developments in Tillikum's medical condition.
I am also enclosing a letter from Dr. John Gayfer urging speedy
removal of Tillikum from Sealand.
Tillikum's medical condition revealed in the blood tests
discussed in Dr. McBain's memorandum is a precursor of a
potentially more serious medical condition which could constitute
a serious threat to the long-term health and survival of
Tillikum. If his condition continues to deteriorate, it may
preclude transportation to another facility which will only
result in continuing deterioration. Continued inaction by the
National Marine Fisheries Service could, therefore, result in the
onset of a more serious, if not fatal, medical condition.
Sea World, Inc.
7007 Sea World Drive
Orlando, FL 32821-8097
(407) 351-3600
FAX (407) 345-5397
Busch Entertainment

Vice President
Zoological Operations
Sea World, Inc.
FROM:604 598 1361
TO: 202 223 9594 JAN ?, 1992 2:3?PM P.01
!l'O: Brad Andrews
FROM: Dr. Jim McBain
DATE: January 7, 1992
SUBJECT: Tilikum
This is an update on the status of Tilikum the male killer whale
at Sealand of the Pacific. I have examined Tilikum and
evaluated the laboratory results of.the blood sample taken on
January 6, 1992.
Tilikum has been living virtually in the small medical
pool since the birth of the calf on;December 24, 1991. This has
resulted in a severe decrease in hi$ level of activity. I am
recommending that his food intake temporally decreased from
his normal 200 pounds a day to 150 pounds. His appetite has been
decreasing, so I recommened the decrease to minimize a possible
complete shut down of food intake.The activity decline has also
resulted in multiple epidermal cracks around his blowhole. These
cracks bled initially, but the skin!problem seems to be
controlled with the application of ointment.
Tilikum's laboratory tests are generally good with the exception
of changes in his white cell counts. His relative
neutrophil count is rising and his lymphocyte count is
decreasing. This is typical of a blood picture. Tilikum
is also showing an increase in serum fibrinogen levels. My
assessment is that the stress blood picture is what it appears to
be, it is Tilikun1's bodily response ,to the stressful situation he
is experiencing. The long-term of stress are well
documented. It seems reasonable to!assume that this situation
will ultimately effect his immune system resulting in a decrease
in his resistance to disease, '
The elevated fibrinogen is indicative of inflammation and is most
likely the result of cracking atld dtying of his skin around the
In summary, Tilikum is still doing and should have no
difficulty handling transport. As t have suggested there are
recognizable changes in his haematology values that do not bode
well for the future if we cannot move him from this facility
FRDM=604 598 1361
TO: 202 223 9594
JAN 7, 1992 2:38PM P.02

January 6, 1992
Mr. Robert MosJ1enko
Seotion Head
Fish & Marine Management
501 University Crescent
Winnipeg, M .B.
X3T 2N6
Dear Mr. Moslwnko:
Re: Tillicum
At 1700 hours, Monday, January 1992 I inspected the
mDle killer wllale, 'J'illicwn, in the medical
pool at Sea.land of the Pacific. i I have also examined
blood results taken earlier today' and find t11e animal is
medically fit to travel.
There are, however, emerging signs that tllO prolonged
confinement of the male by the 'two female animals is
llaving a harmful and stressful impact on the animal.
r am strongly. of the opinion tl1at; the speedy removal of
7'illirum is tritical to its prope.r care and llusbandz.y.
. !
Yours! truly {
, ... .\ .. ..-r ... .. .......
\ ! ,I
Dr. Gay fer
All Creatures Great and Small
JUAN DC rUCA VI.: I L:IIIN/\IW Cl INIC 1 BIJO C SOOI<l: l:iO!It>. VICTOfliJ\, llC. VOD lW? (G04) 4780422


Brad Andrews
Vice President
Zoological Operations
January 3, 1992
Anne D. Terbush
Chief, Permits Division
Office of Protected Resources
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Dear Ms. Terbush:
As emphasized in Sea World
s meeting with NMFS in late
October 1991, and as specifically requested in Section IV. C. of
Sea World
s November 7, 1991 application to import killer whales
from Sealand of the Pacific (
), the prompt removal
of the male Tillikum from Sealand of the Pacific (
) is
necessary for animal health reasons.
The Current Situation at Sealand
Haida gave birth to a calf on December 24.
female, Nootka, is pregnant and could give birth
This situation makes it imperative that Tillikum
The second
at any time.
be removed from
As described in the Application, Sea World separates males
from birthing females due to the disruptive impact the male has
on birthing, bonding and nursing. In fact, Sea World separates
breeding killer whale and bottlenose dolphin males from females
with calves for approximately one year. The success Sea World
has experienced in its captive breeding program is well known and
is due, in large part, to undertaking these types of measures.
Our experience with captive born marine mammals, and the
experiences at other facilities, confirm the wisdom of separating
males from birthing females. For example, when killer whales
have been born at Marineland, the male could not be separated
from the nursing mother and her calves. One reason the female
was unsuccessful in her nursing and bonding, and lost six calves,
may have been the presence of the male. As noted in the
Application, a male killer whale raked a calf during the birthing
process at the Vancouver Public Aquarium. A second calf born in
Sea World, Inc.
7007 Sea World Drive
Orlando, FL 32821-8097
(407) 363-2155
FAX (407) 345-5397
Busch Entertainment
Ms. Terbush
January 3, 1992
Page 2
Vancouver and maintained in the presence of the male failed to
nurse and is now being hand fed.
Given the limited space at Sealand, the social dynamics of
the existing group, and the birth of a calf, the only proper way
to assure the well being of all the animals is the immediate
removal of the male to another facility. The reasons for doing
so are amply demonstrated not only by past experience but also by
what is now occurring at Sealand.
Prior to her delivery, Haida forced Tillikum and Nootka into
the small medical pool. Tillikum and Nootka remained in the
medical pool for three days under the direction and supervision
of veterinary staff to allow mother/calf bonding to occur without
interference. After three days, Nootka, described in the
Application as sub-dominant to Haida, was released from the
medical pool into the main pool which stimulated a high level of
maternal protective activity by Haida. However, it appears for
the time being that Nootka has been accepted by Haida in the main
Due to the potential harmful consequences of Tillikum being
confined to the medical pool since December 24, veterinarians
felt it necessary to open the doors from the medical pool to the
main pool on December 31 in order to release him into the main
pool. Since then, he has ventured into the main pool on seven
occasions for a combined time of less than 60 seconds. Tillikum
refuses to remain in the main pool, apparently due to the current
dominance of the two females.
There are two options for dealing with the male at the
present facility, (1) allow him to restrict himself to the
medical pool as long as he wishes or (2) if a negative
interaction occurs between him and the female and calf, restrict
him to the medical pool for as long as necessary to ensure calf
The management and health problems potentially associated
with Tillikum staying in the medical pool are serious. The
medical pool is 31 feet long, 23 feet wide, and 12 feet deep.
Tillikum is 20 feet long. Confinement of Tillikum to the medical
pool severely restricts his ability to exercise since the pool is
only slightly larger than the whale itself.
Prolonged restriction of the male in the medical pool may
also lead to the development of serious medical problems.
Included among the potential problems are inadequate respiratory
exchange and respiratory infection, muscle atrophy, and
scoliosis. In addition, Tillikum could refuse food. This would
complicate any problems which migl1t arise or create its own
Ms. Terbush
January 3, 1992
Page 3
health problems, depending on the length of time he refuses
The basic principle of providing excellent health care for
captive animals is to prevent medical problems, not to create
conditions which can easily and rapidly lead to the onset of
Although it is theoretically possible that Tillikum could be
confined in the small medical pool for an extended period and not
suffer severe medical problems, this is an experiment Sea World
would prefer not to undertake. Sea World
s veterinary staff has
determined that Tillikum should not be confined in the medical
If Tillikum enters and remains in the main pool with the
calf and the two adult females, no one can accurately predict
what will happen, particularly if Tillikum, who is larger than
either female, decides to assert himself. Killer whale calves
are dependent on their mothers and follow the mother wherever she
swims. If Tillikum, a mature and sexually active male, were to
approach Haida or Nootka, and if the mother, or Nootka, is
attempting to rebut Tillikum, the calf might be seriously injured
in the middle of the fray. Although the outcome of an
interaction between Haida or Nootka and Tillikum cannot be
predicted, the risk of Tillikum approaching Haida or Nootka is
sufficiently high that allowing the male in the main pool is a
scenario which should be avoided.
All these problems will be compounded when Nootka, who is
currently pregnant and showing evidence of lactation, delivers
her calf. This could occur at any time. Adding a second mother
and calf to the main pool with a sexually active male increases
the potential problems dramatically.
For these reasons, Sea World requests immediate
authorization to import Tillikum to protect the health and
welfare of all the killer whales at Sealand and to ensure proper
preventive medical care for Tillikum as well as for Haida and her
calf and Nootka and her potential calf. As part of that
authorization, Sea World requests permission to hold Tillikum at
Sea World of Florida temporarily, as described in the
Application. Sea World currently maintains three adult females
and one juvenile female at this facility. The permanent
maintenance of this animal by Sea World will be contingent upon
issuance of a permit for public display, and there will be no
show training or public display of this animal pending the
issuance of a permit.
Ms. Terbush
January 3, 1992
Page 4
The Marine Mammal Protection Act
Section 102 of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, 16 U.S.C.
1372, prohibits the taking and importation of marine mammals,
except as provided for in several sections of the Act, including
Section 109, 16 u.s.c. 1379. Section 109(h)(2) of the Act
Nothing in this title shall prevent the
Secretary or a person designated under
section 1382(c) of this title from importing
a marine mammal into the United States if
such importation is necessary to render
medical treatment not otherwise available.
16 U.S.C. 1379(h)(2). The House Committee Report on the
legislation adding Section 109(h)(2) to the Act indicates that
the determination of the availability of medical treatment is
based on the availability of such treatment in the country of
export. H. Rept. 970, lOOth Cong., 2d Sess., p. 32.
Section 109(h)(l) provides that nothing in the Act shall
prevent a government official or employee or a person designated
under Section 112(c) from taking a marine mammal if such taking
is for the protection or welfare of the mammal.
Section 109(h)(3) provides that if a marine mammal is taken
or imported under the authority of the subsection, steps shall be
taken to return the animal to its natural habitat if it is
feasible to do so. In determining if it is feasible to return an
animal to the wild, the Secretary shall consult with the
attending veterinarian and curatorial staff of the institutions
providing medical treatment. The Secretary must also consider
the likelihood of whether the animal will successfully re-adapt
to life in the wild and the possibility the animal may transmit
contagious disease to animals in the wild. H. Rept. 970, lOOth
Cong., 2d Sess., p. 32-33.
Section 112(c) of the Act authorizes the Secretary to:
enter into such contracts, leases,
cooperative agreements, or other transactions
as may be necessary to carry out the purposes
of this subchapter and on such terms as he
deems appropriate with any Federal or State
agency, public or private institution, or
other person.
16 u.s.c. 1382(c).
Ms. Terbush
January 3, 1992
Page 5
These sections clearly authorize the Secretary to enter into
a Section 112(c) agreement with Sea World to bring Tillikum into
the United States in order to render preventive and other medical
care for the protection and welfare of Tillikum and the killer
whales which will remain at Sealand. This letter, together with
the supporting documentation, contains the information the
Secretary requires to make the necessary findings under Section
Alternatives to Removal of Tillikum
Prior to making the request to remove Tillikum, Sea World
contacted the only other facilities in Canada which might be
available to temporarily house the animal. The only Canadian
facilities which have housed killer whales are the Vancouver
Public Aquarium and Marineland of Canada. Officials at both
facilities have stated they are unable to care for this animal.
The Vancouver Public Aquarium currently has two adult killer
whales and a calf at its facility. The General Curator of the
Aquarium has stated his facility does not have room for Tillikum
on a short or long term basis. See attached letter of January 2,
1992 to you from K. Gilbey Hewlett.
Marineland of Canada is similarly constricted in space. The
facility currently houses four adult killer whales and a two and
a half year old male. These animals utilize all the available
space and, at this time, Marineland is anxious to move the
younger male before his size creates any conflict with the other
animals. Given the size restrictions, introduction of an adult
male is not feasible. See attached letter of January 2, 1992 to
you from John Holer.
Sealand itself has also stated its desire to have Tillikum
transferred to Sea World because of the problems associated with
the current situation. See the attached letter from Al Bolz,
Manager, dated January 3, 1992.
These letters make it clear that there is no other facility
in Canada which can provide the care for Tillikum which is
necessary to alleviate the situation at Sealand.
Sea World has an agreement with Sealand for the acquisition
of Sealand's killer whales, subject to NMFS' favorable action on
the Application. Since Sea v1orld has an interest in the health
and welfare of these animals, Sea World has independently
examined the possibility of constructing another holding area
adjacent to Sealand's current facility to temporarily hold
Tillikum. However, the existing Sealand facility is bounded by a
522-boat marina with piers and docks which preclude expansion at
Ms. Terbush
January 3, 1992
Page 6
Sea World also investigated constructing a temporary
facility at another site even though such a future site does not
fit within the standard of a currently available treatment
facility. No suitable site was located. Furthermore, occupation
of any body of water for any purpose requires permits and
approvals by the Provincial, Federal and local government. The
approval process generally takes a number of months with no
certainty as to the outcome of the process. Riparian laws of
Canada require that the owners of property bordering on a bay or
body of water also give approval. Winter conditions are such
that protecting a temporary facility from severe storms is
unpredictable and totally impractical and would severely
jeopardize the safety and welfare of the animal. Even if, in
theory, permits could be obtained, placing the animal in a make-
shift facility that is a totally foreign environment, with
limited protection, would be potentially very hazardous to both
the animal and staff. Furthermore, the movement of Tillikum,
both to and from a temporary facility that lacks normal controls
and conditions of a permanent facility would be extremely
difficult and likely dangerous.
Sea World also explored the possibility of partitioning
Sealand's main pool. This would be very difficult. The Canadian
Workman's Compensation Board will not permit construction workers
in the water with the whales. Therefore, the three adults and
the calf would have to be confined in the 3lx23xl2 foot medical
pool. This would not be a good situation.
Furthermore, Sea World's veterinarians consider the current
main pool the minimum size Haida should have for successful
nursing. In feeding, the calf must grab a mammary gland for a
five to seven second feed as the mother swims in a straight line
or turns. Restricting the existing glide pattern area could
interfere with Haida's nursing which appears to be successful at
this time.
Finally, releasing Tillikum into the wild is not a feasible
alternative. Tillikum was collected in 1983 as a young animal
from the large killer whale population off the coast of
Iceland. Very little is known about the social makeup of that
population. No one knows what pod Tillikum came from and
therefore, which pod he should be placed with. Furthermore,
Tillikum has spent nearly three-fourths of his life at Sealand.
During this time he has developed a strong dependence on
humans. Tillikum's long, positive experience with humans will
leave him with inappropriate skills for survival in the wild.
Another serious problem for Tillikum is his total lack of fear of
nets, which comes from spending the last eight years in a net pen
Ms. Terbush
January 3, 1992
Page 7
There is also the concern that an animal which has been in
captivity, even for the short period necessary for rehabilitation
of a beached animal, may be exposed to human and terrestrial
animal diseases. These diseases, if inapparent or subclinical,
may reside undetected in a marine mammal when it goes back to
sea. The disease, though subclinical in the initial aberrant
host, may increase in virulence through a well documented process
called "animal passage." This simply means that a disease agent
in passing from one animal to another can become a more potent
disease producer. This concern suggests that any animal released
from captivity could have an adverse impact on its wild
counterparts. This is precisely why NMFS officials have
expressed serious reservations about releasing rehabilitated
beached animals into the wild.
For all these reasons, Sea World requests immediate action
by NMFS to approve the emergency transfer of Tillikum from
Sealand to Sea World of Florida. Enclosed is a narrated
videotape showing the current conditions at Sealand. tape
provides additional information and is incorporated into this
written request.
Very truly yours,

Brad F.
Vice President
Zoological Operations
Sea World, Inc.
December 30, 1991
Anne D. Terbush
Chief, Permits Division
Office of Protected Resources
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Dear Ms. Terbush:
We have received your letter of December 17, 1991 requesting
additional information regarding Sea World's application to
import killer whales from Sealand of the Pacific ("Sealand").
Since Sea World's application was filed on November 7, 1991 in a
complete state and in accordance with the NMFS requirements and
application instructions, we understand the supplementary
information requested is to clarify certain matters for NMFS.
1. Care and maintenance of the whales prior to importation.
The animals will continue to be owned by Sealand until the
import permit is granted. Responsibility for the animals prior
to import rests with Sealand. However, Sealand is consulting
with Sea World on appropriate care and maintenance procedures.
2. Decision regarding each animal's readiness for
As described in Section IV. A. of our application,
importation will be conducted in a manner prescribed by Sea World
veterinary staff. The timing of the transport will be based upon
the medical opinion of veterinarians that the animals are in good
health and that the move will not create any risk to their health
or well being. The determination regarding their health will be
made by a Sea World veterinarian experienced in physical
examination and interpretation of cetacean laboratory results.
as described in Section VII. B. 4. of the application, the
animals will be transported under the direct supervision of the
Sea World professional staff referenced. A veterinarian will
accompany the animals at all times during transport.
Sea World, Inc.
7007 Sea World Drive
Orlando, FL 32821-8097
(407) 351-3600
FAX (407) 345-5397
Busch Entertainment
Ms. Terbush
December 30, 1991
Page 2
3. Condition of Haida.
As stated in Section IV. A. c., Haida appeared to be
pregnant. The apparent condition was further described in
correspondence from Dr. Jim McBain attached to the application as
Section IV. C.
Haida gave birth to a live vigorous calf on December 24,
1991, at apprcocimately 12:45 p.m. PST. NMFS was notified of the
birth within an hour of the delivery.
4. Transport method.
Sea World has been instrumental in the development of
successful transport techniques for marine mammals. (Joseph,
Asper and Antrim, 1991). Killer whales have been transported
successfully by Sea World since 1965 and transport of this nature
is not without precedent. Numerous killer whales of the size the
juvenile can be expected to reach after 12 months of age have
been successfully collected and transported by Sea World and
others in years past.
As described in Section VII. B. 4. and 5., the killer whales
will be transported in specially designed and constructed
transport units. Transport will be via charter aircraft and
truck in accordance with professionally accepted techniques and
in compliance with all applicable regulations, standards and
conditions set forth under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the
Animal Welfare Act and the Lacey Act. Transport is anticipated
to take less than 12 hours, absent unusual circumstances. The
transport procedures were reviewed and certified as appropriate
in a letter from Dr. McBain attached to the application.
The protocol for moving cow/calf pairs will be the same as
described in the application. The cow and her calf will be moved
at the same time to the same destination in individual transport
units sized appropriately for each animal. The transport units
will be kept as close together as safe and practical throughout
the transport. The animals will be transported under the direct
supervision of the Sea World professional staff referenced in the
application. A veterinarian will accompany the animals at all
times during the move. We have attached for your consideration
illustrations which depict our transport units.
Reference -- CRC Handbook of Marine Mammal Medicine:
Health, Disease, and Rehabilitation: Leslie A. Dierauf, V.M.D.,
CRC Press Boston: 1990
Ms. Terbush
December 30, 1991
Page 3
5. Acclimation into Sea World collection.
The animals being transported have complete medical
histories. These animals have no apparent medical condition
requiring quarantine upon arrival. Sea World personnel who have
examined the animals believe the animals are behaviorally
The animals will be visually and physically separated from
the resident Sea World killer whales in one of the breeding and
research pools specified as attachments to Section VII. C.
Behavioral observation and appropriate medical evaluation will
guide the integration of the Sealand animals into resident
groups. The Sealand animals will not be allowed to associate
with the resident Sea World animals if there are any signs of
disease or incompatible behavior.
After the veterinary and training staff have concluded the
Sealand animals are ready to associate with the resident animals,
the animals will be allowed to enter the main pool. Should any
conflict develop other than the expected behavior associated with
establishing relative dominance within the group, Sea World
resident animals will be called to separate areas using the
acoustic signals which the animals have been trained to follow.
6. Sea Worlds Employee Training and Safety Program.
In 1987, Sea World commenced a detailed review of its
employee training and safety procedures. Thereafter, Sea World
implemented an enhanced employee training and safety program.
Since implementing this program, there have been no accidents
involving killer whales at Sea World facilities.
Although we are generally familiar with the circumstances
surrounding the accidental death of a trainer in the killer whale
pool at Sealand on February 20, 1991, we do not have any of
Sealands records or reports on this matter. Sea World urges
NMFS to request whatever documents NMFS believes necessary for
information from the appropriate authorities of Sealand and
the Government of Canada. However, we believe the accident was
unique to Sealand and was due to the unfortunate combination of a
poor pool design which prohibited exit from the water, inadequate
emergency life saving procedures and interference by whales
unaccustomed to the presence of people in the water.
Sea World understands the historical interest regarding the
incident at Sealand, but Sea World believes its present employee
training and safety program should be judged on its merits and by
comparison to current industry standards, particularly since the
situation at Sealand is so different from that which exists at
Ms. Terbush
December 30, 1991
Page 4
Sea World. For example, Sea World's animals are all highly
trained and are accustomed to interacting with trainers and
veterinary staff. Sealand's animals are essentially untrained
and will be managed initially by Sea World as untrained
animals. Furthermore, Sea World's facilities are structurally
different from Sealand's facility in significant respects.
At Sea World, safety for both employees and killer whales is
paramount in all our work.
Please let us know if we can be of further assistance in
expediting your processing of this application.
Very truly yours,
tOI'Cld Cfrdw,v").
.Brad F. Andrews r s4--
Vice President
Zoological Operations
Sea \vor ld, Inc.
1966 Sea World. Inc.

1 ..
b r 'ttnrl::


.-- iJJIJJ/bill
., 1986 Sea World. Inc.
e> 1986 Sea World. Inc
e a ~ r l d ~
January 6, 1992
Ms. Ann D. Terbush
Chief, Permits Division
Office of Protected Resources
National Marine Fisheries Services
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910
Dear Ms. Terbush:
Brad Andrews
Vice President
Zoological Operations
This serves as an update to our letter of January 3, 1992. The skin
around Tillikums blowhole and back, extending to the anterior edge of
his dorsal fin, has become dry and cracked. This condition has
resulted from his lack of swimming activity in the medical pool. When
he does swim out of the medical pool, it is only for a brief few
seconds before one or both of the females chase him back into the
medical pool. The skin problems resulting from his lack of activity
are tangible indicators that his current housing situation is
The condition is currently being controlled by the application of
protective ointment to the dry and cracked skin as well as having an
animal care staff member wet his back with sea water every 15 minutes,
24 hours a day. He can only hope that the only problems being caused
by his inactivity are those affecting his skin.
As stated in our letter of January 3rd to you and in the attachment of
our letter dated January 3rd from Mr. Al Bolz, General Manager of
Sealand of the Pacific, no option for the temporary holding of
Tillikum exists at Sealand. This includes the two pinniped pools.
The sea lion pool holds 5 animals. It measures roughly 30' x 30' with
a depth of approximately 12'. The stage in the middle of the pool is
integral to the structure of the Sealand facility and cannot be
removed. The body of water around the stage is U shaped, measuring
approximately 10' wide x 50' long. This represents no improvement to
the medical pool.
The harbor seal pool holds 12 small seals. It measures roughly 30' x
20' with a depth of approximately 12'. The island in the center of
the pool leaves a donut-shaped area of water that measures
approximately 6' around. This also represents no improvement upon the
medical pool.
Sea World, Inc.
7007 Sea World Drive
Orlando, FL 32821-8097
(407) 363-2155
FAX (407) 345-5397
Busch Entertainment
Ms. Anne D. Terbush
January 6, 1992
Page Two
He would also to expand upon the reasons behind our practice of
separating breeding males from birthing females. To our no
female whale has successfully reared a calf in a zoological
environment with a mature male whale present. All successes
have been with the males separated from the female and calf. The
successes include all six Sea World calves. The live birth at
Marineland of Canada was a success, and in that case, as with Sea
World, the male was separate from the female and calf.
Those facilities where a breeding male has been with the calf and
mother include two failures at the Vancouver Aquarium. The first calf
died at three of age. The other resulted in the need to
the calf from the female at three for hand rearing. This calf
died suddenly after some ninety days on Saturday, January 4, 1992.
Both of the Vancouver failures were the result of inadequate maternal
production. The other failures were the live birth failures at
Marineland in California. The female there had four live births and
failed to rear her calves. All her calves died. At Marineland, the
female was in a single pool with a breeding male. Although none
of these calves died as a result of physical interaction between the
male and female or the male and calf, such interaction was a distinct
possibility which could have lead to serious injury to the calf. In
fact, there was injury to the first Vancouver calf, the result of
by the male, but this was not a direct cause of death.
The reason for the failures is currently speculative. Two
possibilities have come forward. One thought is that the males are
considered by the female to be a threat to the calf. The female's
behavior of chasing the male into the medical pool at Sealand is
certainly corroborative evidence. The presence of a male may then
lead to a chronic stress which results in a failure of lactation or
inappropriate maternal behavior, as with the female at Marineland in
A second possible mechanism is that the presence of a mature male may
stimulate hormone release that interferes with lactation and/or
maternal behavior, not significantly different from the stress
scenario with more emphasis on hormonal effects.
Ms. Anne D. Terbush
January 6. 1992
Page Three
Please find attached a letter dated January 6, 1992 from the Vancouver
Public Aquarium which states in light of the recent death of their
calf, no facilities exist to accommodate Tillikum.
Again, we appeal for an immediate and favorable decision on our
January 3, 1992 request to transfer Tillikum to Sea Horld of Florida
so as to provide necessary and preventative medical care for Tillikum,
Haida and her calf in order to protect their health and welfare. The
situation is becoming more critical as time passes and we urge
immediate action on our request.
~ ~
Vice President
Zoological Operations
Sea Horld, Inc.
In S[anley Park, E'.O. Box 32.12, Vancouver, B.C., Canitda V6B 3X8, (604) 685-3.364, Fax (604) 631-25Z9
January 6, 1992
Ms Anne Terbush
Chief of Permits Division
Offtce of Protected Resources
National Marine Fisheries Service
Silver Springs, Maryland
Dear Ms Terbush:
In light of the death of the 97 day old killer whale calf "K'yosha" Ordnps o n January
4th, 1991, the management of Sealand of the Pacific in Victoria, British Columbia,
Canada, has again contacted the Vancouver Aquarium regarding the feasibility of holding
the male killer whale "Tillicum" here at the Vancouver Aquarium. As stated in my previous
letter, this would be for the ~ r i o pending issuance of the National Marine Fisheries
Service permits to import the whale to the United States.
As the calf was housed in a pool that is part of the public .killer whale habitat it has not freed
up any pool space. We still do not have the facilities here to accommodate this animal. I
regret we are able to help in this matter.
K. Gilbey Hewlett
General Curator
4 .,..0 .. ,
SENT BY:Xerox Telecopier 7021 ; 1- 8-92 ; 3!09PM ;
Telephone: (202) 606-5504
Facsimile: (202) 606-5510
FTS: 8/266-5504
FTS: 81266-5510
Date: ~ ~ <g
11 fZ
Total pages including cover 3
T o ~ ~
Facsimile Phone#: Qoll S'"coZ- tf1C.7
Telephone #;
From: Jk (L, ~
Subject: s;o.. -tJnJJ/ ~ L
3015684967:# 1
. ---------------------------------------- ----------------------
SENT BY:xerox Telecopier 7021 ; 1- 6-92 : 3:00PM
The Honorable William W. Fox, Jr., Ph.D.
Assistant Administrator for Fisheries
National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA
1335 East-West Highway, Room 9334
Silver Spring, 20910
Dear Or. Fox:
s January 1992
3015664967:# 2
Sea World of Florida has requested authorization under
sections 109(h) (2) and 112(c) of the Marine Mammal Protection Act
to import a male killer whale from canada on an emergency basis
"to render medical treatment [of the animal] that is not
otherwise available." The Marine Mammal Commission, in
consultation with its Committee of Scientific.Advisors on Marine
Mammals, has considered sea World's request and, based on the
information to it, has concluded that the health of the
male killer whale currently being held at Sealand of the Pacific
is threatened by continued maintenance of the animal in the small
medical holding pool at the facility. The record available to
the commission indicates that: (1) no alternative facility
capable of maintaining the animal exists Canada; (2) attempts
to place the animal in the main pool at Sealand of the Pacific,
. which is occupied by two female killer whales andia calf, have
been unsuccessful; (3) the health of the whale in"question has
already been affected; and (4) it is not possible to construct an
alternative-enclosure or modify the facility in time to
alleviate the problem.
While the Commission believes that authorizing the
importation of the male killer whale under section 109{h) (2) of
the Act approaches the limit of that statutory provision, the
importation clearly appears to be in the best interest of the
animal. The Commission therefore recommends that the Service
issue an emergency importation authorization to sea World.
In making this recommendation, the Commission notes that the
medical emergency now faced results in part from poor planning.
The facility has known for months that the female killer whales
it maintains were pregnant and should have taken steps to ensure
that all of the whales would be properly cared for after the
birth of the calves. In recognition of the possibility that the
two females may become less compatible once the second female
delivers, the Commission encourages the National Marine Fisheries
service to use its influence to ensure that other provisions are
made now, such as building another enclosure, to anticipate the
SENT BY:xerox Telecopier 7021 1- S-32 3:01PM 2026735354 ... 3015664967;:: 3
' . ..
possibility of such arising.
It is important the Service sure that the applicant
understand that section 109(h) requires that
[i)n any case in
which it is feasible to return to its natural habitat a marine
mammal taken or imported under (that provision], steps to achieve
that result shall be taken." ln recognition of this, the
Service, in consultation with all interested parties, should
identify what steps identification of an area and/or group
of wild animals to which release would be appropriate,
authorization under G.S. andjc: law, retraining the
animal, monitoring the .::.;imal ::.nee released, etc.) v:ould be
necessary to effect a return of the whale to Icelandic waters and
determine if such a release is feasible.
Please contact me if you have any questions concerning these
R. Twiss, Jr.
utive Director
January 2, 1992
Ann D. Terbush
Chief, Permits Division
Office of Protected Resources
and Habitat Programs
National Marine Fisheries Service
1335 East West Highway, Room 7324
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910
Dear Ms. Terbush:
I have been asked to temporarily care for Sealand's male killer
whale, Tillicum, during the calf rearing period of its female
As you know, Marineland currently houses four adult and one young
killer whales.
In another letter, I have requested that you issue Sea World a
permit to incorporate our young whale into their program because
our current whales may become incompatible.
It is for this reason that we cannot accommodate an additional
adult male whale from Sealand.
JHII 3 '9::: I 7: 2:: F P(ll F 1.11 -f :<f 0:. 204 98-1 240 I
PHO:;E. 00 I
Gowmmont Gouvemement
o4C&nada duCanade
Fisheries Pkhes
and ()o88ns et0o6ans
January 3, 1992
Ms. Ann Terbush
Permits Office
National Marine Fisheries Service
Washington, D.C.
United States of America
FAX HO - (301) 713-2313
Dear Ms. Terbush:

J, (t)O
r .......

()o#""' '*'"...,.._,.
I am wr1t1ng to you with regard to the request from your office
regarding the k111er whales at Sealand of the Pacific in V1ctoria.
The Department of fisheries and Oceans {OFO} has no legislated
responsibility for administration of the holding of marine mammals 1n
aquaria. Our assessment 1s 1n the form of technical advice only.
I have contacted Or. Joe Gerac1 of the University of Guelph. Dr. Gerac1
1s a qualified marine mammals veter1nar1an who the Department of
F1sher1es and Oceans frequently relies upon as a consultant for the
inspection of aquaria for holding and raising whales and other mar1ne
Or. Geraci's assessment 1s "I believe the animal (the male) is
at r1sk under these circumstances. Were I responsible for its health, l
would move hastily to relocate the whale to a more suitable facility.
(see attached)
As the Convention on the International Trade 1n Endangered Species
(CITES) Management Author1ty and coordinator of the Beluga Whale Live
Capture Program for OFO, I am familiar w1th and
of all other aquaria 1n Canada w1th the capacity and capability of
holding killer whales. Hone of these fac111t1es could accommodate.
even on a temporary bas1s, the male killer whale at Sealand.
If you have further questions, please contact me at (204) 983-5160.

R. W. Moshenko
Section Leader
fish and Marine Mammal Management
F1sher1es and Habitat Management
Central and Arctic Region
FreshwattH Institute
501 University Crescent
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3T 2N6
(204) 983-5000
lnstitut des eau" douces
501 Un1vers1ty crescent
Winnipeg (Manitoba)
R3T 2N6
(204) 983-5000
ln Sta.nley l'ark, P.O. Box )ll2, Vanc,)uver. B.C .. Canada V5B 3X8, (604) 685-3364, F:nc (604) 631-2529
January 2, 1992
Ms Anne Terbush
Chief of Permits Division
Office of Protected Resources
National Marine Fisheries Service
Silver Springs, Maryland
Dear Ms Terbush:
The management of Sealand of the Pacific in Victoria, British
Columbia, Canada, has been in contact with the management of the
Vancouver Aquarium regarding the feasibility of holding the male
killer whale Orcjnus .O.!S4a..;'Tillicum., here at the Vancouver Aquarium.
This would be for the period pending issuance of the National Marine
Fisheries Service permits to import the whale to the United States.
As much as we would want to assist in the appropriate care and
husbandry of the killer whale female "Haida" and her newborn calf,
as well as with the pregnant female "Nootka", we do not have the
facilities here to accommodate this animal. We are presently hand
rearing a killer whale calf and need all of our pool resources for the
Vancouver Aquarium's marine mammals.
K. Gilbey Hewlett
General Curator
Say Mlll'ina ltd.
- VictO!ia
North Saenl<:h Marina Ltd.
Peddl!ll' Bay Marini!
Peddor Say TraiiOr Pari<
Sealand of the Pacilic ltd.
Pacifi<: Undarsea Gardens Ltd.
- Victoria
Canadian Princ:QSS Resort
.. Uoluelel

- Lono Reach
- (:arl'lphP.II River
King Salmon Resort
Rivsl& Inlet
M. V. l.l.,abell
- Hakai Pass
Clrarlolle Princess
- Queen Charlollc
Oragon Und(!rsea Gardons Inc.
- Ncwpor1,
The Wax Works
. NP.Wp11. Ore>gon
Ripley's Believe h or Not
Newport, Oregon
Mariner Inc.
- Nowpon. 011111011
January 3, 1992
Mr. Robert Moshenko
Section Head
Fish & Marine Mammal Management
501 University Crescent
Winnipeg, MB
X3'1' 2N6
Be: Request for Cites Permit
Dear Mr. Moshenko:
Sealand has housed three Icelandic killer whales at
its facility since 1983. In July or this year,
Sealand announced that it was phasing out its killer
whale program.
In November 1991, Sea World, in its application to
the N.M.F.S. requested prompt removal of the male,
Tillicum, from our facility due to the apparent
pregnancies of the two female animals.
on December 24, 1991 one of the females, Haida, gave
birth to a young and healthy calf. The birth of the
calf and the impending birth of another has prompted
Sea World to request from the u.s. authorities
approval for the immediate import of tile male. This
request has been made as sealands' facilities were
not designed for breeding. The situation has been
made more complicated by the two female killer whales
having prevented the male from integrating into the
main pool. Options such as sectioning off the main
pool, adding onto the pool or developing a temporary
facility elsewhere is neither practical nor possible
in a timely manner. Nor is the housing of the male
at another aquarium in canada a possible opption.
We believe that Sea World's request is in the best
interests of all of the animals and is the best
solution in the current curcumstances.
HEAD OFFICE:: 1327 6E!Il(::h Drive, Victoria, l:l C, VOS 2N4 TCL: (604) 5983366 F/\X (604) 5981361
January 3, 1992
Mr. Robert Moshenko
Page 2
We would respectfully request the preparation and
issuance of a Cites Export Permit and appreciate any
efforts that can be made to assist in the import
permits requested by Sea World,
Respectfully yours,
If. j z
'foJ. I

Marager .
Mr. Arthur Jeffers
W ASHINGfON, D.C. 20002
January 3, 1992
Office of Protective Species
National Marine Fisheries Service
Department of Commerce
1335 East West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Re: Tillicum
Dear Mr. Jeffers:

TELEPHONE: (202) 289-4854
FACSIMILE: (202) 408-1082
on behalf of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Inc.,
please be advised that we strenuously object to the proposed
importation of a male orca from Canada to the United States by Sea
World, Inc. and Sea Land of the Pacific. Such an importation would
violate not only the spirit but the letter of 16 u.s.c. 1379(h) (2).
The "medical emergency" is contrived. With a birth imminent,
nothing was done by Sea Land of the Pacific to prepare a suitable
facility for the mail orca in question. Both parties are using the
National Marine Fisheries Services (NMFS) concern over the close
confinement of the orca (a situation deliberately created) to
manipulate NMFS into issuing an emergency import permit.
Issuing an import permit under these circumstances will only
encourage further efforts by the same or other entities in evading
the structures of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
The statutory provision for the granting of an emergency
import permit for medical care otherwise unobtainable does not
apply. This is not a medical emergency. Concerns over spatial
restrictions are neither sudden nor without local remedy. To issue
a permit for the reasons given would cause an unprecedented and
unreasonable expansion of the interpretation of the statute.
The real motive behind the application is not concern for the
well-being of the animals; a concern that could have been
adequately prepared for long ago. The real motive is to circumvent
the scrutiny attendant to the normal permit and public comment
process. To exclude the public's participation because of the
facility's purported emergency is a clear repudiation of intent of
the NMFS to incorporate public input into the permit process.
To allow public comment or challenge after the fact is
unacceptable. The orca will be stressed by the move, a certain
threat to his health and well-being. If challenged and found
improper, the move can not be undone and the stress only compounded
by another move.
If the emergency request is granted, these and other points
will form the framework of a legal challenge, but the damage to
this orca's well-being would have already been realized.
February 25, 1992
The Honourable John Crosbie
Minister of Fisheries & Oceans
Ottawa, Ontario, KIA OEG
Dear Mr. Crosbie:
Thank you for your response to our letter about the transfer of the male
killer whale from Sealand, Victoria and the application from the Shedd Aquarium
for a permit to live-capture four belugas.
As you are aware, we believe that the ongoing health problems with Tilikum
could have been dealt with at Sealand if modifications were made to the
whale pool. As explained to you before, the bottom l i ~ e is that Sealand/
Sea World created the situation (with Sea World's intention being to get another
male orca).
I hope that in the future there will be a public process to allow ecology
organizations such as Llfeforce to have direct communication with your
Advisory Committee prior to issuance of such permi.ts; there should be a
review of all issues related to the containment of cetaceans. These discussions
should take place prior to any commitment to allow Sea World to permanently
keep Tilikum.
Also, further information has come to our attention regarding the live-capture
of belugas: When the Vancouver Aquarium was allowed to keep five belugas
we stated that this would set a precedent and aquariums worldwide would
seek large numbers of belugas in an attempt to create babies which would
increase their profits. As stated, the Chicago Shedd Aquarium, which caught
.two in 1989, is seeking four more, the Dulsberg Zoo in Germany may appty
for three and, incredibly, the Montreal Biodome wants 12; Sea World, Japan,
which presently has one Canadian beluga and three Russian, also is seeking
more. Numerous other aquariums will surely follow---despite increasing
public opposition worldwide to the Inhumane capture and imprisonment of
these sentient creatures.
It is time that we have a meeting with you and your Advisory Committee in
order to review the well-documented information which supports the fact
that marine mammals suffer physically and psychologically and die prematurely
in captivity.
Please advise us if we can meet.
l n ~ ~ f l l l rL __
Peter Hamilton
5 -\'l FRAr-;CISCO

Box 3117, Main Post Office, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, V6B JX6. (604) 299-2822 "A(} I r;
Box 825, North Hollywood, CA. 91603, (818) 985-LIFE -
Box 210354. San Francisco. CA 94121, (415) 441-3339
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