Former SeaWorld Orca Trainer Speaks Out Against Parks’ Practices

TIME

For years, animal activists have attacked SeaWorld for keeping orca whales in captivity, and now one of the park’s most talented trainers is joining the fight.

John Hargrove performed with and trained killer whales for 14 years, mostly at SeaWorld, until he could no longer handle the conditions of the job. In a radio interview with NPR’s Fresh Air, Hargrove explains how he grew to love all the animals he worked with and couldn’t stand seeing the irreversible harm captivity caused them.

“As I became higher-ranked, I saw the devastating effects of captivity on these whales and it just really became a moral and ethical issue,” Hargrove told Fresh Air‘s Dave Davies about working at SeaWorld.

“When you first start to see it, you first try to say, ‘Okay, well, I love these animals; I’m going to take care of them.’ … You think, ‘I can change things.’…

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