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SeaWorld 'killer whale' incident gives parents pause

The 'killer whale' accident at SeaWorld Orlando has some parents questioning the value of bringing children to zoos and animal parks.

Tilikum, seen here in a file photo, was involved in the death of a handler on Wednesday. The incident has some parents questioning the value of supporting animal parks such as SeaWorld and zoos.


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The picture of a giant gorilla punctuates the parking-lot marketing sign here, offering combo prices for visitors to the Los Angeles Zoo and Long Beach Aquarium: Adults $29/Seniors $28/Children $17.

On the day after a 12,300 lb. male orca “killer whale” grabbed a trainer at the Orlando SeaWorld and killed her, the sign tips conversation toward the role entrance prices play in housing wild animals in captivity.

“Yes, I’m feeling a little guilty about the fact that we’re the ones generating income for the people who do this,” says Monica Coffy, a Bakersfield housewife pushing twin girls in a stroller. “I always felt a bit creepy looking at lions and elephants all cooped up in their stalls when my parents took me to the zoo. Now, I’m a parent following in their footsteps without thinking.”

Maria Yamashita, walking hand-in-hand with her son, goes Ms. Coffy one better.

“To be honest with you, I don’t think people should even keep dogs unless they have a big yard for them to play in. Dogs need a place to run wild.”


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