April 11, 2010 |
WASHINGTON Island B&B Pebble Cove Farm is a charming B&B. My sister and I stayed in one of the studios (very reasonable). The massive lawn slopes down to the water and they have a rowboat you can take out into the little bay. Pebble Cove Farm, 3341 Deer Harbor Road, Orcas Island, (360) 376-6161, pebblecovefarm.com. From $125. -- Debbie Fawcett, Seal Beach
March 22, 2010 |
Three times a day, SeaWorld Orlando's killer whale trainers brush Tilikum's teeth, just as they always have. But they no longer stand right next to him with a water pick. Instead, they use a 2-foot extension so they can work farther from the 6-ton orca's jaws. The jury-rigged toothbrush is one of the many adjustments SeaWorld has made in the weeks since Tilikum grabbed veteran trainer Dawn Brancheau by her ponytail and drowned her in front of park guests. After the Feb. 24 tragedy, SeaWorld removed Tilikum from daily shows and ordered trainers to keep their distance from the animal, who is twice as big as any other orca at the park.
March 17, 2010 |
Neuroscientist Lori Marino and a team of researchers explored the brain of a dead killer whale with an MRI and found an astounding potential for intelligence. Killer whales, or orcas, have the second-biggest brains among ocean mammals, weighing as much as 15 pounds. It's not clear whether orcas are as well-endowed with memory cells as humans, but scientists have found they are amazingly well-wired for sensing and analyzing their watery environment. Scientists are trying to better understand how killer whales learn local dialects, teach one another specialized methods of hunting and pass on behaviors that can persist for generations -- longer, possibly, than in any other species except humans.
February 28, 2010 |
Hundreds of patrons packed into Shamu Stadium on Saturday for the return of SeaWorld Orlando's "Believe" show, three days after a killer whale dragged a veteran animal trainer underwater to her death. Despite a morning drizzle, visitors stood in line for two hours beginning at 9 a.m. to see the first performance. The show featured a tribute to Dawn Brancheau, who drowned Wednesday after the orca Tilikum yanked her by her ponytail and pulled her underwater. Billy Grady and his family, tourists from Georgia, returned to the park to see the show after it was canceled Friday.
February 27, 2010 |
SeaWorld Orlando and its sister parks in San Diego and San Antonio will resume performances of their killer whale shows Saturday, although trainers will be forbidden from swimming with the animals while the company investigates what led to this week's fatal attack by one of its orcas. Tilikum, the 6-ton killer whale that pulled a veteran trainer underwater to her death Wednesday, will not perform Saturday. The company had suspended its popular show in Shamu Stadium after the death of trainer Dawn Brancheau.
February 26, 2010 |
A SeaWorld Orlando animal trainer died Wednesday from "multiple traumatic injuries and drowning" after a killer whale pulled her underwater by her long ponytail near the theme park's Shamu Stadium, authorities said Thursday. Dawn Brancheau, 40, was "interacting" with the killer whale in knee-deep water "when the animal grabbed her by the hair, said to be in a long ponytail, and pulled her underwater," according to a statement from the Orange County Sheriff's Office. "Rescuers were not able to immediately jump in and render assistance" to Brancheau because of the orca's "aggressive nature."
February 25, 2010 |
A killer whale fatally attacked an animal trainer at SeaWorld in Florida on Wednesday, jerking her into the pool and thrashing her around underwater as dozens of horrified tourists watched. The orca had been involved in two previous deaths, including one at the water park in 1999. Dawn Brancheau, 40, was finishing a session with Tilikum, a 12,000-pound male killer whale, after a midday show at the Orlando theme park. Witnesses said the killer whale grabbed her by the upper arm, disappeared underwater with her and swam to the other side of the tank, flailing her around.
July 19, 2009
WASHINGTON STATE Magical trail ride We just returned from Orcas Island, Wash., and discovered a magical private trail horseback ride. Trails wind through lush forest and down to the beach. Rides are tailored to groups. Turtlehead Farm, 231 Lime Quarry Road, Eastsound 98245; (360) 376-3649, www.turtleheadfarm.com. Rides from $55/hour. Debbie Fawcett Seal Beach
October 28, 2008 |
Seven killer whales from the endangered population in Washington's Puget Sound are missing and presumed dead in the most significant die-off of one of the icons of the Pacific Northwest in nearly a decade. Scientists tracking the black-and-white orcas off the coasts of California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia said there were signs the whales may have starved to death, though whether that was because of insufficient food or disease that made them unable to eat is unknown.