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Bordallo chairs oversight on captive creatures

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by Michele Catahay

Guam - Guam Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo chaired an oversight hearing this past week of the Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife entitled "Marine Mammals in Captivity: What Constitutes Meaningful Public Education?" The hearing garnered national media attention, being called in response to the tragic death in February of an orca trainer at Sea World in San Diego.

Witnesses from Sea World and the government, along with outside experts testified as to the possible cause of the accident and the need for greater oversight and regulations of corporations.

Bordallo wrote, "This tragic incident highlights the potential hazards of working with marine mammals in captivity, and I would like to take a moment to express my deepest sympathies to the family, friends, and co-workers of Ms. [Dawn] Brancheau for their loss...the incident also underscores the fact that, despite what many people may think, orcas, dolphins and seals are wild and potentially dangerous animals. These factors must be considered when developing the standards to evaluate and guide the implementation of education and conservation programs at public display facilities."

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