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A black and white orca swimming in a pool.

The latest must-read from investigative journalist and New York Times bestselling author David Kirby is Death at SeaWorld, which meticulously chronicles the miserable lives and deaths of captive orcas at the marine park, and how the park also puts employees at risk. From the tragic death of trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010, to many other less-publicized violent incidents, Kirby details the deeply rooted culture of cruelty and culpability at SeaWorld.

Although not originally conceived as a slam of the theme park (multiple attempts by the author to get SeaWorld’s input were rebuffed), the book makes it clear that confining animals who have evolved over millions of years to swim the vast open oceans leads to aggression, depression and premature death.

Kirby reports that while no serious attack by a wild orca on a human has ever been recorded, SeaWorld’s own corporate incident logs contain reports of more than 100 incidents at its parks. Orcas have pulled trainers into the water, held them at the bottom of the pool, head-butted them, slammed into them, and breached on top of them.

As Ric O’Barry, who was part of PETA’s ground-breaking lawsuit against SeaWorld, puts it, “Death at SeaWorld outlines in grim detail just how bad captivity is for orcas and other marine mammals.”

Order your copy of Death at SeaWorld today.

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