Whale with scoliosis gets brace from SeaWorld
Nov 17, 2011
Veterinarians at SeaWorld have developed a custom-fitting back brace for a female pilot whale at the amusement park that suffers from severe scoliosis, or curvature of the spine, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
Orthopedic spine surgeon Dr. Philip Meinhardt worked with Scott Saunders, president of Orlando's ABC Prosthetics & Orthotics, to create the brace with photography of the whale, her measurements and X-rays.
The 1,000 pound whale was brought to the park after she and several other pilot whales beached themselves in the Florida Keys in May. She received the nickname "300" because of the degree of her curvature.
While this is seemingly positive news, GlobalAnimal.org states that this announcement from SeaWorld is simply an attempt to cover up the fact that the park is a business that thrives off the "enslavement of captive marine wildlife." The news release from the company does not mention the fact that the scoliosis developed "during treatment" within their facilities and that pilot whales have a high mortality rate in captivity. The news outlet speculates that the whale's captivity in a tank likely contributed to her spine condition.