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shamu show; believe | by Matt "Linus" Ottosen
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shamu show; believe

Shamu is the stage name of SeaWorld's iconic Orcas (killer whale) show, which is shared by numerous adult male or female orcas at the SeaWorld parks.


The Orca or Killer Whale is the largest species of the oceanic dolphin family. It is found in all the world's oceans, from the frigid Arctic and Antarctic regions to warm, tropical seas.


Orca are versatile and opportunistic predators. Some populations feed mostly on fish, and other populations hunt marine mammals, including sea lions, seals, and even large whales. There are up to five distinct Orca types, some of which may be separate races, subspecies or even species. Orcas are highly social; some populations are composed of matrilineal family groups which are the most stable of any animal species. The sophisticated social behaviour, hunting techniques, and vocal behaviour of Orcas have been described as manifestations of culture.


Although Orcas are not an endangered species, some local populations are considered threatened or endangered due to pollution, depletion of prey species, conflicts with fishing activities and vessels, habitat loss, and whaling. Wild Orcas are usually not considered a threat to humans. There have, however, been isolated reports of captive Orcas attacking their handlers at marine theme parks.


The show "Believe" features a video of a young boy inspired by an orca who grows up to be the primary character of the show - a Shamu trainer. This male trainer then chooses a young audience member, asking his or her desired occupation and giving the child a carved Shamu necklace so that the child can "Believe."


At the beginning of "Believe," August Busch IV, CEO of the Anheuser-Busch brewing company (who sponsors both the show and the park), is shown in a video addressing the audience, asking members of the United States Armed Forces and its allies to stand and be recognized. These members of the military, and their families are projected onto the large television screen for the whole audience to see and applaud. After the film, one of the trainers then asks for a round of applause for past and present servicemen and their families. The portion of the audience with ties to the military is always high given the large Marine Corps and Navy presence in San Diego.

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Taken on June 17, 2008