The likes of Awesome Oceans' Eric Davis think its quite right to diss John Hargrove, seeming to forget how long he has worked with killer whales and how long he has served at Seaworld, so lets take a look.
In 1993 Hargrove, at age 20, was hired as an apprentice trainer at SeaWorld San Antonio.
In 1995 was transferred to SeaWorld San Diego, where he worked until 2001, ultimately being promoted to a Senior Trainer at Shamu Stadium.
Immediately after resigning from SeaWorld California Hargrove was hired by Marineland in France. In France Hargrove conditioned and performed in-water interactions with orcas that had never been in the water with trainers before.
He then left the industry until March of 2008, when he returned to SeaWorld in San Antonio where he was promoted to a Senior 1 trainer at Shamu Stadium.
He worked there until resigning in August 2012.
So in total since the age of 20 he served 14 years at Seaworld and 2 years at Marineland Antibes.
Only 7 days after resigning he was interviewed for Blackfish and prior to Blackfish being released was interviewed by CNN which you can see here
Wasn't John Hargroves the same person who the Seaworld fans cheered and whooped for as he dove and swam with the killer whales during his 14 years in their shows? Isn't it a bit hypocritical to turn on him now for stating his opinion on how everything was behind the scenes.
There isn't just him to back up that story, for many years he worked with Bridgette Pirtle who also echoed his concerns in an interview given in 2013. She accuses Seaworld of lying over and over and not even trying to be subtle about it.
Former SeaWorld trainer Bridgette Pirtle talked about why she decided to leave SeaWorld after 10 years as a killer whale trainer.
“To have the lies slowly unveiled to us even more so in a court of law, just seeing these people you trust your life with, you trust these animal’s lives with and they’re lying, and they’re not even trying to be subtle about it,” said Pirtle, who lives in San Antonio.
Pirtle fell in love with killer whales long before she got a chance to train them. A family trip to SeaWorld Orlando when she was three years old inspired her to pursue a career in killer whale training. After spending a couple years working as a food server at SeaWorld San Antonio, Pirtle was able to work her way up and become a senior trainer, a position she held for 10 years.
“(I thought) this is everything I’ve ever wanted, and I’m going to get these amazing opportunities to make a difference and to build up these relationships with these animals and to share this and we’re going to change the world,” Pirtle said.
But much like Hargrove, Pirtle said she saw her dream crumble.
“And then you go behind the scenes, and you start to realize that just like everything in life, there’s another side to things, and it’s still a business,” Pirtle said.
Hargrove agreed SeaWorld’s main concern is profit, and said its actions do not ensure the safety of the whales or the trainers.
“Their upmost priority is their profit. It’s not the animals, or we wouldn’t be taking calves away from their mother or re-artificially inseminating them their very first cycle that they have after they’ve given birth and nursing their young. We wouldn’t be putting whales in a pool that is eight feet deep for shows that they can’t even turn around in,” he said.
SeaWorld disputed these claims in its statement.
According to Hargrove and Pirtle, SeaWorld practices artificial insemination on killer whales to keep the gene line going, ensuring there are many Shamus for years to come. But Hargrove said these practices can be stressful to the animals, lead to inbreeding, and calves don’t always survive.
And even whales who have natural pregnancies in captivity face issues. Pirtle said Unna, one of the whales at Seaworld San Antonio, lost three calves during her time there, one of them in the middle of a show.
“One show a trainer was working with Unna in the slide out and something fell out of her. After the show, they continued on with the show, after the show they dove into the pool and picked up the pieces of a calf fetus,” Pirtle said..
Hargrove said in the future he would like to see an end to killer whale shows.
“There’s no dignity in those shows, there’s no dignity for the trainers, but I don’t care about the trainers at this point because the trainers can leave – like I left,” Hargrove said.
Are these not 2 of the trainers who those same Seaworld fans cheered for whilst they were doing what they wanted them to do? Aren't these still the same trainers or does it seem like a bit of toys out of the pram, now they are not doing what those same fans want them to do?
Of course even though many ex trainers say the same thing, its not Seaworld's fault is it? They didn't see things they thought were wrong did they?They didn't both leave because they realised the lies Seaworld had spun over the deaths of their friends did they?
Who's fault was it then that trainers at Seaworld felt this way?
Even in the interview with Eric Davis who spends sooo much time trying his hardest to discredit anyone against Seaworld here
Bridgette Pirtle stated when asked
What would Bridgette do if she was in charge of SeaWorld?
“I would end animals for entertainment purposes, and stop the breeding program.”Does Eric pull Bridgette down for stating this - NO so why is she different to anyone else, even when speaking to the self proclaimed hero of Seaworld she says she would end the shows and stop the breeding programme.
Then there is this which all the Seaworld fans try to make John seem like a liar for, yet they fail to realise that Seaworld themselves confirm the incident as John says it happened. As they take great pleasure in telling the likes of myself, research is the key, maybe they should have done some.
Luckily for John the proof is there which proves both Kyle Kittleson and Wendy Rameriz as liars.
John states "Kyle Kittleson, told everybody I ran into a screen," Hargrove explained. "I do not know Kyle Kittleson, I have never worked with Kyle Kittleson, he has never done waterwork with killer whales and he was not there when this incident happened. Yet according to him, I ran into a jumbotron."
A personal low for the former trainer came via his colleague and good friend, Wendy Ramirez. Currently employed by SeaWorld, Ramirez outwardly lied, Hargrove said, when she filmed the video below and accused him of hitting, "his head on the side of a pool jumping into a shallow area." Ramirez then concluded, "it had nothing to do with the animals at all."
In direct contention with Ramirez' statement and Kyle Kittleson's is SeaWorld's own 69-point critique of the 'Blackfish' documentary. "If you look at point 49," Hargrove explained, "SeaWorld writes in the first sentence that my injury 'had nothing whatsoever to do with any whale'. Yet in the next sentence," he added, "they describe me as doing a footpush into a stageslide. Did I jettison myself across the stage?"
Hargrove said SeaWord's final version of how he injured his face occurred during a park-wide employee meeting, held in San Diego in mid-May. An insider informed him that Robbin Sheets, the Assistant Curator at Shamu Stadium, had accused him of performing a dangerous maneuver with a killer whale: