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Ripples #64

Ripples art--smallCompiled and Written by Lenny Giteck


Shark in Swimming Pool Dies
During Ad Shoot for Kmart  

Lately there have been a great number of news stories about the sharks in our planet’s oceans — hence the three “Test Your Knowledge” questions in the last issue of WaterShapes EXTRA! This news item has a twist, however: a shark in a swimming pool, something you don’t see every day. Unfortunately, the story does not have a happy ending.

According to a report on the Web site takepart.com, a white-tip shark — a threatened species (somewhat less serious than an endangered species) — died earlier this month during the taping of a commercial for Kmart. After being transported across the country, the ill-fated shark was placed in a backyard pool for the shoot by the production company doing the filming.

In the article, PETA animal behavior specialist Julia Gallucci is quoted as saying: “There are a lot of problems whenever very specialized, exotic animals like sharks are used in commercials, films and TV productions. Just over the last couple of years, we’re hearing more and more about animals being injured and sometimes dying on film sets.”

The initial reports about the shark came from two whistleblowers on the scene, who called PETA with their concerns regarding the animal’s condition. Although a representative of the American Humane Association [AHA] was present at the shoot, Gallucci contends “…they don’t really do their job very effectively. They’ll approve things that just shouldn’t be approved.”

After the shark’s death, PETA contacted the AHA about what happened. Says Gallucci: “[We] asked, ‘Why in the first place would you have approved having a shark shipped across the country and put in a backyard pool and had actors jumping in and out of it?’ That sounds like a situation that would cause a lot of stress to a shark, and we know how sensitive they are.” The AHA denies that anyone jumped into the pool — a claim allegedly contradicted by the whistleblowers’ statements.

Although the exact cause of the shark’s death has not been determined — and may never be if an autopsy is not performed — one can only wonder whether chlorine in the pool also played a role in the animal’s demise.

To learn more about this sad incident, click here.

Ripples Classic: March 11, 2012

High School Swim Team Stripped
Of Title Over No-Shaving Infraction

As reported by sports.yahoo.com, the girls swimming team of Broadneck High School in Broadneck, Md., has been stripped of a county championship it garnered because one of its members shaved her body hair at the site of the meet before the competition began.

According to the Web site, rules specify that swimmers are not allowed to shave “before, during or after” they have arrived at the venue where the meet is being held. The regulation was initiated by the National Federation of State High School Associations for swimming, diving and water polo competitions.

What is the rationale behind the seemingly bizarre rule? Sports.yahoo.com noted: “The reason…is to protect the swimmers themselves from possible blood transmission or, in general, doing full body shaves in high school locker rooms, which would maximize the possibility of unsafe practices like sharing razors.”

Because of the infraction, the offending swimmer lost the points she had won in the competition, which bumped the entire team from first to third place. In addition, the team’s swim coach was banned from a regional championship swim meet as punishment.

The Web site, for its part, opined “[The] rule can seem quite a bit over the top when one considers generally acceptable practices for other sports; after all, no one is telling football or basketball players that they can't shave after a game or practice.”

And with that, Ripples once again says…
Until next time, happy watershaping to you!

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