Jeffrey Ventre is a medical doctor in Washington State. Prior to becoming a physician, he worked as a marine mammal trainer at SeaWorld from 1987 to 1995, spending seven years with cetaceans and one year with pinnipeds.
In June of 1996 he joined orca scientists Ken Balcomb and Astrid van Ginneken for Orca Survey, an ongoing photo identification study of the Southern Resident population of killer whales in the Pacific Northwest. Seeing killer whales in the wild radically altered his perspective on keeping these animals in captivity and led him to be a co-founder of the advocacy group Voice of the Orcas (VOTO).
He has co-authored several science-based works and articles, which can be found at this website. He is featured in the documentary Blackfish and the book Death at SeaWorld. He also helps organize the annual whale watching event and symposium called Superpod6 in the San Juan Islands.
We discuss life after Blackfish and his activism in leftist politics.