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Jane Velez-Mitchell

Jane Velez-Mitchell takes a stand on the biggest topics of the day that people across the country are buzzing about.

SeaWorld wants trainers back in the water

SeaWorld wants trainers back in the water

Judges are now deciding whether trainers at SeaWorld can go back into the water with orcas, otherwise known as killer whales. After trainer Dawn Brancheau was killed by the orca named Tilikum in SeaWorld Orlando, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration banned trainers from entering the water with the animals.

SeaWorld appealed that decision and in 2012 a judge downgraded the citation and lessened their fine but ruled that the trainers should stay out of the water.  Now SeaWorld is asking a panel of three judges to overturn that ban.

Beyond Blackfish: Billy the elephant

Beyond Blackfish: Billy the elephant

Billy the elephant has been at the LA Zoo for about 20 years. A judge has ruled that it is “not a happy place for elephants”. But the judge did not say it was abusive and would not close down the elephant exhibit.

Prominent Los Angeles attorney David Casselman who took the case to court spoke to Jane Velez-Mitchell about Billy the elephant and animals in captivity for Beyond Blackfish.  

Beyond Blackfish: What about sanctuaries?

Beyond Blackfish: What about sanctuaries?

Jane goes to The Shambala preserve in California where big cats taken by authorities from roadside zoos, circuses, private families and other places are provided with a safe place to live out their lives. More than 40 big cats now call Shambala home. Jane spoke to the director of Shambala about the difference between sanctuaries and zoos. 

SeaWorld, in a statement to HLN said, “'Blackfish' is billed as a documentary, but instead of a fair and balanced treatment of a complex subject, the film is inaccurate and misleading and, regrettably, exploits a tragedy that remains a source of deep pain for Dawn Brancheau’s family, friends and colleagues. To promote its bias that killer whales should not be maintained in a zoological setting, the film paints a distorted picture that withholds from viewers key facts about SeaWorld – among them, that SeaWorld is one of the world’s most respected zoological institutions, that SeaWorld rescues, rehabilitates and returns to the wild hundreds of wild animals every year, and that SeaWorld commits millions of dollars annually to conservation and scientific research. Perhaps most important, the film fails to mention SeaWorld's commitment to the safety of its team members and guests and to the care and welfare of its animals, as demonstrated by the company’s continual refinement and improvement to its killer whale facilities, equipment and procedures both before and after the death of Dawn Brancheau."

Harvey Levin: You need that one thing

Harvey Levin: You need that one thing

Be sure to watch Jane Velez-Mitchell’s week of special coverage "Beyond Blackfish: JVM Investigates" each night October 22-25 at 7 p.m. ET on HLN.

Harvey Levin star of TMZ spoke to Jane Velez-Mitchell about his love of animals and his feelings on animals in captivity. Levin says “if a human being is born in a jail cell that they are going to be comfortable in a jail cell. That’s not who we are. We have legs, we have mobility, we have a brain and that tells me that I want to move beyond that jail cell. I don’t see how animals are any different.”

Your thoughts on 'Blackfish'

Your thoughts on 'Blackfish'

In 2010, SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau was killed by the 12,000-pound killer whale, Tilikum. Brancheau was an experienced trainer with SeaWorld, having worked with orcas for years. But in "Blackfish," the filmmakers say this tragedy was not an isolated incident or freak accident. The filmmakers say there are dozens of reports of killer whales in captivity harming trainers and they even say Tilikum was responsible for the death of another woman years earlier.

The filmmakers of "Blackfish" spoke to multiple experts and former trainers and go back decades in their investigation into what happens to these highly intelligent animals when they are held in captivity. But what did you think of the documentary 'Blackfish'? Here are some of your tweets:

Adriana de Moura: We need to be voice of animals

Adriana de Moura: We need to be voice of animals

Be sure to watch Jane Velez-Mitchell’s week of special coverage "Beyond Blackfish: JVM Investigates" each night October 22-25 at 7 p.m. ET on HLN.

Real Housewife, Adriana de Moura joined Jane Velez-Mitchell to talk about the documentary 'Blackfish' and her fight to help animals. De Moura says, "Animals make us more human.  We have come so far as a human race… but enlightened humans need to be the voice of the animals." 

Hear from the director of Blackfish

Hear from the director of Blackfish

Be sure to watch Jane Velez-Mitchell’s week of special coverage "Beyond Blackfish: JVM Investigates" each night October 22-25 at 7 p.m. ET on HLN.

In 2010, SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau was killed by the 12,000-pound killer whale, Tilikum. Brancheau was an experienced trainer with SeaWorld, having worked with orcas for years. But in "Blackfish," the filmmakers say this tragedy was not an isolated incident or freak accident. The filmmakers say there are dozens of reports of killer whales in captivity harming trainers and they even say Tilikum was responsible for the death of another woman years earlier.

Eight facts you need to know about killer whales

Eight facts you need to know about killer whales

Be sure to watch Jane Velez-Mitchell’s week of special coverage "Beyond Blackfish: JVM Investigates" each night October 22-25 at 7 p.m. ET on HLN.

In 2010, SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau was killed by the 12,000-pound killer whale, Tilikum. Brancheau was an experienced trainer with SeaWorld, having worked with orcas for years. But in "Blackfish," the filmmakers say this tragedy was not an isolated incident or freak accident. The filmmakers say there are dozens of reports of killer whales in captivity harming trainers and they even say Tilikum was responsible for the death of another woman years earlier.

Jorja Fox: People will respond in powerful way

Jorja Fox: People will respond in powerful way

Be sure to watch Jane Velez-Mitchell’s week of special coverage "Beyond Blackfish: JVM Investigates" each night October 22-25 at 7 p.m. ET on HLN.

Jorja Fox, star of TV’s CSI and who is featured in the documentary Lion Ark spoke to Jane Velez-Mitchell for Beyond Blackfish: JVM Investigates. Fox spoke about Blackfish saying, “I think this is an issue that people are really going to respond to in a powerful, powerful way. And it is a story whose time has come.” Fox goes on to say breeding animals in captivity, “is a bad thing in my opinion and a pointless thing in my opinion.”

Wendy Williams: They have to be wild!

Wendy Williams: They have to be wild!

Be sure to watch Jane Velez-Mitchell’s week of special coverage "Beyond Blackfish: JVM Investigates" each night October 22-25 at 7 p.m. ET on HLN.

Wendy Williams joined Jane Velez-Mitchell for Beyond Blackfish: JVM Investigates and explained how her attitude toward animals has evolved over the years.  “You cannot, you can't have wild animals in captivity.” Williams said. “They have to be wild!”  Williams spoke about her decision to stop wearing fur. “As you get older as you get wiser, as you get more thoughtful about the world around you and how you want it to be, that was one of my choices not to swath my body in fur.”

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