People often argue that aquariums no longer hold the same value as they did a few decades ago. However, I feel that they are a necessity because they are able to display animals that otherwise would never be seen by the common person. Unless you charter a boat to take you on trips around the ocean, you most likely wouldn’t see sharks or orcas. A marine park can take injuredanimals from the wild and nurse them within their aquariums. Not only do the animals survive, people can learn about these animals.
Places such as zoos and aquariums can sate humanity’s curious nature. People have a desire to learn the world around them and these aquariums can help them to gain that knowledge. However, the animals might not agree. Even though the environment they live in is safe, it is not in their nature to be so dependent. In the wild, they are dependent on the ecosystem and there is a sense of survival. In the zoo or aquariums, they are completely reliant on humans.
While it is important to know about these beings that we share the planet with, the zoo or aquarium they are housed in is not the place where nature had intended them to be. But it could be possible to create a place where animals can thrive as well as a place where people can learn. SeaWorld is a place that houses multitudes of unique animals from all around the world. Its main attraction, undoubtedly, is the killer whale. They are possibly the main reason why people visit SeaWorld.
To be able to see these animals with your own eyes is the experience of a lifetime and it is important for the younger generations to develop an appreciation and understanding for these animals. An aquarium can offer what the the internet and documentaries can not. “Seeing an animal in person is a much more personal and more memorable experience than seeing that animal in a nature documentary” (Lin). Being able to be in the vicinity of these animals, to be able to breathe the same air that they do, cannot be experienced from a screen. They are from a completely different world and we can only truly appreciate them if we experience their world.
There is a way where they can be loved without harming them. If SeaWorld was willing to put more into funding better environments then orcas would not have been so stressed. If “these facilities can work with experts around the world to create sanctuaries where captive orcas can be rehabilitated and retired” (Rose Par. 9), then captive orcas can live happily under our supervision. Also, instead of performers who work with the orcas, expert caretakers should be the only ones to interact with orcas. A simple fix and dedication is all it really takes to make a difference.
SeaWorld has all the means and ability to make this change, being that they are a multi-billion dollar company. Should they make the right decision, orcas in captivity can live happily in their new homes. Not every animal should be exhibited in zoos or aquariums. However, unique animals such as sharks and especially the orca should be exhibited. It gives a glimpse into a world that would otherwise never be seen. It connects people to animals and if young people develop this connection, it could help fuel conservation for these animals.
“By bringing people and animals together, zoos educate the public and foster an appreciation of the animals” (Lin). Had I never gone to an aquarium, I don’t think I would care at all what happens to an orca in the ocean. The only thing I would know about them is that they were large black and white whales. Zoos and aquariums bring an entire world into one place where people can enjoy and appreciate them. With the way things are going now, entire ecosystems are being consumed by people.
There aren’t enough people who care for animals. The only connection they have with these creatures are the films they see. They cannot develop anything deeper than surface level. Zoo’s allow people to appreciate animals. I believe that the sole reason orcas should be exhibited is to be appreciated and loved. They don’t need to be involved with performances and shows.
As long as the aquariums are of high quality then I believe that animals could thrive in zoos and aquariums. Whales and all types of unique and uncommon animals should be exhibited for everyone to appreciate. That doesn’t mean that they should be treated as products simply for the enjoyment of humans. The conditions of their cage or tank should be as close as they can to their natural habitat. If the parks cannot accomplish that, then they have no right to hold and display them.
SeaWorld has a noble goal of attempting to introduce these majestic animals to the world, but fall short in making sure that the animals are satisfied. They belong in this world with us and if we are going to share their beauty with the world, then they should be content in the cages we place them in.