Picture your self as a young child in your happiest memory like a family trip to the beach or playing on the playground with your brothers or sisters as your parents sit at a bench watching happily when all too suddenly everything is taken away from you and theres nothing you can do. You would never be able to see your family ever again. You will live the rest of your life (which is only about 13 years on average) in a small enclosure.
You are forced to preform the same act again and again in front of a crowd. You will receive the same barely edible meal everyday.You also have no contact with anyone else beside the trainers you “care” for you. Does any of this seem pleasant or even remotely humane? No. Thats why orcas should no longer be held in captivity forced to live short depressing and heart breaking lives at the hands of the entertainment park known as SeaWorld. Now according to SeaWorld they have totally changed how they care for their orcas in captivity with newly designed habitats and allegedly ending their breeding program and even giving them “the best” veterinary care.
SeaWorld also mentions that the orcas will have new performances to focus one their natural behaviors. The company claims that the killer whales are now thriving and they also plan on having this animals around for “many years to come.” As a result of the backlash from the public because of the documentary “Black Fish” the company went on the offensive claiming that the documentary was nothing more than propaganda that was ultimately false filled with misleading ideas that basically manipulated the audiences emotions. The company even went as far to say that the whole documentary relied on the commentary of bitter former SeaWorld employees and animal rights activists who were mislabeled as marine biologists. All these claims could have been the result of their loss in revenue of more than 84% in the past year. These innocent animals just don’t belong in captivity for the sole purpose of entertaining a crowd or for any other reason.
Shortened life expectancy for these animals is a good enough reason for them to be left in the wild but these creatures can also surfer from obsessive compulsive disorder, psychosis, boredom, inbreeding, and poor health (which also causes their dorsal fins to fold over). Sometimes even psychoactive drugs are administered on these poor animals. Orcas are just too big to be kept in captivity, on average they swim about 100 miles a day out in the wild which is nowhere near the amount of space they are given in their enclosures. These small spaces cause the animals lots of stress making them aggressive to other orcas and also to their trainers. Its been observed many times that these poor animals float around in their tanks motionless for hours on end and even break their own teeth in efforts to escape their bathtub proportioned sized habitats.
The facts are that since 1961 more than 156 orcas have been captured from the wild, at least 164 have died in captivity not including 30 miscarried calves. To this day SeaWorld still owns about 23 orcas they even own four more in Spain. Orcas also live about three times longer in the wild than they do in captivity. Records show that in captivity orcas have committed more than 100 aggressive acts but in only one aggressive act has ever been recorded by an orca in the wild. In captivity orcas have caused the deaths of four people but in the wild not once has an orca been the cause of a human death.
At this point even releasing orcas back into the wild after living their whole lives in captivity would not be successful because of how different life in captivity is from life in the wild. These poor defenseless animals just don’t belong in captivity. So if having orcas in captivity is so bad why aren’t they released into the wild? Maybe the answer is human greed. Although the issue looks dark there are people trying to put an end the the misery and suffering of these animals. The Orca Safety and Welfare Act if passed will ban public entertainment by orcas and put an end to captive breeding.
There is also a group of former SeaWorld employees and biologists who are working on the worlds first-ever sanctuary for whales and dolphins. You could help orcas in captivity by donating money to the Whale Sanctuary Project that promises to one day retire SeaWorld’s orcas. Works Cited “The Fate of Captive Orcas.” WDC, Whale and Dolphin Conservation. N.p.
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