Since 1961, Killer whales, mostly known as orcas have been taken as captive animals. Most of them have suffered so much in this blatant economic experiment. Most wild orcas got removed from their sea families and put forcefully to live in the harsh artificial social groupings with very minimal resemblance to their natural habitat. By December 2015, a total of 56 orcas got held in captivity (making a total of 23 wild-captured together with 33 born in captivity) in at least 12 marine parks in 8 different countries (Miller, 1999). Soon they became attractions at the public aquariums and the aquatic theme parks due to their levels of intelligence, easy to train, their striking appearance, and playful nature while in captivity and their enormous size. In September 2015, a total of 58 orcas were held captive in North and South America's facilities. Europe and Asia also had them for entertaining their theme park visitors (Hopkins, 2000).
This paper looks at the sea world's keeping of the killer whale in captivity. Secondly, it also outlines what goes on at the sea world captive program and their effects on the lives of the worlds' orders. The third part of this paper discusses the reasons why the activities of sea world should stop and a call to the various agencies to step in to help in preventing the events.
Whales shouldn't be allowed to be kept in captivity as show animals in Sea World! Imagine your excitement as a young child entering Sea World for the very first time, when the closest you have ever gotten the too wild life was a squirrel in your back garden (Hopkins, 2000). You had only ever seen these beautiful whales on an advert on your TV at home. But as fascinating as you found the show, even a six-year-old child would question if these magical animals should be contained in such a confined space alone, separated from their loved ones. Although the whales are being made to look like their having the time of their lives, these animals sadly do not get the choice. In the wild it is proven fact their life expectancy is 60-100 years whereas in Sea World that number drastically drops to roughly 13 years. Not to mention their collapsed dorsal fin, this occurs due to no space and got fed an unnatural diet of dead fish (Knudtson, 1996).
It has recently been made one of the top stories in the media due to a document on Netflix called "Blackfish" which resurfaced the topic to the public. This documentary highlights the dark side of orca whales in captivity at Sea World. It shows how aggressive being in captivity can make these animals. Blackfish shows a particular orca called Tilikum the Sea World orca who drowned his trainer is 2010. Only 2 of 7 pools at Shamu Stadium where Tilikum would float motionless for hours on end alone in the sea to get the trainers attention. Tilikum did not stop there, after his drowning his trainer Dawn he immediately got sold onto a new theme park where the new trainers were oblivious of his past and then went on killing another two of their trainers (Dunn & Denham, 2012).
Behavior in the Wild is another story of these glories animals. They got regarded for their social structure and had been documented to be in groups of 1-100 research has been proven to show they have the same connection to others that humans do. Researcher Mariono is scanned a whale's brain to discover it has a part humans don't, part of the brain has extended out to process emotions. In the wild they'll swim up to 100 miles a day, to be in a tank at Sea World is equivalent to being a bath tub (Dunn, & Denham, 2012).
There are four different factors to why they don't adapt well to captivity. The first is that water is chlorinated not natural seawater; it also does not have the same rhythm as the sea. Secondly, they are used to hunting for their food whereas in captivity they feed on a diet of final wish, pig, and cow bones. Orcas do not have the ability to capture and obtain water from their prey, so SeaWorld will give them gelatin as a substitute. Thirdly they gnaw at iron bars and other orcas due to being stressed, anxious and bored; some would say they would do this to attempt to free themselves from the tanks. Fourthly orcas are highly social animals that live in stable social groups commonly ranging from 2-15. Even in some situations, the mother and child stay together forever due to having an unbreakable bond. If an orca has been in Sea World from a young age, they won't have developed these precious social skills with their species due to having an upbringing in a tank the size of a bath themselves (Dunn, & Denham, 2012).
I want to make a strong appeal for various platforms to advocate for the complete banning of the world sea practice of keeping the orcas in captivity. I am glad that this initiative to stop the activities got started through the passing of the Orca Welfare and Safety Act. This will be a stop to the SeaWorld's orca cruel acts. I would continue to share the Blackfish documentary as my support for this campaign. The actions of SeaWorlds are definitely of no surprise all who have watched the documentary that I have attached to my online posts. It exposes how SeaWorld forcefully use the intelligence of animals to do tricks as a way of entertaining people and making a lot of profits. The groundbreaking Blackfish documentary as was aired by CNN showed clearly that SeaWorld still continues to keep the orcas such as Tilikum taken from the wild in a charmed life. This is dangerous for the life of the trainers and the Tilikum's mental health when locked inside 20-by-30 foot dark metal containers (Armstrong, & Botzler, 2003).
I want to start a fierce campaign in collaboration with the PETA) Action Team Coordinators, who are responsible for working with activists all across North America to spread the word about animal rights (Armstrong, & Botzler, 2003). The action team will help me with the leaflets and stickers to pass out widely this about this campaign. They will also support me how to get started to help save the lives of the SeaWorld orcas in captivity. I strongly call upon all the animal rights activist organizations to join force and put more strong laws to save the life of these whales.
Armstrong, S. J., & Botzler, R. G. (2003). The animal ethics reader. London: RoutledgeDunn, J. W., & Denham, B. (2012). Shamu: The 1st killer whale in captivity. Edina, MN: Magic Wagon.
Hopkins, E. (2000). Orcas: High seas supermen. Logan, IA: Perfection Learning.
Knudtson, P. (1996). Orca: Visions of the killer whale. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books
Miller, G. (1999). Orcas. Danbury, CT: Grolier Educational
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