Captive Orcas Killer Whales

983 Words Jun 23rd, 2018 4 Pages
Though often seen as fierce killing machines, Orca whales, more commonly known as killer whales, are much different. In some ways, these mysterious creatures are much like humans. Many people are fascinated by these whales when they see them perform in marine parks such as SeaWorld. What most people don’t realize is that the life of these whales is not as great as it may seem. There is much evidence that proves captive life will never be adequate. There is no doubt that life in captivity is no match for life in the wild.
Orcas exhibit unnatural behaviors and aggressive tendencies in captivity that do not occur in the wild. In captivity, orcas have been known to show aggressive tendencies resulting in injury and even death. While there
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The longest a captive born Orca has very lived is twenty-five years (Rose, 3). The average life expectancy is six years in captivity. Eighty six percent of 135+ whales in captivity since 1961 are now dead (KIWE, 3). SeaWorld, one of the most famous marine parks exhibiting Orca whales, has experienced approximately one Orca death a year since beginning their breeding program. It is reasonable and logical to expect at least a third of all captive whales to still be alive today considering the number of males and females, years since the first Orca entered captivity, and life expectancies in the wild, but only twenty percent is still living. “The most parsimonious explanation for this failure to show improved survivorship, despite the effort by Oceanaria to advance husbandry techniques in the past forty five years, is that Orcas are inherently unsuited to confinement” (Rose, 3).

Not only are Orcas far too intelligent to be held captive, but also captivity does not meet their familial and social needs. In the wild, Orcas have complex familial and social relationships with those in their pods that they are not able to sustain in captivity due to being placed in a pool with and “artificial” family. Orcas typically spend their entire lives with their families unless taken away (Cronin, 2). In captivity, the young are separated from their mothers. At SeaWorld, after a four and a half year old Orca was taken away from

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