Killer Whale in Captivity Essay

1966 Words 8 Pages
Captivity is the state or period of being imprisoned, confined, or enslaved, according to Wiktionary. Every year, marine parks and aquariums, like SeaWorld, make billions of dollars through ticket sales. SeaWorld estimates about 70% of their total revenue is due to their performing killer whales (Jeffs). People visit from all over the world to encounter killer whales up close. “Their beauty and power, combined with willingness to work with humans, have made them legendary performers” (Gorman). In recent years, humans have gained the ability to tame and train these creatures. Killer whales should not be kept in captivity simply because it is cruel, unnatural, and dangerous.
Orcas, or killer whales are majestic giants of the sea. They are
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They are very social, intelligent, and curious creatures. They protect and watch over their young, especially when ill, or injured. In the wild, orcas live in very social hierarchies. Males are the ultimate mommy’s boy and never leave their mother’s side. “They are the most socially and ecologically complex animals on earth, and certain types are the most socially stable animals of all” (Kirby). Lorie Marino Ph.D., neuroscientist, says the orca brain screams intelligence. She conducted an MRI scan and discovered that they have a part of the brain in which human’s lack. They have an extended emotional processing center, which explains why they have highly elaborate social lives. Orcas social bonding is far more complex and stronger than humans (Cowperthwaite).
Native Americans called them “blackfish”. They believed that the whales possessed great spiritual power, not to be messed with. Over 40 years ago, in the 1960’s, orcas were first captured and put on public display. This sparked a chain reaction of the desire for the large toothed whales. Orcas were originally viewed as pests, and were hunted down to maintain a steady source of fish. Whalers would begin by brutally cornering the whales and picking out the small ones. Mothers, calves, and whole families were ripped apart. Whole pods would stay and watch, while crying out. One of the whalers sorrowfully recalls it was “just like kidnapping a kid from its mother while everyone’s watching what you’re doing”. As
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