The main premise of the film is that these large, intelligent, social predators are dangerous to their trainers. But orcas are also directly harmed by being confined in concrete tanks and the science is growing to support this common sense conclusion.
Killer whales, otherwise called orcas, are the biggest individuals from the dolphin family and the top predator in their ecosystem. They are a standout amongst the most wise marine animals, particularly because of their intense faculties of sight and hearing. Their excellence has surprised people for years, yet for some orcas imprisonment restricts their opportunity and delight in life. It isn’t just harming the physical and psychological wellness of these creatures, but also represents a risk to coaches, yet individuals keep on profiting from killer whales.
SeaWorld orca adds another to kill count. Zoos are bad because they harm the animals, the trainers have doubt and it can lead to bigger problems, and they put a lot of stress on others.
Every year, marine parks attract millions of people around the world to witness killer whales swimming and socializing with other orcas and trainers, a site that is hard to achieve in the wild. The most common argument is that captivity allows the general public to observe orcas in a close proximity in a much more convenient way. PBS published an article, “Pro-Captivity Views,” arguing that orca captivity is the only option for such a large magnitude of people to observe orcas because it is nearly impossible for thousands of people observe whales in the wild, not to mention the harmful effects that the magnitude of whale watching boats would inflict on orca habitats (McBain). Whale watching is a costly excursion that many people cannot afford;
“If you love something, set it free.” This is a quote that has circulated for years, and nowhere else is it more applicable than in SeaWorld’s parks. Trainers and corporate alike claim a deep love for the animals they keep captive, but in recent years, the topic of holding orca whales in captivity has become more controversial than ever before. The CNN documentary “Blackfish” brought the conditions Seaworld provides for its orcas to the public eye in a way that had not been done before, which led to much public outrage. The containment of orca whales for educational and entertainment purposes has, in almost every way, been brought into question. Ranging from the physical and psychological damages they experience, the issues in their family structures, and the dangers that their human trainers experience, orca whales are not fit to be kept in captivity.
“All whales in captivity have a bad life. They’re all emotionally destroyed. They’re all psychologically traumatized. So they’re ticking time bombs.” This is a statement by Lori Marino from the documentary, Blackfish. Many statements like this one are common and believed to be true due to the proof that the documentary provides. There are many incidents that prove Orcas, also known as Killer Whales, are harmed in captivity and that their trainers are often harmed because of this, too. Orcas should not be kept in captivity since it is harmful to both Orcas and humans.
Neuroscientist, Lori Marino, claims that orcas are very intelligent animals. Through intensive research Lori was lead to believe “Orcas may be more emotionally developed than humans. MRI scans have shown that the brain lobes that deal with emotions are enlarged in the orcas’ brains.” Many orca researchers learned that in the wild pods communicate with each other using their own dialect, different than that used by other pods. Lori found that this is a reason why SeaWorld’s practice of mixing different orcas is cruel because the orcas don't communicate with the same “language”. As a result
How can it be “beneficial” when it contradicts what’s really in favor for these animals? Killer whales, or commonly referred to as orcas are known to live in social and protected family environment, who are highly intelligent with minds of their own, but are put in confined pens for viewing purposes
Some orcas have even broken their teeth trying to get out of SeaWorld. In SeaWorld Orcas are forced to breed unnaturally and on a regular basis. Employees at SeaWorld train male orcas to float on their backs so their trainer can masturbate them and collect their sperm. Females are artificially inseminated and are forced to breed at a much younger age than they naturally do. In the wild female orcas are ready to reproduce at the age of 14. In SeaWorld, there have been instances where they breed them at the age of 10, and even sometimes at the age of 8. Katina is a killer whale that’s in the SeaWorld located in Orlando Florida. She is used as a breeding machine. Caretakers sometimes even breed her with her own children. Although SeaWorld claims that Orcas live longer if they live in captivity it has been proven that Orcas have a shorter lifespan while they are held in captivity. SeaWorld has claimed females live to 26 years and that males live up to 15 years. While according to national geographic female killer whales can live 50 to 100 years while males can live 30 to 60 years. Killer whales live longer in the wild than they are claimed to live in
Since 1961, 157 orcas, or killer whales, have been ripped from their homes and shoved into captivity. 127 of these orcas are now dead. With the number of captured orcas plus the number of those born into captivity, The W.D.C. (Whale and Dolphin Conservation) reports that, “At least 162 orcas have died in captivity, not including 30 miscarried or stillborn calves” ( “The Fate”1). Out of the 127 taken into captivity, 44 have died in SeaWorld. There are currently 58 orcas residing in 14 marine parks in eight different countries. 24 of those orcas are held in SeaWorld’s three parks in the United States. Since 2002, 14 have been taken out of the wild and put into these marine parks. (“The Fate”1) It is not fair for these innocent creatures to be physically and mentally manipulated and damaged. Such brutality would not be condoned if it were targeted towards a human, and it should not be condoned when targeted toward an animal. Orca whales should not be held in captivity because they are forced to live in subpar conditions, they are mistreated while in captivity, and they are led to aggressive behavior.
When captive whales interact with humans, their behavior is abnormal. Humans normally do not interact with killer whales personally in the wild, so interaction between trainers and orcas at SeaWorld has been an experimented act for decades. There is no prior research supporting orcas and humans interacting successfully before SeaWorld first opened its doors in 1964, which is why there is so much controversy today. SeaWorld allowed complete interaction with killer whales and other animals prior to the arrival of Tilikum and before there was ever a fatal injury, as a result
Studies have been shown that Orcas lead a highly more elaborate life than any other mammal. So already being stripped from it's mother is a traumatizing experience, being tortured by other Orcas, and put in a pool when it swims more than 100 miles each day can lead to this inner aggression that it can't vent out
SeaWorld opened in 1964 along the Mission Bay in San Diego, stretching a total of 21 acres. When they first started, their park only had 45 employees, a few dolphins, sea lions, and two saltwater aquariums. Today, several parks are spread out throughout the southern United States in California, Florida, and Texas. SeaWorld provides various shows every day with special perks for high paying guests, such as swimming with dolphins and other sea dwellers. A majority of their shows include orcas, otherwise known as killer whales. Recently, these majestic beasts have been living up to those names, attacking, mauling, and fatally injuring the parks own trainers. Blackfish, a documentary released in 2013, gets up close and personal with these stories of attack, to bring us countless reasons why orcas, and other marine life, should be left to live in their natural habitats, instead of in the concrete cells they rot in now. Orca pods are part of a matriarchal society, the females are more dominant and this can cause disputes between the alphas. When orcas are confined to a small space, these fights can get out of hand, disallowing the least dominant one to run, resulting in injury and death to the whales. Over the past 35 years there have been four deaths and countless injuries, and each time SeaWorld has placed the blame upon the trainers, explaining they hadn 't completed basic safety procedures. Orcas should not be kept in captivity for many reasons. Firstly, they are
These sources include, former seaworld trainers and directors, were they revealed the horror that would occur within seaworld but would not be discussed with the public. Many of the incidences were not even being discussed with the trainers, seaworld kept their staff in the dark. She even interviewed the former director of seaworld, Steve Huxter, were he implies that some of the orcas were being deprived of food just because they wouldn't do a simple behavior right. “ When he was first introduced… previous head trainer would use techniques that would involve punishment, he would team up Tilikum… to do the same behaviors and if Tilikum would mess up or not do them then both orcas would be punished and not get food. The other orca would get mad and bite Tilikum”, said Huxter. Nevertheless, these sources helped boost Cowperthwaite credibility by showing that she has done her homework and has provided facts and statistics, as well as expert opinions to support her
In 2013 CNN made a documentary called “Blackfish” were it shows how the life of orca whales have been in captivity. Orca whales are such an amazing and beautiful creature; however, it is not right that these whales are kidnapped so young. The blackfish documentary has also proved that since the 1970’s, baby orcas have been hunted and made to perform in front of a large social gathering. SeaWorld states that