One major reason why orcas should not be held in captivity is because orcas are a family oriented type species. Orcas are extremely social animals. Orcas are very close to their family. For example, when SeaWorld orca catchers came to capture orcas in the year 1977, John Crowe, one of the orca catcher’s, said, “When we took the baby orcas and left the adults, the adults huddled in a circle and made noises to the baby orcas that were being taken away.” He also stated, “We dropped the net to let the other adult orcas go, but they stayed and huddled around the boat.” When killer whales are in captivity, they are not with their family. They are involuntary forced to live with other orcas from a different family and are
Orca whales have been in difficult circumstances ever since the first orca was captured in 1961. The first orca captured lived two days in captivity then died and the reported cause of dead was pneumonia. Many things come to mind when people think an orca is in captivity. Many people tend to believe they are being treated, they will enjoy life more, and they will live longer due to the fact they are receiving food and care. These statements are told to spectators at seaworld, marineland and many other water parks around the globe. The facts disagree with these statements. Orca are very friendly animals, there have been no recorded attacks of orcas hurting any human being in the wild. Most of them will come up to fishers boats and be
“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.
Orcas are forced to live in tight quarters together; they have nowhere to escape conflict. This results in anxiety and tension leading to fights between orcas and their trainers. For example, in February 2010, Dawn Brancheau was pulled underwater and killed by a killer whale named Tilikum. “The 40-year-old trainer was at ease with the killer whale and had just petted him on the nose” (ABC News 2010). Orcas have social rules that prohibit violence against one another, if a fight were to occur, they can find the space to flee. Unfortunately for Dawn, Tilikum didn’t have the space he needed and lashed out. Also, injuries caused by their “family” only occur in captivity; fights rarely occur in their natural environment. Although orcas naturally eat seals, penguins, and squids, these animals only become “killer” whales in captivity. Can you blame these amazingly intelligent and emotional creatures for being frustrated with their confinement?
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.
Some people argue that keeping orcas in captivity is not a problem, yet they do not realize some of the limitations and dangers orcas suffer when kept in captivity. One reason is that these unpredictable, thirty-foot long creatures are usually kept in a tank that is too small for them, compared to the ocean where they can swim freely. In captivity, space is limited. According to one expert, “orcas can swim up to 100 miles per day- a phenomenal amount, in comparison to the exercise they receive in captivity” (Cronin). While in captivity, an orca has to keep swimming in circles or float, unable to exercise adequately in a confined space. The small tanks also prevent orcas from living in their natural group sizes, or pods. “In the wild, killer whales typically travel in pods of between five and 30” (Melissa). In captivity, fewer than five whales are kept together, an imbalance that makes the whales more aggressive towards one another. This can lead to dangerous, territorial situations in which captive
“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.
I believe that orcas should not be held in captivity because orcas are very intelligent animals that should not be held in small tanks, also captivity can cause health concerns, lastly seaworld taking orcas from families. For the last couple of years many people might have heard many stories of captive orcas suffering health problems, being taken away from their families and you might of even hear of killer whales eating their trainers. One of the most famous whales is a whale in captivity named tilikum. Tilikum has been involved in three deaths during his time in captivity. To learn more about tilikum keep reading.
On average a killer whale in the ocean lives 60 - 70 years a maximum would be 80 - over 100 years. In captivity a female killer whale live to be about 29 years while a male killer whale lives to be about 17. The year gap between wild and captive orcas is so big because the orcas are too large to live in a 50 ft. deep tank. The most appalling fact to know is that the killer whales are the most prone to diseases in captivity, so they will die sooner than the life expectancy if a disease is caught such as broken teeth. Broken teeth occurs often in captivity. Killer whales are consistently getting treated for dental issues but the effects are unsuccessful. Fractured teeth are caused by biting on the steel gates, the killer whales only bite on the gates for one reason in particular that is wanting to be freed back to the ocean home they belong
Orca whales should not be in captivity because of health issues they face in captivity. Some people believe orcas should be in captivity because they are safe from hunters. Also data on breeding and reproduction can be collected which is impossible to get in the wild. However, orcas live unhealthy, shorter lives in captivity. According to the article (“Should Orca Whales Be Kept in Captivity”) it states, “Orca whales in the wild have a lifespan equal to that of a human. In
There is so much we can learn from Orcas in captivity. Biologists have limited understanding about killer whales in the wild. We cannot observe them 24/7 and we cannot live in their environment. Being with these mammals up-close could give us some clues about how they interact with each other. This would include physical behavior, their dialect, and how their families work together. These are things we would never have to chance to do with the killer whales in their natural habitat. (Teen Inc., 2010) However, when a whale is placed in captivity it is stripped of its ability to communicate with the whales in its pod. In essence it would be like placing someone in a completely different culture with no means of communicating with anyone around them. Imagine the stress of not being able to communicate any needs or feelings with those around you.
People say that keeping orca’s in captivities is not a problem, yet they do not realize that, orcas are also human beings. There are several reasons, why keeping these thirty-feet long creatures, in captivities is a problem. One of them, which are the tank, which is too small, compared to ocean where they can swim freely. One the other side, in captivities, the space is limited. Comparatively, to how they swim out in the wild “orcas can swim up to 100 miles per day- a phenomenal amount, in comparison to the exercise they receive in captivity”(Cronin). While being in captivity, orca has to keep swimming in circles or floats. Out “In the wild, killer whales typically travel in pods of between five and 30”(Melissa). In captivities there are only few whales, so it makes them more aggressive toward one another. This sometimes can be lead to danger by killing each other for fighting to gain power of the tank.