The Effects Of Captivity On The Orca

893 WordsApr 26, 20154 Pages
Effects of Captivity on the Orca The Killer Whale, otherwise known as Orca, and scientifically known by its genus Orcinus, has captivated the imagination and hearts of millions of people around the world. Having the largest brain of any mammal its size, the Orcas cognitive abilities are only rivaled by their highly elaborated emotional processing system; gregarious in nature, Orcas are easily considered to be the most socially bonded mammal on the planet. These mythological creatures, however, were not always considered to be the gentle, sentient beings that we know today. In fact, these mythical beasts were once so feared, as recently as 1973, US NAVY diving manuals warned of ferocious attacks on humans; even launching slaughters to protect north Atlantic military bases from potential security risks. It was not until the brief life and death of the first captive Orca named Moby Doll, and the first marine park SeaWorld, that public perception began to change. While in part, captivity has played a significant role in the understanding of the species, research conducted on the wild Orca has provided us with substantial evidence to challenge the quality of life in captivity; forcing the examination of the emotional, psychological and physical effects on the captive Orca. To begin with, the emotional implications of captivity have been documented extensively; illustrated not only through observation, but through biological research as well. Weighing twelve pounds, the “brains
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