anonymous asked:

You do realize by banning the captivity of sea mammals , the ones that are unable to be returned to nature due to imprinting,injury ,etc are doomed to die... Good job buddy you totally "saved the whales"

You do realize that I’ve posted about a hundred times about how we’re not throwing them back in the ocean, right? Or did you miss that somewhere? They are not imprinted on people they’re not geese. NONE of them can be returned to the wild. NONE OF THEM.  (Did you even read the text on the petition? The part where it says it is to ban captivity for /entertainment and performance/ purposes?)

1. Most of the orca currently in captivity have broken teeth which need to be cleaned daily or else they will get infections and die. And by broken teeth I mean, literally gone, some of these animals have almost no teeth left and are worn to the gums because they’ve chewed metal and concrete out of boredom and stress. The roots of their teeth have been drilled out. They CANNOT be released into the wild due to needing to now rely on human care.

2. The Cetaceans in captivity now mostly number in captive born animals who are almost all hybrids of ecotypes that do not mix in the wild.

(See larger: HERE )

Text and advice by Robert L. Pitman, illustration and design by Uko Gorter.

What you do not understand is that Orca are not all one species. At marine parks, like SeaWorld specifically, the orca are hybridized so much that they are not natural creatures anymore. Their hybrid types do NOT exist in the wild and even if they were in perfect health (which they are not) it would not be wise to release them. Not only that, there are a few that are also inbred.

3. Their social structures are abysmal. Orca learn from their families how to be orca, kinda like how humans learn how to be human from their families and other humans. Imagine you’ve lived in a room your whole life, with strangers who speak a different language. You can sort of communicate, gesture things out but largely you don’t understand anything. You were old enough to know your native tongue, and probably the family you came from too. But young enough that being raised in this room with no change and almost nothing to entertain yourself with has left you incapable of socializing with other people. Much in this way, the orcas in captivity are often moved around and split up, their family units don’t really exist. Many don’t know how to be what they are, as evidenced by young orca sent away from their mothers and then bred, where they fail miserably at raising their own young.  These animals do not know how to be orca, they only know what they’ve learned- which is to be violent, defensive, and often dangerous creatures born from boredom. They are not often given toys, which consist of what looks like trashed plastic bits.

4. The orca are largely psychotic. From their boredom, they have become dangerous- Something wild orca are not. In a hypothetical world where say, a group of these orcas managed to stay together and were also healthy, but still had them mental issues and lack of social behavior wild orca have, would you really want a group of orcas notorious for being violent to go wild, and raise their own calves in the wild with the same things they’ve learned? Because they would probably teach the next generations what they know, and they know very little. They cannot be released properly, not even with training. They are sick.

5. The orca are all sick, ALL OF THEM. Whether it is physical or mental, they are all suffering from something and most seem to be heavily medicated on things like Valium to control their behavior. They are violent with one another and often with people, unpredictably so. Even the very first, real Shamu attacked a woman in the water with her and bit her. Several have tried to drown trainers in the water or nipped at them, or lunged at them. Two different orca are known to have killed people- Tilikum (3 known deaths) and Keto (1 known death)! In the wild, orca are peaceful creatures and have never attacked humans. There is only a single case where an orca mistook the identity of a surfer and bit the person, but let go immediately. We’re not even sure it /was/ an orca. The same can not be said for the captive orca. If they were free, there is a chance they could even go after people. (This is all hypothetical on that note since they can’t be free anyway.)

6. So what then, to do with the cetaceans in captivity if we can’t let them go? Well, first of all, that petition states clearly that it is banning captivity for the purposes of /entertainment/ and /performances/. Which means we would be, if we could get the parks to comply, moving the orca to places where they can retire to- Large sea pens made up of coves, sea sanctuaries situated around privately purchased islands (You can buy an island for less than a college education, sometimes frighteningly cheap). Our goal is to retire the orca to a place where they can still receive human care for their many, many health issues, but also feel the natural waves of the real ocean.

One goal /idea we have in mind is, if we managed to get one such large enough private island, to make a large natural tank as a half-way house and rehabilitation tank like Keiko had, to slowly rehabilitate individuals in groups to the natural temperatures and climates. Later they could be moved to the larger sea pens and have free reign of where they want to go and when. The only thing they would need to be trained to do is come to call when medical checks are needed. No more tricks, no more jumping on command to amuse people.

The point here is, we anti-caps know that we cannot release these animals into the wild. Many of them are so mentally gone, like Keet, who only floats on his side and blows bubbles all day long, that there would be little hope of a true wild release. No indeed, as sad as it is, they deserve to be retired to sea pens to live out whats left of their lives. (They would be put on birth control to prevent more captive born animals, too.) The facilities built for them would not just be for orca either. Dolphins and pinipeds also need help too! And other cetaceans. It could be a marine rehabilitation station, and even an on-site museum to teach visitors real facts about the animals and why they are there.

7. There are only 2 orca in captivity that we have access to that we can even remotely have a shot at rehabilitating for release. Those are Lolita (Tokitae) and Morgan. Both are wild caught. Tokitae’s family is well known- Within very educated guesses we can be reasonably sure we even know who her mother is, she’s still alive. We know for sure her family is around too. With a little help, Morgan could also be rehabilitated so long as her teeth have not been broken.

Recently, several orca were captured in Russia and many sold- There is almost nothing we can do to help them due to country laws, besides spread awareness of their existence. So, for all but two orca, we need to retire them to sea pens.

and the sea pen area proposed for Morgan:

Similarly, such cove or island areas would work just as well for non releasable cetaceans, who would be ambassadors of their kind the same way birds of prey with permanently injured wings cannot be released but instead can be used to teach visitors. At a sea sanctuary there would be no more lies like SeaWorld has told people for years.

Other proposed artist renditions of such sanctuary facilities are like the one shown in orcazine:

Except orcas aren’t the only ones who need help, of course! All cetaceans, pinipeds and other injured marine life should benefit from such a facility. So yes, thanks, ‘buddy’ we /are/ doing something to save the whales from the monotonous, endless circling of their featureless barren tanks where the only choice of the day is ‘do I swim clockwise or counterclockwise today? Or maybe I’ll just float at the surface, not much else to do between shows.’

It can be extremely irritating when people continuously assume that we, the folks desperately trying to educate the masses about whats going on at marine parks, get snotty or assume we mean to throw these poor sick animals in the ocean with no rehabilitation or training. I should think it obvious that we do not mean, nor have we ever, suggested that we should release the cetaceans into the wild.

Nor can the animals at all anyway, be released into the wild. This is a solid, 100% undeniable fact. Yes it’s sad. But being in a sea pen is better than a concrete tank that isn’t deeper than some of the orca are long! Stop trying to find reasons to selfishly keep these animals imprisoned in tanks that are too small to support one, let alone several of these gentle giants.

When the show is over, you get to go home. The orca do not have that luxury. They don’t get time off, for the most part. Some of these animals have been in shows their whole lives at this point. Its time for us to make things right.

The sheer number of messages I get about ‘WE CANT RELEASE THE WHALES THEY’RE GONNA DIE’ tells me that people. A. care about the whales.

B. Are not reading the message at the top of my blog where you click to send an ask that reads, clearly, thus:

Ask me anything! Before you ask, no, we do not want to release the captive cetaceans into the wild, they would die. They have health risks which make it impossible for them to survive. What we want is to retire them to a large Sea Pen or private island waters/Sanctuary, netted off from the ocean. They need vital human care due to their illnesses and broken teeth! We want to RETIRE them, not RELEASE them. Thank you for reading!

You literally can’t miss it guys! Its RIGHT THERE!

They were performing this trick regularly at SeaWorld Orlando before they stopped performing waterworks. The trainer stands completely upright on the orca as the orca slides across the stage - rather than sitting on their back or sliding out alongside them.  I’d bet that if waterworks still existed at SeaWorld, they’d still be doing this trick. 

So, this kind of blatantly obvious human-domination-over-nature trick didn’t only happen at the “lesser” marine parks like Kamogawa SeaWorld (pictured immediately below). 

No, this was the world’s most “advanced” marine park - the “world-leader” in marine mammal care. A park that supposedly cares about education and conservation more than anything else - putting this image in front of their audiences.

It’s a beached orca. With a human not kneeling, not sitting, but directly standing upright on its back. We are reducing this huge, intelligent animal to a mere show prop. Because this trick is all about the trainer, and the audience marveling what the trainer has accomplished. 

What kind of message does this send to children? How on earth does this teach anyone to respect wild animals?

As as audience member, seeing this should make you feel uncomfortable


Russia is a country with unlimited opportunities.

Recently, activists found and an abandoned facility with two exhausted dolphins living in it.

«On Krasnodar Territory, activists found an abandoned building with dolphins tortured to death. They entered the room and made a terrible shots, which show the animals swimming in a dirty pool, in ice cold water. 

According to activists, there is a terrible smell, and mammals themselves, judging by their emaciated appearance, have not been fed for a long time. In addition, the pool is so shallow that the animals scratch the belly on the bottom of the pool. 

Now veterinarians try their best to help these animals. The police trying to find the owner for arrest.»

Note: Dolphins were identificated as Delfa and Zeus, who were illegaly caught one and a half year ago in the Black sea and then performed in a tiny pool at Izmailovo park, Moscow. Their bodies are covered with ulcers, lower chins have some injuries. 

Do you visit circuses that use animals, do you give money to these awful gimmicky animal tourist attractions, do you watch videos of elephants painting and monkeys riding bikes etc… And laugh? Is this entertainment to you? Because it’s no fun for the animals that are used. Please next time you come across any animals used in entertainment, think about this image. Think about all the things that happen to these very same animals behind the scenes. Is it natural behavior for a monkey to ride a bike or an elephant to paint? Is it natural behaviour for elephants and horses to be dancing in shows with huge noisy crowds? Is this what we are going to reduced these beautiful wild creatures to? Our entertainment?

(A response to this post by animalaspects)

Here are some wonderful facts about Sea World’s orcas! 

  • The average lifespan of wild orcas ranges from 30-50 years. Many people say J2, “Granny,” is over 100 but that is a guess and not at all proven! The lifespan of a SeaWorld orca is ever growing! Some of their orcas are in their 30’s now, and Corky is in her late 40’s! They are all still very healthy and expected to live many more years!
  • Don’t worry; collapsed dorsal fins are a common condition. In the wild, it is mostly caused by sickness or injury, while at SeaWorld it is caused by gravity since the orcas spend more time at the surface than they would in the ocean. It doesn’t hurt them and not all of SeaWorld’s orcas have them!  
  • The analogy that “the size of Sea World’s tanks compared to an orca is about the same as a human to a bathtub” is completely untrue! Can you fit 6-10 people in your bathtub and still have room to swim, play, and jump? I didn’t think so!
  • Wild orcas swim 100+ miles a day, to find food. At SeaWorld, they don’t have to swim so much because they don’t have to hunt for their own food. Instead, they use their energy to play with enrichment and each other!  
  • Sea World gives their orcas vitamins to supplement their diet! Since their food has to be frozen to be transported to SeaWorld, it loses a bit of its nutrients. By putting small vitamins inside the fish, the orcas can get the extra nutrition they need! Buying a ticket to Sea World is an excellent way to help them provide for all of their orcas’ needs!
  • Sometimes, orcas in human care show abnormal behaviors, but when they are given toys and “puzzle toys,” they are encouraged to engage in more natural behaviors! Puzzle toys often use jello to stick certain toys together. The orcas have to figure out how to separate them in order to reach the food or treats inside!
  • You may have heard that in the wild, there has been only one documented orca attack. But think about it: How often (compared to at SeaWorld) do humans swim with wild orcas?
  • Food is just one thing that is used as reinforcement for behaviors. Do a behavior; get some food, a toy, a rubdown, or something else enjoyable! Don’t want to do a behavior? That’s alright; you still get your full bucket of fish after the show!

 See? Sea World isn’t as bad as people make it out to be! Oh, one more fact: SeaWorld has rescued over 24,000 animals! Buying a ticket helps them to pay for all of their rescue and release efforts!

Sources: (x) (x) (x) (x) (x) (x) (x) (x) (x) (x) (x)


By Dave Neale, Animals Asia’s Animal Welfare Director

Unless you live in Bolivia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cyprus, Greece or Malta, then the cruelty of animal performance remains a possible issue for you.

Yes, that’s right – these five small countries are the only ones in the world to have enacted a complete ban on all forms of animal performance.

Strong campaigning has resulted in successes in a further 14 countries which have banned the use of wild animals in performances.

But the numbers are still far too small, with most of the near 200 other countries across the globe having a variety of partial bans limiting performance to certain species, animals raised in captivity or bans limited to certain provinces, states, counties and areas.

This means that in reality, the animal cruelty inherent in animal performance remains a global issue.

And the cruelty is shocking.

Tens of thousands of wild animals around the world continue to be used in performances at circuses, zoos and safari parks. Behind the façade of entertainment, they are routinely abused, neglected and malnourished.

The techniques used to force animals to perform are often cruel and abusive, while animal welfare standards are ignored.

Animal performance and its eradication does not follow linear lines of “development”. In fact richer countries can mean animal performance is even bigger business with more powerful friends.

Just last week, a bill to see wild animals banned from circuses in the UK failed for the twelfth time. A poll by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs suggested that the move had the support of 94.5% of the British public, but continues to be blocked by a tiny coterie of MPs.

In the US too, this month brought widespread coverage of the news that the country’s biggest circus, Ringling Bros would phase out the use of elephants. While a welcome development, we must bear in mind that the company has no plans to stop the exploitation of other species and that Ringling Bros remains far from cruelty free.

Films like “Blackfish” may have united us in opposition to cruelty for the sake of entertainment but, while animal performance remains big business, there will be those motivated to maintain the status quo.

But change must come. You could even argue it’s inevitable – just as soon as everyone stops attending animal performance.