10 Reasons Why Orca Whales Should NOT be at Seaworld (Or Any Marine Park)
In the wild, orcas swim up to 100 miles a day. They are confined into a small tank in captivity.
Their collapsed dorsal fins (pictured above) are a sign of an unhealthy whale. All male orcas in captivity have a collapsed dorsal fin. Less than 1% of orcas have this condition in the wild.
Orcas do not live up to their nickname “killer whale”. There has not been one incident of an orca killing a human in the wild. However, in captivity, orcas have killed 3 humans and injured 151 reported injury incidences.
On average, orcas live up to 50 years old in the wild. Some females have been reported to live 80-100 years old. Seaworld’s average orca life span is 13 years old.
Family is important to orcas. In the wild, their pods include generations upon generations of their family. Marine parks do not keep their families together. In fact, babies are taken from their mothers. This is psychologically traumatizing to the whales.
Whale fights are common in the tanks because they are not in their pods and they are, literally, mentally ill. In a tank, whales can’t flee from fights like they can in the wild. These whales get brutally injured and sometimes killed by other whales in the tank.
Pods have their own languages. In a tank with other whales who have different languages. Imagine living with somebody who speaks a different language with you and you cannot use hand motions. Frustrating right?
Not only are the tanks in marine parks WAY too small for this wild animal, in the wild, marine mammals live in a habitat full of MANY other marine plants and animals. In captivity, they live in a cement, chlorinated tank.
Since 1961, 141 whales have been captured. 125 of these whales have died.
The brain of an orca is 4 times larger than the human brain. It has been confirmed their intelligence matches to ours, if not more.
Just imagine living in cement room with a few other people who don’t speak your language. Imagine not knowing if you will ever see your family again. Imagine being forced to do performances for others and being fed one thing for the rest of your life. Imagine being confined in a cement room when there is a whole world out there to explore.
So, how can you help? It’s easy! boycott sea world. Without the revenue, they are forced to shut down their business. Also, education is important. Remind the public of what is going on.
natgeo Video by @paulnicklen // What would you do if you were constantly approached by a large orca male while diving in the cold seas of northern Norway? Orcas normally ignore people in the water but this male loved to sneak up behind me. He would always approach me from my fins and then would swim along the length of my body until our eyes met. I could hear his squeals and clicks as he inspected me with echolocation. We would stare at each other for a second and then he would disappear in the inky depths only to return a few seconds later. This went on for a long time. #followme on @paulnicklen to see an image that I finally captured that allows you to look deep into his eye and connect with this incredible species. I have never felt nervous in the company of orcas. They are intelligent, communicative, cautious and incredibly in tune with their surroundings. I do not deserve such gifts and moments like this from the sea but they are what fuel my journey and path of ocean conservation.