orcas island:

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My new whale bookmarks! These handsome bulls were suggested by @king-lobo, @stardust-dad, @sick-boner, and @vaquitatje and they are all available now on my etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/532721153/bookmarks-killer-whales-keiko-tilikum-l?ref=shop_home_active_1

All are hand painted with M. Graham and Co. Watercolours on Arches Cold Pressed paper, laminated, with a few general facts about the individual whale on the back. 

I will take custom orders at $15 CAD ($11.08 USD @ current conversion rate which is subject to change) and if you’re interested in those you can contact me here on tumblr. 

10 Reasons Why Orca Whales Should NOT be at Seaworld (Or Any Marine Park)

  1. In the wild, orcas swim up to 100 miles a day. They are confined into a small tank in captivity. 
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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. 
  6. 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.
  7. 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?
  8. 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.
  9. Since 1961, 141 whales have been captured. 125 of these whales have died.
  10. 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. 

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Killer Whale breaching in the San Juan Islands by Michael Daniel Ho

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Orcas by Miria Grunick
Via Flickr:
A pod of Orcas swims near the ship in the Gerlache Strait, Antarctica.

To be honest… I don’t wish for Tilikum to “Rest In Peace”. Absolutely nope. And before you rage on me, let me finish.

I wish for him to go crazy up there in the Ocean Heaven. He’s been stuck in a fucking bathtub almost literally his whole life. He suffered for too long. Let him go nuts. Swim all around, scream, go fast, jump as high as he can between the clouds, kiss the stars, race with comets. Let him be the magnificent Orca that he is, not a puppet for humans’ entertainment anymore.

Be free, Tilly.

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Some New Zealand orca appreciation <3


I believe these pics are split across two encounters I had, one in the beautiful Bay of Islands and the other off the stunning Whangarei coastline.


Both out on Ingrid’s research boat, so all images  © myself (Kate O’Neil) and orcaresearch.org (not to be re-used without permission)

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Orca, up close by Miria Grunick
Via Flickr:
In the Gerlache Strait, Antarctica.

It really irritates me when pro-captivity advocates dwell on the “what ifs”

“What if there’s an oil spill? We need them in captivity or we’ll never see them!”

“What if they all go extinct in the wild? We need them in captivity or we’ll never see them!”

I have a what if for you - what if, instead of focusing on having cetaceans in tanks, we work to prevent and solve these issues in the wild so we don’t need to worry about them going extinct and only being able to see them in tanks?

And again, I’d like to reiterate something I’ve said a million times before - You. Are. Not. Entitled. To. See. A. Wild. Animal. Ever.