Whale Shark at GA Aquarium.
Honestly I would love to hear what people have to say about the GA aquarium. I always thought it was pretty sketchy during my Blackfish stage when I didn’t realize how biased the sources were, and I was getting all of my GA Aquarium information from places that were backing up Blackfish. (I now lean towards the stance that, while they don’t do well in captivity and would ideally be able to live in the wild: the caretakers are doing their best to enrich their lives, animal welfare conditions are always trying to be improved, orca are facing a lot of problems out in the ocean that makes me feel worried for wild populations, and the general public does tend to care more when they can see the animal up close.)
So I decided to visit it for myself, I watched the sea lion show (amazing) and the dolphin show. I listened to the educators. Now that I’m more knowledgeable about zoo welfare things I try not to judge so harshly if I see stereotypic-appearing behaviors, etc. because I don’t know the animals’ background or how the caretakers are managing the behavior.
My main concerns with the GA Aq used to be the whale sharks, the belugas, and the dolphins. I don’t know much about the whale sharks, I’ve heard a lot of them have died? But they keep getting more? I’m not sure where from. I’ve read that the Aquarium was pushing to get more belugas from the wild, something about with Russia? I’d love for someone to throw some facts and legitimate sources at me. The dolphins swam in a circle in their tank, a video I took here, but the show was beautiful and they got to swim so fast for a lot of the tricks, the training is obviously enriching and they get to work together for a lot of the tricks, too.
I’m not saying that justifies it, ideally they would be out in the wild but, you know, lots of problems with them being able to survive in the ocean we have created for them. Food depletion, pollution, temperature and pH changes, boating, nets, etc.
I have some more posts related to these animals coming up but feel free to start discussions. @why-animals-do-the-thing I’m curious about what you know about the GA Aquarium and its whale sharks and belugas (and dolphins).