11 Facts Everyone Should Know About Orca Captivity
Recent events have reignited controversies surrounding captive orcas.
When you see a picture of an orca, it is easy to see how humans fell in love with them...
Beautiful as orcas are, movies like Blackfish have been instrumental in putting at the forefront the problematic nature of keeping such creatures in captivity.
SeaWorld's Vice President of Veterinary Services defends the practice, saying humans would miss out if there were no orcas in captivity, as "we’re deeply transformed by them, the killer whale is an animal that does that."
But here are just a few facts about orcas in captivity.
1. Orcas kept in cramped spaces can develop violent and/or psychotic behavior.
2. And breeding captive whales can pass on these developed and dangerous traits.
3. Scientists say orcas in captivity usually only live up to 25 years, while their average lifespan in the wild is 50–80 years.
4. Earlier pregnancies among orcas lead to higher calf mortality rate.
5. The stress of captivity causes them extreme oral health problems.
6. Limited swimming space, stress, and warmer water temperatures can cause their fins to collapse over.
7. Since 1961 (when the whale captivity industry began), 141 orcas have been captured. One hundred twenty-five of them are now dead.
8. The median lifespan of these 125 captive orcas is approximately four years.
9. Orcas are incredibly social creatures who travel with family in pods of up to 40 whales.
10. Aquarium orcas are fed monotonous food while their diets require a variety of prey.
11. Whales that are kept in chlorinated tanks have similar effects to humans living in chlorine water.
But even without these facts...
Think about a 22-foot, 10,000-pound creature being confined to a glorified SWIMMING POOL.
Think about it.