Born To Be Wild
Picture this, a 25 foot 6 ton orca in an enclosure, not in the sea, but a pen. The pen is very cramped. When the orca tries to get out, it ruins its teeth and another orca becomes aggressive and attacks. Every day the orca is forced to do tricks and all it can do once it is put back in its pen is to swim in small circles. Orcas aren’t goldfish. Orcas are self aware animals. They are one of the few animals who are self aware including humans. They are aware of every breath they take. Scientists even figured out they have an extra part of the brain that humans don't have. So why is it right to keep them in marine parks? Marine mammals should not be allowed to be held in captivity because they have small enclosures, it causes them to physically suffer, and they become aggressive towards their trainers and other orcas. (Blackfish Initial release: July 19, 2013 (New York City) Director: Gabriela Cowperthwaite)
First of all, keeping marine mammals in captivity is bad because they live in enclosures that are too small. Marine mammals (dolphins and orcas) live in small cement enclosures that are miniscule compared to the ocean. Orcas also prefer deep water and swim in groups of 2 to 50, however in captivity they can’t swim very deep and they can’t live in big groups. In the wild, orcas and dolphins can swim hundreds of miles per day, but in captivity their enclosure is so small that they can just swim in circles. ("Marine Mammals in Captivity : The Humane Society of the United States." )
Second of all, keeping marine mammals in captivity is bad because it causes them to physically suffer. When marine animals are in captivity, it causes their immune system to weaken. Also in captivity, their death rate is higher. In captivity, they also have teeth problems because they gnaw on the bars in their pen from boredom, stress, and who knows what else. Another reason it is bad to keep marine mammals in captivity is that they spend more time at the surface than they do in the wild. This can cause problems such as dorsal fin collapse. Dorsal fin collapse is when the dorsal fin flops over to the side. In the wild less than 1% of orcas have dorsal collapse, but in captivity 100% of male orcas have dorsal collapse. In captivity marine mammals can experience skin problems (rashes, irritation, etc). In captivity they are under lots of stress, and stress can cause death. In captivity marine mammals have a higher rate of death than in the wild. ("Marine Mammals in Captivity : The Humane Society of the United States.”)
("Planet Ocean: Why the Collapsed Dorsal Fin?")
In SeaWorld and other marine parks, they originally caught orcas from the wild because it is hard to successfully breed them in captivity. This is how they used to catch them. They caught them by corralling them with bombs and then they strung a net around the pod and take the little ones so they can ship them and train them easier. This experience was very traumatic for the orcas because the orcas got corralled with bombs then some of their babies are taken from them. Also, some of the orcas get caught in the net and die. Sometimes the people catching the orcas would be instructed to cut open the dead orcas and fill them with rocks and anchor their tail and let them sink to the bottom of the ocean. In one of the marine parks, a baby was taken from its mother in captivity and the mother was wailing the whole night and was obviously very distressed. (Blackfish Initial release: July 19, 2013 (New York City) Director: Gabriela Cowperthwaite)
Some people may say, “Having marine mammals in captivity is good because people can see them and they will want to protect them more than before.” So some people think that this is a good reason to have orcas in captivity. However, because it is difficult to breed dolphins and orcas in captivity, SeaWorld and other Marine parks originally caught orcas from the wild. They would only catch the young ones so that they could transport them and train them. Also, they would corral them with bombs and then they would string nets around the orcas. Then they would lasso the baby or babies and drive away. It was very stressful because they would take the babies from the mothers and break up the family. Now they have some of the orcas from the wild still in Marine parks. However, they can now breed orcas in captivity. The births do not always go well because some marine parks breed the females too many times per year and sometimes the females are too young to breed.("Why Breeding Dolphins and Orcas in Captivity Is a Horrible Idea.")
Third of all, keeping marine mammals in captivity makes them aggressive. Tilikum was raked by two other female orcas. Raking is when an orca uses its teeth to scrape something. In this case, the orca raked Tilikum. Also, orcas and dolphins use sound to communicate. In cement tanks when they are alone and try to communicate the sound bounces around. This can literally cause the animal to go insane. (Blackfish Initial release: July 19, 2013 (New York City) In the wild, orcas do not pose a real threat to humans. There have been only a few attacks in the wild and none have been fatal. Apparently, killer whales don’t live up to their name. However, in captivity they do live up to their name because there have been a lot of orca attacks in captivity.
This is a picture of an orca that has been raked.
I am only going to tell you about a few ("Killer Whale Attacks on Humans"). In one case, an orca jumps out of the water and lands on a trainer. In another case, an orca grabbed a trainer by the leg and dragged him underwater repeatedly. Although the trainer only suffered foot injuries, it was a horrible accident (Blackfish Initial release: July 19, 2013 (New York City) Director: Gabriela Cowperthwaite). The last incident I will be telling you about was on February 24, 2010. This incident involved a male Orca named Tilikum. I am sure you have heard of him because by 2010, he had already been involved in two deaths.The trainer he killed in this incident was Dawn Brancheau who was an experienced trainer. Tilikum was said to have dragged Dawn into the tank by her ponytail. However, some of the people who were there said she was dragged in by her arm. Unfortunately, Dawn did not leave with her life. This incident happened at SeaWorld ("Killer Whale Attacks on Humans").
("Killer Whale Attacks on Humans.") (“Captivity vs Wild (“Killer Whales”))
(Blackfish Initial release: July 19, 2013 (New York City) Director: Gabriela Cowperthwaite)("Why Breeding Dolphins and Orcas in Captivity Is a Horrible Idea.") ("Killer Whales Don’t Belong in Captivity –– Here’s Why.”) ("Strikes, Bites and Blood: The Graphic Case for Releasing Morgan, the Wild-Born Orca, from Captivity
In conclusion, Marine mammals should not be allowed in captivity because they have small enclosures, which causes them to physically suffer because their sonar bounces of the walls, and being in a small enclosure can cause them to become aggressive towards their trainers and fellow orcas. Some evidence of this happening is when orcas get raked by others. Thank you for taking the time to read my arguments. I hope now you are against having orcas and other marine mammals in captivity.
("Marine Mammals in Captivity: Humane Society International.") RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 May2015.
("Why Breeding Dolphins and Orcas in Captivity Is a Horrible Idea.") One Green Planet. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 May 2015.
("Marine Mammals in Captivity : The Humane Society of the United States.") RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 May 2015.
("8 Reasons Orcas Don't Belong at SeaWorld - SeaWorld of Hurt.") SeaWorld of Hurt. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2015.
("Killer Whales Don’t Belong in Captivity –– Here’s Why.") One Green Planet. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 May 2015.
("Killer Whale Attacks on Humans.") Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 20 May 2015.