Just as the picture above states, keeping Orca Whales captive is not what nature intended. Many of us heard of the tragic deaths caused by a killer whale named Tilikum. This poor creature was only 2 years of age when he was stolen away from his mother in Iceland waters. Tilikum is now past 30 years of age and has been used to breed more than 54% of SeaWorld's Orca's, despite his aggressive behavior. It is no wonder, however, that Orca's in captivity become aggressive because they are forced into small areas that humans would view as bathtubs. If you were in a bathtub for 25 years, don't you think you would get a little psychotic? The story of these whales in captivity was put into perspective as the 2013 film Blackfish was released. This emotional film gained international attention as the sad story of Tilikum began to unfold. Although three human deaths have been caused by this animal, SeaWorld continues to hold degrading shows, almost acting as if these animals are merely a commodity.
In an effort to stop the captivity of these magnificent animals, one California lawmaker proposed a ban on Orca's in captivity, which could potentially outlaw Shamu shows in San Diego California (SeaWorld). The lawmaker states that there is no justified reason for the continued captivity of these animals. They are far too large and intelligent to be confined to such small living quarters. If this proposal were to be accepted, then all ten Orca's at the San Diego location are to be rehabilitated and returned to the wild where possible. Already, human preferences towards captive Orca's are beginning to change. This can be seen in the image below.
Due to lack of good human judgement, many Orca's have been in captivity for too long. Their health, life expectancy, lack of care, and living conditions are completely lacking in these man made habitats. SeaWorld sounds like a fun place to go, until we dig deeper and realize the inhumanity that occurs behind the scenes. To understand all of the hardships faced by Orca Whales, I recommend watching the documentary on Tilikum and many other Orca Whale's called Blackfish.
1)Cowperthwaite, G. (2013). Blackfish. Retrieved from http://blackfishmovie.com/about
2)Kirby, D. (2014, March 7). Calif. lawmaker to propose ban on orca's in captivity. Retrieved from http://deathatseaworld.com/?p=966
3)PETA. (2014). Seaworld of hurt. Retrieved from http://www.seaworldofhurt.com/