So, about six months ago, I came across a documentary on YouTube about SeaWorld and I recently decided to watch the documentary ‘Blackfish‘. I wouldn’t normally write serious blogs like this on here, however, this is so important and so incredibly inhuman that I couldn’t not have. I watched about how they capture the baby orcas from their mothers and listened carefully to the interviews given from previous ‘orca trainers’ that had worked at SeaWorld and I was left speechless.
Killer or Orca whales are incredibly intelligent mammals. It is said that they feel all forms of emotions up to eight times more than us humans. They can communicate through languages that we have never deciphered, and they are know for staying together within their pods as they travel the oceans. They are also very loyal towards each other and the females often show affection to all offspring within their pod. Orca Whales can also swim for up to 100 miles each day – Just imagine how incredible that is! Just think about that for a second.
After watching the documentary, I was left feeling a mixture of emotions: sad/frustrated/angry/annoyed/helpless. SeaWorld is a multi-million dollar ‘amusement’ company and sadly there are still complete idiots paying their $55 to see wild animals that are quite clearly not meant to be in small enclosed tanks with three others. They are supposed to be free, wild animals. I was absolutely amazed that this is still happening to these animals today and I began to feel really sad that somebody somewhere was allowing this to happen. I was also surprised that there is a ‘amusement park’ with an Orca named Morgan in Tenerife as I have always associated the United States with SeaWorld (The image below is of Morgan at Loro Parc in Tenerife).
Yes, it’s very easy to close your eyes away from this happening and think that it doesn’t really effect you or how you live your life, but think about those animals and the lives that they are having every single day that you choose to ignore them. Unable to swim, or sometimes move, for hours at a time. They are being trained to perform tricks and movements that they should never do. They are not given sufficient exercise or food and are often threatened and attacked by other orcas.
Reasons to release all Killer Whales in captivity:
- They will have better all-round health.
- They won’t be separated from their pods / families and they will therefore not attack or be attacked by other Killer Whales from other pods.
- In the wild, they will be able to access particular areas of their brains that they simply cannot while in captivity – FACT!
- They will have hundreds of thousands of miles to travel in order to keep their minds stimulated and pods strong.
- They will not be expected to perform ‘tricks’ that their bodies are not capable of.
- The more Killer Whales that are in the wild, the more research we can find out about their habits and lives.
- They will be able to communicate with other Killer Whales that they are surrounded by.
- When able to communicate, the pods will work together to protect their young and stay safe.
- They will live to their full life expectancy!!! (Males live to around 50-60 years old and females live up to 100 years or more in the wild.)
Reasons to keep Killer Whales at SeaWorld:
- The $55 / €47.50 that people pay towards keeping establishments such as SeaWorld open.
- You could argue that the Killer Whales that have been captured or been kept in captivity their entire lives would not survive in the wild, however, I would like to balance this point and say that they WOULD have the space that they crucially need, so would they have a better standard of life?
Thanks to the impact that the film ‘Blackfish‘ had, there has been a huge drop in sales and generally people buying tickets to see these magnificent animals in these ridiculous 20 ft tanks. Stars such as Harry Stlyes have told their fans and audiences not to go to SeaWorld and to support charities such as Born Free or Save the Orca instead.
So, what can you do to help? First things first, don’t go to SeaWorld. By paying your money and thinking that you are supporting the animals that are performing for you is simply being naive. The whales are not looked after properly. Your money does not go towards their great living conditions or medical treatment etc., it is simply funding the chairman of directors at SeaWorld, David F. D’Alessandro, into getting more and more money. Regardless of how much he earns, the whales that are in his care are getting no better life. They are still in 20ft tanks. They are still trained for their shows three times a day. They are still deprived food if they do something wrong and they are still NOT WHERE THEY SHOULD BE!
Secondly, like me, you can adopt an orca. I am going to be supporting the fundamental research that needs to be done in order to find out exactly how these incredible animals ‘work’, what they need to live happy and fulfilling lives. I want to help them create offspring that never ever have to experience a tank that is nothing more than a bathtub. I want to help whales to stay safe from hunters. It’s simple – I want to do the right thing and help! Simply visit WDC and you can donate or adopt an orca or a dolphin. You can be part of the change. You can make a difference.
Please, please don’t think that this isn’t a big deal. Don’t think that it will just go away and that people will stop thinking / worrying about it all. I really, really hope that this blog has made you stand up and think about the difference you could make to these amazing animals lives. All of the the links that you need to know about are in the blog, please note that I didn’t want to advertise or publicize SeaWorld, which is why I haven’t linked them.
Peace and love, Polly May xx