Remove enough links and a chain
will break. Remove enough cards and a house will fall. Remove enough freedom
and an orca’s wellbeing will crumble. SeaWorld has kept whales within their
concrete walls for decades now. These whales are “trained” by the employees to
tourists. If SeaWorld wants to take a step towards the right side of history,
they should release these whales from captivity immediately.
horrendous effects of captivity first take their toll on the whales’ bodies.
Due to swimming around at the surface for hours at a time in shallow pools,
orcas experience dorsal fin collapse as gravity pulls their fins down.i
Orcas have also been known to suffer severe tooth damage in captivity. They
start to gnaw on the concrete walls out of sheer boredom and as a result, their
deterioration of the whales’ bodies continues, their minds follow suit. Orcas in captivity have been known to develop severe depressioniii.
The famous orca Tilikum has been known to violently attack trainers such as in
1991 with Keltie Byrne who he drowned by biting her foot and pulling her down
to the bottom of a tankiv and
in 2010 with Dawn Brancheau who he grabbed by the ponytail and dragged
Oceanographer Jean-Michel Cousteau has likened the captivity of orcas to “a
person being blindfolded in a jail cell.”vi
When an orca is removed from its pod, that pod now has the
potential to fall apart. Often times the leader of the group is taken and as a
result the rest of the orcas are unsure of where to go for food and are more
susceptible to other predators.vii The
capturing of one orca starts a chain reaction that not only kills one orca but
several others in the process.
It is absolutely imperative that we take all orcas out of
captivity. Captivity’s effects result in physical harm to orcas including but
not limited to dorsal fin collapse and tooth damage. This then escalates to
mental illness such as PTSD or depression. Outside the cage, pods fall apart
due to the loss of important members and the orca species falls further into
extinction. If we know what’s best for orcas, we’ll return them to their homes
once and for all.