What’s Wrong With Captivity?
"The Humane Society of the United States opposes keeping whales and dolphins in captivity, for public display, for shows, because there’s just no way that a facility can provide for these animals. Their environment is so alien to ours that in the end what you end up with, is a sterile environment for them in captivity." - Dr. Naomi Rose, Marine Mammalogist (read more)
- Wild dolphins can swim over 40 miles per day; killer whales anywhere from 50 to 100 miles per day. They can’t do that in the confines of a small, concrete tank unless you expect them to swim thousands of laps a day. Even in the largest captive facilities, dolphins have access to less than 1/10,000 of 1% (0.000001%) of the space available to them in their natural environment.
- The ocean is a vast, rich and ever-changing environment - when you remove them and put them in a captive environment with no texture, no complexity, you take away their need to use echolocation - their hearing is their most important sense, and in an empty, barren concrete tank with four walls they have no need to use it. Purposefully and knowingly taking away what comes as second nature to these animals way of life is completely inhumane.
- Cetaceans in captivity eventually begin to present stereotypical behavior, which is either useless/non-beneficial or self-harming. These behaviors are repetitive, and are believed to be used by the animal in an attempt to relieve anxiety and stress caused by an inadequate environment.
- Animals that don’t get along also exhibit hyper aggression, and sometimes this results in death. In captivity, they cannot escape their attacker. In the wild they have miles and miles of space to get away.
So much death.
- The annual mortality rate of captive killer whales is 2.5 times higher than that of their wild counterparts.
- At least 144 orcas have been taken into captivity from the wild since 1961 (including Pascuala and Morgan).125 of them are now deceased. In total, 159 orcas have died in captivity, not including 30 miscarried or still-born calves.
- Dolphins are not immune to death from the captive display industry either. While it is now illegal to capture and import wild killer whales/dolphins into the United States, Japan still captures and kills thousand of dolphins in the infamous cove in Taiji every single year. What does this have to do with captivity? They sell numerous dolphins to aquariums around the globe, and the rest are slaughtered. If they didn’t have aquaria to sell to, these hunts would be useless, as they claim to slaughter the rest for meat - which is poisonous and harmful to humans anyway. (Click here to find out who buys Taiji Dolphins, and here to learn more)
- There has only been 1 killer whale inflicted human injury recorded in the wild, ever. There have been over 100 incidents between killer whales and humans in captivity, as well as 4 human deaths which were caused directly by captive killer whales.
Marine parks like Sea World have zero respect for the social bonds between a mother and her calf.
- It is a well known fact throughout the scientific community that the majority of killer whales in the wild stay with their mothers and other family members for life. In some populations, should they choose to leave their mother, they always return to her after a short period of time. Many killer whales, (both as young calves shortly after nursing and as young adults) have been removed from their mothers in both the wild and captivity and sent to different parks, without any chance of return. The amount of stress and anxiety this causes to both the calf and the mother is insurmountable, especially because this is completely unnatural and would never happen by choice in the wild. Here is a list of mother/calf separations directly caused by the captive industry.
It’s for profit, and does nothing to benefit wild animals.
- Sea World Parks and Entertainment is the most successful company of marine parks that display killer whales in the world. They generated $77.4 million dollars in revenue in 2012. Sea World claims to base their business and shows on conservation and rescuing and protecting wild populations of animals. For every million dollars Sea World makes, they only spend $600 dollars on conservation. If you think your ticket is helping wild animals, you are sorely mistaken - that’s roughly 5 cents per ticket. Where’s the rest of the money going? From the look of their tanks, not back to the killer whale habitats.
- Their scientific research is inaccurate or outdated, and after 50 years they have only produced 50 papers. One paper per year from an institution that has killer whales and dolphins in front of them daily, and claims to be at the forefront of marine mammal research and study? This is unacceptable, and only further proves that marine parks care about one thing, and one thing only: $MONEY$
If you truly care about whales and dolphins, do not buy a ticket, do not take yourself or your family to any marine parks that house these animals. There are so many other amusement parks and fun alternatives to watching highly intelligent, social animals flip for dead fish in a concrete pool. Follow me here as I try my best to expose what really goes on in the daily lives of these helpless victims of a blatantly abusive and cruel commercial experiment.
special thanks to youresuchatwat for the amazing .gif skills <3