Captivity In Captivity Essay

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Killer Whales in Captivity
Ever since humans had first started capturing killer whales from their natural habitats in order to place them in captivity, there has been ongoing controversy that only continues to grow as time goes on. The recent 2013 documentary that discusses the reality of captive orcas, called "Blackfish", only strengthens the arguments against holding killer whales in captivity for their entire lives. The main problem is that it does not seem humane to keep such large animals enclosed in man-made environments that hold no comparison to the world 's seemingly endless oceans. The only purpose these enclosed animals serve is to entertain us in order to gain profit for the places that keep them confined. The long-term captivity
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The most noticeable evidence that shows this is that orcas live much shorter lives in captivity than in the wild. In the wild, killer whales have an average life expectancy of 30 to 50 years, with the male maximum life span going from 60 to 70 years, and females being able to live for over 100 years. However, in captivity, "[o]verall median survival rate estimate was 6.1 yr, with no difference between male and female survival" (Jett and Ventre 1362). The difference between the average life spans is extraordinarily wide, even with the oldest captive orca being approximately 51 years old as of today. Captive killer whales also have an unnatural amount of miscarriages. This is possibly due to the fact that marine parks usually breed females at an incredibly early age even though female killer whales reach sexual maturity at the age of 15 years. There has been an estimate of 30 miscarried killer whale calves in captivity, while in the wild this is said to be a very sparse event. The diet of orcas that are in marine mammal parks is also varying from that of a wild orca, which reasonably effects their health. In captivity, killer whales are fed a diet of thawed dead fish and gelatin, in order to keep them hydrated. Contrastingly, wild killer whales are observed to eat a wide variety of animals, ranging from 90 species of fish, 50 species of marine mammals, and other animals such as penguins, seals, and sea turtles. Captive killer whales also do not have very healthy teeth compared to those in the wild. The ones that are enclosed are seen to gnaw at their enclosure 's iron gates and grind their teeth together, which is most likely due to stress, creating serious dental issues like infections. These animals also do not have the ability to swim the great distances they would each day in the wild. Wild killer whales can swim up to 100 miles per day, spending most of their time in the deeper parts

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