Orca Whales Should Be Kept In Captivity Essay

790 Words 4 Pages
Orca whales, also known as killer whales, should not be kept in captivity. Since 1961, hundreds of orca whales have been taken from their natural habitat and placed into captivity at aquariums and aquatic parks around the world for the sake of public displays, theatrical shows, and business profit. To date, more than 127 captured orcas have died (Whale and Dolphin Conservation, n.d., figure 3). The capturing and confinement of orca whales is clearly unethical and inhumane. It poses a significant threat to the health, safety and well-being of these highly intelligent animals. Orca captivity should therefore be banned.
Unnatural Habitat of Killer Whale Tanks
Captive orcas face a cruel and miserable life. Proponents for orca captivity claim the life of killer whales at aquatic parks is compassionate and humane.
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In the ocean, orcas live in highly complex social groups known as pods. Pods are small nuclear families which consist of around 30-50 orcas. Killer whales form exceptionally strong bonds with their pod and stay with them for life (Ventre & Jett, 2011). The capture of just one orca causes significant stress and anxiety to the rest of the pod. Orcas living in captivity in artificial social groupings with other orcas share no communication similarities, which often causes intense frustration and leads to fighting, serious injuries and death (Ventre & Jett, 2011).
In addition, captive orcas sustain self-inflicted injuries such as fractured and broken teeth, the result of chewing on the metal bars and cement walls within their tanks in an attempt to escape imprisonment. Orca aggression has also been associated with violent incidents involving humans, including the death of an experienced SeaWorld trainer during a live show in 2010. However, in the wild, there have been no documented fatal orca attacks on humans (McD, 2013).

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