Let the orcas be, let the orcas free!
We are a Year 6 class from Bushey Heath Primary school and we want a ban on keeping orcas in captivity for entertainment purposes. These are the reason why:
Orcas in the wild have an average life expectancy of 30 to 50 years—their estimated maximum lifespan is 60 to 70 years for males and 80 to over 100 for females. The average age of death for orcas who have died at SeaWorld is 13 years old.
In the wild, despite centuries of sharing the ocean, there has been only a single reliable report of an orca harming a human being. Because of the stress involved in being deprived of everything that is natural and important to orcas in captivity, orcas have attacked and killed three humans just since 1991 and many others have been injured.
All captive adult male orcas have collapsed dorsal fins, likely because they have no space in which to swim freely and are fed an unnatural diet of thawed dead fish. SeaWorld claims that this condition is common—however, in the wild, it rarely ever happens and is a sign of an injured or unhealthy orca.
SeaWorld confines orcas, who could swim up to 100 miles a day in the wild, to tanks that, to them, are the size of a bathtub. They would need to swim 1,208 laps (around the perimeter of the tank) or 3,105 lengths (back and forth at the longest part of the tank) in the park’s largest tank to equal what they’d swim in the wild.
Orcas who are not compatible are forced to live in tight quarters together. The resulting anxiety and tension cause fights between orcas. In the wild, orcas have strong social bonds that may last for life, their social rules prohibit serious violence against each other, and when fights do occur, they can find space to flee. In captivity, there’s nowhere for them to go, which leads to injuries and death.
Orcas in captivity gnaw at iron bars and concrete from stress, anxiety, and boredom, sometimes breaking their teeth and resulting in painful dental drilling without anesthesia.
Orcas are highly social animals who live in stable social groups ranging from two to 15 individuals. In some populations, children stay with their mothers for life. In captivity, orcas are forced to live with orcas from other family units who speak a completely different language than they do and are constantly moved between facilities for breeding and to perform.
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