Free the Orcas

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Orcas, also known as Killer Whales,  are a marine mammal that are found in communities in the Pacific Northwest and in the Arctic. Orcas are actually dolphins, not whales despite their name, and like we do to other dolphins, we like to capture them and put them in aquariums to train them for shows for our entertainment. Though we may not know it we put these mammals in danger every time we go to capture them. We also harm them by keeping them enclosed in these aquariums.


In order for us to see these amazing creatures up close and watch them do some pretty cool tricks, people have to capture them and bring them to aquariums. The process of doing this can actually cause a lot of harm to these wonderful creatures. We as humans have placed orcas under a great deal of distress. When attempting to capture these creatures we have polluted the water with oil spills, and other chemical and biological pollutants. If there are any chemicals in the area the orca is more susceptible to harm because they are so high in the food chain. The pollutants attack the fatty tissues in the body, and because people are already driving away their food source or taking them when they fish, the orcas tissues will break down which contain these chemicals harming them and even killing them. We have also caused them distress with loss of habitats and noise pollution because of increased ship traffic.


In an effort to learn more about orcas and use them for our entertainment, we have placed orcas in harm by keeping them in captivity. In many cases multiple orcas have been placed in one pool and left in there over night, in the dark, with no food. Because orcas are territorial and have no space to swim around they have been found by trainers with wounds caused by each other's attacks. On occasion orcas have also been known to attack the trainers. It is believed that they do this because they are frustrated and in a stressful environment being in a small enclosement, with little food, and getting sick because of the conditions of their living. This not only hurts them physically, but also psychologically, affecting how they act, and the drastic things they do, like kill. The most famous killer whale is Tilikum. He was held in captivity for 33 years and in the time he killed 3 people. It started off with him disobeying the trainers when he wasn’t being fed for the tricks he did when they were short on food. Then he ended up killing a trainer with a group of other orcas by drowning her, and after he killed a man who broke into the aquarium and jumped into the pool completely naked. During his captivity, he got and lung infection and his health began to deteriorate. For example, you can see his fin flopped over, while orcas in the wild  are usually found with their fins pointed straight up. He also suffered from an infection in his lungs.


Tilikum isn't the only one we harmed. We are harming every single orca in the entire world, whether it’s because we are harming the environment they live in or by capturing them and keeping them in captivity. If you want to help save these amazing mammals, then let's help get them released and stop capturing them for any reason. Though they are called killers, with their nickname being the killer whale, who are the real killers her? Them or us?

 Bibliography:

"Facts About Orcas." WDC, Whale and Dolphin Conservation. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2017.
"5 Ways Orcas Are Threatened in the Wild." One Green Planet. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2017.
Hogenboom, Melissa. "Earth - Why Killer Whales Should Not Be Kept in Captivity." BBC. BBC, 10 Mar. 2016. Web. 20 May 2017.          The Blackfish Documentary



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