Orcas, dolphins, and other marine mammals are suffering in captivity for our entertainment. Please take this pledge vowing to boycott marine theme parks: I will not visit nor support marine parks that keep marine mammals in captivity. If I wish to see magnificent creatures, such as whales and dolphins, during my vacation, I will travel to an area where these animals live free. I will give my...
Orcas, dolphins, and other marine mammals are suffering in captivity for our entertainment. Please take this pledge vowing to boycott marine theme parks:
I will not visit nor support marine parks that keep marine mammals in captivity. If I wish to see magnificent creatures, such as whales and dolphins, during my vacation, I will travel to an area where these animals live free. I will give my money only to companies that are eco-friendly and offer opportunities to respectfully observe marine mammals in their natural habitat.
Some anti-captivity arguments specific to "Shamu", and other captive orca whales:
Myth: Captive orcas are perfectly happy if their tanks are large enough.
Truth: A tank can never be large enough to accommodate an animal that would travel 100+ miles per day in the wild. When confined to a tank, orcas are unable to use their natural sonar, echolocation, because the signal bounces around between the concrete walls.
Myth: Orcas whales live longer in captivity.
Truth: In the wild, an orca will live between 40 - 60 years. Out of the 166 orcas known to have died in marine parks (including stillbirths and miscarried infants), the average lifespan of these mammals in captivity has been 5 years.
Myth: It is important to keep orcas in captivity to establish breeding programs that will prevent extinction.
Truth: Wild orca calves have a higher survival rate than those born in marine parks. Corky, the orca who has spent the longest time in captivity, has been impregnated on seven occasions. None of her calves have survived.
Myth: Captive orcas don't get lonely because they have so many companions.
Truth: Orcas from different communities vocalize using distinct and unique dialects. Two orcas sharing a tank will not necessarily be able to communicate with one another.
Myth: Scientists need to learn about orca behavior by studying the ones in captivity.
Truth: Any information gleaned by observing captive orcas is specific only to other animals in the same situation. To claim otherwise is the same as a scientist saying he understands all aspects of human behavior after studying a number of prisoners in their jail cells.
Myth: Orcas like humans, and enjoy performing for and entertaining people.
Truth: It is true that orcas become attached to their trainers, and that, when in captivity, they like to keep busy and engaged by performing tricks. However, given a choice, an orca's interaction with humans would be more limited. This was demonstrated by a rare case study - Luna, a young orca who got separated from his family. Luna lived free, but had only human companions available to ease his loneliness. He enjoyed his interactions with people, yet sought out their company sparingly, dedicating much of his time to more natural pursuits. An orca living within a family pod, does not need nor desire the company of humans.
Myth: Orcas can fly.
Truth: Have you seen the SeaWorld commercials with the orcas flying around in the sky? This is actually a little bit true. Captive orcas are regularly moved and exchanged between parks, requiring these large mammals to undergo lengthy airplane trips