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Killer Whales: What to Do With Captive Orcas?

Offbeat  (tags: off-beat, killer whales, orcas, marine predators, captive animals, wild animals, captivity )

- 3276 days ago -
The recent attack by a captive orca on its trainer at a SeaWorld facility in Orlando, Florida, has again raised questions about our relationship with these top marine predators. No-one knows what triggered the latest incident, and experts agree that it


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JoAnna B (386)
Saturday February 27, 2010, 10:08 am
Beatrice thanks so much for bringing this update..

John Farnham (52)
Saturday February 27, 2010, 10:59 am
Would you dare release a communicating predator which has targeted humans as prey ? Think of the possibilities if orcas globally 'followed the logic'.

Beatrice B (112)
Saturday February 27, 2010, 11:58 am
That would be the law of unintended consequences. Man has no need to keep predators (or other wildlife come to that) in captivity.

David Petrosky (113)
Saturday February 27, 2010, 12:26 pm
How is a whale supposed to know that someone in the water 'playing' with it isn't also a sea creature anyway? I mean really! I know we sent that memo to the dolphins, but I don't recall it being an all inclusive "sea creature" notification. Heck, I don't even remember the creation of the 'human-to-whale' translator...

Alexa R (319)
Saturday February 27, 2010, 12:32 pm
It is my wish that all wild animals will be allowed by humans to life their lives in the wild.

Gillian M (218)
Saturday February 27, 2010, 1:42 pm
It is man's fault that we now need to keep animals in captivity as breeding stock to attempt to save the many hundreds of animals that are endangered.

The problem is that we do not have the reserves or spaces because the large corproations are destroying them ofr timber, palm plantations and oil.

As for orcas, perhaps they can be put together so that they have their own pod and not be so quick to follow people.

Beatrice B (112)
Saturday February 27, 2010, 2:28 pm
We don't need to keep orcas in captivity because they are endangered. They are kept in aquaria for entertainment along with performing dolphins.

Anna K (58)
Saturday February 27, 2010, 3:04 pm
Captive orcas should be in sanctuaries, and, if possible, returned back to their natural homes.

Kit B (276)
Sunday February 28, 2010, 12:02 am
This is just part of an essay by a friend of mine who actually knows what he is talking about, has given his life to animal rescue and can address this from a professional non emotional point of view.

I have been seeing many statements, essays and opinions in the last couple days, spouted by "experts". I have also seen them call Tilikum a "she", and or spelling the name Tikkum or such. One expert even called him Shamu.:|

If they can't take 10 minutes to learn about this particular whale specifically, and his real history, they need to shut up. You can't spout opinion about one orca, with a reference to all. They are very individualistic and no two are alike (much like humans).

I have also seen the petitions demanding to close Sea World and "let the animals all go freee". Hmmm...

I have rescued large carnivores for 20 years, some confiscated and placed here by the government, others given up because the owners couldn't afford to keep them (or got in trouble with local authorities).

After 20 years of large financial and personal sacrifice, very hard work, and diligent never-ending effort, guess what I have always heard? "You are horrible not to send them back where they belong". They come from other people and captivity. It's not legal for me to ship them to India, Asia, Africa and/or Siberia. Even if it were possible, they would die quickly in the wild, and suffer greatly in the process..

Remember Keiko?

Much effort was made to set Keiko free. He ended up depressed, would not join a pod and tried to stay near humans. His appetite failed, he got sick then died. All of the advocates that worked hard to get him released, either made excuses, or went real quiet after he died. (poor poor Keiko)

Kilikum would most likely end up the same way.

The three options:

1. Releasing him to the wild sounds good (Free Willy!) but that's movie stuff. He doesn't deserve to die alone in the middle of the ocean, or searching for humans to care for him until death comes.

2. He doesn't deserve to be portrayed as a monster and euthanized. He's a big boisterous (untrained) guy, who pulled a spontaneous prank that turned tragic. He's not bad, he's just being painted that way.

3. If moved, to where? What other captive facility would be better?

I saw one post at another forum, from a guy who said "The whale would prefer one week of freedom at sea over a lifetime at Sea World". I had to wonder if this guy really thinks Tilikum would agree.

So, as people rush to sign petitions to "Free Willy" once again, please remember Keiko, who played Willy.

I am not expressing an opinion of the dynamics of keeping a whale captive, other than they are huge, and need huge habitat. They aren't getting that,, yet.

Patrick Webb

(not the opinions of NWHS )


Susan A (14)
Sunday February 28, 2010, 2:55 am
Thanks for sharing that, Kit -it makes far more sense than the Oh let them go and be free school of thought. In a perfect world, we would not need to set them free. But this world is far from perfect and I just hope those with sense rule over those with bleeding hearts. To set any captive animal free requires more than just letting them go. That, is usually just another death sentence...

Jan Billy Pedersen (43)
Sunday February 28, 2010, 6:35 am
Thanks Beatrice
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