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Orcas In Captivity Essay Definition

Orcas In Captivity Essay

A problem that goes highly unnoticed is the horrifying treatment of orcas that are in captivity. Now I personally have an irrational fear of this species, but even this topic has pulled my heart strings and has me wanting to make a difference.

The first story I heard that referred to orcas being held in captivity, was about a young orca named Tilikum. He was ripped from his family when he was only two years old when he was only 13 feet long. After his capture, he was kept in a cement holding tank for close to a year at a marine zoo in Iceland as he waited to be transferred to a marine park in North America. He was held captive against his will, all he could do was swim in small circle and float aimlessly at the surface of the water. Tilikum was very far away from the expansive ocean where he would swim over 100 miles a day alongside his family members. Finally, he was transferred to the rundown Sealand in British Columbia, Canada. His inclosure was a mere 100ft by 50ft pool, and was only 35 ft deep. Here, he is confined to a tank containing 0.0001% of the quantity that he would swim in a single day in nature. Food was withheld from him as a training technique and he regularly endured painful attacks by the two dominant female orcas, Haida and Nootka. He was forced to perform eight times a day, seven days a week. The constant stress and exhaustion gave him painful stomach ulcers. When the park Closed its doors at the end of each day, the three incompatible orcas were crammed into a tiny round metal-sided inclosure for more than 14 hours until the park reopened the next morning. On February 21, 1991, Sealand trainer Keltie Byrne fell into the pool containing all three orcas. She was pulled to the bottom of the enclosure by Tilikum, tossed around among the three orcas, and ultimately drowned. She was the first employee to have been killed because of Tilikum's stress, frustration, and confinement. You can tell that the killing was based on his strained emotions because of his collapsed dorsal fin. That is a sign of an unhealthy and stressed orca, which is only seen in orcas of captivity. Shortly after Keltie's death, Sealand closed its doors for good and put Tilikum up for sale as though he were nothing more than a commodity. When SeaWorld heard that a 12,000 lb bull, the largest orca in captivity, was on the market, they quickly purchased him. They purchase him for their breeding program and used his sperm to build the collection of orcas. Now, 54% of SeaWorld's orcas have his genes....

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2013 Words9 Pages

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