Several months ago I was walking on the beach with my friend Stephanie who asks, so did you sign the petition? What petition, there are so many of them, I responded. To free the Orcas in captivity. No, I did not and I will tell you why.
I save marine animals everyday, not by signing a petition: I have reduced my dependance on oil: rarely use plastic and drive. I pick up the beach 3-7 times a week. I recycle as much as I possibly can and as they say Actions Speak Louder Than Words and in this case petitions. I have yet to see PETA picking up any beach trash on, the top murderer and abuser of marine animals.
My friend Stephanie loves animals more than people. Yet she drives a big, white, gas guzzling car (I call it the Orca Killer), uses plastic bags, buys tons of plastic crap, could care less about energy usage and generally speaking doesn’t relate that what we do on land effects each and every animal on this earth. My response, it is easy to sign a petition, it is not so easy to change your lifestyle. If you really are concerned about saving animals, change your lifestyle.
She (Stephanie) says ‘do you know that orcas in captivity fins lay down flat, Orcas are wild creatures and not meant to be penned up’. I say that at one time all animals were wild creatures and not meant to be pent up. Do you think the first dogs and cats just came out the litter tame? No… man domesticated animal to become beast of burden and working for man. They bred animals to service them whether for work or food.
Stephanie doesn’t believe in any animals in captivity. Yet when there is a hurt seal lion and or seagull, the first thing she does is call Sea World. Sea World would not be existence today if it was not for animals in captivity. Orcas are the main attraction. She has also called the Zoo to report a hurt bird. Yet, she doesn’t believe in animals in captivity. On another note, as far as I am concerned her house cat is held in captivity, as it is an indoor cat. How is that different than an Orca in a pen? How is having birds in cages any different than Orcas? How is that any different than people who leave their dogs inside all day that cry and bark? That to me is cruel. I listen to it constantly to the rental property next door to me.
When I asked Stephanie about the San Diego Zoo, she is ‘anti -zoo’ and feels that if people want to see Rhinos and giraffes, they need to go on a Safari…. Seriously, she said that….Like everyone has the financial wherewithal to go on a Safari. Yet when there is a hurt animal who do you call? The San Diego Zoo. To top it off.. what would you do with all the animals in the Zoo if you let them go? They would be dead.
Personally, I hate the thought of any animal in captivity. Yet I am so fortunate that we have the San Diego Zoo in which I can enjoy watching and learning about the animals. I am grateful that good Zoo’s do exist to bring attention to all animals, extinct and otherwise.
I also hate dolphin slaughter, shark finning and any type of animal and people abuse, which kill more animals than the estimated 50 Orcas in captivity. There is an estimated 100 Million Sharks killed by humans every year. (Source) Millions of dolphins are killed by humans every year, caught in fishing nets. The town of Taiji, Japan kills up to 20,000 dolphins per year in their dolphin slaughter. (Source)
So what kills more marine animals? Plastic in the Ocean. 80% of the plastic in the ocean comes from land. That means that each person that uses plastic kills marine animals. There are an estimated 245,000 Tons on plastic on our oceans. In fact new reports are showing that plastic has started to invade the Arctic. It is estimated that over 100,000 marine animals are killed every year by Ocean Litter.
- In the past month in San Diego, two whales were ‘hopefully cut lose from fishing lines and buoys’. If they had not be cut loose, they would have died. In Tapei, a rescued whale was found dead due to a mass of plastic bags and fishing net in it’s stomach. (Source) (Source and here) In Florida another whale died due to ingesting plastic. (Source) The NOAA said about 50 entangled whales have been rescued since January of 2015.
- A recent report by Australian scientist Qamar Schuyler found 52% of marine turtles have ingested plastic. In Costa Rica, A turtle was found with a plastic straw up his nose. See the video here . In Hawaii, a dead sea turtle was found dead by fishing lines. In Hong Kong another turtle was found deal due to eating marine litter (Source). The endangered Hawksbill sea turtle’s population has plummeted 80% over the last ten years.
- Dolphin Rescues are common as well. This baby dolphin was rescued after being entangled in marine debris in Florida. (Story)
- Researchers at CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere estimate that approximately 90 percent of birds have ingested plastics in the past 30 years, up from just five percent in 1960
Due to the movie Blackfish, PETA is using this as publicity. Sea World succumbed to public pressure and agreed to build larger tanks for the Orcas. Good thing… but everything has to go through the Coastal Commission. You would not believe this, the Coastal Commission basically said Ok, but Sea World’s Orca’s cannot have sex. REALLY… How much more can you punish animals? Not to be able to procreate. That means these social creatures have to be separated. Mothers separated from their offspring, siblings separated? Talk about cruel and unusual punishment. Come on.. what does the Coastal Commission have to do with breeding animals. Generally speaking I agree with the Coastal Commission but this is awful.
Animal rights activists want to release the whales to seaside sanctuaries. Unfortunately there are none to release them too.
I agree that animals should not be taken from the wild. But animal rescue, I would rather have them save the animal and put it in park than let it die in the wild.
According to Whale And Dolphin Conservation: At least 151 orcas have been taken into captivity from the wild since 1961.
- 127 of these orcas are now dead.
- In the wild, male orcas live to an average of 30 years (maximum 50-60 years) and 46 years for females (maximum 80-90 years).
- At least 162 orcas have died in captivity, not including 30 miscarried or still-born calves.
- SeaWorld holds 24 orcas in its three parks in the United States and owns (at least) a further four at Loro Parque in Spain (ownership of Adan and Morgan not verified). At least forty-four orcas have died at SeaWorld.
- One of the most infamous capture incidents saw over 80 whales from the Southern Resident population of orcas in Washington State rounded-up at Penn Cove in 1970. Seven were taken into captivity while as many as five whales died. Today this population is recognised as endangered. Only one captured whale, Lolita, is still alive, held at Miami Seaquarium.
- The longest surviving orca in captivity is Corky, captured in 1969 from the Northern Resident population that inhabits the waters around Vancouver Island, Canada. She is held at SeaWorld in San Diego. None of her seven offspring in captivity have survived. Her family (known as the A5 pod) continue to thrive in the wild, including Corky’s brother, Fife,
- At least 14 orcas have been taken from the wild into captivity since 2002, most recently in Russia.
- There are currently (October 2015) a total of 58 orcas held in captivity (24 wild-captured plus 34 captive-born) in at least 14 marine parks in 8 different countries.
To be fair, there are many things I dislike about SeaWorld. I hate their nightly fireworks in the summer. Fireworks spew off toxic elements into the environment. I hate picking up the ‘leftover souvenirs’ on the beach during the summer months. But the response they give to rescuing marine animals is worth it.
- Why Blackfish is Misleading
- San Diego Union