Essay about The Orca Ordeal

Essay about The Orca Ordeal

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The latest animal rights issue to hit the public is a whale of a controversy. For decades, the public has enjoyed visiting SeaWorld and taking in mesmerizing displays of aquatic performance by orcas, the largest species of dolphins, and their trainers. Recent events have stirred up a media uproar over the safety of these creatures and their trainers. Much of what the public knows about the maltreatment of these creatures comes from a documentary released in 2013 called “Blackfish”. The breeding and captivity of killer whales for entertainment purposes poses a threat not only to the whales, but also the trainers who interact with them.
Observations show that orcas suffer from significant health and emotional issues while in captivity. Trainers also suffer physical risks while working with these animals. The SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment Corporation tends to enhance the appearance of the well being of their whales and staff to the public.
One hundred percent of male orcas, and even a few females, in captivity posses a collapsed dorsal (top) fin; they are not born like this. Over time, this collagen appendage may flop over or collapse from lack of use (Cowperthwaite). Whales in captivity often swim in the same direction for long periods of time, limiting the necessity for a strong dorsal fin. Though the majority of whales in their care suffer from this problem, SeaWorld claims that this occurs naturally in 1 in 4 of all orcas (Killer Whale Care). Dorsal collapse has not been reported in wild orca populations (Cowperthwaite).
The average life span for a wild orca is equivalent to that of a human’s.(Cowperthwaite) Females live up to 80-100 years while males live anywhere from 50-80 years. Trainers, representatives, and promoti...


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... Vivian. "SeaWorld Claims Ethics Breaches by OSHA Investigator." CNN. Turner Broadcasting System, n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2014. .
Mooney, Mark. "SeaWorld Trainer Killed by Whale Had Fractured Jaw and Dislocated
Joints." ABC News. ABC, n.d. Web. 16 Mar. 2014. GMA/seaworld-trainer-dawn-brancheau-suffered-broken-jaw-fractured/
story?id=10252808>.
Neuman, Scott. "Lawmaker Wants to Ban Orcas at San Diego's SeaWorld." The Two-Way. NPR, n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2014. .
"SeaWorld’s Worst Nightmare: Lawmaker Propose Ban on Orcas in Captivity." Sum of Us. Sum of Us, n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2014. .

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