Whales in Captivity Essay

Whales in Captivity Essay

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“… building a tank the size of Rhode Island wouldn’t be large enough for a six-ton male killer whale such as Tilikum, an animal capable of swimming 100 miles a day,” states an anonymous whale expert. Whales have been in captivity since 1861 when P.T. Barnum displayed the first live whale that was captured in Canada. However, Barnum had no idea how to care for the mammal and it died after only a week in captivity. (Animal Legal and Historical Center, 2014) Being up close with killer whales could give us some clues about how they interact with each other, including physical behavior, their dialect, and how their pods work together as a family unit. However, what we are finding is that whales who belong in the wild are suffering in captivity. Killer whales have no record of ever harming a human being in the wild. In captivity, there have been many incidents of killer whales harming or even killing their trainers. What would cause them to do this in captivity, but not in the wild? They have been known to resort to aggression toward themselves and each other, in what scientist believe to be a stress induced behavior. (Animal Legal and Historical Center, 2014) Evidence against having these wild animals in captivity is increasing and we need reevaluate the value of capturing and holding killer whales for our educational purposes, enjoyment, and profit.
Captivity is a term that has a range of definitions. The least restrictive would be an enclosed area that attempts to meet the physical social, physical, and medical needs of these animals. The most restrictive provide limited area for movement, social interaction, and does not provide needed regular medical attention. When referring to dialect in killer whales we are talking abo...


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...he errors we have made and do our best to make right what is now wrong.



Works Cited
• "Navigation." Animal Legal & Historical Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2014.

• "Pro and Con Captivity for Orcas in Sea World." Teen Ink. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2014. .

• Rose, Naomi, and The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Naomi A. Rose.. "A win-win solution for captive orcas and marine theme parks." CNN. Cable News Network, 24 Oct. 2013. Web. 14 Mar. 2014.

• "SeaWorld's Very Rotten Year." TakePart. N.p., 30 Dec. 2013. Web. 14 Mar. 2014. .

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