Should SeaWorld release all of their captive orcas?

     Over 166 orcas have died in captivity including 30 stillborn calves from the time of its opening in 1964. Its time for SeaWorld to change or send all captive orcas to an animal sanctuary. 

     Orcas lifespan in captivity is about 30 years but orcas lifespan in the wild is more than double that with orcas recorded up to living 70 years. This is a prime example of SeaWorld and how they mistreat their animals. Although they aren’t physically beating them they are mentally beating them down. 

     One prime example of an orca being beat down is the story of Tilikum, the largest orca captured by SeaWorld. Tilikum would often get beat down and bit by other whales, and since the orca was in an enclosed space (SeaWorld) he wasn’t able to fight for himself or even run away. This caused the orca’s frustration to get bottled up and eventually that anger has to be released in some way. Tilikum killed a SeaWorld worker while in front of an audience out of bottled up anger and frustration. 

     These orcas are one of the smartest animals on earth and according to X-rays of the orca’s brains, it shows that orcas not only have the same parts as a human brain but they actually have a whole separate part in the frontal lobe which is basically the “bond” between the animals. This bond would be much stronger in the orcas than in human beings and that is why it is so cruel to take away baby orcas from their parents. 

     Some may say that the legality of SeaWorld keeping orcas is ok because they “own” them.  This claim is completely false, Seaworld has illegally captured the orcas in the first place. Seaworld would take them from their families and basically kill them. In Massachusetts law and many other states including Florida prohibits the possession of wild animals without a license. 

Sources:

Fate of orcas in captivity