Are Orcas Being Held Against Their Own Will?

By Kevin Pichinte on April 25, 2017

On April 16, 2017, Easter Sunday, animal rights activists took to the streets and addressed their dislike towards SeaWorld because of the captivity of the wildlife, or what the public knows SeaWorld mainly by Shamu.

Over a dozen people protested on SeaWorld Dr. and held signs saying things like, “Empty The Tanks”, “160+ Orcas Have Died In Captivity, 45 Of Them At SeaWorld” and “Boycott SeaWorld” to inform people on the road and walking about their actions when they attend SeaWorld.

There were also people opposing the message of releasing the animals back into the wildlife, by shouting comments such as, “you’re an idiot, orcas should not be released, they will die.”

“I have been protesting SeaWorld way before Blackfish was aired. SeaWorld are no different from a circus; they have imprisoned animals who, to me, are locked up for no crimes ever committed, they are forced to perform, kept in small enclosures unnatural to them, and for me to be out here is as if a person was being held for a crime never committed by them; and I would be out here advocating for them because the animals do not have a voice to tell everyone how hard it is for them,” said animal rights activist and coordinator of Sunday’s protest, Ellen Ericksen.

It has almost been four years since Blackfish aired on national television and informed the public about the realities of orcas being held in captivity while distorting the images amusement parks like SeaWorld have portrayed to the public. While its focus was to shine the light on the issues of orcas being held in captivity, it offered a starting point for the masses to become invested in figuring out ways to prevent animal captivity in the name of entertainment.

Orcas show signs of stress, abnormal behavior, and act violently ultimately harming or even killing SeaWorld performers during live shows and in training. However, these acts of aggression are not typical of orcas because when they are in the wild they have strong social bonds that last a lifetime, and their social rules prohibit them from serious violence against each other.

Violence is just one factor which plays into the equation as there are many more issues orcas face in captivity, such as premature deaths, collapsed dorsal fins, confined tanks, breaking their teeth to escape, and separation of family. This list is exhaustive as there are so many issues that lead to the unhealthy conditions of Orcas.

By Kevin Pichinte

Uloop Writer
I am a future news broadcaster in the making. I love to read, write, inform people, and always be updated on the latest breaking news. On the side, I also act in independent films and in theaters.

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