Thursday, February 25, 2010

again we ask: why are you surprised?

so many flashy headlines today.

"sea world trainer's death: what happened? will we ever know?" "blancheau falls prey to killer whale" "sea world whale considered dangerous by staff"

the orca in question, tilikum, has been "involved" in two deaths before. so why continue to subject him to being a sea world captive when he clearly does not want to be there?

while there have been a lot of facts released about the trainer who was killed, not a lot about the orca is in the media except that he's dangerous and has "murdered" before.

but let's think about this orca for a second.

first of all, this orca wasn't born in captivity. he was captured near iceland in 1983 when he was about two years old. imagine one minute you're swimming in the expansive northern atlantic ocean and the next minute you're trapped in a tiny little pool without your pod.

he now measures 22 feet 6 inches long and weighs about 12,000 lbs.

his pectoral fins are six and on half feet long. his dorsal fin is 6ft tall, weighs 200lbs, and flops completely onto his left side.

he is the largest orca in captivity and here we go: the most successful sire in captivity.

that's right, he's sired 13 offspring, 10 of which are still alive. he sired his first calf when he was 8--interesting because wild orcas don't usually reach sexual maturity until later in life, and generally don't breed until they're quite a bit older.

breeding orcas in captivity is difficult, keeping them alive is also difficult. so it makes sense for sea world to want to keep an animal that can successfully breed. it saves them the hassle of needing to capture animals in the wild, and they can sell the calves for top dollar. FOR MONEY. they keep wild animals captive to make money.


so, i'm not surprised that this animal did what it did. it's a wild, gigantic, powerful, intelligent animal and i'm sure the trainer understood the danger of even being near it. it isn't dangerous because the animal was a cold-blooded killer, it's dangerous because it doesn't belong at sea world.

it's cruel to keep any animal captive, especially animals like dolphins and killer whales.

but people will continue to pay to see wild animals do sad, embarrassing tricks and to think that when a trainer gets hurt or killed at work it's some kind of freak accident. it isn't a freak accident, humans are the freak accident. when will we figure out that all life on this planet was not created for our amusement or survival?

captive animals should be released, and maybe one by one we should all drop ourselves into their natural habitats and see how well we do when we aren't protected by bars or plexiglass. the world would certainly be a better place without us.

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