An Update on “SeaWorld’s Worst Nightmare”
On March 9th, 2014 I made a post about how California state legislator Richard Bloom proposed a bill titled “The Orca Welfare and Safety Act” that would ban orca performances, captive breeding, and the import and export of ‘killer whales.’
Click here to view my original post: “SeaWorld’s Worst Nightmare”.
Shortly after the legislation was proposed SeaWorld hired Pete Montgomery, who was director of government affairs at British Petroleum and has ties to the energy industry, to convince lawmakers to reject Assembly Bill 2140. (via SeaWorld hires energy lobbyist to fight orca ban bill)
The day Bloom announced the legislation on March 7th, 2014 a petition was created on SumOfUs.Org in order to urge the state of California to enact the bill.
2 days later when I came to Tumblr to post about the legislation and the petition it had already reached its initial goal of 200,000 signatures, but they were still accepting more. As of yesterday morning — just 2 weeks later — 1,013,613 people had lent their names to the campaign.
The petition has increased its goal from 200,000 signatures to 1,250,000. As of right now there are almost 1,085,000 signatures, meaning we only need less than 165,000 signatures until we reach our goal a second time.
Click here to view and sign the petition to the state of California.
You don’t need to make an account with the website. The only requirements are your name, e-mail address, and zip code so please take a moment to lend your name to the campaign.
As Bloom said when announcing his bill, “There is no justification for the continued captive display of orcas for entertainment purposes. These beautiful creatures are much too large and far too intelligent to be confined in small, concrete tanks for their entire lives.”
SeaWorld hired Montgomery in an attempt to defeat the bill to ensure that they can continue making profit from the mistreatment and torture of these poor whales. So please help put an end to their mistreatment by signing the petition and spreading the word.
PLEASE FOR THE LIVE OF GOD DO NOT SIGN IT, THEY ARE AN ENDANGERED SPECIES AS IS AND SEAWORLD IS SAVING AN ENTIRE SPECIES
I would say your igorance is cute if it weren’t so pitiful.
Since it’s evident that you’re oblivious to SeaWorlds mistreatment towards the Orcas they hold captive, let me explain it to you.
The tanks SeaWorld offers for their Orcas are far too small as it is, but they confine multiple Orcas into one tank which does not give them sufficient room to exercise. Orcas are found in every ocean across the entire world from the Antarctic regions to tropical seas and swim up to 100 miles per day. An Orca at SeaWorld would have to swim the circumference of the main pool 1,900 times in one day to swim the same distance. Oceans cover 71% of the Earth so SeaWorld is taking these apex predators away from a habitat that covers 71% of our planet and limits them significantly by confining them in small tanks for the rest of their lives, with their only exercise being forced, unnatural performances.
Besides that, Orcas who are not compatible are forced to live together in these small tanks. The resulting anxiety and tension causes fights between them. In the wild, Orcas have strong social bonds that may last for life, their social rules prohibit serious violence against each other, and when fights do occur, they can find space to flee. In captivity, there’s nowhere for them to go, which leads to injuries and death. An example is Corky, a 25 year old female Orca at SeaWorld, colliding with Kandu, a 14 year old female Orca, in an act of aggression in one of their holding pools behind the main performance pool in 1989 which resulted in Kandu bleeding to death during the show from a brain hemorrhage. Another example is Nakai, a male Orca born in 2001, who injured his chin on a sharp metal edge of his tank while attempting to flee an aggressive altercation with two other Orcas in 2012. Warning, the image is graphic and may cause triggers.
Every adult male Orca held captive at SeaWorld has a collapsed dorsal fin. Collapsed dorsal fins are caused by illness, injury, or impending death. It’s also likely that it’s caused by the lack of space to swim freely and their unnatural diet of thawed, dead fish. Collapsed dorsal fins shows they are not healthy and that SeaWorld is at fault.
Their diet also includes pig and cow bones. SeaWorld gives them gelatin — a protein made by boiling skin, tendons, ligaments, and/or bones which is usually obtained from cows or pigs with water, a substance that is not natural for them — in an attempt to keep them hydrated since they are unable to hunt and obtain water from their prey in captivity. Tilikum, who weighs 12,000 lbs., alone consumes 83 pounds of gelatin every day.
In the wild, despite centuries of sharing the ocean, there has been only a single reliable report of an Orca harming a human being. Because of the stress involved in being deprived of everything that is natural and important to Orcas in captivity, they have attacked and killed three humans just since 1991 and many others have been injured.
Nearly every SeaWorld Orca also has ground down and drilled out teeth. It’s a rarity in the wild that this occurs but is nearly universal in captive whales. The exposed pulp and drilled out teeth provide a direct path for disease and infection to enter the captive Orcas bloodstream. The drilling is done with no anesthesia given to the whales and they must have their teeth irrigated 3x a day for the rest of their lives once drilled. Having worn down, drilled out and broken teeth causes them so much pain that they grind their teeth together to relieve it and exacerbate the situation. Many captive Orcas have ground their teeth down to their jaw.
Then there are the reported ages of their deaths. A male Orca in the wild has an average lifespan of early 30’s with 50-60 being the maximum whereas a female Orca in the wild has an average lifespan of 50 years with 80-90 as the maximum. Only three Orcas held in SeaWorlds captivity have lived their average lifespan. Even if you exclude every Orca death before 2000, the average age of a SeaWorld Orca at the time of its death is 18 years old — practically cutting their lifespans by decades! Even worse, the average death of SeaWorld Orcas drops to 15 years old since 2005! Not only that but California’s SeaWorld has lost 14 Orcas in the past 50 years, 12 of which were caught in the wild. The reported ages ranged from 9-25 which does not even come close to meeting the average lifespan of an Orca in the wild. Knowing this, do you honestly believe those 12 wild Orcas were “saved” by SeaWorld and were better off in captivity? Because they weren’t.
Collapsed dorsal fins, ground down teeth and early deaths are all signs that the Orcas are not healthy and that SeaWorld is doing absolutely nothing to ensure their needs are met.
May I also mention the fact that SeaWorld was cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for violating the Animal Welfare Act? SeaWorld kept dozens of expired verinary needles, including surgical sutures, in their surgery room and also failed to repair the crumbling stages the animals are forced to perform on. If those vetinary equipment were used on an animal it could cause severe, even life-threatening infections. SeaWorld was also fined another time for the same flooring issue and for failing to properly maintain a dolphin tank and an orca performance tank: which the USDA determined would put their animals at risk.
SeaWorld has a history of carelessly neglecting and mistreating their animals and it’s time we stopped allowing them to get away with it. They aren’t “saving an entire species”, they are blatantly abusing them and are the sole reason they live unhealthy, miserable lives and have early deaths.
Orcas are very intelligent and are actually believed to be more socially and emotionally deeper than humans due to their constant communications, family orientated lives and a more elaborate limbic system. Orcas travel in families and/or stable social groups ranging from two to 15 individuals. In some populations, children stay with their mothers for life. Each family pod has their own migration paths and hunting styles. They will travel the world through the oceans and hunt numerous prey with skills that have been learned and passed down.
In captivity, Orcas are forced to live with Orcas from other family units who speak a completely different language than they do and are constantly moved between facilities for breeding and to perform.
Orcas thrive in the ocean, not in a SeaWorld tank. So please take a minute out of your day and sign the petition to urge the state of California to enact the Orca Welfare and Safety Act.