By Rich Coast Diving 12 August, With the release of Blackfish this year, a film about the state of killer whales in marine parks, it really has brought to a wider audience the poor quality of life for whales and other mammals at sea life parks. India this month has just declared dolphins to be a non-human person and banned them from being allowed in captivity. Costa Rica is another place that has declared the same but until the mightiest of sea parks has folded this is not something that will happen worldwide.
Since this post, Granny has been making serious waves, by guiding her familyswimming hundreds and hundreds of miles off the Pacific coast and by generally proving SeaWorld wrong in every way. SeaWorld could be in trouble because of "Granny," the world's oldest known living orca.
The year-old whale also known as J2 was recently spotted off Canada's western coast with her pod -- her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. But while the Granny sighting is thrilling for us, it's problematic for SeaWorld.
First of all, SeaWorld has claimed that " no one knows for sure how long killer whales live, " when simple figures or even living and thriving examples -- like Granny -- can give us a pretty good idea.
The Whale and Dolphin Conservation project estimates that whales born in captivity only live to 4.
Perhaps because of their reduced lifespans, the whales are forced to breed continuously and at perilously young ageswhich could also diminish their overall health. Another key aspect of an orca's life -- which is missing in captivity -- is the ability to swim up to miles per day.
When Granny was spotted earlier this week, she had just finished an mile trek from northern California along with her pod.
The World Animal Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and protection of the planet and the animals that inhabit it. Help WAF help animals. The killer whales in our facilities benefit whales in the wild. We provide scientists with access, research and data that would be difficult or impossible to get in the wild. Introducing new, inspiring, natural orca encounters: SeaWorld’s new orca encounter will take our killer whale shows in a new direction. The year-old current World Diving champion opened SeaWorld's Blue Horizons show, appearing alongside dolphins, whales and SeaWorld trainers and was given a VIP tour of the killer whale enclosure.
According to animal welfare advocates, long-distance swimming is integral to orcas' psychological health and well-being; SeaWorld, however, has gone on record claiming that orcas do not need to swim hundreds of miles regularly, ostensibly to defend the parks' cruel practice of keeping massive, powerful orcas confined to cramped tanks.
Since Granny was first spotted as early as the sshe's believed to have mothered two calves, who in turn have had calves of their own.
One of her grandchildren, Canuck, reportedly died at the age of 4 after being captured and held at SeaWorld.
As her pod has grown, Granny has kept up with them -- without being separated through human intervention -- and traveled astonishing distances with her pod annually. Orcas at SeaWorld are routinely separated from their podswhich has been known to cause huge mental and emotional strain and can prevent calves from developing normally.
Granny doesn't simply represent an impressive feat of nature; she embodies what's wrong with SeaWorld by being a living example of what's right in the wild. While it's true that most wild orcas don't live as long as Granny has, their lifespans are still dramatically longer than those of SeaWorld's whales the NOAA estimates that wild female orcas, like Granny, live an average of 50 to 60 years.
Their lives are also filled with much more swimming, exploration, variety and bonding with family -- in other words, their lives are likely filled with much more joy.
Pledge never to visit SeaWorld or other marine parks until they empty their orca tanks.John Hargrove can clearly recall the moment in when, as a wide-eyed six-year-old sitting with his family in the audience at a SeaWorld show .
Dolphins: Killed in Cold Blood - Dolphins: Killed in Cold Blood The killing of the Bottlenose dolphin in Taiji Cove, Japan is devastating and these killings are becoming an epidemic, because the multi-million dollar a year aquariums and marine parks like SeaWorld are the main clients.
John Hargrove, author of Beneath the Surface: Killer Whales, SeaWorld, and the Truth Beyond Blackfish, was the senior trainer at the time and one of the most experienced orca handlers in the world. Modern killer whales shows are big business.
In this photo from a trainer in SeaWorld, Orlando surfs on top of Katina, a female killer whale, as part of a show. Orca captivity is bigger than just SeaWorld. SeaWorld stopped wild capture in the 80’s, but Russia and China are only just beginning.
Photos of unidentified wild caught orcas are being posted on Instagram from Chimelong Ocean. Return to Transcripts main page.
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