why do whales in captivity have bent fins
1. Premature Deaths
Orcas in the wild have an average life expectancy of 30 to 50 yearstheir estimated maximum lifespan is 60 to 70 years for males and 80 to over 100 for females. The average age of death for orcas who have died at SeaWorld is 14 years old. 2. Lean, Mean Killing Machinesor Not? 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, orcas have attacked and killed three humans just since 1991 and many others have been injured. 3. Collapsed Dorsal Fins All captive adult male orcas have collapsed dorsal fins, likely because they have no space in which to swim freely and are fed an unnatural diet of thawed dead fish. SeaWorld claims that this condition is commonhowever, in the wild, it rarely ever happens and is a sign of an injured or unhealthy orca. 4. Tanks SeaWorld confines orcas, who could swim up to 140 miles a day in the wild, to tanks that, to them, are the size of a bathtub. It would take an orca more than 4,280 laps in her tank to swim the distance she might in the wild. 5. Fights Orcas who are not compatible are forced to live in tight quarters together.
The resulting anxiety and tension cause fights between orcas. 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. Nakai was injured on a sharp metal edge in his tank while reportedly fleeing from an aggressive altercation with two other orcas. 6. Diet of Pig and Cow Bones In captivity, orcas are unable to hunt and obtain water from their prey, so SeaWorld gives them, a substance that is not natural for them, in an attempt to keep them hydrated. Tilikum, who weighs 12,000 lbs. , alone consumes 83 pounds of gelatin every day. 7. Breaking Their Teeth to Get Out Orcas in captivity gnaw at iron bars and concrete from stress, anxiety, and boredom, sometimes breaking their teeth and resulting in painful dental drilling without anesthesia. 8. Family Matters Orcas are highly social animals who live in stable social groups ranging from two to 15 individuals. In some populations, children stay with their mothers for life.
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 suffer mentally and physically just to line SeaWorld s pockets. You can helpPthem! The momentum is on our side with the release of P and our recent lawsuit against SeaWorld. Join the fight to help orcas, and tellPall your friends never to go to SeaWorld. Learn more about cruelty at SeaWorld on The PETA Podcast : Listen to more episodes on, and! Subscribe for new episodes. I m going to chime in here because this is getting out of control with people downvoting good discussion out of emotion rather than rationality. Folks, this threadbranch is an example of what it looks like to disagree in science. This is a valid argument, a valid disagreement, and you are expected to, in this subreddit, be objective and rational in any discourse we have in any thread. I don t care about how much your subscribed activist movement says things are bad. Unless you have sources to back up your claim from scientific institutions. they don t mean too much to an old-schooler like myself. Personal opinion based on no evidence has no bearing in a thread using scientific citation.
Back to the post here. To me, as a fisheries researcher, this is good grounds for an in-depth scientific inquiry that s not backed by popular outrage and opinion. Something I agree with in Sea World s case is the idea that the droop is not an explicit indicator of health. To make an assumption like that stick scientifically, you d have to test it and so far nobody has made any effort to do so. Until we see somebody performing laboratory comparisons on orca physiological health before and after droop in captivity, before and after droop in the wild, and comparing a normal individual, you can t really say much about Orca health by looking at fin droop only. I know many animals will change physiology, behaviors, and neurology based on captive conditions. It s well documented and to be expected. Until we have the data, the best scientific conclusion is that fin droop is a response to something about the conditions of the captivity, not the captivity itself, because the condition HAS been observed in wild stocks of orca who were never captive in any capacity. I also think that a test like this would be hard to go through with because of how many confounding factors may be involved: is it truly 100% of orca in captivity that develop this condition?
Or do we see exceptions and if so, what are the differences in those conditions versus the conditions where collapsed fin occurs? What is the genetic relationship of the orcas? Did they all come from the same pod or an interconnected pod? If so, do these orcas have a genetic predisposition to droop in captivity and thus not in the wild? How about the physiology example I said earlier? How are you going to get fresh individuals in captivity to measure before and after effects without making the public mad that you re studying on whales? Experiments on whales and dolphins in general that may appear to harm the animal may make many public investors wary because of the activist groups that are involved. Cetacean experts understand these limitations and have to work around them in order to perform research because they know they will catch a lot of flak that doing anything that remotely resembles pain and suffering on part of the animal. Fish don t get that much attention because people tend to eat them more than whale, thus less love and attention for fish and more for whales.
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