Opinion: The Case Against Orcas in Captivity

Ms. Sophie Boyer

Imagine being an animal in the jungle, woods, or ocean . . . and all of a sudden you are split away from your family, and the place you grew up to spend the rest of your life as a slave. Orcas are a significant example of this situation. Holding Orcas and other animals in captivity needs to come to an end. This world is so focused on making money that we are not realizing what a huge negative impact we are making on these innocent animals’ lives.

Wild orcas have an average life expectancy of 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 13 years old. That’s a difference of fifty plus years taken away from a life, and what did that short life consist of?  

At least 151 orcas have been separated from their families to work for places such as SeaWorld, and now 127 of those orcas are dead. Orcas who are not compatible are forced to live together in tight areas of a tank.  This is where fighting, biting, and killing can possibly happen due to anxiety and tension between them.  In the wild however, orcas have very strong social bonds, and if a situation does occur where violence takes place they can easily flee in the ocean. In a tank there is no where to go.  What are some physical examples of orcas in distress you may ask?  Orcas in distress have been known to act out.  

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