After watching the documentary, Blackfish, I’ve become very interested in the captivity of Orca whales. I’ve been to SeaWorld, and I won’t lie, the Shamu shows are really cool to watch. As of today, there are 55 killer whales in captivity in aquariums and parks. It is said that killer whales that are in captivity are likely to have premature deaths, collapsed dorsal fins, are more likely to become aggressive towards their trainers, and many other unhealthy habits.
While the orcas are killing their trainers and becoming obviously psychotic, their captivity is being compared to living in a bathtub your entire human life. Although this information is interesting, and I agree that orcas should not be kept in captivity, I think there is a bias on the information shared. Whales in captivity hurt their trainers, yes, but if killer whales in the ocean are never exposed to human trainers, I don’t think it’s a fair comparison. They have done experiments on this, but there hasn’t been a control group, the whales are either in the wild or in captivity being raised by humans. I guess there is no way to have a control group, because the whales either grow up in captivity of they do not. While it is abundantly clear orcas shouldn’t be kept in captivity, we still have over 50 of them for show and our own entertainment. The sites I used to gather this information are here and here.