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Captivity: Psychological Effects on Killer Whales

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Emily Hall

on 21 May 2014

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Transcript of Captivity: Psychological Effects on Killer Whales

SeaWorld Exhibits around the world
SeaWorld's means of capture
The Catholic Church's viewpoint...
Killer Whales
Killer Whales in captivity
* boats, explosives, and nets are used to capture dozens young Orca calves at a time to be taken and shipped to marine parks
Orcas are taken because they are smaller and easier to transport (lower shipping cost)
***compare this to taking a child from their family***

* Today, it is more unconventional for Orcas to be hunted the way the video depicts
- SeaWorld now prefers to rely on captive breeding which includes artificial insemination,
* this ensures that traits of past show animals will be passed on to offspring

* Why is the captivity of Killer Whales so popular?
- the Killer Whale entertainment business is EXTREMELY PROFITABLE!
- the perfect killer whale can be sold up to $1 million or more
Morality Project
Wednesday, May 23, 2014
By: Emily Hall
Killer Whales
SeaWorld's Facilities
* Killer whales are also known as Orcas or Blackfish, their scienfic name is
Orcinus Orca

* Are the largest members of the
(dolphin) family

* Killer Whales are excellent hunters that have a wide range of prey including fish, squid, seals, sea lions, penguins, dolphins, porpoises and large whales (like
blue whales
) , but free-range killer whales have
been reported killing a human being
- Killer Whales are top predators, maintain complex social relationships and hunt cooperatively

* Killer whales are highly social animals who live in stable family groups called
- pods consist of 5 to 40 whales
- pods consist of the mother's lineage including her parents, daughters and sons
- pods are strong matriarchal societies (ex. whales live and travel with their mothers even after they are full-grown)
- each pod has a different dialect, meaning they all sound different. They can easily recognize their own pod from several miles away by using echolocation while swimming or hunting

Killer Whales in captivity
Killer Whales in Captivity
( NOAA Fisheries)
( Killer Whales (Orca))
* an average life span in the wild is that of human life, ranging from 50 to 80 years
- Females: live an average of 50 years and a maximum of
80-90 years
- Males: live an average of 29 years and maximum of 50-60 years

* Killer Whales range in size by gender and origin of genes:
- Females: 16ft - 23 ft long
- Males:
20ft - 26ft long
* Killer Whales are found in oceans all over the
, in colder waters close to the Arctic region to the warm water of the tropics
- they live in deeper waters if they are in need of
, but generally they end up closer to the coast (especially in California and Canada)

* We don't know the exact number of Killer Whales in the wild, but there are definitely over 200,000 because over 180,000 live solely in the Antarctic region
- however, as humans move closer and closer to the coast, the number of Killer Whales decrease due to hunters, poachers and boating accidents
(Photograph by Gerard Lacz/Animals Animals—Earth Scenes)
pictures from (Killer Whale Habitat and Distribution)
(Killer Whale Habitat and Distribution)

"The seventh commandment enjoins
for the integrity of creation. Animals, like .... beings, are by nature destined for the common good of past, present, and future humanity."
-Catechism of the Catholic Church
"Man's dominion over inanimate and other living beings granted by the Creator is not absolute;... it requires a religious respect for the integrity of creation."
-Catechism of the Catholic Church
"God entrusted animals to the
of those whom he created in his own image."
-Catechism of the Catholic Church
“the animals possess a soul and men must love and feel solidarity with our smaller brethren.”
-Pope John Paul II (During a public audience in 1990)
* Animals who've been captured, are placed in cramped and unnatural living conditions where they coexist with other Killer Whales who come from all different areas (therefore speaking different languages)
- these conditions lead to stress, feeling of confinement and
extreme frustration
, which have been linked to many violent outbreaks
- from their confinement, life spans are effected! A whale living at SeaWorld lives only from the ages to 20-
. If you go to a SeaWorld park, they will tell you that all Killer Whales live to this age and that they live longer in their parks because the veterinary care, but that is furthest from the truth.
Photos by Dr. Newby
Kamogawa Seaworld, Japan
SeaWorld Orlando, Florida
*The current show pool is 36 feet deep, 190 feet long, and 90 feet wide.
*The two tanks behind the show pool are both 70 feet in length, and 25 feet deep (where the whales are kept the majority of the time)
*Current Number of Orcas- 7 females, 2 males
* 8 Killer Whales have died out of 30, since 1975 when SeaWorld Orlando opened
(Sight, Brittney)
Acuario Mundo Marino Beunos Aires, Argentinia
* This tank at one time held 4 Orcas, until 3 three of them died by the extreme conditions of this facility
*the tank has a poor heating system, thus temperatures vary deeply in the environment
Violence at SeaWorld due to Killer Whale frustration
stress and confinement
*In the many SeaWorld parks or marine parks that are in the same family as SeaWorld, there has been
incidents have occurred between trainers and Killer Whales from 1967 to December 2012

The Documentary
focuses on the whale named
who is the largest Killer Whale in captivity at the SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida (At approximately 12,500 lbs and 22 ft long)
- Tilikum was captured in November of 1983 and put into a Canadian park, Sealand, where he would spend eight years
- In the earlier years of his life, Tilikum at Sealand in Victoria, Canada, was placed with two other female whales in a module where they would sleep, it was 20ft long and 30ft deep...these are the conditions that shaped and formed Tilikum to become violent towards his trainers and ultimately led to the death of two
pictures from http://www.orcahome.de/tilikum.htm
Connection to Morality
*Morality - is knowing the difference between right and wrong, good and evil, acceptable and unacceptable human behavior.

*The goal and purpose of morality according to Sister Karlien is to cause the least amount of harm and the most amount of good.

*By these definitions of morality, We are able to understand that the captivity of Killer Whales is not moral because it isn't only not fair to the animal, but it causes psychological damage and leads to violence.

*The action of capturing innocent animals from their families in violent matters by the use of bombs, spears, loud noises and other scare tactics only to make large profits and for senseless entertainment, this act is NOT moral.

Connection to Morality continued...
* The capturing of Killer Whales deals with the Earth and Non-Violence critical concern of Mercy
- Earth: we must protect all animals that inhabit the Earth and 68% percent of our Earth is the Killer Whales habitat. . . we must protect the security of the largest parts of our Earth
- Non-violence: With the capture of Killer Whales, it is known that people have not been conscious in their actions towards other living beings, therefore, people must realize the acts they are committing and soon will be able to work to create peace and stop acting violently towards innocent animals
* This can also be connected to the stages of moral development:
- The capturing of Killer Whales is seen as stage II because its selfish view on the money one will recieve if they catch the "perfect whale"
- It may also be seen as level III because those who personally captured these animals were seen in high regard (were accepted) by large companies including SeaWorld
**Overall, It can be stated that the capture of Killer Whales is regarded as immoral because this practice disregards the creations God has made in his likeness and image.
Take Home Message
* "God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good." - Genesis 1:21
- this means that God has appreacition for the Whales he has created, therefore, we should treat them the way God would

* "A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal" - Provervbs 12:10
- this means that an upstanding man respects all needs of his animal because he is aware that his animal has a soul and can feel all that surrounds
Bible Passages
Your Homework Assignment
* Watch the documentary
directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite created in 2013.

*While you are watching, choose three people who were interviewed and ask each one of them an interpretative question.
- The three interpretative questions are due by Thursday May 29th
- Decide on a day I could show the movie in School...
Full transcript