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Seaworld Exposed

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Michaela Morrissey

on 10 November 2014

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Transcript of Seaworld Exposed

In captivity orcas are restrained and have very little space to swim in

In the wild orcas can swim up to 75 miles daily just to find food

Mortality Rates
Deaths during the capture process:
A lot of the time when "Marine cowboys" tried to catch orcas, they would inadvertently kill them with their nets.
Psychological Trauma & Stress
"[Fatal attacks] are manifests of stress, even madness, in animals forced into miserable, unnatural conditions." Jess Ventre
Entertainment for Humans: Slavery for Orcas
Orcas are social creatures

Orcas live in family groups called matrilines
Matrilines are composed of an adult female and her offspring
More than one matriline makes up a pod which has 40 or more orcas
Orcas communicate with each other by sound and touch
Each individual pod has its own group call
Psychological stress
leads to...
broken teeth from biting on steel gates used to separate orcas
"jaw-pop" aggression
as a consequence, tooth fragments can be found on the bottom of pools
leads to decaying pulp and inflammation
Whale on Whale

Whale on Human Violence
Aggression towards humans in the wild is nearly non-existent
Keto & Alexis Martines
Tilikum's 3 deaths
Stress put on by living in an unnatural environment leads to whale on whale aggression
whales are cut, raked, and rammed, usually by higher members on the social ladder
Kandu V. death
According to the neuroscientist Lori Marino, orcas have a limbic system (emotion-processing area in mammal brains) that is more elaborate than human brains
SeaWorld states:

"We do not separate killer whale moms and calves. SeaWorld’s successful development of its population of killer whales allows us to manage a healthy population of animals, while keeping young calves with their mothers and respecting the whales’ social structure"
captured in Iceland 30 years ago at the age of 2
held in a confined tank and attacked by dominant whales
withheld from food as a training technique
stress led to stomach ulcers
Feb. 1991, death of Sealand trainer Keltie Byrne
SeaWorld adopted Tilikum after the incident and used him for breeding
21 years at SeaWorld and 0.0001% of the water he would normally navigate in nature caused stress
death of Daniel Dukes in 1999
death of Dawn Brancheau in 2010
SeaWorld contains 600 pages of incident reports of whale aggression towards trainers

"The data we do have show that killer whales at SeaWorld are living as long as their counterparts in the wild. In peer-reviewed studies, scientists estimate that the average, or mean, life expectancy for a female is 30 years and a male is 19 years in the Pacific Northwest.[1]. For whales in Southeastern Alaska, the maximum longevity appears to be in the 50s for females and late 30s for males. [2] So, in those two areas of the world, female killer whales live around 30 to 50 years and males live around 19 to 30 years.
SeaWorld has several killer whales in their 30s and one that is close to 50." (www.orcanetwork.org)

They are not wrong, but they specifically chose the Pacific Northwest because at that time, there was a famine of sorts for the orcas so life expectancy was greatly reduced (thedodo.com)
"It is often said that PLAY is the greatest expression of intelligence, and whales and dolphins are among the most playful of all in the animal kingdom." (whales.org)
The difference between SeaWorld and zoos is that zoos don't make their animals perform for money. SeaWorld keeps their dolphins in a manner that goes against what instincts tell the animals, and then people wonder why these animals lash and/or suffer health problems.
Ted Griffen
"This discussion is important, not just for the light it sheds on one particular group of organisms, but also because it points to larger questions.

It may be possible that there is a SIGNIFICANT GAP in our understanding of animal evolution.

And while research over the past century has done much to reveal the genetic basis for all of life, the influence of culture on the evolution of species other than our own has scarcely been explored."
"Claims of culture in cetaceans (whales and dolphins) have sparked controversy.

The idea that nonhuman animals can possess culture has long been a continuous issue among behavioral scientists.

Recently, biologists, psychologists, social scientists, and philosophers squared off in a lengthy printed debate over the existence of culture in whales and dolphins."
"Hal Whitehead and Luke Rendell (Dalhousie University) argued that cetaceans possess cultural faculties unique in the animal kingdom.
In over 20 years of study, no individual has switched from one pod to another. At an even higher level, different pods preferentially associate and share vocal elements with one another. Some even engage in what has been described as a ritualized greeting ceremony. (oxfordjornals.org)
Culture may be broadly defined as shared variation in behavior that is generated and maintained by social learning, for example, through imitation or teaching.
Mortality rates in captivity:
"Intelligence may be defined and measured by the speed and success of how animals, including humans, solve problems related to feeding, spatial orientation, social relationships and introspective communication"
So how is intelligence measured?
"Animals differ in intelligence, and humans are usually considered to be by far the most intelligent. However, it is unclear which brain properties might explain these differences."
"There is no universally accepted definition of animal intelligence, or procedure to measure it."
"Comparative development is, at best, only an indicator of intelligence and a better way to assess intelligence may be to look at behavior, including communication skills."
"Cortical neurons are the main functional cell type of the brain's cerebral cortex.

They play a key role in
, and

Cortical neuron
activity moderates
in the brain, and also effects musculo-skeletal control, the basis of
movement, like walking (or swimming)."
Cortical Neurons
The average human has about 12,500 cortical neurons, while the average orca has about 11,500, compared to a cat with up to 300 and a dog with roughly 180.
Separation of calves from their mothers can cause psychological strain on both the baby and the mother
Many of them enjoy a game of catch, with a fish or turtle, throwing the animal back and forth with no intentions of eating it

Also activities that remind us of games of tag
Seaworld claims that they are educating the public about marine conservation.

-They are admitting to experimenting on Orcas to get information, when that same information had been obtained by scientists studying wild orcas in more humane ways
SeaWorld states that "only two of the orcas in our care were collected from the wild"

- Don Goldsberry spent the 80's collecting orcas and selling them to companies, including seaworld.

The End
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