Orca Captivity Research Paper

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Orca whales are the largest marine mammals that were first captured and put on display in the 1960s. There have been over one hundred and sixty whales to be captured since then and reside in various theme parks and aquariums around the world. Orca whales became a popular attraction to entertain humans and showcase their talents because of their remarkable appearance, size, intelligence, trainability, and playfulness. Over the years researchers have found that whales in captivity have more negative effects than positive. Some negative effects are their poor diet, induced stress and anxiety causing fights with other whales, and attacks on humans. Therefore, Orca whales should not be in captivity because of their low survival rates, human injuries and…show more content…
When orcas are held in captivity the average life span is about nine years, leading to premature deaths. They rarely make it to the average life expectancy in the wild and don’t live past twenty. Out of one hundred and sixty whales that have been captured since the 1960s, more than seventy percent don’t make it past ten years in captivity. Captive whales are confined in small tanks one hundred feet long and twenty feet deep in chlorine treated water. That’s the size of a bathtub compared to the wide ocean for these whales. The chemicals in the water have the same effect as humans do by making their skin and eyes dry and irritated. Orcas swim at least one hundred miles a day in open water. Being in those small tanks, they would have to swim around the circumference of the pool 1,900 times a day to equal that same amount. In a tank they are forced to stay towards the surface of the water since the pools aren’t that deep. In the wild orcas actually only spend seven percent of the day at the surface of the water and as a result of this affect male Orcas develop collapsed dorsal fins. This physical feature is rarely seen in the wild and

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