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“SeaWorld’s announcement that this would be the final generation of killer whales in their tanks is a huge win, but we need to ensure other theme parks don’t see this as an opportunity to grow their captive marine mammal programs,” wrote Aaron V., an animal activist on Care2. Where there’s a profit, there’s usually someone willing to do whatever it takes to make it. This petition, in Support of the ORCA Act, introduced by Adam Schiff (D-CA), seeks to empty the tanks once and for all.
According to the Animal Welfare Institute, the Act itself has been thoroughly researched and involves phasing out the captivity of orcas so that their display ends with this generation. It would prohibit the breeding, the taking (wild capture), and the import or export of orcas for the purposes of public display while allowing for transfers to seaside sanctuaries.
A fact sheet for the Act outlines exactly why tanks are no place for orcas. Among many reasons, orcas are too intelligent, too social, too big, and too long-lived to thrive in captivity — add to that the fact that most captors isolate them in tiny tanks with no protection from the sun or way for them to swim in any direction other than a circle, over and over again. But, most tragically of all, orcas simply lose their sanity in captivity.
“It should no longer be legal in the United States to keep these intelligent, highly social animals in enclosures the relative size of hot tubs – stripped of their families and their ability to live in the wild, swimming hundreds of miles, hunting as a pack, and caring for their young together,” said Aaron.
Please sign the petition and spread the word on social media. More and more these days shame is being attached to water “abusement” parks. It’s not enough, though, to label it as bad. We have to keep acting and educating one another so we can stop the business altogether. If we work hard, we will win. Blackfish ignited the change and it’s up to us finish it.
Lead image: Britt Reints/Flickr