It goes without saying that life in captivity cannot compare to life in the wild for marine animals. Going from having the endless expanse of the ocean to swim, hunt, and interact with others, to living in a space that is a small, small fraction of that size – completely devoid of any other animals or entertainment is a downgrade, to say the least. Although marine parks and aquariums try their best to convince us that they are doing their best to replicate the wild environment for animals, the more we learn about animals like orcas, beluga whales, and dolphins, the more clear it becomes that this is not the case.
Take the video above, for example. Here we see Kina, a false killer whale who currently lives at SeaLife Park in Hawaii, being routinely “hydrated.” In the wild, marine animals get their hydration from the fish they eat. They can pick and choose when they eat and balance their physiological needs in this manner. However, in captivity, whales are subject to someone else’s schedule and can only get fed when people are there to care for them. When marine parks are closed overnight, animals are forced to fast until morning which can lead them to be dehydrated … in which case, procedures like the one above need to take place.
In the process of hydrating, caretakers place a tube down the animal’s throat and feed them a form of jello and ice. If you ever had any doubt that life in captivity isn’t so different from the wild … just watch this video. These sort of procedures only exist to help the animals survive in their captive environment. If you agree it is time to #EmptyTheTanks, share this post!