Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sea World Facing it's Worst Nightmare

Greetings yet again everyone, busy night right? Well I have one more bit of information that I would like to share with all of you. News has come out that California is considering banning Orcas from performing in shows. What does that mean? Well, it means first of all that Sea World's nightmare could be coming true much to the joy of many a conservationist. Sea World has long had Orcas in captivity and now they could be facing a very big problem. Since the documentary Blackfish was shown on CNN, Sea World has really been taking a beating.

Sea World has had to endure incredible ridicule about the way they treat their animals. They also have had to deal with many of the artists who were scheduled to play at the parks dropping out in protest of the company. Now they have to endure this new news. Many people in California are apparently in favor of this banning. Of course there are also those who are in favor of the Orcas staying. So here is my two cents on the situation.

I think at this point it is time for Sea World to at the very least change their ways. The conditions that the Orcas live in are undeniably poor. We are not talking about some small fish or medium sized sharks swimming in a tank, we are looking at massive marine mammals that travel miles and miles a day. They should never had been taken out of the wild to begin with, but at the same time, just how many people would care about them if Sea World never existed? It's a catch 22 if you ask me. Obviously these animals would be far better off in the wild than in captivity, but if there were never any in captivity, who would really care about them? Is it time to just empty the tanks? I have no idea the right answer to that. Orcas have proven to the world that they can be released and go on to live perfectly normal lives. Again though, will the general public lose interest in them if they could only see them by going on a boat? Or at this point would that actually garner more interest for the animals? Again I don't have the answer. Then there is the whole trainer/animal relationship. It's another topic of great debate. Some people say that yes, the animal becomes bonded with it's trainer, and then there are those who say the animal is only doing what the trainer asks because it knows that is the only way it will be fed. My opinion on the matter?

Again I feel like I am in the middle of the road. I have seen with my own eyes relationships between marine mammals and their trainers that are legitimate relationships where the animal shows affection even when no food is present. I've never seen it with orcas, but in general I have seen it. For the animals with a higher intelligence level such as dolphins and whales, I really don't know how I feel. They're plenty aware that only doing what the trainer asks will get them food. So is there a human/orca relationships? I have no idea really. I know that many trainers believe there is, but until I see things proven, I just cant 100% buy into it. Getting back to the main topic though as my focus is on what could happen right now...

Sea World has not been making smart moves since the release Blackfish. They failed to defend themselves against the accusations the documentary made from the get go and have now unleashed a massive campaign on Twitter claiming that Blackfish is nothing but propaganda and that Sea World respects the bond between mothers and baby orcas. Two things that are blatant lies that have done nothing but angered people even more. Time and time again Sea World has severed the bond between calf and mother and Blackfish, though one sided, does offer a great deal of facts about Sea World. This coupled with the things I mentioned above makes this new potential law very interesting to me. What if Sea World has to give up the orcas? What would happen to them. I highly doubt they would give into conservationist wishes and release them. People who think that are blind to what will probably happen. It would not surprise me one bit if the following scenario occurs. Sea World is forced to get rid of the orcas, so they move some of them to Orlando or another park. If they cant fit them all, then they will sell them for as much money as they can to a park in China or somewhere else in the world. They will never release these animals if they are told they cannot keep them anymore. Sea World has far too much money invested in them and sadly, once again, that is what it will come down to. It will not come down to what is better for the animals. It will be what is better for Sea World and what will make the most money. Either way, things are certainly getting interesting in this war over what should be done with the orcas of Sea World.

Unless more comes out about this potential new law, this will probably be the final blog on orcas during Operation Kibou. I know there was only a couple, but between the everything that happened in Taiji this year and now West Australia, I simply did not have enough time to really delve into the situation of orcas in captivity as much as I thought I would. Again, for the record I have taken no stance on the issue as I have great relations with people on both sides of the fence and my primary focus is on the animals in the wild. That being said, I do not think a single orca should be taken out of the wild ever again. Thank you all for reading once again!  

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