My Reflection

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Just last summer (2012) I went to the SeaWorld Park Orlando, where Tilikum still performs shows. The show with the Orca Whales was very entertaining. I found it so incredible that these animals are so large and beautiful. It did not even occur to me at the time that animals like these do not belong in captivity, especially when they were taken out of the wild for no reason. Looking back to my visit to the marine park, I feel slightly disgusted that I paid to see these animals exploited in shows for entertainment. SeaWorld has given the impression that Orca Whales are these cuddly and happy animals. The documentary challenges this concept and shows these animals for what they are which are intelligent and majestic animals that need to live in the wild.

SeaWorld is Challanging Ban on Whale and Trainer Contact

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November 12, 2013

On USA today online, they talk about the ban that federal government placed on trainers to not have any contact with orca whales in more than knee-deep water. This ban was put in place after a SeaWorld trainer was killed by one of the orcas. The federal government has said, “SeaWorld knows Tilikum is dangerous and  prohibits trainers from working in water more than knee-deep with the animal. With other whales, trainers can swim in their pools. SeaWorld’s trainers have dozens of close interactions daily with the park’s seven killer whales”. SeaWorld argues that human contact with the killer whales is meant to be educational and integral for the care of the whales. They also state that they want to interact with the natural world. SeaWorld goes as far as to say that the risks of being in close contact with these animals are no more than the risk a NFL player faces in games, or for NASCAR racers.

I found this article hard to read because I was just shaking my head the whole time not believing that SeaWorld wants to put trainers back in the water with the orcas. SeaWorld claims that they do not exploit the animals and that they are at the parks to help learn more about them. I do not understand why the trainers need to have direct contact with the animals, unless it was for shows. The risk of putting trainers in the water with the large orcas is a huge risk, and I think that the federal government should stay strong on this stance.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/11/11/sea-world-killer-whales/3498437/

Some More Facts!

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*Killer whales, also called “orcas,” are the largest of the dolphins.

*Killer whales can weigh up to six tons.

*Killer whales can grow to be 23 to 32 feet long, almost as long as a bus.

*Killer whales have 40 to 50 teeth that are up to four inches long.

*The average life span of a killer whale in the wild is 50 to 80 years old.

*Killer whales are found in all of the oceans of the world.

Sources:

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/killer-whale/

http://www.acsonline.org/factpack/KillerWhale.htm

http://www.whaletimes.org/whakw.htm

Intresting Fact #1

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One interesting point that was brought up in Documentary was the new research on Orca Whales having a larger part of the brain that is for emotion, especially for social connections. It explains that these animals may have developed stronger emotional bonds than humans. Another point that really fascinated me was that offspring stay with their mother until they die!

Legend of the Killer Whale- Why they dont eat people

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Why Killer Whales Don’t Eat People- This article is really interesting! Just as the title states the article is on why Orcas do not attack humans. It starts by telling the legend about the creation of the Killer Whale:

Natsilane was a charismatic and skilled wood carver who married the Chief’s daughter. Jealous of Natsilane’s popularity and talent, his brothers-in-law devised a plan to abandon Natsilane at sea during a traditional sea lion hunt. Left to die on a small rock in the middle of nowhere, Natsilane was summoned under the waves by a sea lion. The sea lion asked him to heal his son who was injured by a spear during the hunt. After pulling the spear point out, the Sea Lion Chief granted Natsilane great powers and helped him back to shore. Still angry about being abandoned, he began carving a great whale out of different types of wood. The first two carvings, when set in the water, simply floated away. But the third, made of yellow cedar, came to life. Natsilane sent it to exact revenge on his brothers-in-law. When the killer whale found them, he smashed their canoe and killed the brothers. But Natsilane felt badly about what he had done, and when the whale returned to him, he instructed it to never harm humans again.”

Orcas are much larger and stronger than us humans, and they are carnivores. So why do they not eat us? There are three explanations in this article:

1) Simply that we do not taste good. Orcas have very picky palettes.

2) Humans do not resemble any of the Orcas’ food sources.

3) A part of the Orca culture to not eat humans (resembles the legend).

 

Link to the article below:

http://science.kqed.org/quest/2011/07/20/why-killer-whales-don%E2%80%99t-eat-people-where-science-and-legend-meet/

 

Gabriela Cowperthwaite

Dawn Brancheau

Gabriela Cowperthwaite was a mother who took her kids to SeaWorld, she did not have any background on Orcas or in activism, but she became fascinated and horrified by Dawn Brancheau’s death in 2010. Brancheau was one of SeaWorld’s most experienced and top trainers at SeaWorld. After this horrific incident Cowperthwaite looked farther into her death and learned all she could about the whales. Her first thing she looked into was from an article called Killer in the Pool by Tim Zimmerman, and she learned that before Brancheau’s death there were two more deaths. This made her question the ethics about keeping Orca’s in captivity. She peeled back the layers and started to expose SeaWorld’s wrong doings.

Below is the link to Killer in the Pool by Tim Zimmerman:

http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/nature/The-Killer-in-the-Pool.html