Can you imagine being forced to live in a concrete tank for your entire life, just so people could look at you? That’s what orcas held at SeaWorld and other marine parks go through.
Jo-Anne McArthur | We Animals
In nature, orcas spend their whole lives with their families and swim up to 140 miles a day in the ocean. These animals are actually a type of dolphin, and each one’s body is about as long as a giraffe is tall—they’re the largest dolphin species. Orcas are very social animals who live in groups called “pods.” They work together to search for food, and some never leave their mother’s pod. The pods pass down knowledge through generations, and their members make unique sounds. Orcas from different places even have different dialects, which are kind of like accents.
At SeaWorld, these smart, sensitive animals are confined to tanks that, to them, are the size of a bathtub. An orca at SeaWorld would have to swim around the tank about 4,348 times in one day to swim the same distance they would in the ocean.
They don’t get to choose which others they live with and can’t escape attacks from aggressive animals. They have nothing to do but swim in circles or lie still at the top of the water for hours, and they become so frustrated that they break their teeth gnawing on the concrete walls of the tanks.
More than 40 orcas have died at SeaWorld, many unnaturally early. Some have died from bacterial infections and others from injuries to their skulls. In the ocean, female orcas can live to be 80 to 90 years old and males can reach 60 to 70 years, but ones in captivity are usually much younger than that when they die.
Life at SeaWorld is miserable for all the animals held captive there, but YOU can help them! Never go to a marine park, and tell your friends to do the same.