Captivation of the Vulnerable

Before, you read this post I need you all to watch this trailer. It is a trailer to a documentary called Blackfish and to understand how I feel as I write this blog post, you need to watch this.

Like every Sunday afternoon after finishing all my work for college, I sit and scroll through Tumblr; a blogging site for teenagers. I sit and blog photos, gifs and even the occasional video.

Today I came across a video that caught my eye, it seemed interesting, so I clicked the play button. It wasn’t like all the other trailers or videos I had seen on the site; it was not funny. It struck fresh anger within me which inevitably led to some determination as my brain shouted ‘This, this is what you’re going to write about, this is your inspiration’. The music pulsed and the shots of the Orcas flashed across the screen in synchronizing rhythm, my anger grew to sadness.

Orcas are captured in the wild at a young age ranging between 1-year-old and the eldest known 4-years-old. Many are separated from their mothers in the most horrific ways possible as speed boats circle the Orcas to herd them into a confined environment making it easier to capture them but creating a distressed and hostile environment for the Orcas; this capturing is where there turmoil starts. There are 45 known captive Orcas in aquariums and parks but these are the survivors of the 136 orcas taken into captivity from the wild since 1961. This leads me to only assume that this number is going to increase as they are forced to interbreed.
The infant Orca is then taken to parks like Sea Life and housed in small modules 20 feet long but an adult Orca averages at a size of 24 feet requiring a pool with a minimum horizontal dimension of twice its size (48 feet) and a depth of 12 feet giving a minimum volume of 615 m3. There are many variations of these regulations in many countries some demanding the need of more space and some countries don’t have any regulations at all. However, no matter how many regulations are put in place this certainly isn’t were these mammals belong. They need to be in the ocean, their natural habitat which houses the perfect conditions for them to live in; we as humans can’t make such conditions and shouldn’t play God. We are not the dominant species and never will be. In fact no species is more dominant than the next.

Whether wild-caught or captive-born, Orcas suffer significantly reduced life expectancy and collapse of their dorsal fins. In addition, they suffer from stress, disease, aggression and behavioural problems, which have led to recent years to attacks on humans. Not only do the adults suffer but so do the infants as many stories and news articles have stated young Orcas have died as young as 10 months due to interbreeding. When will the torture of these majestic animals stop?
In the Life of Pi Yann Martel writes this quote:

We commonly say in the trade that the most dangerous animal in a zoo is Man. In a general way we mean how our species’ excessive predatoriness has made the entire planet our prey.

I wholeheartedly agree with this quotation because there is so much evidence out there to suggest that man has such excess needs that make us demand to have more and need dominance over every species even members of our own. The video strikes determination in me as I realise I can’t give up on my dream to conserve vulnerable marine animals like the Orcas locked in Sea Life. This act is wrong and people need to learn this.

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