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i just read an article on how Seaworld, my least favourite tourist attraction in the world, are going to stop breeding orca wales. about bloody time! they should never have been kept in captivity in the first place. according to the bbc article, which i will link down below if you are interested, there will be no more orca wale breeding and the current generation of wales are the last. seaworld currently has 29 orcas, the majority of which were born in captivity. their treatment is so unfair and cruel. they are completely denied their rights and their natural behaviour. the space an orca has in a seaworld tank is the equivalent to a human being trapped in a bath. it's hardly enough space for a living creature.

share prices in seaworld halved after the 2013 documentary blackfish was released which showed how truly horrific the treatment of the killer wales was. the film focused on a specific whale called tilikum who was involved in several violent incidents. since then, there has been huge campaigning to release the whales and shut the parks. this decision to stop breeding orcas in captivity is a huge step towards ending the era of captive display shows. animal rights organisation peta has been campaigning heavily for the release of these whales which i strongly support. it is unnatural and not ethical to force these creatures to behave in such ways all for the amusement of humans. their quality of life is severely diminished by being a part of seaworld. although seaworld stopped capturing marine animals decades ago, up until now they were heavily breeding orcas for profit. the end of the commercialisation and abuse towards the orcas is in sight. hopefully it won't take much longer.

in case you have not heard much about the darkside of seaworld, let me give you some facts. orcas at seaworld spend the majority of their time in the blistering sun with no protection, which is the wrong climate for them. their bodies are not designed for the heat of places like florida, texas and california. that's because they are meant to be in oceans in the arctic and antarctica! normally orcas would spend 95% of their time submerged preventing things like sunburn but because of their performances and how shallow the seaworld pools are, they get sunburned on a daily basis. away from the view of the public, seaworld workers cover up their sunburn with black zinc oxide. this can be used as a suncream, but the majority of orcas already been burned by the sun before it is applied.

another disgusting fact about seaworld is the breeding programme. seaworld workers force the male orcas to float on their backs and then masturbate them to collect their sperm. the female orcas are then artificially inseminated with this sperm and forced to give birth at a much younger age that would be considered natural. orcas, such as katina, are basically breeding machines and forced to inbreed with their own sons. this whole process is simply unnatural and cruel. the whales are severely harmed because of this behaviour and cannot have normal relationships with the other whales. naturally, the whales chose their own partners but in seaworld, they have no control over this.

in the wild, the average life expectancy of an orca is between 30 and 50 years, with the maximum lifespan for males being 60-70 years and the maximum lifespan for females being 80-100 years. however, in captivity the life expectancy is just 9 years. that is around a quarter of their natural lifespan. a side effect of living in captivity for male orcas are collapsed dorsal fins. collapsed dorsal fins are not natural or healthy, which seaworld claims they are. they are the result of captivity, as very whales living free have them.

sorry seaworld but your time is coming to an end, and quite rightly too. your secrets are being exposed! go watch blackfish if you haven't already, although be warned, it will make you cry. these animals do have a right to a high quality of life and it is wrong that they are being abused to make profit and for amusement. you wouldn't treat your cat like that (hopefully) so why a marine animal? stop being speciesist  and see all animals as equal. we do not have the right to inflict them emotional or physical pain. we were not put on this earth to disrupt the natural order and abuse creatures we see of lesser value than us.

open your eyes. please.

This post first appeared on Sophie's Thoughts, please read the originial post: here

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