By now, you have all heard about the killer whale attack, and since I worked with marine mammals for a few years, I thought I would throw in my two cents. I am whole heartedly against killer whales in captivity. To be honest, I have very mixed feelings about dolphins in captivity, but not about killer whales. It is simply tragic that these incredibly intelligent creatures are kept cooped up in tiny holding areas, wasting away. In the wild, these creatures swim about 75 miles a day. Their holding tanks are usually not too much longer than the whales themselves. Their life spans are much shorter in captivity.
I have a good friend who is an orca trainer, and she is saddened by the treatment that some of these animals receive. While the trainers no doubt love the animals, there is a very powerful force at work here: this is a multimillion dollar industry and there are corporate interests that could care less about the condition of the animals, as long as they are healthy enough to perform and rake in money. Sorry to sound cynical, but I assure you I have seen plenty of this with my own two eyes. Exotic animals in captivity are a cash cow, and people who know very little about animals often run the financial side of things. These people don’t care whether or not the animal is having a bad day or isn’t in the mood to perform-that animal WILL perform, no questions asked. So the animal that dragged the trainer to the bottom of the pool may have shown signs of aggression earlier in the day, but that would not have mattered. The show had to go on, and the money had to be made.
RELATED: Sad truth about orcas in captivity.