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Whales in Captivity stamp by Seolhe Whales in Captivity stamp by Seolhe
Edit: This is going to be remade in the near future! This was made several years ago and while I still stand by my opinion on keeping cetaceans in captivity, this definitely needs to be updated.

I'm generally not against keeping wild animals in captivity, but I am strongly against keeping whales and dolphins in captivity. This is a subject very close to my part, and that I'm very passionate about, and not only because orcas are my favourite animals.
I'm mostly going to use examples using orcas, as I'm more educated on orcas than other species, and know the full details much better, but this also applies to other dolphins and whales.

Unlike most animals in captivity, which usually leads longer, healthier lives, whales lives are drastically shorter in captivity. Female orcas in the wild are known to be able to reach an impressive age of 50-80 years, in captivity, they rarely survive past 20-25.

Even worse is the social aspects of life in captivity. Orcas build amazing, strong bonds with their family, which they usually stays with for life. When taken from them, they become lonely, anxious and depressed. But that's not all there is to it. You see, orcas communicate with a very advanced language, and it's been scientifically proven that orcas from different regions use drastically different "dialects". Marine parks such as Seaworld shows no respect for this when forcing orcas from completely different locations into the same tanks. The orcas can't communicate properly with each other, and this often results in violence, and sometimes even the death of the animals.

Orcas in captivity often develop behaviour problems from the stress they are subjected to. This often takes the form of aggression, both towards other orcas and humans.
There's been a dramatic amount of incidents where captive orcas have seriously injured or killed their trainers, but this aggression towards humans is not natural, as there have never been any cases of wild orcas killing humans.

What makes it all worse, at least in my opinion, is that keeping whales and dolphins in captivity is not only cruel, it also doesn't serve any purpose beside from entertainment. There's no serious conservation efforts involved, you can't really do any proper research on them as they're so far from their natural state of existance, and the excuse of education is nothing but a thin veil to hide the ugly fact that greed and human entertainment is the only reason these intelligent, social and amazing animals are being so poorly treated.

And I'm not even gonna mention all the neglect, abuse and corruption going on in the marine park business >_>

Final words; please, do not support the act of keeping whales and dolphins in captivity. If you want to see orcas, dolphins or whales, you can see them in the wild, without causing enormous amounts of stress and pain and death for these beautiful animals. Thank you.
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December 11, 2012
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