Killer whales in captivity

From: Tom Ford (tjfketos@rcn.com)
Date: Fri Nov 12 2004 - 19:13:33 EST

  • Next message: Tom Ford: "whale questions"

    > From: "Amy-Lee Gunter"
    > Date: Fri, 12 Nov 2004 16:09:37 -0500
    > To: <tjfketos@rcn.com>, <pita@whale.simmons.edu>
    > Subject: Killer whales in captivity
    >
    > Dear Dr Ford
    >
    > Thank you for answering my question about illegal whaling. If you have a
    > moment I have another question. What are the downsides to keeping killer
    > whales in captivity. I believe Dr.Baird found that they are more susceptible
    > to disease in captivity. Are there any webpages that you know of that deal
    > directly with this issue?
    >
    > Thanks again for your time
    > Amy-Lee

    The downside to keeping killer whales in captivity has several elements.

    1) Disease - Captive whales are prone to catching diseases from people.
    airborne bacteria and fungi from people can be transmitted to the captives.

    2) Shortened lifespans in kept whales. Killer whale females live , on
    average, 70 years. Males live at least 50 years in the wild. Captive killer
    whales have dramatically shorter lives. Some animals caught in the wild live
    only 4 or 5 years.

    3) It is not good practice to keep animals that move 75 miles a day in a
    small tank. especially if they were caught in the wild. Now, I have to
    qualify that by telling you that many aquaria are now raising killer whales
    at their facilities. Those tank bred animals probably do not know any other
    environment. Due to their enclosed lifestyle they may actually be at danger
    in the wild.

    4) Some captured animals appear to be profoundly sadenned by their lack of
    freedom.

    Websites to see on this question.

    1)Free Willy

    2) www,orcanetwork.org/index.html

    2) www.rockisland.co,/~orcasurv/changing.htm

    Good hunting ,

    Tom Ford
    '



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