A sad story. Taima of SeaWorld Orlando, a 20-year-old female orca (killer whale), has died while delivering her stillborn calf. The father was the infamous Tilikum, who brought negative media coverage to SeaWorld earlier this year when he killed his trainer.
"“Public display of orcas only serves SeaWorld’s corporate need to profit from dangerous and unnatural stunts. It provides no meaningful education about protecting orcas in the wild and their natural habitats,” said IDA [In Defense of Animals] President Scotlund Haisley."
Orcas in captivity live short lives, an average of 15 - 20 years, while their relatives in the wild average 80 - 90 years. While it is natural for pods of orcas to swim great distances together in the wild, conditions in captivity only allow for extremely limited movement. "They use echolocation (sonar) to hunt, communicate and navigate through the ocean. In captivity their sound waves bounce off the walls of their tanks, which must be psychological torture to them."
NMFS (National Marine Fisheries Service) is reviewing changes to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) regarding changes to the public display of orcas and other marine mammals.
Full article here (IDA)