Published on Jan 9, 2013
Like many captive wild animals, Orcas display stereotypic behavior in captivity. Stereotypic behavior has no goal or function, and can be a signal of mental illness. Some examples of this behavior are: vomiting, logging at the surface or pool bottom for extended amounts of time, bobbing up and down, swimming repetitive circles in a coma-like state, self-mutilation, tongue playing, and biting and gnawing on gates and pool walls.
Sometimes Orcas will even use slide-outs as a means of displaying this behavior. They will get up on the slide-out and either thrash about violently, or lay there, motionless, without any goal or function. Sometimes they’ll lay out of water for many minutes.
In the wild, Orcas travel up to 100, and even more, miles per DAY. In captivity, if they wanted to achieve this, they’d have to circle their tanks a few THOUSAND times.
Because these animals are under-stimulated, and unable to fully use all of their energy, they display these behaviors, and sometimes become aggressive towards each other and their trainers; something very unnatural in the wild. Family members in the wild rarely get aggressive or injure each other, whereas in captivity, they become aggressive with each other on a daily basis.
Want to stop this? Don’t buy a ticket to marine parks with Orcas, Belugas, Dolphins, or any other cetacean in captivity. Also, educate as many others as you can on the cruelty of captivity, and urge them to also boycott marine parks. Thank you.
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