The death yesterday of a “trainer” at SeaWorld in Orlando has captured the attention of media around the world. ARFF spoke to the ABC affiliate in Palm Beach County (view here). If something good comes out of this tragedy, it might be that the incident has turned a spotlight to the issue of marine mammals in captivity. A headline in today’s Christian Science Monitor asked, “Do ‘killer whales’ belong in theme parks?” CBBC, the British Broadcasting Corporation’s children’s television channel, posted this question on its website, “Should animals be kept in captivity?” Several newspapers polled their readers. The Orlando Sentinel asked whether keeping orcas in captivity is cruel and dangerous. So far, the vast majority of voters have selected the response, “The activists are right. These creatures should be free, not kept in tanks and trained to perform tricks.”
One interesting fact that we found in the coverage was that only orcas in captivity pose a threat to humans. Nancy Black, a marine biologist with Monterey Bay Whale Watch, told Fox News, “They have never killed a human in the wild.”
ARFF believes that Tilikum, as well as the orca Lolita at the Miami Seaquarium, and other orcas held captive at marine parks around the world, would be much better off returned to the wild. Visit ARFF’s website to learn more about the misery of marine mammals imprisoned in marine parks and aquariums.