Captivity of Killer Whales

Persuasive Speech Outline The Effects of Captivity on Killer Whales Specific Purpose:To persuade my audience that holding killer whales in captivity is harmful to the mammal. Central Idea:Holding killer whales in captivity is a harmful problem to the mammal that requires action from both the government and the public. Introduction On February 24, 2010 couples and families were seated in the stadiums at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida for one of the most popular shows at the theme park “Believe”. Unfortunately, many families participating in that day’s event were eye-witnesses to an extremely traumatic tragedy at the SeaWorld theme park.

It was reported by CNN news that the trainer Dawna Brancheau was grabbed by the mouth of Tilikum, the killer whale, and was thrashed around the tank until she was dead. It was also reported that the trainer was showing the audience how Tilikum liked his belly to be rubbed. He then took off from the side of the tank, came back, and picked her up from around the waist and began to violently shake her. Tourists and visitors were immediately evacuated from the “Shamu” Stadiums and the show was closed down for the rest of the day.

Wild Orcas, also known as killer whales, are not typically considered a threat to human beings. In fact, the primary cases of killer whales attacking humans are only those that have been held captive at various marine theme parks. Having attended marine theme parks, such as, SeaWorld, I can confirm that animals within the theme park are being exploited solely for the purpose of entertainment. Today, I’ll show you how holding killer whales in captivity is a harmful problem to the mammals and I’ll also suggest some ways of solving this problem. Transition: Let’s start with addressing the harmful effects that captivity can have on killer whales. ) Body I. There are two main problems with keeping killer whales in captivity. A. Killer whales in captivity are being deprived of necessary items that are causing them to have shorter life spans. 1. According to underwatertimes. com, killer whales in the wild live on average between 30 and 50 years, while those living in captivity only live around 10 years. a. According to asconline. org, killer whales live shorter lives than those in the wild due to a lack of stimulation. . Whales in captivity are not exposed to the same sights and sounds they would normally experience in the wild. c. Whales who are unable to live with other sounds of other mammals and are confined to blue tanks with the sound of running pumps, loud music, and cheering crowds will eventually become stressed. 2. Killer whales undergo psychological stress when they are captured. a. When a whale is captured, it is taken from its family and the separation and loss of bond can cause it extreme mental stress. b.

According to an article written by Stephen Lilley, 75% percent of whales do not survive through the intense separation period when taken captive. 3. According to theorcaproject. com, whales in captivity at marine mammal parks often are receiving poor oral health care. a. Just as in humans, poor oral health and gum disease can lead to serious infections, illness, and even death in killer whales. b. Almost half of the whales held in captivity, have broken or fractured teeth from biting on steel gates, and are not being properly repaired. c.

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Whales teeth at marine theme parks eventually become infected or fall out because of poor oral health care and it is believed to be another link to why the whale’s life span is so much shorter. (Transition: Holding killer whales captive will not only cause them a shorter life span, but it can also change their social behaviors as well. ) B. Holding killer whales in captivity can negatively change their social behaviors. 1. According to hsus. org, the stress on the whales in captivity can cause stomach ulcers, and pacing. a. Stomach ulcers are often found in whales in captivity due to the stressful lifestyle. . Whales resort to pacing around the tank in circles to emulate the fast strong feeling of a swim normally done in the wild in an attempt to keep their dorsal fin upright. c. Without a strong long distance swim, a whale’s dorsal fin becomes weakened and will eventually either look bent, curve to the side, or break off. 2. Self-mutilation is another unordinary behavior that occurs with whales in captivity. a. Whales kept at marine mammal parks, have been known to ram their heads into the sides of the tank in order to relieve stress. b.

Whales kept at marine mammal parks, have been known to bite along the steel gates that separate the whales in order to help relieve their stress, however; this results in broken teeth and other oral problems. 3. Aggression towards the whale’s trainers is frequently seen with whales held in captivity and can make it very dangerous for trainers to work with them. a. Trainers at SeaWorld have noticed aggressive behavior such as biting, grabbing, and forceful nudging from the whales occasionally but are not allowed to speak about it. b. According to an article on moneytimes. om, the whale Tilikum has been responsible for three deaths during his time in captivity. c. The most recent death was of Dawna Brancheau, who had part of her scalp torn off, her arm torn off, and fractures on her back, ribs, legs, arms, face, and spinal cord. (Transition: Now that we have discussed the two main problems with keeping killer whales in captivity, let’s discuss what we can do to help solve these problems. ) II. Solving the problem of the captivity of killer whales requires action from both the government and the public. A.

New laws have to be put in place to make it illegal to take killer whales captive and put them on display for the sole purpose of entertainment for others. 1. New laws would need to be created to require marine theme parks like SeaWorld and Aquatica to release the mammals back into the wild . 2. The government would also need to enforce that marine amusement parks be prohibited from using live animals in shows for entertainment, and they would need to encourage the public to become educated about these creatures through other means. a.

Once the whales have been released back into their natural habitat, marine theme parks could replace them with very popular and successful robotic-like creatures that could still educate visitors about the animals without subjecting them to a lifetime of captivity. (Transition: The government instituting new laws is not the only way we can solve this problem, but also through the support of the general public. ) B. The public should begin to choose alternative ways to become educated about killer whales, that don’t require harming the animals. 1.

Choosing to continue to support marine theme parks such as SeaWorld only encourages these types of places to have more funding to go and capture more marine animals. 2. Going on a whale watch and seeing them in their natural habitat is an alternative to supporting places like SeaWorld. Conclusion In conclusion, I am urging you to truly realize exactly what these great mammals are being forced to endure before choosing to go visit and support marine amusement parks such as SeaWorld. We as humans cannot ever fully imagine what it would feel like to be captured by strange creatures and taken from our normal lives and our families.

We cannot ever fully imagine being put on display to perform circus-like tricks for loud audiences and then being forced to idle around all day in confined tanks that would feel about the size of a bathtub to us. As thrilling an experience it may seem to see killer whales in shows or even to peer through the glass as they swim in their tank, the effects of captivity on killer whales can be truly devastating. We would serve both ourselves and the whales much more by studying them in the wild. It is only there that we can catch a glimpse of them in their true glory. Works Cited Couwels, John, and Brian Todd. Orca Kills Trainer at SeaWorld Orlando // Current. ” Current TV: News Video Clips & Current News Articles // Current. 25 Feb. 2010. Web. 20 Dec. 2010. <http://current. com/news/92212843_orca-kills-trainer-at-seaworld-orlando. htm>. Stephern, Lilly. “Killer Whale (Orca) | Cetacean Fact Sheet | American Cetacean Society. ” ACS – American Cetacean Society. 2010. Web. 20 Dec. 2010. <http://www. acsonline. org/factpack/KillerWhale. htm>. “The Hidden Cost Of Captivity- Oral Health of Killer Whales Exposed « The Orca Project. ” The Orca Project. 25 Sept. 2010. Web. 20 Dec. 2010.

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