Right, so instead of doing homework tonight, i did some research on Tilikum (also "Tillikum") the whale. If you aren't familiar with Tilikum, you probably know him better as "Shamu" the whale who drowned Dawn Brancheau. Tilikum had also been a part of a killing in 1991 at his first home. A woman slipped into the tank where Tilikum (hereafter referred to as "Tilly") and his two companions were being kept.
Tilly and his female counterparts had never been trained how to deal with humans, so they got excited and started to play with her. Unfortunately, when a 12,000 pound mammal decides to "Play" with you, you're probably not going to come out looking too great. This woman did not make it out of the tank alive, and recieved many pre and post mortem wounds and abrasions. It took workers at SeaLand of the Pacific in Vancouver two hours to recover the whales' "plaything". At that point, it should have been realized that Whales are not meant to be held in captivity.
However, that wasn't the case. After SeaLand got rid of Tilly and his companions, he was moved to SeaWorld. He was considered a valuable asset, because both of his female whale friends were pregnant when they were recieved. Tilly was used at SeaWorld for his sperm. Many whales at SeaWorld today are a result of the humans tampering with nature and impregnating the females.
Don't get me wrong. I think that the artificial insemnations would be barable if they were just for the sake of the continued existence of the whales. As it stands, the whales that were bred are used in shows.
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Tilly had another fatality between the aforementioned two. In 1999 a man snuck into SeaWorld after hours and stripped down to his swim trunks, leaving his clothes in a neat pile next to the tank, and jumped in. He was found draped over Tilly's back. (REALLY, they called the whale Tilly....) The cause of death was later confirmed as hypothermia, but Tilly had ripped his swim shorts off and the mans testicles were ripped open. Bits of him were picked up off of the floor of the tank.
Whales are not meant to be kept in such small areas. Before Tilly was captured and made a slave of the people, he was not a residential whale, meaning he wasn't one to stay in one spot. Tilly migrated and swam along the ocean with a pod. These graceful beings ARE NOT MEANT TO BE PREFORMERS. They are highly social animals with a complex language. They are top of the food chain in their environment. THEY SHOULD NOT BE IN TANKS.
Some people may argue that it is very educational for the whales to be in human captivity. We are learning more about them. In the 60s and 70s, maybe. But now, all of the education can be achieved in the ocean, or it HAS ALREADY BEEN ACHIEVED. THERE IS NO NEED FOR MAJESTIC, INTELLIGENT BEINGS SUCH AS ORCAS TO BE REDUCED TO SPLASHING AUDIENCES IN ORLANDO FOR KICKS.