LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The sad news regarding the death of a trainer at Sea World’s park in Orlando, Florida yesterday highlights that orcas are inherently unsuitable for confinement in captivity. It places these animals under considerable stress, shortens their life expectancy, and makes them liable to the type of aggressive behaviour towards humans (and other orcas) never seen in the wild.
Our condolences are with the trainer’s family and colleagues, following this shocking incident, but the tragic events are a reminder that orcas are wild, strong and often unpredictable animals.
There are currently thought to be 42 orcas held in captivity in aquaria around the world. Half of these are held at three Sea World parks in the USA. Since 1961, 136 orcas have been taken into captivity from the wild. 123 of these unfortunate animals are now dead, surviving only an average of four years in captivity. This situation contrasts dramatically with orca survival in the wild, where individuals can live for up to 90 years.
Unfortunately, this was not an isolated incident. Tilikum, who was captured from the wild in Iceland, was, with two other orcas involved in the death of a trainer in Canada in 1991 and in 1999, a man who had reportedly snuck into the park during the night was found dead, draped over the back of Tilikum, also at Sea World’s Florida facility. The incident also follows the death of another trainer at Loro Parque in Tenerife at the end of 2009, during in-water training with an orca who was imported from Sea World in 2007. This tragedy highlights the fate of other captive orcas such as Corky, held at another of Sea World’s parks and confined for 40 years after being captured from her native waters in Canada. WDCS has repeatedly called for her to return to her native waters.
This information was brought to you by Cision http://www.cisionwire.com