I keep working on my video, and the “raw material” is almost done (texts, pics - but it will still be a long while before I finish/release it as I need to do more research so I know it’s factual, and I always take my time to “polish” my videos), but there are a few points I haven’t addressed in it yet and am unsure what to make of.
"They are too intelligent to be in captivity"
Something I loved to say when I was anti-cap, and with parrots as well. But what does it really mean? (If I don’t know exactly what it means, I can’t come up with a good reply.) Then, I did address “slavery” and anthropomorphism, so I may not need to bring that point up.
Then - gelatins (is that just to get them more water because the thawed fish is dry? Because I sure have seen it demonized among anticaps, but I don’t know why), drugs, and as I mentioned earlier, teeth. I need more details on their dental care and why their teeth break.
Thanks for your message!
What I meant specifically when I said animal abuse is that they don’t hurt the animals. They do everything in their power to make sure that the orcas have a healthy life.
Orcas have only lived in captivity for a few decades. With any animal, their life spans are going to be shorter for some time until we learn how to properly care for them. Some orcas, like Tilikum and Ulises, are in their 30’s now, and they are still healthy, so who knows how long they are still going to live! It is likely that they will reach the lifespan of wild orcas.
Yes, some captive orcas have floppy dorsal fins, but some wild orcas do too. It is more prevalent in human care, but according to all the research I have read about it in the past, a floppy dorsal does not hurt or negatively affect the animals.
As I said before, if you think orcas belong in the ocean, that is your opinion and I respect that. But I think there is a place for captive orcas in our society and the ones we have already should stay there.
To be fair, the average lifespan for males in the wild (if they make it to adulthood), is only 29-30 years. So Tilikum, Ulises and Bingo have already outlived their average lifespan. Then males are said to reach a maximum of 50-60 (which is also supposed to be the female average).
What is really the age of sexual maturity among orcas?
I know people love to toss out the number “15 in the wild, much earlier in captivity!”, it’s even on the Wikipedia page.
But we can obviously not force them to mature earlier. It’s only true that female orcas typically have their first surviving calf at 15 years in the wild, and the average age of first birth is 13, which means they first conceive on average age 11-12 in the wild. So clearly, since that’s average and not the very earliest, they can and do mate and conceive before that, even in the wild.
Then Kalina became a mother extremely early, at only 7½. And Tilikum’s firstborn was born in 1991, when he was 10, so he must have made Haida II pregnant aged 9. (Trua is currently not yet 9, and is often kept separate from the young females because the trainers fear he might get them pregnant?)
So what is the actual age of sexual maturity in orcas?
(I mean, female humans in more primitive cultures often have children in their late teens, but still many of us are sexually mature at age 12 or even younger. So sexual maturity and “first surviving child” should not be seen as the same thing.)
I’ve never heard of any of the back pools being 15 feet, nor do they look that shallow. The med pool is 8-12 feet deep, and the back pools are clearly substantially deeper than that. If you don’t mind, could you please provide these sources for me?
The only time I’ve been round the back pools was in 2004, so I can’t remember much but if you look at some of the photos that SeaWorld released when Makaio was born they definitely look like they were taken in a shallow pool. My guess would be one of the back pools since it doesn’t look like the show pool, DWS pool was closed when he was born and Tilikum was probably in the shaded pool at the time.
I think I’ve also heard educators say they’re 15ft, though they aren’t the best source of information. In any such case I do believe they are unfortunately that shallow.
The only thing I will contribute, since I don’t know the depths of any of the pools other than the show pool and the DWS pool, is that I see Tilikum do behaviors in the shaded pool - just the other day he did a side breach. I don’t know how deep that pool is, but it can’t be too shallow, otherwise he wouldn’t have the space to get that much height. But I’m sure some are that shallow, which is unfortunate.
I’m being a necro-poster here now, but I’ve read that the shaded pool in Orlando is 20’ deep, closeup and show pool 36’ deep, and the side pools 25’. So no 15 feet there. In fact it seems the only SeaWorld orca pools that shallow, except for the med pools, are the side pools in San Diego.