via Orca Network: January 24 NOAA Fisheries proposed a rule to grant Lolita equal status with her family as a member of an endangered species, pending a 2-month comment period before it is made final.
Now our challenge is to persuade NOAA Fisheries to overcome the beliefs promulgated to serve their own interests by the combined forces of the entire captive orca industry over the past four decades that captive orcas can never be returned to their native waters because it could kill them or could harm their wild conspecifics (family).
So we are asking all supporters of our proposal for Lolita’s retirement to submit comments to NOAA Fisheries along these lines:
The comment period - to help persuade NOAA Fisheries to not only follow through and grant Lolita’s inclusion as a member of her family, but to allow her to return to her home - began January 27. You can make your comments at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2013-0056-1841.
Even if/when she is finally determined to be a member of her family under the ESA, if NOAA Fisheries believes her health or her family’s health could be harmed by her return to her native waters they don’t have to allow her to be retired. We have drafted some basic points to make here to clarify those issues:
3 essential points to make:
1. There is no significant risk to Lolita in any stage of Orca Network’s proposal for Lolita’s retirement in her native waters.
a. Transport of orcas according to established protocols is commonly done and has never resulted in serious health issues;
b. Immersion of captive marine mammals in their native waters is described as therapeutic in veterinary literature;
c. The initial immersion is likely to be followed by exploration of the seapen environs, and heightened energy and metabolic strength, as demonstrated by Keiko upon immersion in Icelandic waters;
d. Her ability to catch and eat wild fish is likely to begin to resume in a matter of weeks or months, again as demonstrated by Keiko.
2. A thorough examination will be conducted by a team of veterinarians and pathologists prior to transport to detect any potential communicable diseases. Assuming there are not, there will be no significant risk to any members of the Southern Resident Community as a result of Lolita’s return to her native waters.
Conclusion: there is no harm to Lolita or her family involved in returning her to her home waters.
3. Remaining in captivity will result in continuing mental and physical stresses and health issues.
a. Abundant evidence, including peer-reviewed scientific publications, indicate that captivity increases mortality rates for orcas;
b. Due to her loneliness from living without the companionship of another orca for over three decades, and due to her exposure to the midday Miami sun, and due to the extremely small size of the tank that has been her only environs for over four decades, she is continually suffering as long as she remains in captivity;
c. Despite Lolita’s unlikely good health at over 45 years of age, she is still subject to the adverse effects of captivity on her emotional, mental and physical health.
Conclusion: remaining in captivity DOES constitute real harm to Lolita, and given her relatively good health notwithstanding her conditions, she is an excellent candidate for return to her native waters for retirement under human care in a sea pen, and potentially for eventual full release.
Please sign and share!!!They switched it to 10,000 people, let’s do this!!!
And along with this, let’s not forget about all of the damage to the environment they’ve done with wild captures of Cetaceans, Pinnipeds, and Penguins, along with their deliberate pollution to the ocean environment.
Orcas frequently beach themselves and lay there in a comatose-like state for extended amounts of time in captivity. This is a stereotypic behavior, meaning it has not goal or function, and stereotypic behaviors occur because of boredom or anxiety. Confinement drives these animals to do things that are unnatural and even painful, as laying out of water puts immense pressure on these animals’ internal Organs. Do not support cetacean captivity, Don’t buy a ticket.
Ever wonder why most captive Orcas’ teeth have holes in them, are flattened down, or even missing?
Poor Dental health plagues the vast majority of Captive Orcas around the world. Here is a fabulous article that goes into depth about how and why this happens.
Here is just a quick run down, if you don’t feel like doing all that reading (although I recommend it, very informational!)
Why does their dental health deteriorate?
- In captivity, confinement mixed with unnatural social groupings causes a lot of social strife between individuals. When separated, they will try to fight each other, and show dominance by biting and chomping down on the metal gates between them, also called “jaw popping.” this can break and fracture their teeth.
- Captive Orcas are subject to boredom and anxiety, and some Orcas will gnaw and chew on pool portions when bored or stressed out. This can wear down and also break their teeth. Example:
How do the holes happen?
- When an Orca breaks or fractures their tooth, the pulp is exposed, therefore subjecting the animal to a guaranteed infection. To combat this, trainers take a power drill to the tooth, and drill the pulp out, leaving a massive hole in the tooth. (note that this is all done without anesthetic, because Orcas are conscious breathers and would stop breathing if put under). One former Seaworld trainer states that “Success is measured by blood spilling out of the hole, in which case it’s apparent the bore is complete.”
- Once the orca has a hole in its tooth, it then has to have its teeth flushed and cleaned every day for the rest of its life, as food and other debris will get stuck in the holes and cause fatal infections. (Kalina the Orca died in 2010 of bacterial septicemia, a blood infection, and had multiple drilled and filed teeth. Coincidence? Probably not.)
Via the WDC:
It’s not just captive orcas that need your help - add your voice to our fight today http://bit.ly/1eN3pc0. Join us in telling the Georgia Aquarium that belugas should be left in the wild – not captured and transferred into captivity
Many aquariums in the United States have already shut down their dolphin petting pools, citing their inherently abusive and unsafe nature. When you watch this video, you can see the level of chaos around the pool as dozens of yelling children hold out small fish for dolphins to beg for.
And beg they do. Captives are kept intentionally hungry, so that they are forced to interact with park visitors. As you can see, the fish portions are very small, to keep the dolphins constantly coming back for more and enduring the poking and prodding of thousands of hands on their bodies. In my opinion, these should be called ‘dolphin fondling pools’, for that is what they truly are.
Sometimes the dolphins are touched in rough or painful ways by well-meaning tourists. Inevitably, garbage is dropped in the pool, creating a choking hazard for dolphins. And visitors get injured by the dolphins. Clearly, the regulation of this facility is desperately inadequate, putting both dolphins and humans at risk.