killer whales

SeaWorld’s Tilikum: Should Keeping Captive Orcas Be Banned?

Candice Gaukel Andrews by Candice Gaukel Andrews | February 14th, 2014 | 1 Comment
topic: Eco Travel, Green Living | tags: animal ambassadors, animals, Blackfish, captive wildlife, cetaceans, conservation, Dawn Brancheau, dolphins, endangered-species, environment, health, killer whales, marine creatures, marine environment, nature, ocean, orca, orcas, SeaWorld, Tilikum, travel, whales, wild, wildlife

orca in the wild

Last October, when CNN broadcast the documentary Blackfish, a film that tells the story of the 2010 killing of a SeaWorld trainer by an orca named Tilikum, there was a public outcry against marine parks — such as SeaWorld — that keep cetaceans in captivity. After the movie aired, several veterinarians and the director of the Dolphin Project at the Earth Island Institute in Berkeley, California, Ric O’Barry, stepped forward to state their professional opinions that confining orcas can make them psychotic.

SeaWorld, however, countered that marine parks such as theirs have done great works in conservation and that hundreds of millions of people have come to love and learn about orcas and other marine animals because of their popular shows and exhibits.

But given what we now know about how confinement can influence an animal’s behavior, should cetaceans ever be kept in a captive environment?

3 Ways to Whale-Watch Ethically

Wendy Worrall Redal by Wendy Worrall Redal | September 9th, 2008 | 1 Comment
topic: Eco Travel, Green Living | tags: boat, eco-friendly travel, eco-tourism, endangered-species, excursions, habitat, Haro Strait, killer whales, ocean, Orca Relief, orcas, Puget Sound, San Juan Island, San Juan Islands, stress, whale watching, wildlife

Orca - Whale Watching

For 20 minutes I’d stood at the rail of the Pelagic, watching the rise and submersion of two black dorsal fins in Haro Strait, off San Juan Island. “Granny,” a 95-year-old orca matriarch, and “Ruffles,” named for the ripply edge on his fin, were cruising the silver waters in search of Chinook salmon.