POLL: Should captivity for all killer whales be banned?

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After just three months of life, the calf named Kyara died this week. According to a spokesperson at SeaWorld in San Antonio, she had some “very serious and progressive health issues over the last week.”

It was in March, 2016, that SeaWorld announced that it was ending its breeding program for orcas, meaning that the current orcas in SeaWorld would be the last generation in . The announcement was made in partnership with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and signaled a growing shift in our views on captive cetaceans and other wild animals.

About 16 months later, the last orca born in captivity at SeaWorld, died.

Artist’s rendering of SeaWorld’s proposed killer-whale habitat expansion project in San Diego. Photograph: Reuters

Death Of Kyara, 3 Months Old

Kyara was born in April of this year to her mom Takara, and had been receiving treatment for an infection, but her health declined rapidly over the past weekend. She probably died of pneumonia, although a post-mortem will establish for sure the cause of her death.

“Kyara had faced some very serious and progressive health issues over the last week that the animal care and veterinary teams had been aggressively treating,” SeaWorld said in a statement.

Kyara was the last whale to be born under the breeding program, and was conceived before SeaWorld said it would stop this program.

SeaWorld has recently changed some of its procedures, including putting an end to orca games at its park in San Diego and planning to end them at other locations, such as San Antonio. But SeaWorld still has nearly two dozen killer whales between these two parks and its Orlando, Florida, location.

Are These Changes For Real?

Former SeaWord trainer John Hargrove had this to say, “I’m grateful Tiki’s calf only lived for 3 months in a concrete box deprived of all things natural. For Takara, my heart is broken in pieces.”

In January of this year, Seaward announced the death of Tilikum, the planet’s best-known .

Tilikum became a household name in 2013 thanks to the popularity of the documentary Blackfish, which gave audiences a critical look at SeaWorld and how miserable its killer whales seemed to be in captivity.

Measuring over 22 feet long and weighing in at approximately 12,5000 pounds, Tilikum had been the largest orca in captivity. He was estimated to be about 36 years-old.

The bottom line is that it should no longer be legal in the U.S. (or anywhere else) to keep these intelligent, highly social animals in enclosures the size of hot tubs. These are naturally social creatures who have been removed from their families and stripped of their ability to live in the wild, working in unison as a pack and caring for their young together.

Abusement Park

On July 24, PETA vice president Colleen O’Brien released a statement; “SeaWorld executives have dollar signs where their eyes should be.”

“Forty orcas have now died on SeaWorld’s watch,” O’Brien added. “It’s time for the abusement park to remove the remaining animals to seaside sanctuaries before the death toll hits 41.”

Speaking to the BBC, Dr. Naomi Rose agreed. Rose is a marine mammal scientist at the Animal Welfare Institute in Washington, D.C.

She describes orcas as the ants of the mammal world. “I think that orcas are more social than people are. I think their family lives are more important to them than they are for us,” she says.

“They cannot be isolated from friends and family because it will in fact cause problems for them. Socially, emotionally, psychologically, physically.”

Capturing orcas and holding them separately from their families is unnatural and wrong. And we still need actual proof that SeaWorld is changing its word and deciding to not breed killer whales in captivity.

Take Action

If you agree, please sign this petition to add your voice to the call to end killer whales in captivity, and ask your member of Congress to support the ORCA Act, introduced by Adam Schiff (D-CA) to phase out this horrible treatment of such amazing animals.

This article was first published by Care2.com on 28 Jul 2017.

We invite you to share your opinion whether captivity for all killer whales should be banned? Please vote and leave your comments at the bottom of this page.

Should captivity for all killer whales be banned?

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Editorial Comment: The purpose of this poll is to highlight important wildlife conservation issues and to encourage discussion on ways to stop . By leaving a comment and sharing this post you can help to raise awareness. Thank you for your support.


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Jane Morgan Townshend

Yes. Definitely it’s time to let them go.

Jasmin Crossman


Rena Andersch

Yes, all captive animals is a crime and should be banned.

Ken Lee

The question might be on displaced very young Orcas and Killer whales most likely the wrong name for these beautiful creatures!

Joyce Barnes


Guillemette Brin


Gitte Løyche


Robyn Bonner

Yes banned

Michael Vickers

Cruel to keep these magnificent animals in captivity

Michael Vickers

Just wicked keeping a magnificent animal in captivity

Lorrie Moore Maringo

yes stop putting animals in cages and tanks! let them alone.

Roger Arseneau

Boycott all Zoos

Glenda Flatt

Orcas should be free in the oceans.

Katey O Fiske


Anita Sayers


Lavinia Hall


Theresa Kemp
Theresa Kemp

These poor creatures swim for miles naturally – keeping them in pools in just cruel beyond reason

Sue Rice


Karen Lyons Kalmenson

orcas dream
we dream of oceans,

not swimming pools.

where we can live by

our own,

not human


we dream of our pods.

our unbreakable bonds,

that spread over the seas,

and far beyond.

Philip Sajet

obviously, absolutely,

Andrea Helena Gabriela Beránková


Kathy Carlin


Janna Werthem Davis


Anita Pinelli Phillips

Yes! Want to see killer whales. Go on a whale watch!

Connie Wilson

No animal should be held captive. Especially wild. They were born free! Here before man! No cages. Bars. Tanks. Chains. Not for our entertainment….see them where they belong…..

Lela Gary

Absolutely! No Bulls*** about research etc. Only for Recovery in Wildlife Sanctuary, in case of harm.

Norma Hurt

yes, could not find the poll but we all vote yes

Kimberly Mauppin-Walter

Duuuuhhhhh, YES

Ms. Saba Alemayehu
Ms. Saba Alemayehu

YES. Animals are born free, in the Vegan Savior Jesus. No sea creature or any other animal should be kept in slavery, by beasts that are not humans. Animals are not for experimenting upon, and they are not on earth to do the will of sinners, but to live their own lives in absolute freedom always.

Gabriel Collier


Susan Vredenburgh Bishop


Jenny Borus


Carol Anne Coughlin


Linda Savage

Yes definately

Evelyne Dompmartin


Françoise Pasqué

oui !!!!

Deborah Coward

Please read the story! There is a petition you sign and share. I voted YES of course! But it still hasn’t loaded

Janell Morris Cooper


Dorothy Phillips


Lori Rosser Yonts

Folks. This is a picture, fake picture.

Deborah Coward

Hell YES!!

Maria Naynuk


Jean Leighton


Debby Houston Wilks


Jean Daniels


Nooky da Silva

Hell YES.

Amelie Dharma


Micaela Dolcetti


Jean Clelland-Morin

signed and commented

Jean Clelland-Morin

Exploitation of Non-Humans is IMMORAL ! ! ! Boycott all Zoos, Marine Parks and animal-circuses. Do your VEGAN Research !