• In the wild, male Orca whales can live to be 50-60+ and wild female Orcas have lived to be over 90. In captivity, most whales and dolphins do not live to adulthood, many die in their teens.
• Whales and Dolphins use echolocation, a sonar-like system used to detect and locate objects by emitting usually high-pitched sounds that ricochet off the object and return to the animal's ears or other sensory receptors.
In captivity, Orcas cannot use their echolocation, as the sound waves will actually bounce off the tank's concrete sides and literally deafen the animal. (In some cases the animal has literally gone insane)
• Whales like Tilikum are literally used as breeding machines for SeaWorld’s profit; Tilikum has sired 13 calves for SeaWorld, (10 are still living) and he is used in their artificial insemination breeding program, which has allowed SeaWorld to easily interbreed the captive orcas in their facilities. In fact, Fourteen out of twenty-five whales living in SeaWorld’s collection (56%) are carrying Tilikum’s genes. Globally, marine parks have enjoyed 60 live births since 1977. However, 32 of those animals (53%) are already deceased. SeaWorld alone has had 28 live births, with nine deceased (32%), as are ten of the mothers.
• Taima, an Orca at SeaWorld Orlando died from a prolapsed uterus while giving birth to her fourth calf on June 6 2010, at the age of 20. This was due to over breeding; Female killer whales mature at around age 15 and will usually have only 1 offspring every 5 years. Taima was only 20 years of age and died giving birth to her 4th calf• Nalani, a young female orca at SeaWorld Orlando is the first orca in captivity to be born through ‘Mother and Son’ breeding. Her father, Taku (now deceased) was also her brother, uncle, cousin and nephew.
• Tanks are sanitized with chlorine, copper sulfate, and other harsh chemicals that irritate the dolphins and whales’ eyes, causing many to swim with their eyes closed.
Former dolphin trainer Ric O'Barry, who trained dolphins for the television show "Flipper," believes excessive chlorine has caused some dolphins to go blind. The U.S. Department of Agriculture closed Florida's Ocean World after determining that over-chlorinated water was causing dolphins' skin to peel off.
•According to Ric O'Barry, "positive reward" training is a euphemism for food deprivation. Marine parks may withhold up to 60 percent of food before shows so that the animals will be "sharp" for performances. Former dolphin trainer Doug Cartlidge maintains that highly social dolphins are punished by being isolated from other animals: "You put them in a pen and ignore them. It's like psychological torture."
• To reduce the risk of stomach ulcers from the stress in captivity, whales and dolphins are force-fed numerous medications and antibiotics on a daily bases.
• Captive Whales and Dolphins have even committed suicide in aftermath of the daily stress and literal heartache; These animals are conscious breathers and have to make a noticeable effort to surface for air. Kathy, the main dolphin used in the hit 60’s series “Flipper” sank to the bottom of her tank and simply did not take the next necessary breath. In 1980 Hugo the Orca whale at Miami Seaquarium repeatedly bashed his head against the concrete sides and viewing windows in his tank, nearly severing his rostrum (which had to be sewn back onto his face) and several windows had to be replaced. He died in March of 1980 from, according the National Marine Fisheries Service Marine Mammal Inventory Report, of a brain aneurysm, very likely in result of the many intentional blows to His skull.
• Did you notice that Tilikum’s dorsal fin is flopped over? This is called a collapsed dorsal fin and it is nearly exclusive in captive Orcas. Scientists do not know exactly why this happens, but there are a few existing theories: (1) alterations in water balance caused by the stresses of captivity dietary changes, (2) lowered blood pressure due to reduced activity patterns, or (3) overheating of the collagen brought on by greater exposure of the fin to the ambient air. A hotel-sized pool is simply inadequate to Orca’s health, happiness and natural living.
• There are currently 42 orcas living in captivity and 156 Orcas that have died in captivity. In addition, 28 calves have been lost during pregnancy
• The captive Whale and Dolphin industry supports the annual dolphin and porpoise slaughter in Taiji Japan, where cetaceans are driven into a hidden cove; the most attractive are sold to marine parks around the globe and the rest are brutally slaughtered and their meat is sold as food. (See: www.takepart.com/thecove for more information.)
• Supporting Marine Parks that hold cetaceans captive for entertainment purposes, is supporting the captive Dolphin and Whale slave trade, which has, and continues to abuse marine mammals in the name of entertainment and conservation