How Many More Must Die?

How many more must die?


SeaWorld recently announced the death of Kayla, a 30-year-old orca, who apparently died of “unknown causes” after handlers noticed her not feeling well for two days. Orcas can live to be 90 or better if left in the wild. A necropsy will be performed to see what made Kayla fall ill and die. Perhaps if someone with a bit of sensitivity and half-witted intelligence at SeaWorld recognized that these creatures are  not meant to be imprisoned in tanks and forced into performing for crowds unaware of orcas’ keen intelligence and sensitivity, Kayla would still be alive.

There are still 20 whales in captivity remaining in SeaWorld parks. Five are held captive in Orlando, five in San Antonio, and ten are in San Diego. Likely they will all die unnatural deaths too.

An organization with even half a heart would release these orcas to a sanctuary where they could be rehabilitated back to the environment they’ve been denied. At worst they’d remain in a natural sanctuary, not a tank. But that’s not the way the do busine$$.  How many more must die? (Information from

Even more appalling, however, is the captivity of 11 orcas and 87 beluga whales in Russia’s remote  eastern area. These animals are in danger of freezing to death when their pens ice over and temperatures drop to subarctic levels. Once the orcas start developing frost bite they will die. If an orca’s dorsal fin (which regulates its temperature) freezes, the mammal can easily succumb to the cold.

These animals were captured last summer with the plan of selling them to China for their dolphinariums/aquariums. The whales are being cruelly held in a tiny area. China has plans for over 60 “aquariums” and is buying dolphins from the Japanese and apparently whales from Russia.

According to the Independent, a British publication, activists have been lobbying Vladimire Putin for the animals’ release. They have seen one of the orcas whose fin is “peeling off in large, flapping chunks.” This whale and others have already developed frostbite.

The observed sick whale is “…completely inactive, looks sick and floating motionless for long periods. His breathing is very slow and ‘gentle,’ which can be a sign of pneumonia or other diseases of internal organs.” Other orcas have skin lesions that are likely due to fungal diseases from being kept in such small, confined pens.

There is no doubt that the orcas are also suffering extreme stress due to the heavy equipment and noise around the area.

The capture and torment of such intelligent, sensitive, social mammals absolutely must be stopped. It’s difficult to believe that a leader such as Vladimir Putin, who supposedly regards wildlife very highly, would allow this kind of abuse to take place.

SeaWorld has 20 orcas still in captivity. Russia holds 11 orcas and 87 beluga whales captive. Japan is commencing the commercial slaughter of whales in July despite world-wide protest and condemnation.

How many more must die?

(Information from