Note that all statistics in this flyer are from 1997, but the message is timeless.
|J pod, part of the "resident" clan of Puget Sound orcas, is an intensely social, matriarchial family with several generations that will stay together for life. They forage 20-50 miles a day in a home range of over 500 miles. Much of each individual's life history and personality is known from two and a half decades of intense study. Scientists need words like culture, dialect, and ceremony to describe the rich social and cognitive behaviors of these wild orcas.|
|Many captive orcas die unexpectedly, but necropsies find almost half die from bacterial infections. Twenty-two orcas have died in U.S. facilities in the past decade.|
|Ewok, J20, was born in 1981 and may live 80 years. In her clan, a female's mean life expectancy is 50.2 years, but five are now estimated to be over 60. Male mean life expectancy is 29.2 years, but they may live 50 years. After observing and practicing mothering skills, females in the wild usually have their first calf when 14 to 15 years old, although one orca was suspected of having her first calf when only eleven years old. All family members help care for the young and juveniles spend many years learning complex social and cultural behaviors.|
|"Any captive whale must be regarded as emotionally
and sensorially deprived and bored. Captivity is abusive and lethal for
orcas, and their life expectancies reflect this fact."|
Ralph Munro, Washington Secretary of State
|Corky was taken from A5 pod, in December, 1969. Here breaching on command, she had a stillborn calf a month after the photo was taken. Of her 7 known pregnancies, no calf survived more than 46 days. Although the industry often uses a survivorship figure of 50% for captive births, only 17 of 47 (36%) known pregnancies have produced surviving offspring. Captive females have conceived at only six years old, significantly younger than the minimal age documented in the wild. Pregnant orca are routinely transported between facilities. Calves younger than two years have been removed from their mothers. Corky may be the oldest captive orca, but many consider her a candidate for release. A23 is believed to be Corky's mother, and is still alive in the wild. The industry has fought all attempts to release any orca, like Keiko (Free Willy), Lolita, and Ulysses. Why?|
|"There is about as much educational benefit
to be gained in studying dolphins...in captivity as there would be studying
mankind by only observing prisoners held in solitary confinement."|
|Junior languished in this warehouse for over four years without seeing daylight. He died in 1994. This privately owned Canadian facility has public shows, but few knew of Junior because inventory, health and mortality facts are not required to be publicly available. Many orcas captured in Iceland have been stored here to be resold, and it has expanded for captive breeding.|
|"The benefits of oceanaria for human and
cetacean are no longer sufficient to justify the adverse effects of captivity"|
Australian Senate Select Committee Report
Twenty-three other cetacean species have been kept in captivity in the U.S. Captivity is always an experiment. Seventy-one percent of all known false killer whales captured for U.S. facilities are dead after an average of a few years in captivity, and most are selected from the infamous drive fisheries in Japan, just before the others are killed. Participating fishermen have said that these captive sales have helped the fishery continue. Only two of 80 pilot whales are still alive in U.S. facilities; the others averaged only 3.1 years of captive survival. Of 45 common dolphins only two are still alive; the rest survived an average of 1.7 captive years. Just one of 70 Amazon river dolphins held in the U.S. is alive, but none of the 96 spinner dolphins or ten harbour porpoises or nine Dall's porpoises have survived. Perhaps belugas do better; roughly half are now dead. Other species have been deliberately caught as exotic experiments, or were brought into captivity as a result of a stranding response collection.
|Since 1964, 56 orcas have been captured from Washington and British Columbia clans alone, including one whole pod. Ninety-five percent have died, living an average of only 5.2 years once in captivity. Worldwide, about 135 orcas have been taken for captivity and unknown numbers died during the process. Scientists are only just beginning to understand the impact on wild populations when individuals are removed. The industry has ignored what it has left behind.|
from any experience that you have had with captive cetaceans:
|Perhaps the major factor in survival is the individual's will to survive. Some die during capture, others survive for years in horrible situations. Humans cannot judge which ones will make it, but we MUST judge if captivity is justified at all.|
THE CAPTIVE WHALES AND DOLPHINS NEED YOU TO EXPRESS IT.
This pamphlet will succeed if it causes you to consider the issue, seek your own answers, and establish your own opinion. Many people agree with the following statement. Modify or disagree as you like, but please send your opinion to the addresses below. If you are concerned with the issue it is time your voice is heard:
STATEMENT OF AFFIRMATION: "I believe that it is no longer justifiable for cetaceans to be captured or maintained in captivity for purposes of exhibition, education, or research. There exists a moral imperative for cetaceans in captivity to be maintained in optimal conditions for their physical and social well-being and for efforts to be made for their rehabilitation and release".
Your further comments: ______________________________________________________ Please send me information about: ___________________________________________ Name ________________________________________________________________________ Address _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ Zip/Post Code _______________________ Phone/Fax/E-mail ____________________________________________________________
Please respond to: Cetacean Society International, PO Box 953, Georgetown, CT 06829 USA
Photos: "Junior", Cara Sands. All others, William Rossiter.
For further information see:
URL for this page: http://csiwhalesalive.org/csicapfl.html