SeaWorld still doesn’t understand how the SRKW became endangered?

SeaWorld still doesn’t understand how the Southern Resident Killer Whale (SRKW) population became endangered  Either that, or they do understand full well, but fly the balloon of uncertainty for reasons of their own.

Reading this just might make you gasp.

SeaWorld's claim that it is not known why the Southern Resident Killer Whale population became endangered, for all the world to see

SeaWorld’s suggesstion that it is not known why the Southern Resident Killer Whale population became endangered, for all the world to see  From seaworldparks.com.

Oh, SeaWorld.  No study on captive orcas is needed to understand that the horrific and massive extraction of the young orcas for the aquarium industry coupled with the birth-age of females and their gestation cycles is largely responsible for the SRKW population’s being placed,  and very little recovery since being so placed, on the list of Endangered Species.

As of September 2013, the SRKW population totaled 81 individuals ( J Pod = 26, K Pod = 19, L Pod = 36). The size of all three Southern Resident pods was reduced in number from 1965-75 as a result of whale captures for marine park exhibition. At least 13 whales were killed during these captures, while 45 whales were delivered to marine parks around the world. Today, only Lolita (Tokitae) remains alive in captivity at the Miami Seaquarium.   – From the Center for Whale Research

But for SeaWorld to suggest that it is still apparently a mystery reveals little more than its agenda; I’m not sure if that is “at best” or “at worst.”  As with other similar situations with SeaWorld and other aquariums <guess who>, I honestly don’t know if it would be better if they knew the truth and infused uncertainty, or if they truly didn’t know, but were entrusted with the lives of these magnificent beings.

Either way, looks like a Catch-22 for the orcas, both captive and free.

The rest of us can understand that studying orcas in concrete tanks has not translated significantly to conservation of the wild ones and will not tell us why the wild ones became endangered.  In contrast, organizations like the Center For Whale Research, whose mission is the study and conservation of the SRKW population, is where the daily scientific study of this wild population actually occurs, study that may yield important information on how to protect them and their habitat from further assaults.

Perhaps SeaWorld “may someday” understand how the Southern Residents became endangered.  If it really is “someday”, that day will be after SeaWorld has been forced to retire its “collection” of living beings to sea pens where they can once again, or for the first time, enjoy life in real seawater, with real tides, and a real sun, moon, and stars, and a real shore, and people who really get the right of orcas and all beings to have that life, to experience their birthright.

What you can do: Become a member of or donate to the Center for Whale Research and contribute to real protection of the wild ones.

Orcas K14, K42 and K26 - Sept. 17, 2009, known by and photo credit to the Center for Whale Research

Orcas K14, K42 and K26 – Sept. 17, 2009, known by and photo credit to the Center for Whale Research

4 Responses to SeaWorld still doesn’t understand how the SRKW became endangered?

  1. Excellent article, thank your for that. I think $eaworld meant to say; “The research we conduct and support is the research of how much money we can make off these paid circus clowns.” My question is are they really so collectively ignorant or just trying to save their collective bottom line? My favorite is that $eaworld wants to put trainers back into the water with the orca…is money really more important than human lives? Did they get a grip on why these Orca kill…some sort of information that only they are privy to? Empty the damn tanks SlaveWorld, be a REAL rescue and conservation conglomerant. Soley for compassion and not money. Thanx again for the great article!!!

  2. You are very welcome!!

  3. SeaWorld will play dirty to the very end! Thank you so very much Mo for all you do!

  4. Good article. I think if seaworld really cared about endangered southern residents they would be donating some
    Of their “conservation” funds. Also they don’t mention that corky is a northern resident from the same area. 45 orcas were captured and most died within a few years. Granny is the oldest southern resident at 100 years old yet seaworld dismiss the lifespans stated by scientists even though it is research into populations that they captured from. The wild southern residents have been monitored and have long life spans and the captured ones died within a few years.

    The southern residents like to eat mainly chinook salmon but there are too many dams in Washington state and hatcheries and so the wild salmon runs have reduced numbers. What have seaworld done to educate visitors about the effect that this has on the wild orcas and what the public should do to help support this (eg don’t eat farmed salmon, don’t eat pacific salmon, contact politicians to get some of the dams removed). Have seaworld done anything about this even though with their size they could issue a press release to national press, no because it doesn’t serve their interests and they don’t really care. You can find out more from orca network(who I asked if they found seaworld useful for conservation of the wild southern residents and their answer was 100% resounding no).

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