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Old 25-02-2010, 16:34   #76
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I just thought of the idea of creating an enclosed salt water lagoon and letting the captured orcas live out the rest of their lives there...but not as circus animals doing tricks. It would not need to be enormous, just significantly larger than the fish bowls they live in now. They probably would not survive in the wild. The public could then pay to visit this lagoon and see orcas in at least somewhat of a more natural environment.
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Old 25-02-2010, 17:37   #77
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The numbers I seen say about 42 captive Orcas world wide with half that number being kept at the three US SeaWorld locations in the wild they live an average of 90 years and in captivity 4 years with a notable exception in SeaWorld's Corky who has been in captivity 40 years at this point. If these numbers are tru they are capturing a lot of Orcas with the hope a few will survive. Here is one organizations proposal to SeaWorld to see Lolita released to the wild:
2007 Proposal draft
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Old 25-02-2010, 17:44   #78
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Have all attempts to re integrate these guys into the wild failed?...As was noted the behavior shown mimicked the same as when feeding on seals...I don't get it...They are big, fast at the top of the chain and if hungry I should think be able to catch food...No?
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Old 25-02-2010, 18:00   #79
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Information I've seen suggest half of the Orcas in captivity may have been born to it. Keiko, made famous by FreeWilly, was released after almost 20 years in captivity and monitoring showd that integration with wild Orcas wasn't occuring and in the end was recaptured. Orcas who have been in captivity a short time have been successfully released.
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Old 25-02-2010, 18:10   #80
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Too me, there should be NO animals held in captivity.

Us, sailors, like to talk for hours about our 'freedom'. Why refuse the same to other inhabitants of the planet Ocean?

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Old 25-02-2010, 18:19   #81
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Its always a shame when someone dies in an unfortunate accident. Maybe this will cause people to think about the untold numbers of whales that we have murdered in the oceans in the name of profit?
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Old 25-02-2010, 18:43   #82
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Information I've seen suggest half of the Orcas in captivity may have been born to it. Keiko, made famous by FreeWilly, was released after almost 20 years in captivity and monitoring showd that integration with wild Orcas wasn't occuring and in the end was recaptured. Orcas who have been in captivity a short time have been successfully released.
So are they so dependent on a pod they will die if alone?..or is that our own sense of guilt at play that they are somehow misfits now and need our help?
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Old 25-02-2010, 19:50   #83
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This is an interesting thread and I'm not trying to stir a pot or play the Devils advocate. But I'm always curious as to the special selection of outrage people show one animal over the next. Why is it an outrage for some here that one animal is kept in captivity while I'll bet there is plenty of fishing gear on these same folks boats capable of catching Dolphin and Tuna for a little sport. One animals life is as precious to him as it is to the next, regardless of the fuzzies we get over our particular favorite one.
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Old 25-02-2010, 19:52   #84
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I think it has to do with a couple of things. There are two social structures, loosely speaking, amongst Orcas. There are regional groups and transitories. The transitories are more varied in their approaches to feeding because they are going with the flow so to speak. Scientists seem to think these animals are more adaptible. The local pods that are used to regional patterns, such as salmon migrations, are less adaptible since they rely on patterns of other animals behavior. In the case of Keiko, she wasn't able to benefit from the knowledge of the pod and apparently had lost some of the knowledge herself. I'm just passing this on but it seems that she wasn't finding the food because she didn't remember the patterns - not surprising given the time spent in "jail". Humans don't integrate into society that well after long periods of incarceration either. Given the money they've made it wouldn't break my heart if these places had to shoulder the cost of rehabilition of their prisoners.
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Old 25-02-2010, 20:00   #85
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Personally I'm not sure it's a question of how precious life is. To me it's a question of the suffering. When I catch a crab I kill it before cooking because I don't see any reason to boil them alive (they taste better killed and cleaned anyway). When I catch a fish I hit them over the head as soon as they are on board. I'm grateful for the food but don't need them to suffer more then neccessary. I respect the right of people to choose what they'll eat but expect them to treat the animal with dignity and respect their place in the environment. I've no respect for those who disreguard limits imposed to protect a species or the environment. We can't know the thoughts of animals but it's not a stretch to guess that animals who display intelligent behaviours also are capable of suffering the loss of freedom.
Just my opinion.
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Old 25-02-2010, 20:11   #86
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So are they so dependent on a pod they will die if alone?
That does seem to be the result. They are highly social and mature"loner" orcas have not been noted. You may recall a juvenile loner here in Puget Sound a number of years ago that was so lonely for companionship that it came up to boats and hung around ferry docks. Attempts were made to co-locate it with one of the pods off Vancouver Island, but they weren't successful. If I recall correctly, it was killed in a ship prop.

Orcas pods are matriarchal in organization. Males stay with their mothers. If the mother dies, they remain with the most senior mature female, usually a sister. Orcas use a variety of pack hunting methods. Pods and sub-pods also seem to have dialects in their communication patterns.

One of the theories about why Keiko didn't adjust was that he had been gone from his pod for too long and his language was no longer recognized by the pod as being one of "theirs", even though he was located in the same general vicinity and the scientists were pretty sure that he was related to the local orcas.

We know from primate studies that attachment, also called "bonding", seems fundamental to normal development. In primates, much of this is accomplished very early in the infant's life with parents, possibly through pheromone transmission then stimulating massive releases of oxytocin in the brain. Good bonding is related to many features of good physical health, positive social behavior, successful mating, and good mental health throughout the lifespan. In cetaceans, where transmission of pheromones might be a much more complicated affair, they might have a different method, theorized as possibly through vocalizations. We do know from observing newborn cetaceans that vocalization between the newborn, their mother and other pod members is very intense.

So, if these theories are barking up the right tree, then it would make sense that an orca that was removed from the family pod for too long, such that the attachments were disrupted, they would have lots of trouble re-integrating.

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Old 25-02-2010, 20:12   #87
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Just had to do a quick search on the evil corporate Sea World and it's funding.

In its first five years of operation, the Fund has granted $5 million to more than 300 projects in 60 countries. The Fund's grantees include world-renowned conservation organizations such as World Wildlife Fund, The Nature Conservancy, Rainforest Alliance, Conservation International and National Audubon Society. In addition, the Fund supports lesser-known grassroots groups who are committed to protecting and preserving wildlife and wild places in their own community.

Unlike most charitable organizations, 100 percent of donations to the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund go directly to wildlife conservation, including species research, animal rescue, habitat protection and education. The Worlds of Discovery parks – SeaWorld, Busch Gardens and Discovery Cove – cover all administrative costs for the Fund

The SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund is a 501(c)(3) non-profit private foundation.

The Fund works with organizations, individuals and experts in the U.S. and around the world to identify the most pressing challenges facing wildlife. The Fund then awards grants to projects focused on protecting wildlife, people and places in ways that are sustainable and long-term. In collaboration with the SeaWorld, Busch Gardens and Discovery Cove parks, the Fund also works to increase global awareness of wildlife and inspire everyday actions that can help animals survive and thrive.

Launched in 2003, the Fund was created with dual purpose: 1) Provide guests with an easy, direct way to get involved and make a difference for wildlife and 2) Strengthen and expand the parks' existing conservation efforts. While the Fund itself is relatively new, the Worlds of Discovery has contributed more than $20 million to wildlife conservation since 1970. The Fund intends to continue this legacy and create an even greater one.
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Old 25-02-2010, 20:21   #88
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On the subject of the inability to find food.....Lets let a couple loose here....Im sure the local boat owners will gladly trade neighbors..

Understood ID...maybe they should be let loose in pairs. Male & Female
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Old 25-02-2010, 20:30   #89
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Wow, and we thought seagulls were a problem on our boat.

ORCAs should be free ! After all that is what we named our yacht. We chose the name because they are one of the most beautiful wild creatures to be encountered in the Oceans, and were about the same size of our vessel. We saw them while working on a small Antarctic cruise ship several years ago.

If you ever go to Eden on the south coast of Aust, you should visit the Killer Whale Museum. They have the skeleton of Old Tom who used to tow the whale boats out hunting for bigger whales. His teeth were worn from the tow ropes. He was not tamed, but seem to work with the whalers for mutual benifit as he liked the tongue of the whales and the whalers gave him his fill. Tom was not the only Killer involved, but he was the most notable.

A fabulous account of the interaction of killers and whalers is in the book "Killers of Eden".
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Old 25-02-2010, 20:30   #90
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Hi, Tellie (hope you're doing well and warmer than when we last talked!) --

RE: SeaWorld and their good works. As with so many things, rarely is it a matter of something or someone being completely "evil". I don't think they are, and I agree that for many people, exposure to what they offer in their shows is quite likely a good thing. The fact that they are using at least some of their corporate profits for activities that just about all of us would support is a good thing and I hope they continue. But that doesn't mean that all of their activities and how they gathered their wealth in the first place are themselves admirable. Just like Toyota is learning, it only takes one spectacular screw-up to undo years of positive public perception. In this case, they've had a string of opportunities to re-think what they're doing with orcas and other cetaceans and have chosen to continue in their path.

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