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Orcas in Captivity


            Close your eyes and imagine that you are swimming along peacefully in the ocean. Your family is at your side and everything is going fine, when all of a sudden you"re entangled in a net and dragged up on to a boat. Now open your eyes. This happens almost everyday to whales and dolphins around the globe. Innocent whales and dolphins are ripped away from their families, most likely never seeing them again. My name is Brandy Alexander; today I will be informing you on the conditions that Orcas live in while they are in captivity, how these conditions affect them for the worst, and lastly how this confinement is mostly for entertainment instead of research.
             These whales live in tanks of artificial salt water. Some marine parks do pump natural salt water from the ocean to their facilities and filter this for use in their pools however in most marine parks fresh water is usually used to house dolphins and whales which are ocean dwelling creatures. Ocean water is made by mixing salt with the.
             fresh water however there is no way this can replicate the richness of natural water from the oceans where the wild populations live. Some of these animals are also held in chlorinated pools, which can result in skin rashes and diseases. The tanks are usually 40 feet deep (being the deepest) many can be 18 feet deep though. Tell me how can this be suitable when a whale can grow up to be as long as 30 feet. The pool is usually only 80 feet long. In Puget Sound, where many of these whales are from, not even 20 feet from shore, the water is 118 feet deep.on an average. It goes to hundreds of thousands of feet as you move into the straight, so how do whales adjust to this lack of distance? They are forced to swim circles around their tank. Food deprivation at marine parks is not an unusual occurrence. Some trainers do withhold food if an animal refuses to perform. A former trainer for Sea World has reported that dolphins that would not perform were sometimes denied of food during or after shows.


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