Captive Killer Whales Research Paper

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When the two sides come together, the argument boils down to one major point, should we “Free Willy?” Those who side with the whales, whether their reasons be emotional or defended with welfare standards, feel that the whales should be released back into the wild or into private coves3. The opposing side makes valid arguments against the release of the currently captive whales. Currently captive whales were either removed from the wild at a young age, albeit in a cruel way, or they were bred in captivity11. The point in discussing this issue is not to address the cruelty of taking an animal from the wild, or to argue whether or not breeding programs are successful or appropriate. What needs to be addressed regarding the release of captive whales is their survivability in the wild6. Many killer whales are bred in captivity now, and thus have depended on humans for the entirety of their lives7. If a captive bred whale were released into the wild, it is likely that he or she would approach humans which could be dangerous for both the human and the whale. Captive bred killer whales would also likely have difficulty hunting, as their food was always provided for them by humans. …show more content…

Therefore, if release is not possible, it is tempting say that the killer whales remaining in captivity should be protected and put in better tanks and that they should not be forced to perform. This would still, however, violate the five freedoms under the animal welfare act. Thus, the only other option when release is not possible, is humane euthanasia. This would clearly not go well with the public, as they would just see the overriding organization that put the act into motion as heartless murderers, when in reality, they would be trying to do what is best for the killer whales. Furthermore, I feel that an animal welfare act should be declared to prevent further capture of killer

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