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Captive Orca News

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by wensleydale, 22 Aug 2014.

  1. zoorog

    zoorog New Member

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  2. taun

    taun Well-Known Member

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    Depends on which side of the fence you sit on. ;)

    SeaWorld where potentially going to do what Highlands wildlife park did for polar bears in the UK.

    Sure them animal rights activists are happy as they now will live out their lives in the pools they already have instead of improved facilities and maybe more natural husbandry of the animals. ;)
     
  3. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

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    The end on breeding was inevitable, I don't think public pressure was the only factor here. All of you guys know that there isn't a lot of genetic diversity in the captive orca gene pool. At this point, what, at least half of the SW orcas are related, right? If they continued breeding, they'd reach a point where all were related. It would be very difficult to obtain new whales, captures are illegal, orcas don't get rescued often enough to maintain a captive population, and good luck trying to import one. GA couldn't even do that with belugas. Captive breeding can't go beyond a few more generations anyway, no reason to put off the inevitable. Do it just a little early and get them sweet, sweet PR points.
     
  4. zoomaniac

    zoomaniac Well-Known Member

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    The (evil) forces against SeaWorld were obviously too strong. So sad that SW did surrender, specially regarding the fact that after the last killer whale in their parks has died, the public (and the animal right activits) won't care about the future of this species in the wild and the danger by pollution (and maybe hunting).

    Having said that, I must also confess, that SW itself is implicated at this development (e.g. because of their awfull PR within the last 2 decades).

    Now I'm excited to see what other Institutions with orcas will do (Antibes, Loro Parque, Russian and Japanese Marine Parks).
     
  5. zoogiraffe

    zoogiraffe Well-Known Member

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    Lets hope Sea World see sense and reverse this decision,as its played into the anti's hands!

    Next stop closing all the world's zoo's!!
     
  6. Giant Panda

    Giant Panda Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    This is major news, but let's keep it in perspective. Three parks phasing out one species will not lead to the end of zoos.
     
  7. zoogiraffe

    zoogiraffe Well-Known Member

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    The perspective is that this is a major victory for the anti's,and they WILL NOT STOP there they will now move on to the next stage,because they in their eyes have won this battle,so they can now take the next step in there goal in there being NO ZOO'S in the world!

    It may well not happen in my life time but they will not give up,just as those of us that value what good work zoo's do must keep up the fight to stop them from winning!
     
  8. Giant Panda

    Giant Panda Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    They have won this battle and they already fight for that goal. They're largely unsuccessful, however, because public opinion may be anti-captive cetaceans, but is not fundamentally anti-zoo. Demonising the animal welfare lobby as a whole is neither helpful nor in the animals' best interests.

    That's not to say zoos shouldn't pre-empt such attacks. There needs to be a fundamental shift in the zoo community towards a more scientific basis for animal welfare. We’re heading in the right direction (eg. Wielebnowski et al. 2002 for clouded leopards), but similar work must be carried out across the board. If zoos can quantifiably demonstrate that their animals are no more stressed than wild individuals, the emotional argument will look as flimsy as it is. Right now, they can't for most species and that's genuinely concerning. On the flip-side, when welfare issues are identified (eg. Terio et al. 2004 for cheetahs), targeted improvements can be made.

    In the case of SeaWorld, its positive actions were perceived as reactions (and largely were). If its marine mammal programme is to continue long-term, I think the next step should be announcing something akin to Blue World for the dolphins. I doubt that'd go down well with the shareholders, but sometimes you need to stand for something, as well as against.
     
  9. wensleydale

    wensleydale Well-Known Member

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    Yes you are right. Also, a lot of the so called "science" against Orca keeping and Zoo's in general is actually bad science pushed by people because it makes them feel good because of their personalities, not because it is necessarily better for society.

    Read some of Jonathan Haidt's work. No, it doesn't deal with Zoo's or Killer Whales specifically (or at all really) but it explains how we tend to look to what we find most palatable rather than what actually happened. It's political psychology, and I'll be darned if this isn't political.
     
  10. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

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    I don't even know if SeaWorld's actions can be seen as a reflection of the zoological community as a whole. SeaWorld is a theme park, not a traditional zoo. They exist to entertain and make profit. They're going to do different things than a non-profit zoo that works for education and conservation.

    It's also worth noting that cetaceans like the orcas at SeaWorld are kept different from most zoo animals. People are mad because the orcas live in blank, concrete tanks and perform in glorified circus shows. Meanwhile, most other animals in zoos are kept in exhibits resembling a natural habitat, there's more enrichment, and they're generally not performing in shows. I don't think zoos really have anything to worry about. Animal captivity is not a zero-sum game. It's possible for the public to support certain types while opposing other types. Giant Panda here makes some great points.
     
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  11. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Moderator Staff Member

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    One of the best things written on ZooChat in a while I think. Well said. A clear manifesto for the future direction of the zoo community.

    I'm all in favour of thinking critically about an issue, and it's certainly true that many people only engage superficially with anti-captivity arguments before adopting them, but how is it political? I'm not so much disagreeing as not following.
     
  12. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

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    Orcas are charismatic megafauna. They're going to be popular whether they exist in captivity or not. Have you ever seen a humpback whale in captivity? They're still incredibly popular with both the general public and activists.

    But yeah, I agree that SW has just done an awful job with PR. I'm sure the controversy would've been lessened if they didn't do a lot of stupid things.
     
  13. Giant Panda

    Giant Panda Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Very true. SeaWorld's whole vibe is one of exploitation, whereas zoos are generally perceived as conservation organizations. Both reputations are at least partially deserved. It's worth noting, however, that not all for-profits or theme park zoos deserve to be seen in this way; Disney's Animal Kingdom is a prime example.

    Thank you :) It won't happen overnight, but progress is being made.
     
  14. HyakkoShachi

    HyakkoShachi Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't say the general public is anti-cetacean but in the west it is certainly anti-orca. Considering the demographic issues ending the formalised program in SW was bound to happen anyway.

    What should be worried about is the CEO's new partnership with HSUS which is a hardline animal rights group with a soft exterior. It is clear they will not stop until Seaworld has rid itself of all captive animals. Whether that will spill over into pressuring zoos to stop keeping walruses for example, is yet to be seen.

    When it comes to captive killer whales as a whole, part of the reason why Japanese parks haven't bought russian orcas may be the possibility of exchange with Seaworld. Without that, and with Japan's captive population being practically all related and having only a single immature male, this creates an incentive to take wild caught bulls.
     
  15. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

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    Activists say it openly that they are ideologically against any contact of people with any animals in any form, and start from most controversial issues and then will move to next targets.

    So Sea World should certainly expect no less criticism, but shifting pressure to dolphins and other sea animals, most probably strengthened by 'success' with killer whales. Then campaigns will go against whale watching in the wild, eating fish, wearing wool, keeping pets etc.
     
  16. wensleydale

    wensleydale Well-Known Member

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    Duh. How can someone not realize that.

    I remember reading an article about one of the founders of peta who visited their headquarters and describes in great detail how the organization plans stunts e.g. attacking celebrities with paint.
     
  17. jayjds2

    jayjds2 Well-Known Member

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  18. wensleydale

    wensleydale Well-Known Member

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  19. jayjds2

    jayjds2 Well-Known Member

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    I hope he pulls through as well. I don't really have an opinion on the CEO, it's just a change that was bound to happen eventually. Tilly's older depending on who you ask, but I agree with you.
     
  20. Shellheart

    Shellheart Well-Known Member

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    Now there's two hopes I can get behind 100%.