Dr Naomi Rose Speaks Out on GMA about Premature Captive Orca Deaths
As reported at The Orca Project on Tuesday; Kalina, a 25 year old orca who was once dubbed the “Original Baby Shamu” died suddenly after experiencing problems on the afternoon of October 4th. Kalina, the first orca born and raised in captivity at SeaWorld Parks became the latest victim of premature death of killer whales in captivity and raised the number of orcas to die at SeaWorld parks to 4 in just the past 4 months, including; Sumar, Taima and the stillborn calf of Taima.
As an aside, Taima died from Uterine Prolapse. Prolapse is caused by a stretching of the ligaments that support the pelvic organs, causing those organs to stretch and ‘drop down’. And that is caused by her being breed far too young and far too often. It took her nearly 24 hours of labor before she finally died. It must have been a horrible and painful for her. Moreover, they couldn’t do anything and, in fact, didn’t know what to do (obviously), which simply reinforces the point that they should not be breeding whales in captivity.
This morning, Naomi A. Rose, Ph.D., a Senior Scientist at the Humane Society International appeared on Good Morning America to discuss the recent rash of orca deaths at SeaWorld and the prevelance of their premature demise in captivity.
ABC News’ Matt Gutman Reports:
“Government scientists and animal rights activists are telling us that it’s captivity itself that is actually killing these animals. In the 25 years since her birth 24 whales have died in captivity, that’s roughly one whale each year, 3 have died in the past 4 months alone, and not a single one of the was over (the age of) 30” —–Matt Guttman, ABC News
So what is causing the alarming rate of premature Killer Whale deaths at SeaWorld parks? Dr. Rose offers hers views:
“When they’re confined, I think they’re under stress, I think they’re at the very least very bored; and both stress and boredom, and depression, can kill you.” She went on to say: “The three whales that died this year were 21, 12 and 25. That’s not even middle aged for wild orcas. Orcas are in fact just too big to be maintained properly and adequately in captivity. SeaWorld is telling you otherwise but they are misleading the public when they say that.” —–Dr Naomi Rose, Ph.D., Humane Society International
You can watch the October 07, 2010 broadcast of “What’s Killing Shamu?” on ABC News Good Morning America with Matt Gutmann & Dr. Rose here:
Vodpod videos no longer available.
It is clear that captivity is having a profound effect on the life expectancy of orcas in captivity. In the wild, male orcas live an average of 30+ yrs and females 50+ yrs (many can live well into their 80s or 90s) and in captivity orcas rarely make it out of their teens.
Tell us what you think: Are orcas dying too young in captivity vs. the wild? We’d like to hear your comments.