Right now, there are 52 orcas living—if you can call it that—in marine abusement parks around the world. Every week this year, the website 52Orcas will profile one of the captives to remind people that these animals are not interchangeable “Shamus” but unique individuals, with distinct personalities and idiosyncrasies. Here’s a sneak preview of two:
Lolita was captured from the Southern Resident orca population off the coast of Washington in 1970 when she was just a baby. She has been held captive in a tiny concrete tank—and forced to perform at the Miami Seaquarium—for the last four and a half decades.
Corky was kidnapped from her family in 1969 when she was only 3. She has endured the longest captivity of any wild-captured orca as well as seven forced pregnancies (she was continuously pregnant for almost 10 years between 1977 and 1986), and none of her calves survived more than 46 days. Her last stillborn fetus was found at the bottom of her holding tank. She is reportedly blind in her left eye, and her upper and lower teeth are worn and decayed.
What You Can Do
SeaWorld’s reckless disregard hurts orcas and endangers those who come into contact with them. Please tell SeaWorld that you won’t visit its parks so long as it imprisons marine animals, and spread the word on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks urging everyone to follow suit.