And Another Orca Dies at Seaworld
An Animal Rights Article from All-Creatures.org

FROM

In Defense of Animals (IDA)
December 2015

Unna was suffering from a fungal infection, and has died at 18 – just a fraction of her normal life span in the wild. Unna was ripped away from her mother and the only family she knew where she was born in SeaWorld Orlando. At only six years of age, she was transferred to SeaWorld San Antonio. Unna lived and died in captivity.

San Antonio, TX (December 22, 2015) – In Defense of Animals has slammed SeaWorld San Antonio following the death of Unna, the third orca ‘killer whale’ to die at the park in the past six months, and the 38th SeaWorld orca to die young.

Unna was suffering from a fungal infection, and has died at 18 – just a fraction of her normal life span in the wild. Unna was ripped away from her mother and the only family she knew where she was born in SeaWorld Orlando. At only six years of age, she was transferred to SeaWorld San Antonio. Unna lived and died in captivity, knowing only the concrete walls and chlorinated waters of a tank. She was daughter to Tilikum, the tormented orca who features in the film Blackfish which has caused a global backlash against SeaWorld’s cruel practices.

“Unna was born in a tank, ripped away from her mother, used and abused, only to die in another tank. Her death and short, excessively cruel life is a tragedy which could have been avoided,” said In Defense of Animals’ renowned cetacean scientist Toni Frohoff, Ph.D. “Orcas are highly intelligent animals with complex needs, and are completely unsuited for a life in captivity. Forcing orcas to live this torturous existence mis-educates the public and does nothing to help conservation. It’s time to stop the deaths at SeaWorld by banning the public display of marine mammals.”

SeaWorld has an appalling premature death rate. Female orcas can live up to and even over 100 years in the wild, but most orcas at SeaWorld and other captive facilities don’t live anywhere near that long.

“Given SeaWorlds’ ‘best’ and ‘constant’ care – as they describe it – one would expect orcas to live longer in captivity than in the wild. Yet even with consistent food and veterinary care they barely survive, let alone thrive,” said Dr Frohoff.

In the wild, orcas regularly inhabit ranges of hundreds of miles, sometimes over a thousand or more miles, and live in complex multi-generational family pods. In captivity, orcas are confined to chlorinated tanks that are little more than swimming pools. They are kept in unnatural groups and are often traded around the country, or even internationally. Females are artificially inseminated very young, a long time before they would naturally breed in the wild. Repeated tragedies show that orcas do not belong in tanks.


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