The world’s greatest and largest apex predator, their extreme intelligence allow them to thrive in any waters from tropics to Antarctica and even sharks are on the menu. Orcinus orca, the Killer Whale, can grow up to thirty-two feet long and weighing in at over twenty thousand pounds. They have been feared for hundreds of years by North American Natives and even mentioned in Greek maritime records. Their name when translated from Greek means “killer from hell” ( n.p. ). Unfortunately the freedom of these mighty sea kings is growing more limited as humans wish to capture them for aquatic mammal parks.

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The history of captured orcas is a sad one, the first whale captured was by Marineland of the Pacific in Newport Harbor, California 1961.The fully matured female was found sick and disoriented in the bay and easily caught, but after two days in her tank she rammed herself at the tank wall and died. The second capture in 1964 had started as a hunting expedition by Samuel Burich to kill a whale and use it to make a model for the Vancouver Aquarium.

When the fifteen foot whale named “Moby Doll” survived being shot the aquarium told Samuel to bring it back alive for the aquarium, but after spending only eighty seven days in the tank Moby died of a skin infection caused by the low salinity levels of the water in his tank.

The life expectancy of these mighty animals is nearly halved in captivity and in reality many die before that. A study done in 1993 proved this devastating fact; “By 25 years ago 50 had been captured—only two of those survive, Corky and Lolita. By 20 years ago 65 orcas had been caught—only three of those are still alive, Corky, Lolita and Winnie, a female at Sea World in Ohio” (n.p.).

The continued capture of killer whales must stop immediately, for the continued growth of wild populations and the safety of these amazing animals. Therefore the goal of this paper is to prove that capturing killer whales is unethical, dangerous, and shortens the life span of these magnificent creatures by exponential numbers. In addition it will cover the return of orcas to the wild and the dangers of “saving” them.

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