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Tilikum Is a Mama’s Boy

Posted by at 9:47 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)


Tilikum Is a Mama's Boy by Scott VanValkenburgActually, all orcas are very close to their mothers. Unless they are kidnapped—as  poor Tilikum was at the young age of 2 or 3 years—orcas spend their entire lives with their mothers. Males leave their pod (their family group) long enough to breed, then rejoin their kin. The pod is led by the eldest living female.

I’ve seen baby and adult orcas hunting fish and cavorting with unbridled joy off the shores of San Juan Island in Washington State. I remember when Brad Andrews, the frequent spokesperson for SeaWorld, was taken by animal advocates to see his first free orca whales. These trainers do indeed know how to keep prisoners alive (for shortened life spans), but they mislead the public when they claim any educational value to their shows. Some of them have never even seen a free whale!

Look at the bent dorsal fin on Tilikum. It is seen only on captive orcas. Isn’t it time that everyone came to understand how twisted it is to keep these animals in captivity for entertainment? You can add your voice to those of the late Jacques Cousteau and other compassionate people who have said, “No jails for whales!” at https://secure.peta.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=2945.

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3 Comments

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    Jamie says...

    March 6th, 2010, 7:40 pm

    do u know if there is any truth to what a CBS female reporter said on tv,that Tilikum had no teeth?

    Scott says...

    March 9th, 2010, 9:13 am

    Hi Jamie,
    Tillikum has teeth, but many are worn and some are missing. A number of captive orca display teeth that are worn or broken. We know that the mothers of some captive orca are still free, and capturing prey. Industry apologists are stating that Tillicum (and other orcas) can’t be released because they have bad teeth; but then they state that captivity is ethical and fine for the whales. If the free, and older, orcas are still capturing prey but captive orcas have deteriorated to the point where they can’t, perhaps it is one more bit of evidence of the negative impact of slavery. But more important is that cetaceans are self-aware, highly-social animals and that their imprisonment denies every basic facet of their real selves. The captivity itself is torture and immoral.

    Sakura says...

    June 8th, 2010, 7:25 am

    This is*

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