Orcas raised or born in captivity, placement back in the wild, survival in the wild, acrobatics in water parks, Keiko, natural environment
Nature has undergone many changes over the centuries. Elements are introduced and taken away constantly. Some of these changes are from natural causes while others are from the hands of man. It is quite common for man to force interaction between ecosystems. The orca provides an example of this. Over 40 killer whales have been removed from their natural environment of the past few decades. Some have caused outrage and the immediate request for replacement. With the request comes several questions. The primary question rendered involves the retraining and placement of orcas back in the wild. Research reveals that it is possible to retrain and place orcas from captivity back into the wild.
[...] One movie assisted in familiarizing us with the struggle of orcas raised in captivity returning to the wild. The 1993 Warner Brother's film, Free Willy, introduces the controversial topic. Within the film, the orca is raised in captivity and eventually returned to the wild. Over the course of the film multiple issues in regards to releasing Orcas back into the wild once captivated are revealed. These include health, transportation, diet, and effects of the ecosystem. However, many more are not identified. Following the film one pertinent question remained. Should orcas be released into the wild? [...]
[...] Can orcas be retrained and actually survive in the wild? The short answer is yes. Orcas that have lived in captivity for an extended amount of time can be retrained to survive in the wild. It has been proven through research that these animals can be taught to hunt again and endure the wild. The previously mentioned intelligence allows this adaptation to take place. Even orcas that have been in captivity all of their life can be paired with a social group and learn to survive. [...]
[...] The whale didn't last a year once released into the wild. If this is any indication of the chances other orcas have of surviving once returned to the wild, it may not be a good idea for the long term. Precautions necessary before releasing Orcas In order to successfully return an orca to the wild, the origin of the whale must be studied. It is the least bit likely that a captivated orca can survive in an environment that was not made for the animal in the first place. [...]
[...] The orca may also need to adapt to eating live fish once again. Similar behaviors that may decrease the orca's chance of survival must be observed and altered as needed. Previous experiences with orcas being returned to the wild Several instances of orcas being returned to the wild allow a closer observation of the possibility of orcas being retrained and returned to their natural environment. Keiko, the actual whale that starred in the movie Free Willy, was released shortly after the film's release. [...]
[...] (Hoelzel, Rus, and Dover) Various environments serve as home to the orca. The animal can be found in every ocean of the world. However, they are most commonly found in the Antarctic and Arctic oceans. There have also been appearances made of the west coast of the United States and Canada. Coastal waters and open ocean alike serve as hosting grounds for the orca. (Hoelzel, Rus, and Dover) Why are they living in captivity? Orcas have been held in captivity since the early 1960s. [...]
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