The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

April 21, 2014

Student Voice: Learning from mistakes

The Daily Item

— In the April 9 issue of The Daily Item, the article titled “Bill to end orca shows put on hold” stood out to me. The article explains that a bill was put into place because of the documentary “Blackfish,” about SeaWorld trainers and their experience working with orcas.

Additionally, the death of SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau put this spectacle into question. Finally, the article mentions the unnatural and violent behavior of orcas when they are in pools. As a result of being put in these pools, orcas lash out at their trainers. Orcas have never been known to cause deaths of people in the wild, but have killed four people in captivity.

I agree that orcas should be moved to a larger sea pen and be taken out of shows. At the same time, I completely disagree with the bill being put on hold, and believe that keeping orcas out of captivity can save orca lives as well as human lives. Releasing the orcas that have been in captivity throughout their lives would most likely result in the deaths of all the orcas released, due to their inability to hunt for themselves.

Moving the current captive orcas to much larger sea pens would be the best course of action, because they would have more room to swim and would have things at the bottom of the ocean to play with, enhancing their quality of life.

In addition, orca shows should come to a close, frustrations with their trainer when they don’t get rewards puts both the trainer and orca at risk. Lastly, breeding and trading orcas needs to be prohibited because it increases the number of agitated orcas in captivity.

Learning from mistakes and experiences with captive orcas and shows saves the lives of both humans and orcas.

Tyler Vires

Selinsgrove High School