One may not know that Killer Whales are the largest member of the dolphin family. They are carnivores, which have long round black bodies marked with whites patches near the side of the eyes and beneath their stomachs and chest. Killer whales are found in all oceans. Their scientific name is Orcinus Orca – the Roman God of dealth and the underworld, who is known as the punisher (Bio1). It’s believed that Orcinus is derived from Orcus which is Latin and Orca meaning “the shape of a barrel or cask”. Other least common names include Ska-ana meaning roughly, killer demon. The Native Americans fishermen referred to them as Black Fish (wiki2). Although Orcas have the branded name of the Killer Whales, they are not known to have harmed or killed any humans in the wild.
When compared to dolphins, whales have much more distinctive features. Male whales range from 20 to 26 ft in length, weighing in at over 8 tons, with dorsal fins up to 6ft tall. While females range 16 to 23 ft in length weighing over 5 tons, and have a 3ft tall fin. Most dolphin species average 6ft in length with males being 4 to 8 inch larger, weighing about 400lbs (3). While dolphins come in different but solid colors, whales are two toned. Unlike dolphins, whales can swim up to 30(mph) but only for short distances they usually cruz at slower speeds 8mph (4). Whales and dolphins live in groups sometimes fifteen or more which are called a pods. Whales and dolphins both share what’s called a Blow Hole; it’s where and how they breathe Killer whales are apex predators, lacking natural predators. They are sometimes called wolves of the sea because they hunt in groups like wolves packs. Some local populations are considered threatened or endangered due to prey depletion, habitat loss, capture for marine parks, pollution and conflicts with fishermen(2). Whaling is the hunting of whales for commercial reasons their meat and oil. The whale meat is then sold for profit, Muktuk is made from the skin and blubber, with the tail going for a higher value (muktuk). Whale meat is said to be a good source of vitamin c and d. (muktuk).
Although more popularly known as the “killer whale” there is no reports of whales hurting any humans in the wild. Whales are very intelligent animals that have been held captive and placed in a pool to perform repetitive entertaining routines day in and day out which is having an effect on their psyches causing them to lash out (i09). In 1983 a whale was viscously torn from its mother. The whale was given the name Tilikum and was sent to a marine park, then held in a dark tank 14 hours a day. Eight years later ‘1991 the whale committed it first dealth against one of his trainers, two more deaths would follow in 1999 and 2010 at SeaWorld(i09). Kasatka a female whale, has tried to bite trainers on several occasions. During a show the whale grabbed a hold of a male trainer and dragged him underwater, the trainer survived. Another trainer was dragged at the bottom of the pool by a young male named Nepo. A female named Corky2 prevented a trainer from exiting the water by rostrum blocking” (5) Due to whales sensitive hearing, scientist believes the unnatural sounds are also a problem for whales in captivity. Such as the sounds of the water pumps and the crowds of cheering people interferes with the natural echolocation, which have a negative impact on their communication (orca). Activists believe that the capture and transport of these animals is extremely cruel, due to the psychological stress caused by the separation of pod members, and the stress caused during transport. Then, on top of that stress, further stress is added when the Orcas are placed into tanks with other Orcas that are not members of their pods (6). Paul Watson and environmental activist, was a field correspondent for Defenders Of Wild Life, and a representative for Fund for Animals, he was as well a co-founder of Friends of the Wolf (7). He is known for the fight against whaling, ramming other boats to demobilizing them, along with throwing butyric acid onto other vessels. Somebody has to act to stop the bloody whale slaughter” spoken words of Paul. Gabriela Cowperthwaite is a director of the documentary Black Fish” this where she sheds light to the nation on the dangers of keeping the whales captive. As a result of the documentary activist has protested to stop the sell of tickets of marine parks mainly SeaWorld where the whales are kept. It’s unfortunate that whales are taken away from their families, natural habitat and forced to live in pools, furthermore with continuous the fight from protesters someday, just maybe someday all whales will be released to swim uncaged, freely.