On February 24th 2010, the world was shocked by the tragic news that trainer Dawn Brancheau had been killed by Tilikum, a male orca at SeaWorld Orlando, USA, resulting in a huge media response. Just a few weeks before, another tragic death occurred at Tenerife’s Loro Parque in Spain, where trainer Alexis Martinez was killed by Keto, also a male orca. One year on, questions still remain unanswered – similar deaths have never been reported involving orcas in the wild, so should such large and complex animals be held in captivity?
Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS) has launched ORCA WATCH and will put orcas in the spotlight to see what has changed since last year’s tragic events.
Captivity experts have been tracking the trade in orcas for some time. The results are alarming. 11 different dolphinaria, or public display facilities, in seven countries across the world currently hold orcas in captivity. 41 of these unfortunate animals are made to perform tricks for tourists, often in the name of conservation.
Learn more about Orca Watch