Profiting On Conservation: Animals In Captivity Abused For Human Entertainment

1179 words - 5 pages

Animals have been used in entertainment before Shamu became the headliner at Sea World. Ancient Romans threw innocent people and animals into a coliseum solely to entertain the spectators in the stands. People have been paying to see animals perform tricks for the past two thousand years. Marine animals are often captured or rescued from the wild under conservation terms, but trained by punishment instead of positive reinforcement to perform in themed shows in order to boost attendance for Marine Parks mainly for profit. Animals who travel with circuses are often trained by withholding food or beatings with whips and bull hooks. The worst of all, there are so few government regulations and laws to prevent abuse of animals for the sake of profit. Although it is normal to see circuses, local zoos ,and animal themed parks offer forms of entertainment involving the collaboration of humans and animals they had rescued, attendees of such venues should reconsider visiting these establishments because animals are forced to learn unnatural acts, abused during the training process ,and forced to live outside their natural habitat.
On February 24, 2010, an orca attacked and drowned its trainer during a training session. The media outlets released articles on how this was not the first incident caused by this particular orca. The public was outraged and demanded for the removal of this killer whale and sending it back to the wild. The truth is that after a marine animal such as killer whales and dolphins are removed from the wild they loose the ability to use their sonar. As Jean-Michael Crousteau in a interview with Tyler Hayden “When you take a wild cetacean and put it in a tank, its acoustic system is suddenly screwed up. Its sonar reverberates off the concrete in its tank and, little by little, the animal becomes totally silenced. It’s like a person being blindfolded in a jail cell” (2). The killer whale featured in Free Willy was rescued from a Mexican marine themed park. They found him suffering a skin disease caused by abuse during the training sessions and was fed a diet of frozen fish. Killer whales or orcas are only supposed to eat fresh fish, particularly native fishes to their natural habitat. These parks advertise the purpose of their existence for conservation and education, but all they want to do is to profit from these animals. Again from the interview between Cousteau and Hayden, Cousteau response to animals being placed on display is “My point is that we’ve learned enough with captive animals today that we need to leave them in their environment and stop capturing them and putting them in jail. For what? For our pleasure and profit. It’s all about making money. Marine entertainment centers are in the business to make money; let’s not argue about that. Is it educational? No” (5). As the marine animals lose their senses, they slowly lose their minds too. In PETA’s article about marine parks “Some Captive dolphins have reportedly taken...

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