Saturday, 17 May 2014

Dear Readers,

I apologise for the sparsity of posts recently, I am currently battling my way through a minefield of biochemistry, immunology and virology exams. I will be free from this peril in 3 weeks, where I have some glorious posts lined up for you.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Having a 'Whale' of a time?

I like many children of this era, have been taken for family day trips, school trips and after school kids club trips to zoos and aquariums to see the exotic animals which are not indigenous to England. As  a child you look in awe and wonder at these magnificent creatures that are before your very eyes, without truly seeing the glass container they are confined to; or the cage bars that keep you safe; the prison these animals are confined to.

It wasn't until my last trip to the zoo at age 14, did I see the sadness of zoo. The facade of wonder, had been lost, and instead I saw a single path worn through the grass of an enclosure, where a white tiger traveled the same line, back and forth, looking sad and forlorn. It was that day I vowed to never set foot in a zoo again.

I had never really categorized aquariums in the same way, but I think that is because they seemed to be more free (maybe it was the aspect of water and the sheer size of the tanks).

image taken from Flickr
But this week I watched a documentary called Blackfish, and it focused on Orcas (killer whales) kept in captivity. The documentary journeyed through the distressing capture methods; the way the killer whales were housed for long periods of time; the way they were trained to do 'behaviours' (jumping out the water and touching a ball etc.); and the way they bred these animals for captivity.

It was truly heartbreaking documentary which focused on the trainers and whales alike and the consequences of working together for each of the duo.

I would recommend this documentary for everyone to watch, as it really makes you question the humanity of keeping animals in captivity.

Explorer Fact 1: As of June 2013, there are 45 captive Orcas and out of these 45, 32 were born in captivity.
Explorer Fact 2: Tilikum is the 1st surviving Orca which is a grandfather.