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Orca Identified As 103 Years Old

samzenpus posted about 6 months ago | from the looking-goog-for-her-age dept.

Canada 194

guises (2423402) writes "The oldest known orca has recently been spotted off western Canada at an age of 103. A female nicknamed 'granny,' photos exist of her from the 1930s, where she can be identified by her distinctive saddle patch. The news has prompted calls for another evaluation of marine mammals in captivity — orcas in captivity usually don't live beyond their 20s."

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Recorded sounds (5, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | about 6 months ago | (#47006779)

"And get off my kelp!"

Re:Recorded sounds (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47007489)

Would have been fun if it were later found that this was just a CELP encoding artifact. ;-)

Fucks (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47006797)

Fuck beta
Fuck seaworld.

Re:Fucks (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47008453)

Amazing she is all most as old as America and definitely more intelligent than at least one US'ians.

For Immediate Release - SeaWorld, Orlando, FL (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47006805)

It is well-known that scientists cannot agree over what time is. Therefore our family here at SeaWorld--including all of our Orcas--cannot be sure that the quoted figure even exists, let alone validate its accuracy for all frames of reference. We feel that it would be prudent for everyone to take a step back and wait for the data to come in before rushing to any negative conclusions.

Fuck seaworld (-1, Flamebait)

melchoir55 (218842) | about 6 months ago | (#47006815)

An animal which travels over 100 miles in a day in the wild is confined to an area slightly larger than itself. Put a human in a cage with a few inches of room between skin and cage wall. See how long it lives.

I think it's amazing that killer whales in captivity only kill a person every once in a while.

Re:Fuck seaworld (3, Insightful)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 6 months ago | (#47006843)

...but it's for 'education' purposes!!!

I'm starting to think the only useful things a human can learn about wildlife in captivity is that it is no longer wild, nor alive, and we're despicable creatures for constraining other living beings for the rest of their, now-shortened, lives.

But, hey, at least some 'scientific' proof of how much we're being a bunch of dumbasses. This is the one field where I would expect serious scientists to shut down everything if they have proof they're doing more harm than good.

Re:Fuck seaworld (5, Informative)

Cenan (1892902) | about 6 months ago | (#47006943)

This is the one field where I would expect serious scientists to shut down everything if they have proof they're doing more harm than good.

Not likely. Even if they were serious scientists, they're still working within the confines of an amusement park. They have bean counters to answer to, and to them the "science" derived from keeping the animals is a slight PR bonus, not their reason to exist.

Re:Fuck seaworld (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47007245)

But, hey, at least some 'scientific' proof of how much we're being a bunch of dumbasses. This is the one field where I would expect serious scientists to shut down everything if they have proof they're doing more harm than good.

More harm than good?

I'm sorry, since when was that bullshit ever a concern?

I can't imagine tobacco companies would have a long list of morals and ethics they stand by with their product. It's kind of like being proud of creating mustard gas.

Re:Fuck seaworld (2, Interesting)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 6 months ago | (#47006933)

I don't think it's the confinement. Wolves which range hundreds of miles are kept in captivity by humans in small areas (dogs), and they live far longer with humans than in the wild.

I think it's the water quality. Dog poop and urine don't mix with the air, they don't breathe it in. Marine animals on the other hand, DO breathe their own feces. Which is why it's essential to have a large volume of water per animal, as happens in nature.

I have guppy fish in a 30 gallon tank. They almost never live past 2 years in captivity. In nature however, guppies live 5 years or more.

I've been thinking of doing an experiment for quite a while. Take two groups of guppies, one in a common aquarium environment, say 10 guppies in a 10 gallon tank (1 inch of fish per gallon). The other group would live in a far less dense tank, maybe 5 guppies in a 200 gallon tank. (5 would be the minimum number since guppies are communal fish and they don't do well mentally unless they're in a group). And compare the fish lifespan in the the 2 groups.

Re:Fuck seaworld (2)

Barsteward (969998) | about 6 months ago | (#47007013)

they probably die of boredom being confined in a box

Re:Fuck seaworld (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 6 months ago | (#47007683)

I'm outraged: Why don't they make boxes that are larger on the inside anyway? That way, you couldn't get bored even if confined to it.

Re:Fuck seaworld (5, Insightful)

captainpanic (1173915) | about 6 months ago | (#47007039)

Umm... A whale breathes air, as it is a mammal. Your guppy is a fish.

Re:Fuck seaworld (1)

geogob (569250) | about 6 months ago | (#47007077)

Maybe the air in Seaworld locations (such as San Diego) is not as good as somewhere in the north pacific ocean.

Re:Fuck seaworld (1)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 6 months ago | (#47007105)

yes but a whale still drinks the poop water and its skin is constantly immersed in it. That can't be good.

Re:Fuck seaworld (2)

Serzen (675979) | about 6 months ago | (#47007899)

The water in these tanks is not only filtered, but runs through protein skimmers and usually UV sterilization, too. The amount of feces (and urine) the animals are drinking or otherwise absorbing is small. Nitrates are A Bad Thing to most marine life.

Re:Fuck seaworld (5, Interesting)

quantaman (517394) | about 6 months ago | (#47007055)

I don't think it's the confinement. Wolves which range hundreds of miles are kept in captivity by humans in small areas (dogs), and they live far longer with humans than in the wild.

I think it's the water quality. Dog poop and urine don't mix with the air, they don't breathe it in. Marine animals on the other hand, DO breathe their own feces. Which is why it's essential to have a large volume of water per animal, as happens in nature.

I have guppy fish in a 30 gallon tank. They almost never live past 2 years in captivity. In nature however, guppies live 5 years or more.

I've been thinking of doing an experiment for quite a while. Take two groups of guppies, one in a common aquarium environment, say 10 guppies in a 10 gallon tank (1 inch of fish per gallon). The other group would live in a far less dense tank, maybe 5 guppies in a 200 gallon tank. (5 would be the minimum number since guppies are communal fish and they don't do well mentally unless they're in a group). And compare the fish lifespan in the the 2 groups.

Dogs have co-evolved with humans for hundreds of years. We'd expect them to be fairly well adapted though they can still get some serious psychological issues.

Cats haven't been around as long, but cats are generally solitary to begin with so might do better with isolation.

Orca are highly social, perhaps moreso than humans. And an aquarium can hardly compare to the ocean in sensory complexity. It's basically like sticking a human in solitary confinement, it's inhumane and they tend to go crazy.

I love the idea of going to an aquarium and seeing Orca swimming around. But I can't imagine a way of doing so that doesn't essentially amount to torturing the poor animals, Seaworld and the like should absolutely be shut down.

Re:Fuck seaworld (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47007101)

Dogs have co-evolved with humans for hundreds of years...
Cats haven't been around as long, but cats are generally solitary to begin with so might do better with isolation.

Dogs were first domesticated by humans something like 15,000 years ago. Cats were kept as pets by the Egyptians almost 4,000 years ago.

So, um, your numbers are a bit off ;)

Re:Fuck seaworld (2)

quantaman (517394) | about 6 months ago | (#47007125)

Dogs have co-evolved with humans for hundreds of years...
Cats haven't been around as long, but cats are generally solitary to begin with so might do better with isolation.

Dogs were first domesticated by humans something like 15,000 years ago. Cats were kept as pets by the Egyptians almost 4,000 years ago.

So, um, your numbers are a bit off ;)

The bad news is I write slashdot comments when I've very sleepy.

The good news is that my memory of writing that post happened while I was awake, so I didn't have a dream about posting on slashdot!

Re:Fuck seaworld (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47007923)

Cats arent really domesticated at all - they chose to live with humans (notice how easily cats can go feral and a feral kitten can be socialised) and the dates are supposed to go back at least 10,000 years.

Re:Fuck seaworld (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47008083)

There's evidence of cats living alongside humans dating back to about 10,000 years ago, about the same time the domestic cat diverged genetically from the African wildcat. The theory is they're self-domesticating, like dogs, too.

Genesis (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47008193)

> Dogs were first domesticated by humans something like 15,000 years ago.

But dogs weren.t around 15,000 years ago
Neither were humans
Or the Earth

It says so in the Bible

Re:Fuck seaworld (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47007585)

Dogs have co-evolved with humans for hundreds of years

It's actually in the ballpark of 10,000 years. "Hundreds" of years isn't enough to imply co-evolution.

Re:Fuck seaworld (1)

Paul Jakma (2677) | about 6 months ago | (#47007091)

Orcas are much, much, much, more intelligent than wolves.

Re:Fuck seaworld (1)

Guest316 (3014867) | about 6 months ago | (#47007495)

[citation needed]

I'd warrant that both are more intelligent than you, even though I know better than to suggest intelligence is a linear scale.

Re:Fuck seaworld (1)

Guest316 (3014867) | about 6 months ago | (#47007593)

Apologies for the insult, was pissed about something else when I came across your comment, and "x species is smarter than y species" is one of my pet peeves.

Re:Fuck seaworld (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47008519)

Apologies for the insult, was pissed about something else when I came across your comment

So, basically you're a childish asshole then?

Fucking idiots with 7 digit IDs and no clue.

Re:Fuck seaworld (3, Informative)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 6 months ago | (#47007595)

Don't be an asshole. The OP is right. Of course there are varying kinds of intelligence, but Orcas are near relations to dolphins, and both show higher intelligence than wolves or dogs in pretty much any measure.

Re:Fuck seaworld (5, Interesting)

Paul Jakma (2677) | about 6 months ago | (#47008325)

There are numerous examples of highly advanced behaviours in Orcas, e.g. hunting strategies that require significant forward planning and close co-operation to pull off. E.g. washing seals off ice floes by swimming in tight formation to create a large bow wave. They also have complex social structures and behaviours, as with other dolphins and most whales generally. Mothers have been seen to teach calves hunting skills, e.g. pods that beach-hunt mothers have been seen "instructing" calves on how to do it, even pushing them toward the beach. This is clear evidence of culture - a very high-order behaviour. There is also strong evidence that Orcas have languages, differing significantly between different groupings.

In "Blackfish" it was reported that a pod of Orcas, that had had calves taken before, adopted a strategy to try foil the hunters. They split up with one group of adults swimming down one sound, breaching regularly to attract the attention of the hunters and divert them; while another group of mothers swam quietly with the calves down another sound (unfortunately, the hunters had a spotter aircraft). That story, if true, shows incredibly advanced planning, problem solving and organisational abilities.

You could go on and on. There is, to my understanding, *ample* evidence that these are *highly* intelligent animals, and are used to living very social and inter-dependent lives. On the latter social aspect, their needs potentially may even be much greater than ours.

Re:Fuck seaworld (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47007355)

It's a good experiment to do, and you will absolutely find that the larger tank leads to better fish health.

You won't have much luck quantifying the cause of the problem, since it is either linked to water quality (as you suggest) or more likely the psychological state of the fish. The 3-second memory comments can be made later, but animal stress is a very real killer that afflicts all animals.

Anyone who keeps fish for any period of time learns (much to the detriment of the fish themselves) that overcrowding leads to death. Also, improper pairings of fish also leads to losses, as the animals badger and harass each other to death. I love aquariums, and have kept them for many years in the past. Yet now I can no longer bring myself to keep fish in captivity, the mortality rate is horrendous, and the quality of live for the poor little guys just doesn't seem fair.

As for keeping orcas, whales and dolphins in captivity. It's a way to make money, and that's it. They should all be shut down. Period.

Re:Fuck seaworld (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47007479)

Dogs are wolves? Whales are poop-breathing fish?

Is this really the state of public education these days?

Re:Fuck seaworld (3, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 6 months ago | (#47007545)

Wolves which range hundreds of miles are kept in captivity by humans in small areas (dogs), and they live far longer with humans than in the wild.

Dogs get taken out for walkies at least once per day, or they start to go crazy and become unhealthy. Captive orcas never have the equivalent. It's the equivalent of a dog getting all it's exercise by walking round and round the coffee table. I wouldn't expect such a dog to have the same lifespan as a dog that's been out for walks.

Re:Fuck seaworld (0)

worf_mo (193770) | about 6 months ago | (#47007811)

Please ignore, posting to undo wrong moderation.

Re:Fuck seaworld (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 6 months ago | (#47007769)

I don't think it's the confinement. Wolves which range hundreds of miles are kept in captivity by humans in small areas (dogs), and they live far longer with humans than in the wild.

Wolves have a shorter life expectancy due to humans.
When taking being shot, trapped, poisoned, run over and other direct or indirect human causes of death out of the equation, a typical wolf's lifespan is 13-20 years, which is slightly longer than most domestic dogs' lifespans.

Also note that dog lifespans have gone down since WWII. It's difficult to prove the exact cause, but the change to dry dog food and dogs spending less time outdoors are two of the suspects.

Re:Fuck seaworld (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47007841)

Marine animals on the other hand, DO breathe their own feces.

Marine MAMMALS do NOT breathe in their own feces. They breath air.

I understand the basic point you're trying to make but it's completely inaccurate in a discussion about orcas since they do not breathe via the water. They surface and breathe air through their blow hole.

Re:Fuck seaworld (3, Informative)

jimbolauski (882977) | about 6 months ago | (#47007907)

I have guppy fish in a 30 gallon tank. They almost never live past 2 years in captivity. In nature however, guppies live 5 years or more.

I would say that speaks more to your skill about taking care of fish then anything else. If I omit fry my fish live usually past the upper end of the age limit.

The sea world tank in San Diego is 7 million gallons and has 10 wales, that's approximately 100,000 ft^3 per whale. Further the filtration on the tank runs 30,000 gallons per minute it takes approximately 3 hours to filter 7 million gallons. Water cleanliness is not the issue, the whales and dolphins are stressed from from loud noises of children and not being able to travel, they are fed obscene amounts of antacids to try to minimize the stomach ulcers.

Re:Fuck seaworld (1)

dywolf (2673597) | about 6 months ago | (#47008043)

Who modded this up?

It has nothing to do with breathing their own excretions:
1- whales breathe air
2- your tank should have a filtration system

Re:Fuck seaworld (2)

Zedrick (764028) | about 6 months ago | (#47006977)

I agree, but unfortunately we live in this universe, and not that alternative one where everything is as it should be.

If people can't go somewhere (not too far away) and see animals, they will soon think CGI-versions of these creatures are good enough, which leads to extinction for the real ones. Unless they are really cute.

Wrong focus for your anger (2, Interesting)

captainpanic (1173915) | about 6 months ago | (#47007057)

You say that keeping a whale in captivity for education and entertainment is wrong, because it dies sooner than in the wild (which btw is not proven by this single grandmother killer whale). But I am just curious: the beef and pork you eat is also 'grown' in cages. We over eat purely for entertainment (you cannot convince me we need a 400g steak, that is entertainment), and since kids have to learn how to prepare food, it will be used for education too. So how is that different?

Yes, humans are the dominant species on the planet. And yes, we abuse animals sometimes. I do not think there is a problem with Sea World. I think the major problem is that we harrass animals also in the wild. Whales are affected by the noise of ship engines, and all marine life is affected by the pollution we produce. Stop complaining about Sea World, and just try to make this world cleaner. Then you make a real impact.

Re:Wrong focus for your anger (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47007087)

You say that keeping a whale in captivity for education and entertainment is wrong, because it dies sooner than in the wild (which btw is not proven by this single grandmother killer whale). But I am just curious: the beef and pork you eat is also 'grown' in cages.

GP never stated that he or she eat meat.
You are making an assumption on an individual based on how the majority is.

Re:Wrong focus for your anger (1)

captainpanic (1173915) | about 6 months ago | (#47007405)

GP never stated that he or she eat meat.
You are making an assumption on an individual based on how the majority is.

True. I should not have made it personal.
Regardless, I still think that since Sea World is a relatively insignificant issue (in the big picture), it receives way too much attention. It would be better if those who criticise it focus their anger on a larger issue than this.

Re:Wrong focus for your anger (5, Interesting)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 6 months ago | (#47007649)

because it dies sooner than in the wild (which btw is not proven by this single grandmother killer whale).

Existing scientific observations of Orcas in the wild give their average lifespan as 60 to 70 years. Vs about 20 in captivity. It's not even close.

And to add insult to injury, the staff as SeaWorld are trained to lie about this: they claim the average expectancy in the wild is about 20 years. (ref: the documentary Blackfish has video evidence of this.)

But I am just curious: the beef and pork you eat is also 'grown' in cages.

As I'm sure your mother told you, two wrongs don't make a right. Generally people make a distinction between captive wild animals, and domesticated animals bred as livestock. Whether that is a justifiable distinction is a mater of personal morality.

I do not think there is a problem with Sea World.

Then you should seek out Blackfish and watch it.

Of course I agree that out abuse of the natural environment and the animals in it is a huge problem. But that doesn't let SeaWorld off the hook.

Re:Wrong focus for your anger (2)

bwwatr (3520289) | about 6 months ago | (#47008319)

The staff are probably just trained to repeat SeaWorld's official stance on Orca lifespan, outlined here: http://seaworld.com/en/truth/k... [seaworld.com] Sounds like they'll need to update their figures now that this granny's been found. Follow the menus to read the rest of the "care" / Blackfish rebuttal section of their web site and decide for yourself.

Re:Wrong focus for your anger (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47008439)

Seaworld is actually pretty terrible. Check out the documentary called Blackfish, currently on Netflix.

Fuck seaworld (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47008377)

Put a human in a cage with a few inches of room between skin and cage wall. See how long it lives.

It's called prison.

looking-goog-for-her-age dept (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47006825)

typo in the dept name? that's pretty sloppy, even for slashdot...

The only way to resolve this conundrum: (5, Funny)

physicsphairy (720718) | about 6 months ago | (#47006833)

We clearly need to capture this whale and study it.

Re:The only way to resolve this conundrum: (2)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 6 months ago | (#47006849)

as long as the study is carefully constructed so that pretty much all of it can be eaten afterwards.

Wouldn't want to offend our asian brothers! After all, everbody seems to be against carefully conducted whale studies.

Re:The only way to resolve this conundrum: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47006903)

It's a Dolphin [wikipedia.org] .

Re:The only way to resolve this conundrum: (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47006995)

You mean eat it?

Do the Japs eat Orca?

Re:The only way to resolve this conundrum: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47008211)

Highly doubt it, US is hunting over 300 bowhead whales the next years. Most countries have similar figures and I havent seen orcas on any list yet.

The only way to resolve this conundrum: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47008171)

Nah, we should free it by attaching it to a mexican rocket and sending it to the moon!

on old whales (5, Interesting)

nadaou (535365) | about 6 months ago | (#47006855)

impressive, since the first thing we do is compare to ourselves as some sort of We're #1! thing.

I always found this story of a 100 year old harpoon being found in the back of a modern whale to be a pretty wild reality check:

http://www.nature.com/news/200... [nature.com]

Re:on old whales (2)

nadaou (535365) | about 6 months ago | (#47006875)

And since we're talking about dead whales, oblig. explosives

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]

And beaching, bro,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]

Re:on old whales (1)

laejoh (648921) | about 6 months ago | (#47007587)

And don't forget about the jargon file [catb.org] .

Re:on old whales (3, Insightful)

ruir (2709173) | about 6 months ago | (#47006991)

I find it dangerous to be doing this assumptions. After all, artefacts are passed down by generations, even harpoons. So if I lost my military compass in a boat that I inherited from my father, and that must be now around 60 years old, and a whale eats it, the whale would be given an age of 60 years old?

Re:on old whales (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47007155)

The point was found in its neck not its stomach. What, did the whale trip over in a museum?

Re:on old whales (0)

ruir (2709173) | about 6 months ago | (#47007359)

Same argument, put other way for the gentleman with the reading comprehension of a 6 year old: What I am found wearing the family ring from my great-grandfather? Am I 120 years old?

Re:on old whales (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47007483)

Humans can easily put on a ring themselves. How exactly can a whale stab itself in the neck with a harpoon? There is already other evidence that indicates that type of whale can live that long or longer, although they are based on their biological features, this just adds to them and makes it more likely the other dating techniques are valid.

Re:on old whales (2)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 6 months ago | (#47007669)

Unless a modern whaler has been hunting with an antique harpoon, your analogy isn't too good.

Re:on old whales (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47008003)

This is almost exactly his point, which is: Someone in more recent years(less than 60 years) could have used that harpoon on a whale. It doesn't have to be a whaler, and it doesn't have to be for the purpose of killing the animal. There are plenty of people out there who like injuring animals just for the sake of it.

There are hunters who have rifles that are old(100+ years), and those rifles are in working condition. Suppose they go out right now and shoot a deer, and the deer runs off and survives for a while. Later it is found by a park ranger, and they investigate the - now old - bullet wound. Does it mean the deer is over 100 years old simply because the bullet in its body was patented over 100 years ago? (The answer is no, by the way).

And like I said before, there are people out there who will injure animals for fun. It's entirely conceivable that a drunk person sees their antique rifle over the mantle, takes it outside and tries to shoot it, and hits an animal in the process, but doesn't bring it down. The same could be true for an old harpoon.

Re:on old whales (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47007675)

This is more like you have a bullet embedded deep in a bone of a well known kind that was only used in WWI. The chances that it got there by accident are...

meh, why am I replying to a troll?

Re:on old whales (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47008075)

Because there's no way the WWI munitions escaped WWI, right? And there's definitely no way that someone could, I don't know...create a bullet for an antique gun that has been passed down in their family, right? Because *no one* with an antique gun has any desire to shoot it.

The only thing aging the harpoon in TFA was its patent, not the harpoon itself. The harpoon itself could have been 21 years old and in the whale for 20 years and that would reduce its minimum age from 100 to 20 instantly: - 80 years! Likewise, going back to the old gun thing: Just because matchlock rifles existed during the revolutionary war doesn't mean you can't find brand-spanking-new matchlock rifles in this day and age. Hobbyists collect/make them, and shoot them as well. If you shoot a buck with a matchlock and he gets away, and someone finds him later, should they claim he's over 200 years old because the ammunition matches that of a revolutionary war weapon?

Want to swim with dolphins? Better do it now. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47006873)

I'm taking my wife on vacation to a resort. She has always wanted to swim with dolphins, and given the recent hate mongering about captive cetaceans I anticipate it the opportunity will be lost forever in the US within 15 years. So, we definitely made this a must-do activity on this trip. It's unfortunate our kids won't have the same opportunities.

Taking this campaign to its logical conclusion, they will probably eventually call for a closure of all zoos. I mean, if this is cruel for cetaceans, then it must be cruel for primates, big cats, elephants, giraffes, etc. Are there any clear, bright lines of demarcation to say captivity of this animal is fine, but captivity of that animal is cruel? Will zoos be relegated to being nothing more than collections of slugs and insects on display because captivity of any higher animal is "cruel"? Oh, and god forbid you go see animals on safari. That's exploitation as well.

Some of these people are the type that would prevent anyone from visiting Yellowstone in order to "preserve its natural beauty". That's absurd. We also can't turn the entire place into a parking lot to maximize visitor capacity because that would defeat the point. There needs to be a balance. I'm fine with places like Sea World. I wonder how many of these people protesting cetacean captivity are still willing to eat meat? How many are willing to exploit cows in captivity in order to have milk and cheese for their pizza?

Your tasty snack is based on the suffering of dairy cows, who live for only a few short years before they are brutally killed and ground into burger. How can you live with yourself?

Or, you know, you can decide it's fun to swim with captive dolphins because they're cute and playful. YMMV.

Re:Want to swim with dolphins? Better do it now. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47006947)

"Or, you know, you can decide it's fun to swim with captive dolphins because they're cute and playful. YMMV."

Dolphins "cute and playful"? Yeah, maybe when they've been subjugated by their human captors.

Re:Want to swim with dolphins? Better do it now. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47006981)

Dolphins "cute and playful"? Yeah, maybe when they've been subjugated by their human captors.

Is this supposed to shock and horrify me? Someone tamed an animal into being gentle and playful... yes, that's some real depravity there.

Re:Want to swim with dolphins? Better do it now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47007109)

"Is this supposed to shock and horrify me?

No because you're obviously a discompassionate sociopath, but congratulations for that.

Someone tamed an animal into being gentle and playful...

If by "tamed" you mean "tortured" by keeping confined and restricting food and company of other dolphins, then yes.

yes, that's some real depravity there.

At least you get that much..

Re:Want to swim with dolphins? Better do it now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47007133)

I see you must therefore be a hyper-vegan in order to cast stones about exploiting animals. Or, more likely, you're just a hypocrite who exploits some animals but not others based on some sort of specious, arbitrary rationale you chose (like cuteness).

I find your hypocrisy more appalling than anything being done to these animals and consider you depraved for trying to preclude future generations the enjoyment of interacting with these tame animals.

Re:Want to swim with dolphins? Better do it now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47007223)

I see you must therefore be a hyper-vegan in order to cast stones about exploiting animals.

How trite. Did you come up with that all by yourself or did you look it up in your book of cliches?

Or, more likely, you're just a hypocrite who exploits some animals but not others based on some sort of specious, arbitrary rationale you chose (like cuteness).

The *only single criterion* by which I will exploit a creature is if doing so preserves the life of others. It is an exploitation based entirely on survival.

I find your hypocrisy more appalling than anything being done to these animals and consider you depraved for trying to preclude future generations the enjoyment of interacting with these tame animals.

Of course you would think that. Of course you think it's more appalling to treat intelligent animals with compassion when you can instead exploit them for your own entertainment. Of course it's depraved to wish a cruel industry to come to an end so future generations won't get to partake of that cruelty. Of course it is. Of course you would think these things because to you nature is something for you to subjugate at your own whim

You think my leaving a comment on this page is more appalling than actual harm to living creatures because you have a fundamental lack of humanity and that is unbelievably sad.

Re:Want to swim with dolphins? Better do it now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47007501)

I see you haven't denied being a hypocrite. Protip: just because you think something is cliched doesn't make it false.

You exploit animals. You do so even though you could easily avoid doing such in order to survive, though you like to pretend that eating that burger, eating those eggs, using that honey, and wearing that leather is a matter of life and death for you. If you can preserve your life without exploiting animals yet you do so regardless, what does that make you (by your own purported morals)?

I exploit animals too. The difference is that I don't deny it. I enjoy my pizza without guilt, even though—just like you—I don't need to exploit animals in order to survive. I acknowledge that I could be a vegan, but I don't want to be because animal products are enjoyable. As a logical extension, I will enjoy spending time interacting with tamed cetaceans.

Furthermore, I don't dehumanize those who disagree with me, though we obviously can't say the same about you. You are a pathetic hypocrite, though I still perceive you as a human. A delusional, pathetic hypocrite of a human, but a human nonetheless... potentially capable of higher order reasoning. I could even respect your position (albeit disagreeing with you), if you weren't a logically inconsistent hypocrite falsely claiming moral superiority.

Re:Want to swim with dolphins? Better do it now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47007865)

I see you haven't denied being a hypocrite. Protip: just because you think something is cliched doesn't make it false.

I'm honest.

You exploit animals. You do so even though you could easily avoid doing such in order to survive, though you like to pretend that eating that burger, eating those eggs, using that honey, and wearing that leather is a matter of life and death for you.

You mean those things I *don't* do because it's *not* a matter of life and death?

If you can preserve your life without exploiting animals yet you do so regardless, what does that make you (by your own purported morals)?

You think you made a point, but you struck out because you are assuming and projecting too much. I said preserve life, not preserve *my* life. And this is not a matter of any morality which, by the way, I did not purport.

I exploit animals too. The difference is that I don't deny it.

And neither did I

I enjoy my pizza without guilt, even though—just like you—I don't need to exploit animals in order to survive.

A total Non-sequitur but ok...

I acknowledge that I could be a vegan, but I don't want to be because animal products are enjoyable. As a logical extension, I will enjoy spending time interacting with tamed cetaceans.

As I'm sure they will enjoy your company as well. However, it does not logically follow that you would enjoy spending time with "tamed cetaceans" because you enjoy animal products. Just more flawed logic.

Furthermore, I don't dehumanize those who disagree with me, though we obviously can't say the same about you.

I don't dehumanize people either. Pointing out that you are ostensibly a sociopath who lacks humanity was a statement of fact. Do you even know what the word "dehumanize" means? Keeping people captive is "dehumanizing". Treating people as objects is "dehumanizing". Pointing out obvious character flaws is not dehumanizing.

You are a pathetic hypocrite,

Yes but not for any of the reasons you've stated

though I still perceive you as a human.

gee thanks.

A delusional, pathetic hypocrite of a human, but a human nonetheless...

Again with the projecting but that's ok -- takes one to know one I guess.

potentially capable of higher order reasoning. I could even respect your position (albeit disagreeing with you), if you weren't a logically inconsistent hypocrite falsely claiming moral superiority.

I never once claimed moral superiority. Not. Once. I have pointed out thus far uncontested statements of fact. If you were intellectually honest you would have to acknowledge your own illogical arguments and hypocrisy.

It's been fun but I'm not going to waste any more of my life with you. You can continue ranting and raving if you want but I won't bother reading it. We've exploited each other enough for one lifetime.

Re:Want to swim with dolphins? Better do it now. (1)

Talderas (1212466) | about 6 months ago | (#47007877)

Anonymous coward bantering.

10/10. Would read again.

My only hope is that these anonymous cowards are just two anonymous cowards and not three or more.

Re:Want to swim with dolphins? Better do it now. (5, Interesting)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 6 months ago | (#47007135)

I'm taking my wife on vacation to a resort. She has always wanted to swim with dolphins, and given the recent hate mongering about captive cetaceans I anticipate it the opportunity will be lost forever in the US within 15 years. It's unfortunate our kids won't have the same opportunities.

Oh, boo-hoo. Take a boat offshore, bob around in the water for a bit and if any dolphins want to swim with you, they can. There are plenty of places where they do.

Taking this campaign to its logical conclusion, they will probably eventually call for a closure of all zoos.

There are more reasons to run a zoo [wikipedia.org] than simply to entertain the gawking masses.

Oh, and god forbid you go see animals on safari. That's exploitation as well.

Who says that?

Your tasty snack is based on the suffering of dairy cows, who live for only a few short years before they are brutally killed and ground into burger. How can you live with yourself?

While still holding the view that cetaceans shouldn't be kept in captivity for little more than entertainment purposes? Pretty well, actually.

Your basic cow has been domesticated for centuries. Living on a farm in a herd and getting turned into burgers is what a cow is these days. It's not like they're highly intelligent or highly social animals. Release a cow into the wild, and it wouldn't have the capacity to understand that it was anywhere other than on a bigger farm.

Re:Want to swim with dolphins? Better do it now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47007173)

Oh, and god forbid you go see animals on safari. That's exploitation as well.

Who says that?

There are always people who will be butt-hurt [ifaw.org] about any human interaction with animals. “The elephant-back safari industry is one of greedy and willing participants in a practice that allows elephants to be subjected to training that is wrong, cruel and exploitative. They pay no attention to the psychological and social needs of these highly intelligent creatures,”, etc, etc. Someone will *always* find a reason to complain about something.

Look at PETA's perspective on wildlife parks [peta.org] and zoos [peta.org] . Can you explain to me how you can support safaris and zoos while decrying cetacean captivity on ethical grounds?

While still holding the view that cetaceans shouldn't be kept in captivity for little more than entertainment purposes? Pretty well, actually.

Your basic cow has been domesticated for centuries. Living on a farm in a herd and getting turned into burgers is what a cow is these days. It's not like they're highly intelligent or highly social animals. Release a cow into the wild, and it wouldn't have the capacity to understand that it was anywhere other than on a bigger farm.

Awesome, so you would be fine with this if we managed to breed stupid dolphins incapable of surviving in the wild? I think there are a few genetic sequences that can be inserted that reliably cause diminished intellect/cortical underdevelopment. I guess we can sell dolphin burgers too, if that makes it more ethical in your mind.

Furthermore, I presume you are aware, of course, that the rejoinder to your argument in favor of exploiting cows is that you are enabling their exploitation by buying the products resulting from their suffering. If no one bought pizza, shoe leather, etc, then there would be no demand and no one would cause the cows to be exploited.

I like pizza. I eat it without guilt. I am going to swim with dolphins without guilt, too. I'm logically consistent like that.

Re:Want to swim with dolphins? Better do it now. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47007395)

Have a nice swim. And while you're incompetently thrashing around in their water remember: dolphins are skilled predators, often cruel to each other and other aquatic life, and now you're in their turf.

Re:Want to swim with dolphins? Better do it now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47007555)

Have a nice swim. And while you're incompetently thrashing around in their water remember: dolphins are skilled predators, often cruel to each other and other aquatic life, and now you're in their turf.

Excellent! Even better... this will make the experience even edgier. Fun, politically incorrect, and with a remote hint of danger. Thanks for pointing this out!

Re:Want to swim with dolphins? Better do it now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47007995)

Your basic cow has been domesticated for centuries. Living on a farm in a herd and getting turned into burgers is what a cow is these days. It's not like they're highly intelligent or highly social animals. Release a cow into the wild, and it wouldn't have the capacity to understand that it was anywhere other than on a bigger farm.

Well this is clearly the answer. We just need to keep Orcas in captivity a few hundred more years until they've been domesticated. Then nobody can complain anymore.

Re:Want to swim with dolphins? Better do it now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47007857)

Dude, I grew up on a farm. Dairy cattle != Beef cattle. Dairy cows are FAR too valuable to dispose of after only 2-3 years. Check your facts. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beef_cattle)

And have you seen how beef cattle are killed? "Brutal" would be the old way of slitting its throat and letting it bleed out. Modern compressed air systems are just about the most humane way to do it, besides not killing them at all.

Re:Want to swim with dolphins? Better do it now. (1)

C0R1D4N (970153) | about 6 months ago | (#47007981)

You could take her to Dolphin cove in Jamaica where the dolphins are wild and can leave any time they want and come back.

Of course we KNOW this because (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47006899)

scientists have photgraphs of every Orca that has ever lived and therefore can prove that no two have ever had the same "paintjob", right? I hate this sort of pseudo-science. Is it the exact same whale? Perhaps it is - I'm perfectly willing to go with that but I dislike the idea that somebody is pushing this as a FACT without the required proof. Perhaps it's not the same beastie ... perhaps it's a descendant of the one in the old photo, or maybe there's a limited number of patterns that an Orca can have; There are clear limits to the pattern varieties of most species. Assuming this is in fact the same Orca, this still does not prove its age with the advertised precision of "103" years. Why not 102? Why not 104?, Why not 97? This whale's color pattern which is being used to "positively" identify it is only that small portion that is visible "above the waterline" (on a creature that's mostly submerged) so it's entirely possible this whale has the same appearance on the small part that's above water as the whale in the old photos, but is colored quite differently in other areas. It's a bit like looking at the top 2 inches of Miley Cyrus and the top two inches of Jusin Bieber and declaring they're both the same person.... and then going on to build a whole set of false conclusions from an initial false judgement

OK.... sorry about that... I may have just destroyed my argument.... has anybody ever seen Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber in the same place at the same time?

Re:Of course we KNOW this because (5, Informative)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 6 months ago | (#47006989)

Whale watchers have carefully vetted systems to look for unique markings. In humpback whales, it is the underside of the flukes. If I get a decent picture of the ventral flukes on a local whale, I email to our local whale watching experts (with GPS coordinates). On grey whales it is the left side of the dorsal fluke and upper back for some odd reason.

While nobody has actually proven the markings are unique, they seem to work pretty well for long term population studies. Easier than flipper prints.

Re:Of course we KNOW this because (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47007043)

Well, if you RTFA they mention that she has another identifier: a notch on her dorsal fin. Even if the saddle patch was not unique - and I'm better prepared to take the word of the experienced whale spotting captain on this than the skepticism of random internet guy - it seems very unlikely that another orca would have both identical markings and an identical notch in her dorsal fin.

I call BS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47006917)

Considering the rate at which Republicans are murdering them, there is no way one of them survived that long. I see the Republican boats leaving the dock here in Seattle to murder those magnificent creatures, and they are very effective. This story must be false.

Armchair Animal Activists (1, Informative)

Powercntrl (458442) | about 6 months ago | (#47007219)

Here we go again, with the same idiotic line of thinking that brought us "Blackfish". I wonder if these people are trolling or just really this ignorant.

Activist claim: Working with captive cetaceans endangers trainers.
Reality: Cell tower technicians fall to their death [pbs.org] all the time (who knew LTE had to be paid for with blood?). Can we at least agree advancing our understanding of marine mammals and inspiring future generations to give a damn might be worth at least as much blood as being able to Tweet about Miley Cyrus twerking? Also, it's probably possible to be accidentally killed in just about any line of work [tvtropes.org] .

Activist claim: Captive cetaceans would have a better life if freed.
Reality: Not even close. Over 300,000 whales, dolphins, and porpoises are killed each as a result of by-catch [panda.org] . Also, pollution [wikipedia.org] .

Activist claim: But think of the animals!
Reality: Yes, think of the animals in the wild, you lazy sorry sack of shit. You know, like the ones in Africa being illegally poached [nationalgeographic.com] . Oh sure, you might have to travel to a place that's a bit rougher of a neighborhood than Orlando or San Diego to protest that and put yourself at risk of being shot, but think of the animals, amiright?

Activist claim: Seaworld is just an evil profit driven empire, hell bent on the exploitation of animals.
Reality: Humanity has already fucked things up pretty bad for animals in the wild (warning: graphic content) [youtube.com] . We're past the point of taking a "hands off" approach and hoping things just go back to being peachy keen for our fine feathered and flippered friends. Seaworld exists to educate, inspire and inform people that they need to care about these animals today, or the only place we'll see them tomorrow will be in photographs and videos. They also (unlike most of these armchair activists), actually get off their ass and help animals [seaworldparks.com] .

Re:Armchair Animal Activists (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 6 months ago | (#47007307)

Lets lock you in a container thats the same ratio of size compared to your body size as we do for animals in marine theme parks.

If you're willing to live in those conditions, then you can continue your silly arguments, but in a matter of days, possibly hours, you'll be begging to be upgraded to living in Somalia.

Animals in zoos typically have more space by ratio than any marine park so its not even close to a fair comparison there either.

Re:Armchair Animal Activists (5, Insightful)

dave420 (699308) | about 6 months ago | (#47007323)

No advancing of marine mammal knowledge happens in these theme parks, apart from discovering that each and every time the animals in question have poorer health (physical & mental), and die sooner.

And yes, of course many die in the wild, but by your reasoning we should keep everyone in captivity, as people die in the wild - doesn't that seem rather bizarre logic?

Seaworld exists to make money. That's it. Their scientific endeavours are of severely limited importance to the field, and while their animal rescuing attempts are honourable, they are rather hypocritical in the face of their own record regarding the treatment of their own animals.

Marine mammals and Seaworld (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47007391)

First time I ever went to a Seaworld facility as soon as I looked at the whales and other mammals they have in captivity there, I was immediately struck by how small the containers were for such large animals. I was discussed. I wanted to leave immediately and I have never been back to one of those types of parks since.

Re:Armchair Animal Activists (2)

dywolf (2673597) | about 6 months ago | (#47008187)

Just like Zoos, Seaworld does a LOT for education. Seaworld and most reputable zoos also funnel a tremendous amount of money into conservation efforts.

people who would otherwise not even know whales exist (its just something in a book, something they might see...someday...maybe) get to see them up close. to learn about them. to learn about the problems they face in the wild. to learn about what human pressure on the environment is doing to them. no, seaworld isnt ideal for the individuals kept there, much like many zoos in smaller cities arent nearly as good for the animals as the larger refuges or zoos like the San Diego.

But they still do a LOT for public education, getting people to understand that maybe burning down rainforest isnt a good idea, that buying from certain companies or certain products leads indirectly to financing poaching or habitat exploitation.

yes those individuals arent in ideal conditions in many cases. but beacuse of the education opportunities provided by their presence, we can swing public opinion to help and make things better for many times larger wild populations. we can get people to get behind preservation and conservation. to demand better fishing practices, to demand better stewardship.

im an environmentalist and believer in the well treatment of animals, but here is where i diverge from folks who think the zoos and seaworlds of the world should all be shut down: i absolutely reject that these places have no value*. their biggest value is, and always has been, education of the masses who otherwise would know and care nothing. and if we can achieve that goal, i believe the planet will be for it. maybe someday we can reach the point where zoos are no longer necessary, but i dont think we're anywhere near that state of affairs yet.

*that's not to say places dont need improvements. And I believe the "zoo" Reno NV is a joke that ought be shutdown, since it's just a guy with a couple kennels stuffed with lions. there is a difference between a reputable Zoo and someone inspired by PT Barnum.

Re:Armchair Animal Activists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47008247)

Thanks for the pile of logical fallacies, shit-for-brains.

Re:Armchair Animal Activists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47008407)

If I could get the gear and clearance to go to Africa and shoot poachers to death, I would do so. Even if I would up dying doing it. It'd be a fuckload better than getting liquified in an IED blast for a war that had no fucking point (other than enrichment of a bastardly few)

Speciesism. (2)

I am Jack's username (528712) | about 6 months ago | (#47007447)

Don't worry, it's okay to enslave, break, torture, and slaughter creatures capable of feeling pain and suffering - as long as they're not from the same species as you. http://topdocumentaryfilms.com... [topdocumentaryfilms.com]

103 Years Old (1)

p0p0 (1841106) | about 6 months ago | (#47007665)

And I bet it was delicious.

Ignorance (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47007707)

It's funny how you will keep a large animal captive in a small space, decide what and when it eats, and then expect it to live long and healthy. Pets, in the U.S in particular, at age 10 ritually have their picture taken and put on sites like Reddit with comments "Here's my old girl! She's blind and with arthritis!", when in fact cats and dogs can live and stay healthy to 30 if they are treated well and given proper food (neither the wet gunk sat in a can for 6 months nor the dry lumps called dry-food are good for an animal). It is systematic animal abuse due complete ignorance.

A 103-yeard old granny orca ? Before the CA coast? (1)

vikingpower (768921) | about 6 months ago | (#47007829)

Now I know where my manager spends her holidays....

Jeez, I knew Windows Installer was old... (1)

DoctorBonzo (2646833) | about 6 months ago | (#47007913)

but I didn't know it was *that* old...

188 to 212 year old whales documented (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47007937)

Based on the analysis of citric acid build-up in the eyeballs of whales, recently took by native american tribes under their heritage titles, some of the victims were over 125 years old, with one specimen dated at 188 to 212 years old! As a youngster whale could have seen Lord Nelson die to win Trafalgar or the Bonaparte Napoleon shipped to exile at St. Helena or the first steamship to cross the ocean.

(BTW, the tribes hunt with heritage equipment, not motor ships with harpoon cannons, so they are only able to fell the weaker, slower whales, often the old ones.)

AARP got her on the California voting rolls (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47008151)

That would be a whale of a plan.

Hoax (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47008501)

... Orcas weren't even added until 2008.

http://massively.joystiq.com/2008/10/23/eve-onlines-rumored-orca-ship-unveiled/

Bear in mind that.... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 6 months ago | (#47008541)

In most cases, at least here in Canada, marine animals that are in captivity have usually been discovered to be injured, and either would have died if left to their own devices, or worse, spent the rest of their lives suffering. Full rehabilitation takes time, and of course, after being in captivity for any extended period, releasing the creature would also unfortunately be a certain death sentence... so in some ways, it might seem like they are damned if we do take them in, and damned if we don't.

However.... there's one key difference here.

In captivity they will still live longer and/or happier than they would have if left to their own devices... and although I won't argue that being in a million-gallon marine pool no substitute for swimming in the open ocean, it's not like we are trying to make their lives uncomfortable. Further, while they are in captivity, it gives us an otherwise impossible opportunity to learn far more about them than what we already know. I don't advocate mistreatment of any creature in the name of scientific research, but in the end, such aquatic centres or aquariums do not mistreat their charges... they care for them, and by all appearances, the creatures do usually appear to at least be content, as if they realize that we are trying our best, however much like flailing in the dark it might seem to people who would advocate the closure of these places, to genuinely help them, and to make their lives as better as we know how.

Allow me to introduce folks to the bell curve (1)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | about 6 months ago | (#47008567)

Need I say more?

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