California makes a huge step forward in the process of protecting wild animals. Governor Jerry Brown has recently signed an act which prohibits killer whale performances in the state of California. The law also bans breeding orcas in captivity, but, for the moment, the animals won’t be released.
The Californian governor signed the papers protecting killer whales on Tuesday. The document is called the Orca Protection and Safety Act. SeaWorld showed consideration for both the law and the captive animals and announced not to display and promote killers whale performances any longer.
However, the law allows displaying the animals for educational purposes. SeaWorld will be hosting such events starting next year. This type of show will be much more useful for kids and people who want to know more about the marine mammals than the regular performances when orcas were forced to perform flips and other tricks for entertainment.
At the moment, SeaWorld owns eleven killer whales. The animals won’t be allowed to breed anymore, as the law bans orca calves in captivity. The purpose of this bill is to reduce the number of killer whales in captivity. However, the eleven individuals at SeaWorld won’t be released in their natural environment.
Specialists say that they will always try to help wild killer whales, whenever they need human help. There have been several cases of orcas being washed ashore, but their chances of survival are small. Scientists know that orcas which used to live in the wild are less likely to survive in captivity, despite the fact that they receive good care and medical assistance to recover from dehydration.
People who fight for animal rights hope that the killer whales will be taken to a special sanctuary.
South Carolina already has a law forbidding whales and dolphins entertainment shows. Activists hope now that states such as Texas and Florida will consider a similar regulation.
The law which bans killer whale performances will be applied starting 2017. This prevents companies from using the animals and capturing new individuals. However, the law doesn’t change the status of orcas which have already been caught. On the other hand, the individuals that are captive at the moment will be the last ones deprived of their freedom.
Killer whales are aggressive relatives of kind dolphins. Although they are fierce predators in the oceans, they don’t stand as a threat to humans. Nevertheless, orcas can react violently in captivity, causing injuries to their caretakers.
Image courtesy of: Wikipedia