• Morgan Sellars

SeaWorld's orca passes away


As a child, you may have visited or even swam with the orcas at SeaWorld. Did it bother you seeing the massive whales swimming in an enclosed area? Whether you believe it's right or wrong, large animals require plenty of space to roam, or in this case swim.

Kayla, an orca at SeaWorld, recently passed away, and "Dr. Naomi Rose, a marine mammal scientist, at the Animal Welfare Institute, told the Orlando Sentinel that Kayla died very young for an orca," according to Fox News. An orca's life expectancy is typically 80 to 90 years, at least for wild orcas. However, orcas, like Kayla, that are raised in captivity only live for around 30 years on average.

Kayla the orca was the first born in captivity at SeaWorld in San Antonio in 1988. Kayla lived to be 30 years old and died quickly after becoming sick over the weekend. Orcas that live in captivity are typically moved from place to place. They also live in chemically treated waters, which could potentially be harming their bodies and causing serious health issues.

Animal rights activists hope Kayla's death brings a realization that large mammals should remain in the wild. Luckily, Fox News stated, "SeaWorld stopped its orca breeding program in 2016 amid pressure from animal rights activists, shareholders and corporations after the release of the documentary 'Blackfish' in 2013. The documentary detailed the life of Tilikum, an orca that killed its trainer during a performance in Orlando in 2010. Tilikum died in 2017 at just 33 years old."

Though many are saddened about Kayla's death, her death could have been prevented if she wasn't kept in captivity. The remaining captive orcas should be released in to seaside sanctuaries as soon as possible.