Tuesday 17 December 2013

The Orca Captivity Business Starts with Moby Doll

The orca captivity business starts.

The first killer whale capture was in 1961 by Marineland of the Pacific in California. They captured a sick, disoriented mature female in Newport Harbor, California. Two days after the introduction into ...her tank, she smashed her rostrum head-on into the tanks' wall and died.

Moby Doll was the second orca (killer whale) ever captured and the first to be displayed in a public aquarium exhibit.

 The 15 foot (4.6m) long, 1-ton male was captured in 1964 near East Point, Saturna Island in British Columbia. A sculptor, Samuel Burich, had been commissioned by the Vancouver Aquarium to kill an orca in order to construct a life-sized model for the aquariums' new British Columbia hall. Moby Doll was harpooned and shot at by Burich but did not die and the aquarium director decided to tow the orca back to Vancouver and put him on display.

Moby Doll was shown to the public in a pen at Burrard Drydocks but was listless and did not eat for the first two months in captivity.  The whale seemed to be suffering from shock...For a long time, Moby Doll...would not eat. She was offered everything from salmon to horse hearts, but the whale only circled the pool night and day in a counterclockwise pattern." After 55 days in captivity, Moby Doll begins eating--up to 200 pounds of fish a day... but he died a month later.

At the time, it was not known that "resident" killer whales ate only fish, not warm-blooded prey. After his keepers spent nearly two months offering a variety of inappropriate food items for a resident killer whale, someone offered a lingcod. The whale took it, and when offered more ended up eating 50 kg of cod that day.[3] So little was known of killer whales at the time that furthermore, Moby Doll was mistakenly identified as a female. Most sources say that the whale was discovered to be a male only after his death.

They didn't understand them then and they still don't today.

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