Friday 18 March 2016 | 5

What does the future hold for the orcas of Antibes?

Whilst SeaWorld has stopped the orca reproduction programme, in Antibes, the show opens again. Following the deaths last year of Freya, Valentin, Eclair and Mila, what does the future hold for the flood survivors?

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The lost children

Wikie, Inouk, Moana, Keijo… the four surviving orcas in the Antibes pool, hopefully now free from infected water. As if nothing has happened, Marineland is hoping that the show will go on. The early deaths of Freya at 34 and Valentin at 19 have been forgotten, along with those of Eclair and Mila, which by the way we had failed to report! The flooding which still poses a threat to the park has been forgotten! Under new management, Marineland launches a new season.

Reopening

For the reopening, Marineland has announced a review of the orca shows. The previously theatrical shows will now be educational, mimicking natural behaviour "It's a new product, declares the park, reiterating SeaWorlds announcement, far removed from the 'Blackfish' effect. It is about listening to the public's desire to be entertained whilst learning at the same time". But by learning what? That orcas swim in groups of four, when in fact orca communities in the wild have up to two hundred members? That they hunt herrings together, when a fish would die within five minutes in the pool's chlorinated water? How can we imitate 'natural behaviour' in a concrete tank surrounded by stands?

Nothing changes

If they are really inspired by SeaWorld, they should also stop orca breeding programmes, as the American group has just announced to be doing. Artificial insemination based reproduction causes terrible suffering to the mothers who lose many babies and are often separated from them when they do survive. Marineland could go one step further in reinstating the orcas into marine sanctuaries. For one thing is certain, whatever the staging or the musical scores for this "new product", it will be performed by captive orcas. For them, educational or not, the show will always be their breadwinner, their drill in the prison court. And after the show: suffering, boredom and confinement. Nothing changes.

What does the future hold for the Antibes orcas?

Captive cetaceans die young. Up to now, the media does not seem affected by the numerous deaths in just one year, nor by the psychological situation and the strange "community" of orcas reduced to one female in charge of two youngsters and her deformed brother. However, if nothing is done, our four orcas will die young at the end of a grim, medicalised and meaningless life … The phasing out of theatrical orca shows by SeaWorld has sent a strong message, this slavery has reached its end! It is now time to repatriate the Antibes survivors to a marine sanctuary in Iceland, with the other inmates from SeaWorld. One Voice is ready to support this project. Let's join forces for their survival and freedom! 

Hr blog

In the subject

Open letter for the attention of Barbara Pompili
Ode to Orcas: young people speak out for the release of captive orcas

Comments 5

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Border | Friday 18 March 2016

Ennui ,confinement, une vraie souffrance pour ces géants magnifiques qui ont tant besoin d'espace et de la compagnie de leurs congénères.
Ne peut-on pas comprendre cela ?