World Orca Day is designed to celebrate and educate about the different orca ecotypes found throughout the world. The Latin name Orcinus orca translates to be ‘god of the underworld’ or ‘demon dolphin’. Orcas can be found on both hemispheres from the polar regions to the Equator. There are many different orca ‘ecotypes’ around the world, some living side-by-side.
Smart and social, orcas make a wide variety of communicative sounds, and each pod has distinctive noises that its members will recognize even at a distance. They use echolocation to communicate and hunt. Orcas hunt in deadly pods, family groups of up to 40 individuals. All pods use effective, cooperative hunting techniques that some liken to the behaviour of wolf packs.
ORCAS ARE BRILLIANT DIVERS
The orcas we know today have evolved over 50 million years and are perfectly adapted to life in the ocean. For these highly social animals with this degree of intelligence, confinement in a marine park tank goes against everything they are born to be. Almost every person heard about the 1993 movie series Free Willy.
Orcas in the wild have evolved to swim up to 40 miles a day, foraging for food and exercising. They dive 100 to 500 feet, several times a day, every day. Artificial enclosures contribute to boredom and stress. Orcas have been seen to develop stereotypes, also known as zoochosis—repetitive patterns of activity that have no obvious function.
ORCAS IN CAPTIVITY
Captive-born orcas are often transferred between facilities, breaking up social relationships. The stress of social disruption is compounded by the fact that orcas in captivity don’t have the ability to escape conflict with other orcas. In 2013, the documentary film Blackfish laid bare the story of a wild-caught orca named Tilikum who had killed two trainers at SeaWorld Orlando. Tilikum’s stress led to his aggression towards humans.
There is a growing movement to retire these majestic animals and give them a new and better life. But that depends on being able to relocate them to a natural environment.
Sources: worldorcaday.org, nationalgeographic.com
LET'S FIGHT TO SAVE THE OCEANS
VAKOVAKO will soon fight to save the current shape and biodiversity of the oceans. 100 % of all donations given via our app to „OCEANS“ area will by transfered to related NGOs. Let’s help them expand their activities together.