In our infinite arrogance, we take our fellow mammals for granted…
When I was taken to Sea world as a child the entire experience was saddening to me. I mean, I did have fun, like any child would while watching spinning dolphins and jumping whales, but I remember being so sad. When we were waiting for the Shamu show to start, I apparently had taken off (I used to run away a lot as a kid, not really run away but I would adventure off.) My aunt says she turns around and sees me right around a slide-out area— which is a platform submerged about a foot into water; I was standing on the edge looking in the deep part of the water. Luckily for me a gentleman had spotted me and swooped me up before I fell into the water. The only thing that used to separate the public from the tank was only a chain that said “Do Not Enter”, which means absolutely nothing to a kid who can’t read. When we were leaving I remember there was a long hallway with windows on both sides where you could walk and you’d be able to see the whales below, I have no idea if it is still there or not, but I remember looking at one of the whales and all it was doing was swimming back and forth and back and forth and I, being like 5, ran up and down the hallway with it. I felt SO SAD! I was five years old at Sea world and I just wanted to cry! I remember asking my Grandma about the whales and why they were so sad.
Orcas are one of those things when you see in the flesh you’re almost taken a back by the sheer beauty of the natural world and at the same time you realize how fucked up humanity is sometimes for trying to contain such an amazing creature.
“Bostock’s trained lions”, ca.1903
Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-15898