Orcapedia presents a sobering look at the current imprisonment of a highly intelligent, socially complex, non-threatening species--orcas--by an industry strictly for profit. Many remember the movement to release Keiko, the orca who appeared in the family drama Free Willy, into the wild. Today, there are dozens of orcas still in captivity.
Readers are introduced to more than 60 orcas by name along with their photos, personal history, and notable incidents that have occurred during their captivity. The text makes it clear that they are imprisoned "inmates" and instills a full understanding of the injustices being perpetrated. Color images capture the beauty of these mammals. Their size, eating and mating habits, and pod dialects and structures work against them in captivity which is graphically illustrated by five pages of headstones.
While many orcas would not survive if they were suddenly released into the wild, the authors recommend the use of sea pens, which present a viable compromise by allowing the orcas greater freedom, providing them with the opportunity to learn how to catch fish, having trainers on hand to assess their health, and offering visitors a view of whales living in more natural surroundings. This book mandates change and inspires us to follow through.
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