SOURCE: Seattle Pi Blog, SeaWorld, Russia, plus China Equals a Captive Dolphin and Whale Disaster
The people who have seen Blackfish know about Tillikums story. They know how his horrible capture went down, they heard and seen it step by step:
“ They hurt the whales into cove. But the orcas had been caught before and they knew what was going on. They knew their young ones would be taken from them. So, the adults without youngs went East and the boats followed them thinking they were all going that way. While the mothers with babies went North, but the capture team had aircraft and they have to come up for air eventually. When they did, the capture team alerted the boats and the speed boats caught them there. Then, they had fishing boat and circle them with nets, so none could leave. Then, they could just pick out the young ones.”
-Howard Garrett, Orca Researcher
The people who have seen Blackfish recognize the bond that pods of orcas have. In the wild, calves stay by their mother’s side for years before becoming members of the pod, sticking with it for the rest of their life.
“We’re there, trying to get the young orca in the stretcher and the whole family is out here, 25 yards away maybe. And, they are communicating back and forth. Well, you understand THEN what you’re doing. And, I lost it and I started crying. It’s like kidnapping a little kid from his mother […]. When the whole hunt was over, there were three dead whales in the net. So, they had [us] cut the whales open, put rocks and sink them.”
–John Crowe, Diver
That baby was Tilikum. It was a terrible event that happened 30 years ago and, now, that kidnapped orca needs to return to his pod, to his home: let’s free Tilly. But what if it was happening all over again in Russia? What if it was happening not only with killer whales but belugas as well? And, what if we had the power to stop it this time?
As read on The Russian Orcas’s website, around September 29th 2013, three wild orcas were captured in the Sea of Okhotsk, Russia: a young male, an adult female and a juvenile female orca. When The Russian Orca had more information, they confirmed that they were placed with an orca named Narnia captured in 2012: “They were transported in trucks for more than 1000 km to the south to the net enclosure near Nakhodka and placed in the same net pen where Narnia was kept for the past year”. As of October 27th, they confirmed that four more orcas have been captured.
This leaves us with 8 captive orcas in Russia, all captured by the same company, meaning that we have TO DO SOMETHING. We have to speak up for those orcas, and we can make a difference like we did for 18 wild-caught belugas that were about to be sent to the US: “In August 2013, WDC helped stop 18 of these wild belugas being imported from Russia to theme parks in the US”. And, how we did it? By signing petitions and spreading the word. Now, what can be done?
WRITE A LETTER to the Russian Fisheries Agency:
Unfortunately they only take letters written in Russian, here is the proposed text letter: http://russianorca.com/letter_rosryb.htm
COPY/PASTE to: http://fish.gov.ru/appeals/Pages/feedback.aspx
You can ADD YOUR VOICE and take action with The Whale and Dolphin Conservation:
AND, SIGN: Freedom for Russian toothed cetaceans.