Ask yourself, would these animals be more comfortable in the environment they knew for 1-3 years as a young calf or the environment they’ve known for 30+ years.
Whales are complex mammals and thus their environments have a huge impact on them behaviorally, psychologically and developmentally. No matter what type of rehabilitation we provide these whales with, we cannot change the fact that they spent the majority of their early, formative years in captivity. They will forever be impacted by growing up in the care of humans. Is it really ethical to put these animals through huge amounts of stress when all logic would suggest they do not view the wild or the ocean as their “home”?
Corky II: 6.67%
pictures obtained off Orcahome
I think it’s already been established over and over and over again that these animals could not survive in the wild, even if we wanted to release them.
But I am certain if they could be released (because they were good candidates for it), yes, they would end up being more comfortable in the environment they came from, and with their families (that’s if you’re not considering all the calves they’ve had now, and all the other things that make them impossible to be released.). They would be mentally HEALTHIER there. I think any animal, humans alike, would need to be rehabilitated before being reintroduced, of course. I think if you just pop them back into the ocean it would be a very uncomfortable process. But if done well, and assuming their family accepts them and everything goes well, then yea. I do believe that they would live far more healthier, far more comfortable lives once the bumpy road of integrating them back to their natural habitat has passed.
It’s really upsetting that people would prefer settling with a captive setting should the healthy option of their release be presented. (Plus, how are you to conclude that they are truly comfortable? With all the stereotypyic behavior, I would almost vouch that they weren’t. And I would almost vouch that they go through an elongated amount of stress as they are anyway. I personally think enduring just a bit more stress to get them in an environment that is actually good for them, should it be possible, is very worth it.)
^^^ a+ response.
Also, if like to add in a quote that I love regarding this issue: “It seems ironic that the captivity industry fully expects cetaceans to cope with the violence and trauma of chase, capture, removal from community, family and habitat, incarceration in unnatural conditions, training and acceptance of dead food — but readapting back to where they evolved for over fifty million years is considered risky and problematic”— Leah Lemieux, Author