The Globe and Mail (BC Edition) - - EDITORIAL -

Re No One Should Love Marineland (Dec. 5): Or­cas in the wild lead mul­ti­fac­eted, com­plex lives. They are in­tel­li­gent an­i­mals who work co-op­er­a­tively, form close re­la­tion­ships, com­mu­ni­cate us­ing dis­tinct di­alects and swim up to 100 miles ev­ery day.

Bel­u­gas thrive in the wideopen ocean. They are ex­tremely so­cial an­i­mals who play, chase each other and in­ter­act in ex­tended pods. Bel­u­gas have been called “sea ca­naries” be­cause they speak and seem to sing to each other.

At Marineland, bel­u­gas and a lone orca named Kisha ex­ist in small, mo­not­o­nous tanks. They can­not swim long dis­tances, court and mate in au­ton­omy, or en­gage in other ac­tiv­i­ties that give their lives mean­ing. They are re­duced to car­toon­ish props that di­min­ishes ev­ery­thing they are.

Peo­ple who re­ally care about dol­phins, whales and other ma­rine an­i­mals can help keep them in the oceans where they be­long by re­fus­ing to pa­tron­ize aquar­i­ums and ma­rine theme parks. It’s that sim­ple.

Jen­nifer O’Con­nor Fort Erie, Ont.

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