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Dying to be Free: Captive wild-born orca Kasatka has died

A wild-born Icelandic orca who was captured for captivity, Kasatka, has died. She was one year-old when stolen from North Atlantic waters and separated from her family in 1978. She spent almost 39 years in a too-small, concrete tank on display for human profit and entertainment. 

During her decades in captivity, Kasatka had four calves by four different males, two of which were via artificial insemination. She was the first orca to be artificially inseminated in the year 2000. Three of her calves are in SeaWorld in California, where Kasatka was displayed. The other is at SeaWorld, Texas.

Kasatka's death leaves four wild-born Icelandic orcas alive in captivity. But there are also the captured Russian and Pacific Northwest orcas, as well as an Argentinian orca and Morgan, of Norwegian descent, photographed below. And, of course, the captive-borns

These individuals are smart, like you and I. They are born into families with long-lasting relationships and culture, like you and I. They understand what is happening, what has happened... What is to come. Like you and I. They know who they are in context of past, present and future. Can problem solve. Learn our methods of communication. Feel; grieve. All like you and I. 

We may share more similarities than we know. Spare them a thought and don't buy a ticket to a marine park displaying these beautiful, sentient beings. 

RIP Kasatka - 39 years of suffering. It is so ridiculously sad you had to die to be free.

Wild-born Norwegian orca Morgan captive at Loro Parque in Spain © SL /