Since inception, science has been at the forefront of species enhancement (Lewis, 60). Among the methods adopted for this objective is artificial insemination. Though needful, the methods applied may be damaging for animals, like in this case, for Tilikum. In many instances, they end up dead after undergoing human imposed suffering at length. One specific scenario is the case of Tilikum. She was a prisoner of sea cowboys who subjected her to difficult situations for their benefits. This essay is a summary and an in-depth study of the challenges facing captive animals. Additionally, it is also a response to the article citing possible shortfalls in the analysis.
The article addressed in this study narrates the story of Tilikum, an orca imprisoned for three decades and winning a victorious title, The Star. Each of these decades was a continuation of the selfishness of human interests imposed on her. Sadly, she gained his freedom at the cost of her life (Lewis, 130). SeaWorld, his jailer, was urged by many persons to release her from custody, but the company arrogantly turns down their requests. Instead, it continued to feed the families on lines; a condition considered insufficient for their survival.
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At the age of two, Tilikum forcefully left her family after an abduction by cowboys who habitually kidnap orcas, which then sell at amusement parks. The life that ensued saw her live in tanks and cramped spaces. In all this time, she could not see her relatives and lacked the use of her echolocation. Her life was by far unfair and not even close to the ordinary.
She could not make independent choices, and mostly, she did as commanded. Her kidnappers would collect sperm from her without her permission and use it for artificial insemination. When the company resolved to stop the injustice, it was late for her as the sperms had been useful for twenty-one times and eleven of her offspring had succumbed long before the decision.
In the tanks, she was a prisoner under intolerable and often raided by aggressive cowboys leaving her torn and bloodied. Over time, the stressful nature of her continuous experiences caused her to lash out killing at least three persons in the encounter. Sadly, she destroyed her teeth as she gnawed prison bars in search of an escape route. As time passed by, her mind was overwhelmed by the devastation. It was not long before she gave up the struggle for freedom and succumbed to injuries.
Sources believe she died in an artificial environment that was not her own. She lacked the joy of living with her family and swimming with them. Although her tribulations are over, there are chances that other prisoners are still under conditions as damaging as those of Tilikum. Plans to recover the prisoner animals from their jailers are now an urgent call. The article ends by asserting death should not be the only escape routes available for captive animals.
This study learns that animal prisoners live under intolerable conditions and are manipulated for human gains, precisely artificial insemination. In other instances, they die at the height of human mishandling. The case of Tilikum is a sufficient example of the tribulations animals continue to face every day. This paper establishes that this injustice extends to young ones. For instance, Tilikum ended up in prison tanks at the age of two. Among her 21 offspring, 11 succumbed to the intolerability of captivity while the others remain in custody.
Newkirk, Ingrid. “Tilikum Dies, US Antibiotic Ban And A Nazi-Science Probe”. Nature, vol 541, no. 7636, 2017, pp. 138-139. Springer Nature, doi:10.1038/541138a.
Lewis, Browne. Papa’s Baby. 1st ed., New York, New York University Press, 2012,.