Friday, February 18, 2011

The life and death of slaves

 One warm sunny day in May, a sweet baby boy entered this world. This was not an ordinary boy, and his life was going to be anything but normal. Not only was this little one born into slavery, but his mother was very young, only 8 years old, and had been abused by her mother. The slave masters saw nothing wrong with the young mothers age, and figured other female slaves would help raise the baby boy. When the boy was about 8 months old, it was clear his young mother wanted nothing to do with her child. She was over being a mother and made it known when she attacked the child. The slave owners took the baby from his mother, and put him in the care of some of the older slaves. A few months later the owners decided the baby was to much of an issue for them, and sent the 10 month old baby boy to another slave owner to be cared for.
  At his new home the baby found love in an older female slave, who cared for him as if he was her own. The bond between them was clear to all that saw them. As he grew up he adapted well to the life of slavery. He was known as being a very sweet and gentle boy, to both slaves and to his slave holders. Sadly, his sweet disposition made him an easy target for others, and he was picked on often. He was a favorite of his slave owners, and they had high hopes for the young boy.
  One day in September the 12 year old boy became ill. His slave owners called in doctors to care for him, and he was given around the clock care. Sadly, the next day his condition worsened and the the 12 year old died. It was a tragic loss to his fellow slaves and his owners who had such high hopes for what the boys future could have held for them.
 Do you find this story sad? Would it change things if you knew that this was not actually a human boy, but a Orca named Sumar? If so, why?

Taima and Sumar

     In the wild, orcas do not start breeding until they are older, normally 15 or so. Orcas also stay with their families there whole lives, and learn what they need to survive and caring for young from their families. Taima's (Sumar's mother) own mother Gudrun was captured in the wild at a young age. She did not know how to mother her young. It is documented that she was aggressive to both Taima and Tamia's sister Nyar. She tried to drowned them on many occasions. Gudrun died in 1996 due to complications during birth, her daughter Nyar died a few months later. (Note: in the wild Orcas give birth every 5 years. Gudrun had 3 offspring, one being her cause of death, in 7 years.) . Tamia had lost her whole family.  Trainers and experts felt that the way Tamia's mother treated her and her sister confused her. Which is why she mistreated her own calves; Sumar,Tekoa and Malia.


    On the day that ended her mothering duties to Sumar, while performing, Taima started biting Sumar, and throwing him out of the pool, onto the trainers platform. She then slid out herself and started biting him. The show was stopped, and Taima was pulled to the other swimming pool. It was a few months after that he was transferred to San Diego and was mothered by Corky.
    Tekoa, Taima's second calf, was born in 2000. Kalina and Katina, two older orcas, helped Taima with the birth. Again after 9 months together, Taima got aggressive towards Tekoa. This time the older Katina was there to protect the young Tekoa. This angered Taima and she attacked Katina, who herself was pregnant. This caused sever stress in Katina and she almost lost her own calf. After this event Taima was separated from all whales, except Tilikum.

Katina, Malia, Taima
      She gave birth again in 2007 to Malia, despite being unfit for her other two calves. She again became aggressive, and Malia was moved into the care of Kalina.
     Once again, even after mistreating and having 3 calves taken from her, Taima became pregnant a 4th time  (4 in 12 years) in 2010, and died of complications of birth (placenta previa, a condition in which the placenta is delivered before the calf).

Tilikum and Taima
   Sadly, Sumar, who was on the other side of the country, died months after his mother. The official cause was due to a twisted intestinal tract. Before his death, Sumar was used in multiple shows and was soon to take his place in the breeding stock of Seaworld, like his father, Tilikum.


 You may not like what I have to say. You may choose to close your eyes and ears, and pretend you don't know what I am saying. But truth of the matter is, Seaworld are nothing more then Slave Masters. You may think that all is fine and dandy, and the animals are happy and healthy, but they are not. Females begin breeding way to early and way to often. Multiple females have died giving birth and they have all had many calves in a short time. All but 2 orcas in captivity have died extremely young. Corky of Seaworld San Diego and Lolita of  Miami Seaquarium are both in their 40's. This is about middle aged for Orcas in the wild. Lolita's own mother is in year 80's and still going strong. A female orca, a member of the J- pod (J-2 known as Granny), will be turning 100 years old this year. This is not a rare thing, as many wild Orcas living of the coast of Washington state are known to live very long lives.

 I was looking for the perfect video to share of these amazing creatures. I found a few that just touched my heart. I don't agree with these animals being in Captivity, and using video's from Pro-Captive people is hard for me. But it is clear, that so many people loved these animals. So, here are a few of my favorite ones.

RIP Sumar...

RIP Taima

RIP Taima and Sumar


  1. My poor sweet Sumar. Thank you for posting this, as hard as it was to's cut too short for the stupid entertainment of humans. :(

  2. Thank you Chasity for a wonderful way to describe how the Slave masters conduct a baby orca factory. Please keep sharing your wonderful stories so that I may continue sharing them with the world! If we can educate the public to these atrocities maybe the Orca's will all one day be free.

  3. That was a great way to tell the story. It clarified for everyone, regardless of their background or perspective, that captivity is wrong. I felt so sad just reading it and I can only imagine how you felt when you were writing it. Thank you for your heart, your creativity, and your passion.