Do You Understand Me

Artist: Emily Peterson

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For this project, I looked at killer whales in captivity. In the research I’ve done, I’ve found that a common piece of information given about killer whales is that, in captivity, the whales can communicate easily. In actuality, however, research has shown that each individual orca pod communicates slightly different from the others. When placed in captivity, whales from multiple pods are located together and, even though they learn new ways to communicate, it typically involves a lot of aggression, harm to each other, and--at times--to trainers. Even with the evidence that the orcas can’t really communicate well in captivity, docents at marine parks still choose to say otherwise. Some people choose to believe this also, many unwilling to do fact checking on what really goes on behind the scenes and how these beautiful creatures are affected.