Photo by Marcelo campos
Advocates were thrilled when Gov. Roberto Bubas of Argentina submitted a plan for the release of Kshamenk, the lone orca at Mundo Marino. The plan was good news for those who fight the constant battle of ending captivity.
The problem came later when a group of experts concluded that the plan had significant holes and was not feasible. The sad news caused a mixture of anger and confusion, which lead to misinformation being passed around as fact.
Many activists were outraged and claimed that many of the experts who assessed the plan worked at Mundo Marino. This got further complicated in translation. When “Mundo Marino” is passed through Google translator you get SeaWorld. Only one who submitted comments, Dr. Ricardo Bastida, has worked at Mundo Marino. He did not hide the fact that he worked at the rehab center there until he quit in 1998. SeaWorld was not involved in the decision at all, although it is known that their newest calf was sired by Kshamenk through Artificial Insemination (AI).
None of these experts have any hidden agendas, especially when it comes to keeping in orca in captivity. In fact, they have tirelessly used their own resources to find a sea pen that would be appropriate for Kshamenk with no avail.
Mr. Bubas undoubtedly had good intentions when he submitted the plan and it is important to recognized his stand against captivity. However, in the end, when presented with facts it is understandable, although disappointing, why the plan is not feasible. Here is a list of problems in the plan: