If you’ve ever seen the documentary Blackfish, you’ll be well acquainted with the doco’s breakout star, Tilikum. The orca had been kept in captivity by SeaWorld in America for 25 years. As a result of the backlash associated with Blackfish, SeaWorld made the decision to stop breeding the animal in captivity. However, SeaWorld will have to continue to provide a home for the orcas currently in its care.
A new study by the University of Glasgow has come up with an ingenious way to improve the lives of orcas in captivity. The answer? Let them Skype their mates!
While it may sound a little left of centre, researchers suggest that audio communication between different captive and wild populations will improve the quality of the animal’s lives.
According to Live Science, one of the study’s authors Graham Law said, "We are at a stage where, for the most part, the physical welfare of animals in captivity is good and often a good deal better than in the wild. However, the psychological welfare is an area that needs more work."
Apparently, killer whales are highly vocal animals, who could benefit from the mental stimulation and social life that regular Skype sessions would provide.
Couldn’t hurt to give it a go, right?