— Animal Petitions, a top online destination for those concerned about wildlife welfare and conservation, issued a call to action to save a population of orca whales off the coast of Washington. With dams on the Lower Snake River cutting off the orcas' natural food supply of chinook salmon, the killer whales are forced to subsist on their own stocks of blubber throughout much of the year. Burning blubber leaves the orcas weak and more susceptible to illnesses, endangering the lives of pod members young and old. The new Animal Petitions drive centers around a letter at AnimalPetitions.org encouraging President Barack Obama to take executive action to remove four dams on the Lower Snake River, a move that would restore the orcas' access to chinook salmon, improving their reliable food supply by 70% at a single stroke.
"Thanks to the success of the documentary Blackfish, millions of people have learned how intelligent and sensitive killer whales are," Animal Petitions representative John Landry said, "These magnificent creatures are vulnerable to much more than lives of captive misery, though, with their natural habitats being threatened all over the world. President Obama can take action now to ensure that the members of one endangered community of orcas near Washington will thrive as they deserve. We encourage anyone who cares about the well-being of killer whales in the wild to stop by AnimalPetition.org and sign our petition."
Like their smaller relatives in the dolphin family, killer whales, also known as "orcas," are extremely intelligent aquatic mammals that form strong social bonds and exhibit complex emotional behaviors. The 2013 film documentary Blackfish brought widespread attention to the plight of killer whales kept in captivity in theme parks and aquariums, with the public outcry that resulted producing positive change of many kinds.
While killer whales undoubtedly belong in the wild, they face real challenges there, too. The International Union for Conservation of Nature regards a number of sub-species as either endangered outright or threatened, with access to suitable food supplies for the creatures being a common concern.
That is very much the case for a population of orcas that roams off the coasts of Washington. With a number of dams on the Lower Snake River there inhibiting the free movement of the orcas' natural staple food, chinook salmon, the creatures have been observed essentially starving throughout much of the year, burning up precious blubber that would normally be reserved for emergencies.
The new Animal Petitions initiative will serve to impress upon President Obama and other leaders the seriousness of this issue and the concern it arouses among the general public. The group's website at AnimalPetitions.org details a number of active, wildlife-related petitions drawn from the ForceChange.com database and how to support them.
About Animal Petitions:
Animal Petitions helps those who love wildlife and the natural world push for much-needed conservation efforts, drawing the latest animal-related developments from the ForceChange.com database.
Release ID: 99702