A disturbing video has sent shockwaves across social media platforms, revealing an orca confined to a minuscule pool within an aquarium.
The footage was allegedly captured by animal activist Phil Demers, co-founder of UrgentSeas, during a visit to Mundo Marino in Argentina.
The 45-year-old activist aimed to draw attention to Kshamenk, an orca living in captivity at the park since 1992.
Demers shared the video on his social media account (@walrs_whisperer), where it quickly garnered 959,000 views, leaving viewers horrified.
“Kshamenk was captured from the wild and brought to the park to accompany another Orca, Belen,” explained Phil Demers, who hails from Niagara Falls, Canada. “Sadly, Belen died in 2000 after pregnancy complications, leaving Kshamenk to live with only two dolphins.”
“His sperm has been sold several times to SeaWorld to impregnate orcas,” he added. “The Argentina government refuses to release Kshamenk or export him out of the country. In recent videos, he appears to be losing weight and is more lethargic, causing growing concerns for his well-being.”
In the video, filmed on September 25, 2023, and shared online more recently, Kshamenk can be seen in a small, round pool barely large enough to accommodate his size. He appears motionless, floating in the middle of the pool while a dolphin swims around him. Another solitary dolphin can also be observed in a murky, green pool nearby.
The Instagram post, captioned “Kshamenk, a 35-year-old captive orca, is observed languishing in decrepit and ever-deteriorating conditions,” has garnered over 13,135 likes and 1,290 comments from appalled users.
Commenting on the video, one user said, “This is horrifying. No animal should live like this.”
Another commented, “Imagine being locked in a white padded room for 50 years since you were a baby. No education. This is a jail. Solitary confinement.”
“It’s so awful. He can’t even move around,” added another concerned user.
The post also sparked a call for action, with one user stating, “Immoral to the highest degree. #FreeKshamenk and GLOBAL BAN these damn parks, already. There are thousands on thousands of other things to do than spend ticket money on these hell holes.”
As outrage continues on social media, local activists in Argentina have launched a campaign to outlaw Kshamenk’s current captivity, gaining momentum and support. Phil Demers believes raising awareness and sharing Kshamenk’s story will bolster their efforts.
“It breaks my heart to see Kshamenk’s conditions,” concluded Demers. “He needs to be rescued.”
Jam Press has reached out to Mundo Marino for comment.
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