It’s a very unnatural occurrence when the prey becomes the predator. The hunter becoming the hunted, the victim stalking the killer. It crams individuals into a category they don’t fit into, they are forced to adjust or else they die. Orcas, also known as killer whales, are considered to be one of the most powerful predators in our ocean. Orcas stick together in pods, consisting of up to 40 killer whales. They communicate with each other when prey is spotted, detecting the prey with echolocation, determining the size and location. Depending on the prey, they deploy intelligent designs of tactic based on species, their strategy is effective and deadly. With razor sharp teeth and dozens of killer whales, the odds are in the orcas favor.
Predators in an ecological sense are defined as being larger than their prey and killing their prey. Predators and prey are a part of the same environment and evolve together. The predator evolves to kill the prey; meanwhile the prey evolves to avoid being killed by the predator. Both are key to each other for survival. The categorizing of predator and prey relationships is defined by consumption, who is eating who.
Predators rise to the top of the food chain because of certain skills or characteristics they maintain. Most predators are stealthy, they approach an attack with careful precision. Predators have dominating physical features, their size is typically larger than their prey along with their sense of sight, smell, and taste that must be greater than their prey.
But outside of the animal kingdom, predators are still lurking in the shadows waiting for the right moment to pounce on unsuspecting prey. In society we categorize pedophiles as child predators. They are larger individuals waiting to feed off a child’s innocence, killing their purity. We can see government as a dangerous predator with all the power. The citizens are the pawns, individuals are so easy to sweep away and stomp out. Predators are killers, feeding off the prey.
When a pedophile is arrested and locked away in prison they are no longer a predator. They are confined behind concrete walls and shackled; they are cast away from their community. They were caught and imprisoned; the predator then becomes the prey. The predator than becomes the prison guards or the criminal justice system or their fellow inmates. The pedophile’s fate is determined by the criminal justice system that sends him to prison. The pedophile’s fellow inmates could have a distaste for perverts and beat him until he dies; he came the prey.
So, when orcas are captured and locked within concrete enclosures they are no longer the predator. They’re ripped away from their food chain and placed in an entirely different environment. Once at the top of the food chain, they plummeted to the bottom. Their fate lies in the hands of SeaWorld. They rely on their captures for their survival.
But SeaWorld doesn’t become the predator. SeaWorld is something different entirely. SeaWorld wouldn’t benefit from killing their prey. SeaWorld needs to feed off their prey and reap the benefits for as long as possible. SeaWorld is a parasite.
Parasites leech onto their host, either clinging to the body or digging their way inside. They feed off their host, stealing from them. Parasites harm their hosts, or prey, but rarely kill them. And if they do kill them it wasn’t intentional. They can cause sickness in their hosts that can ultimately lead to their death. Tapeworms, for example, live within the intestines of their host. They feed off the partially digested food, robbing the host of that nutrients. Ticks dig their heads into their host and stuff themselves full of blood.
The Toxoplasma gondii, also known as the mind control bug, infects, most commonly, rodents. It infiltrates the brain, erasing the fear of cats from the rodent’s brain. This then causes the rodent to be captured and killed by the cat. Toxoplasma godnii can also infect humans. In severe cases, brain and organ damage occur.
SeaWorld leeches onto the orcas and refuses to let go. True to parasite nature they cling onto their hosts until they, themselves, are exterminated or until their host dies. SeaWorld, the ultimate parasite, opts for the latter. They ignore any suggestions of seaside sanctuaries where the orcas can live free. Because without their host, they wouldn’t survive.
Like Toxoplasma, SeaWorld, slithers into the host’s brain and takes control. It overrides the hosts natural instincts, instead, they insist on unnatural performances.
Parasites can cause several alarming symptoms in their host. They can cause abdominal pain, fatigue, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, dysentery and weight loss. Parasite’s are detrimental in the health of their host.
Orcas suffer from poor dental health from chewing on cement walls and metal gates. Closed quarters lead to fighting amoung the orcas , which can cause raking (teeth on skin) marks. They offer suffer from poor eyesight, due to increased light sensitivity. Orcas suffer greatly as the parasite continues to gnaw on their cash “cow”.
SeaWorld digs into the orcas, draining them of any nutrients they can. The nutrients for SeaWorld would be money. They push the orcas to perform tricks for audience members. They even force conception so that more baby orcas can be apart of the SeaWorld cult. SeaWorld’s best interest is to keep the orcas alive so that they can benefit from them. They showcase the orcas and open their parks so that people can witness the blood sucking frenzy disguised as a family friendly marine park.
There is a player we didn’t factor into the game; the audience. The killer whales once predators now the prey. SeaWorld, a monstrous company, is the parasite feeding off the prey. When factoring in the new addition the roles change slightly. The orcas, stay prey to SeaWorld, also become bait to us. We see happy faces on SeaWorld commercials has Shamu swims joyful laps. We watch as children hug fluffy Shamu’s to their chests, holding it close to their heart. That is when they we bite down onto the brillantly appealing bait. We are hooked. Their lure is embedded into our mouth, pulling us closer toward their open greedy gates, like open arms waiting for an embrace. We, the audience, buy tickets to walk through the gates of the park. Wonder filled eyes gaze at tanks filled with animals more majestic than we could ever dream of. We clap, cheer and laugh as we watch the orcas flip out of the water and wave their fins.
One thing stays the same, SeaWorld. SeaWorld continues to be the parasite feeding off any entertainment provided from their hosts and from the audiences gullibleness. They rely off of the orcas helplessness and the audience’s blindness. Without the orcas, there is no audience, and vice versa. Seaworld chomps down onto any vulnerable flesh, and they suck, until their pockets stuff themselves with crisp dollar bills.
“Parasitic Relationships.” NECSI Evolution.
“Predator-Prey Relationships.” NECSI Evolution.
Morell, Virginia. “How Orcas Work Together to Whip Up a Meal.” National Geographic.
Schelling, Ameena. “SeaWorld Orcas Have ‘Alarming’ Number Of Injuries, Vet Reveals.” The Dodo, The Dodo, 11 Aug. 2015.