3) Wild orcas swim as much and as far as they need -- without having to drive themselves crazy swimming in circles.
Granny recently finished an 800-mile journey with her pod -- a pretty normal trip for an animal that swims up to 100 miles daily. In captivity, though, orcas are deprived of the ability to swim far and wide, which most often prompts them to swim circles continuously in their tanks. According to the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, swimming in circles is associated with dorsal fin collapse, from which virtually all captive male orcas suffer. (Only 1-5 percent of wild orcas exhibit collapsed dorsal fins.)
4) Wild orcas don't need psychoactive medication or major surgery to address self-harm.
Recently, SeaWorld admitted to giving its orcas -- some of whom were still nursing calves -- psychoactive medication to address obsessive and dangerous behaviors, which have never before been observed in wild populations. According to Ingrid Visser, founder of the Orca Research Trust, the behaviors that prompted the use of benzodiazepines like Valium and Xanax are typical of captive whales, but certainly not normal. "They show stereotypical behaviors that are abnormal, repetitive behaviors like head bobbing, chewing on concrete, and self mutilation by banging the side of their heads on the side of the tank," Visser told Buzzfeed. "There isn't a single orca living in captivity where you cannot see one of these behaviors."