Written July 26, 2016
For those of us living in Central Florida, the tragic event at SeaWorld on February 24, 2010 came as shocking news. Many of us felt the impact since we have visited and enjoyed the park over the years. We found out that senior trainer Dawn Brancheau was killed by the orca named Tilikum, but we didn’t know exactly what happened and, more importantly why?
The recently released documentary film Blackfish sets out to answer this question and in doing so, questions the entire premise of SeaWorld. There are two overarching themes in the movie:
1) Orca captivity is bad for the whales.
2) SeaWorld puts their orca trainers at risk.
The sub-theme here is that SeaWorld itself is a bad actor through its actions and dealings with the whales and the SW employees. The film interviews several former trainers along with others with expertise in studying orcas.
Written August 29, 2016
My daughter insisted we see this movie, and having seen the Orca and other whales/dolphins in the wild in the Pacific Norhtwest, I also wanted to see the "truth" that not everyone was aware of. The film is riveting and a must see if you are an animal lover, and even if you are not. There is a painfully dirty side to the marine parks like SeaWorld that the world needs to be aware of. The lies woven by SeaWorld and the industry to protect their investments are astonishing, and I would love to see them shut down. Life is hell for the Orca and a hazard for the trainers, period. These magnificent creatures should be left in the ocean, where they belong. There was nothing more gratifying or breathtaking than seeing them interact with one another and playing in the wild. And there was the moment when they blessed us with a close encounter, spy-hopping just a few feet from our boat. One cannot be helped but be awed by the intelligence you can see in their eyes from that close. See it!
Written February 28, 2015
The documentary movie, Blackfish, was done exceptionally well--the participants in the film were honest, straight forward but not brutal. I was impressed with how genuine they were. It succeeded for me in bringing to light jaw-dropping evidence that capturing, separating the orca from their young, and an orca's life in captivity is absolutely wrong. It was very disturbing to see (once again) that the proprity of individuals who hold positions of authority and power is to make money, regardless of the moral and ethical consequences. Absolutely deplorable that it wasn't both a priority and necessity for the employers to tell the trainers (and the media) the TRUTH about Tilikum's background and events surrounding Tilikum's kills. THANK YOU Gabriela Cowperthwaite for bringing to light this compelling case against keeping wild animals for human entertainment.
Written August 30, 2016
...to Sea World, that is. Unlike zoos, that help continue endangered species and provide safe and sane habitat for captive animals, Sea World appears to be run by clueless corporate greed. I believed the accounts by former employees to be fair and balanced - yet still a pretty bad indictment of Sea World's lack of care and understanding of the creatures in its care. I don't know what the answer is for the misfortunate creatures already held in marine parks like Sea World - I just know I won't be giving them any of my money.
Written August 28, 2016
I was surprised that it was told almost entirely from the perspective of former trainers, and even a fisherman who assisted in the capture of wild orca calves. All of the people interviewed clearly cared - and still care - deeply for the whales with whom they've worked, and to hear their firsthand accounts was extremely enlightening.
The callousness with which captive orcas are treated by the management at SeaWorld and other parks is unacceptable, as is the danger to which trainers are subjected when they work with these emotionally damaged whales. Blackfish has only reinforced my belief that we as a species must reassess the way we treat our fellow Earthlings.