Posts Tagged ‘Blackfish’

BlackfishBlackfish is an eye-opening documentary of 83 minutes directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite. It includes gruesome footage never seen before of injuries and deaths of whales and human trainers.

The profitable marine theme park industry, with Sea World at the top of the pyramid, does not want its lead attraction, the orca show, to be disparaged or challenged. As a result, Sea World apparently creates false facts, misleads its own trainers, and covers up the truth after accidents inevitably happen.

The documentary tells the story of the notorious performing whale Tilikum, who, unlike any orca in the wild, has taken the lives of several people while in captivity.

Tilicum was captured when he was only four or five years old and brutally taken away from his mother and has lived in captivity ever since.

If I had been taken away from my mother at age five and kept all my life in a 12 by 16 foot cell, the proportional equivalent of a killer whale tank at Sea World, while having to perform stupid and unnatural tricks for audiences on a regular schedule, I would have been psychotic too by the time I was 45 years old.

Having a life-long interest in non-human intelligence, I had to watch this documentary. Evidence to my interest in cetaceans and their intelligence is the fact that “Cetaceans” is one of the categories in this blog that you can search. Here is one article that deals specifically with intelligence of whales.

I think that the time of animals in circuses is gone. That counts for elephants in big tents, lions and tigers in Las Vegas, and whales and dolphins at Sea World and any other captive commercial programs. Ironically I just got back from Hawaii, where I talked with a trainer working for Dolphin Encounter.

Dolphin EncounterThey have 13 dolphins who live and perform there, supposedly all born and raised in captivity. She argued that the dolphins have it better there than they would in the wild, with free healthcare and room and board. There happened to be a veterinarian there doing stomach imagery with scopes down the dolphins’ throats while we were standing there watching.

The dolphins seemed ok, but we can’t talk to them, and they can’t tell us how they feel – so how do we know?

The documentary movie Blackfish brings this controversial subject right in front of the public. It can’t be good for Sea World. I am saying this when I live within 30 minutes of the park in San Diego. Sorry, Sea World, it’s time to figure out how to make money without imprisoning and enslaving fellow sentient species.

Rating - Four Stars



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