Blackfish (2013) is an American documentary film directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite and produced by Manuel V. Oteyza. The documentary primarily concerns the controversy of captured Killer Whales at the theme park Sea World, primarily that of Tilikum, an Orca responsible for the deaths of 2010 SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau and two other individuals. The documentary begins with this incident but goes as far back to the 1970 's show the audience how young Orcas are captured in the wild and taken from their families and natural environments. Since its release at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival Blackfish has achieved both critical acclaim and caused controversy regarding SeaWorld 's treatment of its animals as well as retaliation from SeaWorld as to the legitimacy of the film 's claims. The main purpose of Blackfish is to answer why a captured whale would become so aggressive and turn on its trainers.
In the documentary Blackfish, two women recount the story of a Sealand trainer, Keltie Byrne, falling into a pool of orcas and ultimately paying the cost of her own life. These women and an entire crowd of people watched in horror as Tilikum, one of the orcas, pulled her to the bottom of the pool and all three of the orcas took turns tossing her around until she drowned. Since then, orcas have been viewed as dangerous and lethal. However, this is just not the case. These majestic animals are gentle and at times playful in their natural habitat.
The trainer suffered three factures and torn ligaments in her right arm. California’s OSHA investigated and fined the park $375. SeaWorld responded by changing the procedures for such exercises”. In 2006 two patrons were bit by dolphins at the Dolphin Cove exhibit. A dolphin bit a boy at the petting attraction while under the supervision of a SeaWorld Employee.
Title: Captive Whale Tries To Beach Herself to Avoid Being Bullying Category: News & Opinion Tags: Morgan, captive orca, captive whales, free morgan Teaser: A whale so distraught from captivity and being bullied, she beaches herself. Article: How many times do we need to see captive animals distressed before they are released? It’s not entertaining or amusing, so why are they still being tortured into jumping through hoops and performing on demand? No matter how you label it suicide or beaching, the bottom line, Morgan, one of SeaWorld’s orcas is in deep distress, so much so, that it would risk dying than be held in captivity. *Photo #1* Caption: Morgan beaching herself to avoid bullying.
Today nearly 40 percent of sharks are threatened with extinction . A 15 foot tiger shark attacked a 13 year old girl by ripping off her left arm , named Bethany Hamilton . Bethany Hamilton will never be the same after that day. Bethany Hamilton showed great resilience in overcoming a shark attack in order to achieve her surfing dream. 1 while she was in the hospital she kept a positive attitude .”she couldn’t help but notice how everyone looked at her “.”I remember seeing sorrow on people’s faces”.
An article on whaling by Photovoices states, “Many paledang (whaling boats) have been sunk by injured whales trying to escape the harpoon. In some cases, the whale has even crashed its head into the hull of the boat, smashing it to splinters and causing it to sink with the terrified whalers struggling for their lives on the open sea”. This quote shows the dangers of whaling because it is common for men to be injured at sea. Whales are enormous creatures whos instinct is to fight for their lives if they are in danger, leading them to cause destruction on ships and kill the men who hunt them. Once the whale is dead, the task of bringing the whale towards the ship is even harder.
It takes years of study and experience to meet the strict requirements necessary to interact in the water with Shamu. Come to find out, it really is more about your personality and how good you can swim. I went and tried out, got the job right away.’ This reveals that most of the trainers were ill-prepared and undertrained to deal with such creatures. Furthermore, this can be the cause of all the incidence including to what happened to Dawn Brancheau who was completely mutilated by a whale. Despite the interview with a former trainer, from a document which was published after the release of Blackfish by SeaWorld to object
Killer whales were initially captured in the 1960s, when a female orca was captured and put into a tank. Two days into the female orca's stay she repeatedly bashed her head against her tank wall and perished the following day. Unfortunately, people did not heed or take any precautions from this traumatic incident and since then killer whales all over the world have been captured for entertainment purposes and have been stored in facilities such as SeaWorld. From these types of facilities incidents continue to happen such as killer whales killing their trainers, killing themselves, dying due to medical conditions, and more. Continuous accidents such as these have caused suspicion among the public of whether killer whales live healthy and prosperous lives in captivity and brings up the concern of ethicality.
In 2013, the documentary called Blackfish was released, a story about a killer whale that over the years at SeaWorld killed several people. It highlighted some of the major problems with animals in captivity. SeaWorld, known for having several different animal attractions; Dolphin Cove, Dolphin Nursery, Orca Underwater Viewing, Shark Encounter, Wild Arctic (Habitat) and many more. The organization first started with the intention of learning more about animals in order to educate the public about different behaviors of each animal. Trainers at Seaworld are offered the opportunity to get hands-on training with animals and are eventually are allowed to entertain the public with the skills they have acquired.
There are numerous amounts of negative effects resulting from orcas being captured and kept in captivity including: separation from pods, aggression towards other whales, aggression towards humans, a shortened lifespan, lack of exercise, tooth decay, lack of natural enrichment, unnatural reproduction, food deprivation, and the drugging of orcas. Orcas that were captured and brought into captivity were separated from their pods. Pods are the group of orcas that an orca will travel with for the entirety of their lives. The only time that these orcas would leave their pods was to breed (Henn). When orcas began getting captured the wild the pods began to catch on.
They use footage from different sources, showing trainers in the pool with the orcas and on the background a 911 call plays while these scenes are shown. Here Blackfish is raising the audience’s tension to believe that was the moment of that trainer’s demise. Various former SeaWorld trainers are then interviewed, and say the incidents with the trainers happened due to the aggressive behavior of the whales trying to harm the trainers. Dr. Dave Duffus also states that these attacks were a cause of the rigorous training the whales go through, making them aggressive towards the trainers. On SeaWorld’s response they state that these events were accidents, and that the cause of death was not due to the whales, but because of the trainers’ negligence.