Today I finally got around to watching ‘Blackfish’ which is currently causing a stir in all the right reasons or wrong (whichever way you’d like to look at it), I would personally say for all the right reasons as it’s been raising awareness of such a barbaric business since it’s release. For those that haven’t seen it ‘Blackfish’ is a powerful documentary/film about the Killer Whales at ‘Seaworld’ in Orlando, Florida and how these amazing animals can suddenly turn aggressive, causing serious harm and even death to the trainers that work closely with them. Namely following one particular one called Tilikum.
A lot of stories that came back out of the woodwork were covered up by ‘Seaworld’, obviously to protect their wealth. As you can imagine they must make millions each year by attracting the public to view their displays. Of course it’s a success because we as humans show a desire to be up close to amazing creatures like Killer Whales and many others.
I myself have watched Dolphin shows in Barcelona and swam with Sea Lions in Spain but that in itself could have potentially gone wrong at any moment as Sea Lions can give a nasty bite and their muscley bodies give an indication to how strong they are. All animals are unpredictable and I think people tend to forget that. We don’t know what’s going through their minds.
The emotional torture the Orcas go through is beyond belief. Originally they were captured from the wild and their babies were their main targets because they would be easy to transport and train. They sent boats after them and because the Whales knew what was happening they devised a plan and split up. The males would swim one way to cause a distraction while the females swam in a different direction with their babies staying underwater for as long as possible to avoid being seen. Unfortunately they couldn’t stay underwater forever and when they eventually came up for air they were found by planes that were sent out to direct the boats towards them.
They would be captured by nets in an area with no escape and a baby would be taken from them. As Killer Whales are highly emotional mammals, capable of emotions more complex than humans they were desperately communicating with each other during the ordeal. They build very strong bonds with each other and will suffer grief at the loss of a loved one. One man in the film choked up as he explained that he felt like he was kidnapping a child from its mother. On one occasion they had ended up with 3 dead Orca’s in their nets and were ordered to cut them open and fill them with rocks to sink them.
There are many ridiculous stories but that one will always stick in my mind. ‘Seaworld’ were given the chance to have their say but refused and because the film has made such an impact they have appealed. I know there are two sides to every story but I’m not the slightest bit interested to hear what they have to say. They’re business is despicable and needs to close down along with other similar establishments.
I would like to say well done to all of the former trainers, directors and other staff that came forward to help film the documentary/film, they deserve respect for sharing their stories which must have been hard to talk about. People need to know the truth, ‘Seaworld’ can not carry on treating the Whales like they do and lying and covering up things. Thank you to those who put ‘Blackfish’ together, it has opened the eyes of the naive (through no fault of their own) and confirmed suspicions for those of us that already suspected something dodgy.
What I have written about is just a snippet of what went on in the film so I would recommend that if you care a great deal about animals and don’t like to be kept in the dark to watch this detailed and well researched documentary/film. The whole thing made me angry and heartbroken but I’m glad I watched it. I could go on and on but the only way to gain a true perspective is to watch it for yourselves. Last but not least my condolences go out to the families and friends of the trainers that lost their lives while working with the Killer Whales.
‘Blackfish’ has been broadcasted on T.V but is also available on iTunes, DVD and Blu ray.