Blackfish - Scandal of Seaworld

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Blackfish - Scandal of Seaworld

#1  Postby Scarlett » Nov 22, 2013 9:50 am

I watched this film last night, unfortunately it was banished to BBC4 when IMO it should have been on BBC1.

http://blackfishmovie.com/

Anyway, it's a horribly moving film about Seaworld in the US, and particularly about Tilikum, an Orca whale who has been in captivity for 30 years and due to (in the experts opinion) psychosis brought on by it's captivity has killed trainers... and how Seaworld have been covering up and outright lying to protect their ow interests.

Sickening to see the crowds gather for the "show", anyone with an ounce of compassion can see the utter cruelty of keeping these enormous, and enormously intelligent, animals in tiny pools and making them perform for whooping crowds. The smiles are soon wiped off their self serving faces when they are witness to one of these creatures killing or maiming a trainer.

There's a petition too, to have Tilikum released into a sea-pen for much needed rehab.

https://www.change.org/petitions/seaworld-inc-humanely-release-the-orca-whale-known-as-tilikum-to-a-seapen-for-rehab
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Re: Blackfish - Scandal of Seaworld

#2  Postby quisquose » Nov 22, 2013 12:22 pm

I knew nothing about this film, but we are usually watching BBC4 so on it came. When it began we thought it might be a nature documentary so was about to switch over to the Dr Who drama when something kept us watching ...

All I can say WOW, what a film. It held us terrified, ashamed, shocked and yet mesmerised. I was aware of the death of Dawn Brancheau, but didn't realise there was so many others.

We felt ashamed because we have twice gone as a family to watch that show in Florida, and most likely watched Dawn Brancheau "perform" with Tilikum. I certainly remember the floppy dorsal fin. I filmed the show first time, just like one of those idiots Scarlett describes ... I was an idiot.

The scene where the trainer was repeatedly dragged down, then given a few secs to catch his breath, was one of the most scary, yet absorbing, dramas I have seen.

At times we all had tears in our eyes.

I have signed the petition, and would recommend the film to everybody.
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Re: Blackfish - Scandal of Seaworld

#3  Postby Scarlett » Nov 22, 2013 12:30 pm

Thanks :cheers:

A genuine question quisquose, did it occur to you at all that what you were watching was cruel? I'm not having a go, it's great that this film affected you, I'm just genuinely interested. I suppose Seaworld did a great job of covering up, and lying that the public really were sucked in. It was quite shocking to see the footage of the Seaworld employees lying about the basic facts about the lifespan of whales, and the good thing they're doing in providing the "shows", which of course the whales love doing :nono:
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Re: Blackfish - Scandal of Seaworld

#4  Postby Ironclad » Nov 22, 2013 12:42 pm

Large herding aminals should never be contained like this. Zoos ought be a thing of the past.
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Re: Blackfish - Scandal of Seaworld

#5  Postby quisquose » Nov 22, 2013 12:53 pm

Scarlett wrote:Thanks :cheers:

A genuine question quisquose, did it occur to you at all that what you were watching was cruel? I'm not having a go, it's great that this film affected you, I'm just genuinely interested. I suppose Seaworld did a great job of covering up, and lying that the public really were sucked in. It was quite shocking to see the footage of the Seaworld employees lying about the basic facts about the lifespan of whales, and the good thing they're doing in providing the "shows", which of course the whales love doing :nono:

Our 7 year-old daughter had treatment for cancer with a 50/50 outcome. Before her treatment we said she could have anything she wanted at the end of it, and her choice of swimming with dolphins, watching the Shamu show, and Disneyland in general, was what kept us going for a year.

Did it occur to me that it was cruel? Well, yes, I guess ... but no more than the performing seals and dolphins, or manatees and sharks in tanks, or zoos in general. And so much of it is wrapped up in the wrapper of environment and conservation.

We were conned just like so many others, and we went again to be "entertained" even if I did think it was cruel.

Hey even the trainers fell for it, even those now speaking out against their former employees, so it's hard to criticise the audience.

For this reason the film was probably all the more powerful. It left our (now 17 year old) daughter quite distressed, "Do you think they treated the dolphins like that at Discovery Cove?"

We certainly won't be going again.
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Re: Blackfish - Scandal of Seaworld

#6  Postby Scarlett » Nov 22, 2013 1:06 pm

quisquose wrote:
Scarlett wrote:Thanks :cheers:

A genuine question quisquose, did it occur to you at all that what you were watching was cruel? I'm not having a go, it's great that this film affected you, I'm just genuinely interested. I suppose Seaworld did a great job of covering up, and lying that the public really were sucked in. It was quite shocking to see the footage of the Seaworld employees lying about the basic facts about the lifespan of whales, and the good thing they're doing in providing the "shows", which of course the whales love doing :nono:

Our 7 year-old daughter had treatment for cancer with a 50/50 outcome. Before her treatment we said she could have anything she wanted at the end of it, and her choice of swimming with dolphins, watching the Shamu show, and Disneyland in general, was what kept us going for a year.

Did it occur to me that it was cruel? Well, yes, I guess ... but no more than the performing seals and dolphins, or manatees and sharks in tanks, or zoos in general. And so much of it is wrapped up in the wrapper of environment and conservation.

We were conned just like so many others, and we went again to be "entertained" even if I did think it was cruel.

Hey even the trainers fell for it, even those now speaking out against their former employees, so it's hard to criticise the audience.

For this reason the film was probably all the more powerful. It left our (now 17 year old) daughter quite distressed, "Do you think they treated the dolphins like that at Discovery Cove?"

We certainly won't be going again.


Thanks quisquose :hugs:

One of the most moving things was seeing the ex-trainers in tears at the conclusion that they'd colluded in the suffering of these animals. They could be really powerful tools in closing down these shows for good.
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Re: Blackfish - Scandal of Seaworld

#7  Postby cherries » Nov 22, 2013 1:07 pm

signed, scarlett :cheers: need to watch the film :)
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Re: Blackfish - Scandal of Seaworld

#8  Postby jaydot » Nov 29, 2013 12:06 am

a big campaign to boycott seaworld is what is needed. that and find a way to return tilikum to the sea. there must be sea pens available somewhere.
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Re: Blackfish - Scandal of Seaworld

#9  Postby Rachel Bronwyn » Nov 29, 2013 2:31 am

It's a relief people's eyes are finally being opened to this matter. Orca researchers have been well aware of everything Blackfish had to say for ages. I don't now a single cetologist who would tell you "Yeah, they're suitable for captivity and the circumstances under which they're kept at marine parks are good enough". I have a cetologist dad so I was always better informed than most about what makes and orca and orca and how they can't really exist as they've evolved to in the sterile tanks we provide them with.

Seaworld removes natural threats from the lives of orcas but imposes a lot more suffering on them than it alleviates. Orca just can't be held captive in a humane fashion based on their unique characteristics and what's provided for them in these parks.

People would like you to believe it's all just an emotional ploy based on anthropomorphisation but the fact of the matter is it's based on what we know about dolphins, orca in particular. We aren't the only emotionally and intellectually complex animal. We should be treating animals in accordance with their individual characteristics.
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Re: Blackfish - Scandal of Seaworld

#10  Postby Rachel Bronwyn » Nov 29, 2013 2:48 am

This was Keiko's seapen in Iceland:

Image

Which was eventually dismantled and he was given access to the whole bay:

Image

He never resumed living life as a wild orca and may have lived longer were he kept under human care in that setting. I think his life was inarguably better in that setting than Tilikum's is now.

The problem is orca are extremely social. Tilikum doesn't have great rapport with any of the other orca he interacts with and hasn't since Taima died but at least he has same species companionship sometimes. Other times you just see him gnawing on the gates (hence his atrocious teeth) that keep him separated from others. He might never interact with orca again if he were relocated to a sea pen for care.

It's not as though any of the other orca in captivity wouldn't be better off in larger, more natural environments though. While their releasability isn't good their lives can be improved immensely without leaving human care. They don't need to be separated for that. We just have to do better for them.
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Re: Blackfish - Scandal of Seaworld

#11  Postby trubble76 » Nov 29, 2013 9:38 am

I saw Shamu perform when I was a child. I was surprised by this documentary because my mother was a dog trainer for a while and I knew very well that the dogs adored the training. It was sheer fun for them and I suppose I had told myself that the same would be true for the Seaworld mammals. Having seen this programme I can see how naive I was. I will certainly never give them, or similar organisations, any money again.
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Re: Blackfish - Scandal of Seaworld

#12  Postby Rachel Bronwyn » Nov 29, 2013 11:07 am

quisquose wrote:
The scene where the trainer was repeatedly dragged down, then given a few secs to catch his breath, was one of the most scary, yet absorbing, dramas I have seen.


The story I've heard is, when Kasatka did this, her baby Kalia was locked up in a back tank but was calling out to her mom. It would make sense that Kasatka was frustrated under those circumstances.
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Re: Blackfish - Scandal of Seaworld

#13  Postby Calilasseia » Jan 03, 2014 10:20 pm

Ironclad wrote:Large herding aminals should never be contained like this. Zoos ought be a thing of the past.


For better or worse, some zoos are going to be needed if several species are to be saved from extinction. Not that this in any way detracts from the folly of keeping Orcas as circus performers. But without zoos, we would have lost the Cheetah some time ago.
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Re: Blackfish - Scandal of Seaworld

#14  Postby Rachel Bronwyn » Jan 03, 2014 10:36 pm

I struggle to see any value in maintaining captive populations of functionally extinct animals for display. Fun for the kids, sure, but they're no longer fulfilling their ecological niche. They are extinct. The damage is done. Unless it's done for reintroduction purposes, it's got no ecological value. If the animals aren't suffering as a result of being captive, whatev, but saving the population isn't something to brag about if the population is forever in captivity.
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Re: Blackfish - Scandal of Seaworld

#15  Postby Calilasseia » Jan 03, 2014 10:44 pm

Well in the case of the Cheetah programme, wild reintroduction is already taking place.
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Re: Blackfish - Scandal of Seaworld

#16  Postby Rachel Bronwyn » Jan 03, 2014 10:48 pm

That's so awesome. The Aspinall Foundation's reintroduced gorillas are doing amazing too.
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Re: Blackfish - Scandal of Seaworld

#17  Postby monkeyboy » Jan 03, 2014 11:49 pm

I long since gave up attending or taking my kids to zoos. I had the very priveledged opportunity to swim with wild dolphins at Clearwater last year. They were swimming close to the edge of the water and I jumped in to swim close to them. 4 of them came to see this nosy intruder to their environment and I was able to touch them and be generally jostled and bumped around as they swam around me for a few minutes before probably deciding that since I hadn't brought fish, I was of no use other than a momentary curiosity.
I totally cherished the moment and appreciated it all the more for them being totally wild and free to make their own choice to come to me rather than being somehow coerced or forced as in one of the commercial "swim with a dolphin " type experience.

The price I did pay though was a swim of around half a mile to the nearest point I could climb out of the water but hey, it was well worth the effort.

I hate the thought of big fish like this being cooped up in places like Seaworld. They cover huge distances in the wild and thrive on company. The cruelty involved in their being kept in captivity for our "entertainment" sickens me. I couldn't bring myself to watch this film.
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Re: Blackfish - Scandal of Seaworld

#18  Postby quisquose » Jan 05, 2014 10:23 pm

monkeyboy wrote:I had the very priveledged opportunity to swim with wild dolphins at Clearwater last year. They were swimming close to the edge of the water and I jumped in to swim close to them. 4 of them came to see this nosy intruder to their environment and I was able to touch them and be generally jostled and bumped around as they swam around me for a few minutes before probably deciding that since I hadn't brought fish, I was of no use other than a momentary curiosity.
I totally cherished the moment and appreciated it all the more for them being totally wild and free to make their own choice to come to me rather than being somehow coerced or forced as in one of the commercial "swim with a dolphin " type experience.


Clearwater ... the dolphins might have been free to swim with you, but were they free of Thetans?
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Re: Blackfish - Scandal of Seaworld

#19  Postby Supporting Caste » Jan 05, 2014 10:38 pm

What's the big deal? Orcas are violent critters. Non-human animals don't feel sensations the same way humans do, and besides, as long as it's amazing good ol' fashion fun, why not?
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Re: Blackfish - Scandal of Seaworld

#20  Postby quisquose » Jan 05, 2014 10:43 pm

You've not watched the documentary then.
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