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Documentary concerning Seaworld ("Blackfish")


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As many of you have Netflix, A good number of you have already seen or at least heard about the documentary "Blackfish".

I've never been to Seaworld, the closest I've seen to a waterpark show was the Dolphin show they had a Kings Island.

To those who have seen it, and have gone to Seaworld, what do you think of this film?

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just be glad we live in a country where we are given freedom of speech and the right to question - in many countries, a lot of posts throughout this forum (not just this topic) would be under continuo

*gasp* orcas perform while.....naked!!! http://www.theonion.com/articles/new-documentary-reveals-seaworld-forced-orca-whale,34449/ Oh, it is just The Onion....

Ok this is where I have a problem. I've never watched anything cetacean related on my Netflix but the first thing that pops up is BLACKFISH: "They're hunted, herded, and forced to dance. Meet a 15,000

As far as presenting both sides of a coin in a debate I'd give the film in question a D+. If not mistaken, PETA is listed as a credible source for factual information. Not that they are not a legitimate organization, but they do tend to present very one-sided arguments.

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I'd hardly call those acts that backed out "Big". Im sure the park will do just fine w/o them. For every willie nelson, there's prob a thousand bands that would play the festival for next to nothing on short notice just to get the pub. this could be a blessing in disguise.

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I've been to one concert in a zoo, and that was enough for me. None of the above listed performers above thought twice before about the effect of their show might have on the animals, when, during the concert, that's all I could think about.

And it was a mopey band, too- with special guest star Alex Chilton, who tried to lead a Southern Ohio crowd in a chant of "Hail, Satan."

He bombed ever so much.

As to the documentary, I was left with a lot of questions. If I find myself looking for more information after I've seen the film, it means some questions weren't answered, and the documentary was not satisfying.

I find it strange that the three trainers were attacked by being dragged down, (Two were killed), they all knew each other, and were trained by the one trainer that was held underwater in 2006. At least two of the incidents involved the orcas not doing tricks to the trainers satisfaction, and not being rewarded. There's not a lot of information about the attack in Loro Parque.

The orcas weren't being paid for their work. I'll drag you down if you do that to me. Orcas are capitalists, who knew?

The interviews all featured former trainers, and I'd like to know why they are former trainers. I don't know which guy it was, but it was posted that one guy got fired for kissing the orca's tongue.

Kiss any animal's tongue, and you'll get a poor reaction from your fellow man. Use some discretion.

Like everyone else, I'd fallen in love with the orca as a kid, not because of what is described as a 'clown like' appearance, but because it looked like a wraith. To me, it looked like what it said on the tin, a Killer Whale. I was a ghoulish child.

I found myself not having sympathy for the trainers for not appreciating that. It seemed they had Lion Tamer's Complex.

This is awful of me- I found myself wanting to buy a stuffed Shamu toy, and wanting to go to SeaWorld to see for myself the size of the tanks, and how the animals behaved.

I think my reaction to the film is what led me to ask the original question. I'm supposed to hate this park, and take to the streets wearing stark black and white with cowlicked bangs and confront families with my vitriol.

It had quite the opposite effect, I began to research the park and became interested in it.

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WALL OF TEXT COMING:

A recent Facebook post I made.

"I love all animals, and like reading about them, and watching things on TV about them, but I am seriously SICK of all the Orca crap popping up on my news feed. Get over it already!

Blackfish is a MOVIE. It was worded so that it puts the blame on Sea World.

The former trainers said that they never thought anything bad would happen. After seeing the movie, my first thought was, "These people did not think an animal as big as a medium sized school bus could or would harm them?"

ANYTHING with a mouth can and will bite.

Also, places like Sea World and Busch Gardens do more good than bad. Do you know that there are animals that thrive is zoos that are classified as "EXTINCT IN THE WILD"? "Extinct in the wild." Gee there's nothing wrong with THAT statement.

Furthermore, those of you wanting the whale released need to think about the last time an orca was released after a MOVIE brought him to everyone's attention. Keiko, the star of Free Willy was released. Up until he died of pneumonia, he had been known to seek human interaction, beg fishermen for food, and was underweight. (Google it)

What happens if Tilly were released and did the same thing? What would stop that orca from seeking human interaction? Attacking someone who doesn't have food for him?

The film Blackfish started out putting the blame on the whale stating that "he became frustrated and that is why he attacked." Then they shifted the blame to Dawn, stating that she didn't reward him, ran out of food, and kept asking the whale to do more. Then they shifted the blame to Sea World for not having more safety measures in place. Are you freaking serious?

One thing you have to understand about working with animals is that when bites happen, it is never the animal's fault. The person working with the animal did something wrong and was injured

Since this movie has been released, I have seen people post their opinions on orcas in captivity, and I have not said a word about it. I have not argued my point of view with anyone, and some people may not like what I had to say. If that is you, do us both a favor, don't comment here. Delete me from your friends list, unlike my pages, etc. This is all I am saying on the matter.

Real friends will respect my opinion, as I have respected and not commented my opinion about their opinion."

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I'd hardly call those acts that backed out "Big". Im sure the park will do just fine w/o them. For every willie nelson, there's prob a thousand bands that would play the festival for next to nothing on short notice just to get the pub. this could be a blessing in disguise.

Yes but no name bands dont bring in the big crowds that the 1 Willie Nelson would. Think of it like this. A Willie Nelson fan would go "Oh look Nelson is playing lets go to see that at SW. We can make a day out of it." That is hundreds if not thousands of people in that area + the groupies who go to all shows. Now the no name bands may bring with them 10s of people.

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I'd hardly call those acts that backed out "Big". Im sure the park will do just fine w/o them. For every willie nelson, there's prob a thousand bands that would play the festival for next to nothing on short notice just to get the pub. this could be a blessing in disguise.

Yes but no name bands dont bring in the big crowds that the 1 Willie Nelson would. Think of it like this. A Willie Nelson fan would go "Oh look Nelson is playing lets go to see that at SW. We can make a day out of it." That is hundreds if not thousands of people in that area + the groupies who go to all shows. Now the no name bands may bring with them 10s of people.

There was a time when Kings Island did that. I recall back in the late 90s they would bring big name bands to the park and charge a combo ticket of about 60-70 for the park and concert at timberwolf. However, that practice has since stopped, since they expect the park to stand on its own (spirtsong notwithstanding). Even your casual Willie fans would probably skip the show at SeaWorld after taking into consideration all the other expenses that going would incur.

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Why don't we just leave these poor animals alone and release them back into the wild. Its not natural to take them captive and train them like some circus acts. I believed animals should be left alone in the wild, where they belong.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk - now Free

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The more I think about it, the more I think that Seaworld cannot! be boycotted, due to the very reasons the activists cite.

The animals need room, and the activists want a sea pen. If the park is boycotted, there will be less money to care for the animals and meet their needs. If a sea pen is a valid idea, the funds are needed to build it. Under a boycott, some parks will close, and as many of these whales were born in captivity, they can't just be let out into the ocean, (citing the unfortunate Kieko), they'll be shipped to more productive parks, and then they will be even more crowded.

They haven't captured a whale in 35 years. How would these performing whales survive in the wild? The best we can is provide the best environment we can by supporting them.

What Seaworld really needs is an aquatic Ouimet ... just don't send them ours.... to find a a way to generate the means to get the park the added equipment to make it suitable for the changing opinions of the public.

I'm not being pre-capitivity or anti captivity, I hope I'm being realistic. the truth is, I can identify with Tilikum- "Never mistake common courtesy for weakness." He did the tricks, he smiled and waved, just don't try to pull a fast one on him, or jump in his space. Simple rules for getting along with everyone.

As a note, people bemoan the fact that the cartilage in his dorsal fin is giving out, and that only a small percentage of whales in the wild have this phenomena. Tilikum might have just been in this small percentage at birth.

Many of the performing whales also have this syndrome, but no one has ever checked to see if the other whales with collapsing dorsal fins are also the offspring of Tilikum. That might help explain why so many captive orca also have this.

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This is a comment I left on a post from a friend earlier, so sorry for the weird formatting.

I watched the film today.....it honestly didn't show me much of what I didn't know already. One of my professors met Dawn several times as her daughter also works at Sea World and was friends with Dawn. My professor's family was in shock for quite some time, it shook them up for a good few months. The event that happened caused my professor to really think, what if that happened to my daughter? What is the company doing to keep my daughter safe? And other things.

Sea World did claim to the other trainers and to the public, that the event happened because Dawn was at fault. She shouldn't have had her hair in a pony tail, she shouldn't have been in/around the water without others around, etc. Yet, didn't examine anything that they as a company didn't want anyone to know, like Tilikum's history, feeding, etc.

Dawn loved Tilikum I know that for a fact. To say that the film isn't proper journalism and doesn't provide truth is laughable. To say that this film is very one sided is also laughable....Sea World had the opportunity to make comments and be a part of the film, but they denied those opportunities.

Sea World has the knowledge that these whales are dangerous, hence Killer Whales, since the first recorded incident of an attack on a human in 1967, while in captivity, there have been 114 incidents....yet Sea World continues to press for their trainers to have huge interaction with these whales in-spite of these numerous deaths and injuries. They are fighting to put entertainment over the safety and health of their employees as well as the safety and health of the whales.

Now I understand that yes, Sea World as a rescue program and what they do with that is commendable, but is it while they continue to treat their performance animals the way they do?

I understand that there isn't a way to undue the damage done by the parks, the whales, etc. I understand that these whales can't be released safely back into the wild. I just don't understand why SeaWorld continues to leave these animals in such poor conditions and pretty much force them to perform for food. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against zoo's and other venues, especially if they take care of the animals. What I struggle with in this instance is that SeaWorld takes care of and rehabilitates animals from the wild and send them out, yet, leaves the animals that perform in poor conditions. I also understand the trainers know the risks of their job, I don't know if they are being evaluated for safety and trained often enough to handle situations.

At this point, I think I'm ranting...so the end. :)

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Chugh43,

This is where logic gets a little fuzzy for me.

My first knowledge of orca came from "Namu, the Killer Whale", a film I first saw when I was three. Even at that age, I was a frightened, yet mesmerized by this animal, and even at that age, the word "Killer Whale" meant what it said. I loved the animal as I would a bear- I love it enough to leave it alone. Something about teeth.

Dawn Brancheau had the same logic circuits as I do, and I was three when I decided that killer whales could kill. She wanted to be an orca trainer, she donned a suit that looked suspiciously penguin, and dove in a pool with animals that can bludgeon a shark to death.

I understand your emotional connection, but the trainers, using free will and self determination stepped onto the podium to cheerlead these whales through paces. Perhaps the potential danger of these animals could have led to some of the desire to have this job.

I'm sorry this happened to to friend of a friend, but you're making it sound as if the trainers were being netted on the open seas and brought into perform, instead of filling out an application to do so.

All park jobs can be dangerous. All management can do is lessen the percentage of these accidents occurring.

"Do not bother this whale by getting into his water space" is just such an example, the same way KI would caution its ride operators not to step on the tracks when a train was coming in.

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Chugh43,

This is where logic gets a little fuzzy for me.

My first knowledge of orca came from "Namu, the Killer Whale", a film I first saw when I was three. Even at that age, I was a frightened, yet mesmerized by this animal, and even at that age, the word "Killer Whale" meant what it said. I loved the animal as I would a bear- I love it enough to leave it alone. Something about teeth.

Dawn Brancheau had the same logic circuits as I do, and I was three when I decided that killer whales could kill. She wanted to be an orca trainer, she donned a suit that looked suspiciously penguin, and dove in a pool with animals that can bludgeon a shark to death.

I understand your emotional connection, but the trainers, using free will and self determination stepped onto the podium to cheerlead these whales through paces. Perhaps the potential danger of these animals could have led to some of the desire to have this job.

I'm sorry this happened to to friend of a friend, but you're making it sound as if the trainers were being netted on the open seas and brought into perform, instead of filling out an application to do so.

All park jobs can be dangerous. All management can do is lessen the percentage of these accidents occurring.

"Do not bother this whale by getting into his water space" is just such an example, the same way KI would caution its ride operators not to step on the tracks when a train was coming in.

See I don't think I'm saying that the trainers were being netted up and brought into perform. We know that SeaWorld has done that for the first few whales, which should they in the first place?

Yes, Dawn did chose to train killer whales, yes she chose to share the spotlight with the whales and send them through their routines. She didn't choose the outfit, she didn't determine the safety precautions when dealing with the whales, she simply was doing her job. I agree, park jobs can be dangerous and know first hand.

I find where you say "all management can do is lessen the percentage of these accidents occurring intriguing." It looks like there have been between 40-50 incidents at SeaWorld properties where trainers either have got seriously injured or killed. Honestly, where is the line that says enough is enough?

We know SeaWorld makes $ off of the entertainment from the shows, but how many more trainers have to be hurt or killed before the numbers are at a limit? What is that limit?

I've not been to SeaWorld since the mid-90s when there was one in Aurora, Ohio so I don't have a strong connection as some of you here may have.

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"I find where you say "all management can do is lessen the percentage of these accidents occurring intriguing." It looks like there have been between 40-50 incidents at SeaWorld properties where trainers either have got seriously injured or killed. Honestly, where is the line that says enough is enough?"

When people decide not to be orca trainers? Already trainers are out of the pool for now, so maybe that was the 'enough is enough'. Maybe the new shows will reveal a trainer needn't be in the pool with the orca, but then, maybe children watching the show with no trainers interacting with the whales will not want to be a trainer when they grow up.

I've noticed a lot of the trainers in "Blackfish" were inspired to become trainers when they saw the Shamu show.

"See I don't think I'm saying that the trainers were being netted up and brought into perform. We know that SeaWorld has done that for the first few whales, which should they in the first place?"

Which... is why I made that analogy.

Times have changed in the human view towards wild animals. Perhaps the park might change to accommodate this different view.

The movie "Namu, the Killer Whale", or recently retitled "Namu, My Best Friend" is available online at Hulu, through IMDB.com

It shows the antiquated view we had of these animals at the time the original SeaWorld whales were caught. (This was the age of "Flipper", who's logo wore a little sailor's hat.) The orca's sounds in the film replicatea a kid crying; humans matrix that sound to be sadness. The whale probably just had gas.

We have changed since then. Now many of us realize that just because we want the novelty of a dolphin for a friend, the dolphin very well might not want to be friends with us. Blame it on Disney anamorphism, our own egos, it doesn't matter- ten out of ten animals, including my dog, are not really my 'friends' per se. We like the attributes we superimpose on them and long to have them appreciates our attributes in return, but that's a no go. My dog likes the popcorn popper more than me- it produces snack.

The capture of whales is a shameful part of our history, but we just can't hurry up and dump them in the ocean and pat ourselves on the back to hide our shame. We must deal with the consequences of our egoist desire to be chums with an animal that could do very well without us.

Boycotting the park will hurt the animals in the long run, the captive whales need support.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGxMLiL1uZI

This is far more worth your time, if you feel strongly about whales/dolphins/exotics in captivity. Make about an hour of your time free if you care to watch.

Truth is, whether they are raised in captivity or not, their wild instincts take over quickly so long as they are properly prepared for it. Keiko is a shining example of this. But he also was not born in captivity. I'm all about a sea pen myself...these animals were not made for captivity. Plain and simple. And I hate when people try to compare this whole thing to dogs and cats. We've domesticated them..along with livestock ( horses, cows, chickens, etc ) so they require the care of people ( although if need be, they will find deep within themselves the will to survie...those deeply rooted wild instincts do take over...aka feral cats and wild dog packs that look like pets but are not.)

Everyone has their views on these things. I remember as a child my dream job was to become a dolphin trainer, but I learned the truth as time went on. I'm not one of those crazy anti-cap people, but I don't support exploiting animals for entertainment/money. For what it costs most families to make a trip to a state that has a Sea World, their money could be better spent on a trip to whale watch and see them in their natural habitats. The only thing people are learning from seeing these animals in captivity are that this is a spectacle of dominance..man over beast...and when the show is over a lot of these animals float lifelessly in their pools and are bored, lonely and agitated. Not to mention their sensitive hearing and that loud pounding music cannot be good for them.

Greed truly does nasty things to people. You wanna see an aquarium doing good things, go to the Oregon Coast Aquarium. They focus entirely on rehabilitation and not performance. Of course any animal that cannot be released safely and properly stays, but they don't have the stress of doing stupid tricks all day. If Sea World did this entirely, I would be on board...but the fact nearly all their animals perform dumb tricks all day is what kills that for me.

Anyways, I'm done. I will not go on any farther. I see no need to. I know in my heart its wrong to take wild animals from the ocean, force them to perform with "positive reward", and work them until they die...breed them in captivity...to make more profit. Sea World is a business first and foremost and money will always be the root of keeping these animals in concrete prisons. People just choose to be blind to this because they don't want to believe it.

Anyways, watch the above video, if you care. I feel it is one more people need to see.

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