Tilikum, Blackfish and the outrage.


Apologies for the HUGE delay in posting another blog post. I’ve been struggling to find something that inspired me enough to write a blog post on, something that I felt strongly enough about. The environment and animal welfare are two issues that are close to my heart.


What prompted me to write this blog post on “Blackfish” was the dolphin slaughters in Taji that made the news again this year. More people in my area were becoming aware of these brutal slaughters and it reminded me of “Blackfish”. “Blackfish” is not about the murdering of killer whales, the documentary focuses on the captivity of Tilikum, a killer whale involved in the deaths of three people (including SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau), and the consequences of keeping killer whales in captivity.

I came across the trailer of this documentary in the summer of last year on Youtube. Even after watching the trailer I found myself intrigued but was filled with a sense of dread and I could feel a kind of indescribable hollowness in my chest. I then decided to carry out some research to see if I could find more information on “Blackfish” What I found was an article documenting Dawn Brancheau’s death and the manner in which she died.

I am in awe of these beautiful creatures. There’s definitely something haunting about them. There’s something so upsetting and distressing in hearing them call out in pain. Some people don’t seem to realise that these mammals feel just like you or me. They have family ties, they can become depressed. They can become psychotic. Killer whales have a right to freedom, just because they don’t speak English, it doesn’t mean it’s right to take them away from all they’ve ever known to shut them away in water pens that aren’t big enough for one, let alone a few killer whales to move around in. I could be called biased, because I don’t particularly like any sort of animal entertainment (circuses, SeaWorld). Killer whales have never been reported to have attacked humans in the wild, so this really is a testimony of the damage that captivity does to killer whales.


There’s one particular scene I found really sad, and this was when a whale calf was taken away from its mother, and you can hear the despair in the calls of the mother as it calls uselessly for its calf. And if you hadn’t believed killer whales could go into depression, I’m fairly certain you’ll change your mind.

SeaWorld claimed the film was inaccurate and misleading, that it “..exploited a tragedy..”
“The film paints a distorted picture that withholds ...key facts about SeaWorld—among them...that SeaWorld rescues, rehabilitates and returns to the wild hundreds of wild animals every year, and that SeaWorld commits millions of dollars annually to conservation and scientific research”  I also feel it necessary to add that Dawn Brancheau’s family had nothing to do with this documentary, take from that what you will but it’s the truth.

Tilikum is to this day still at the SeaWorld. He is no longer used in trainer and whale shows, but still partakes in daily shows on his own. He is taken out for the day and then is shut back in his pen and the lights are shut out.

The film was long-listed for an Oscar, but it didn’t make the short list to my annoyance, but what can you do? All I’ll say is it’s amazing the power that multi-million dollar companies have.

I’ll let you decide your opinion after you watch it. It’ll make you think about things you never thought of before.

Warning though, the documentary is definitely disturbing is some parts. 
I felt a mixture of anger and incredible sadness after watching the documentary.
At times it is graphic. So please be warned. It’s very very traumatic to watch.

Another very interesting documentary to watch is called “The Cove”. This documentary documents the dolphin slaughters in Taji, in Japan, check it out.

There are many petitions out there you can sign to help to save animals @ www.change.org.

Thanks very much for reading and I hope to have a much longer post for you all next week!

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