After watching Blackfish, I must express my distaste, as well as my sympathies, for these precious sea animals and the humans that died because of them (sounds like a bit of an oxymoron, no?). This documentary focuses on Orca Whales, their history of “violent” behavior, their relationship with humans, and how both parties have been affected by it. Before I rant til the earth’s end, I want to clarify that I had very little knowledge of Sea World and the deaths that occurred due to these whales. With that being said, let’s begin:
Dawn Brancheau. My heart goes out to her and her family. Her death was tragic and something that people, even former and current co-workers, didn’t expect… why? Because of her relationship with Tilikum, the orca that was responsible for her death (unfortunately). People can claim that Tilikum was a monster and lived up to his species given name, but I’d have to defend him. First of all, this male orca was once free. Sure, he was young when captured, but he was captured against his will. They placed him into a small space of water and expected him to live there for the rest of his life span. How can anyone see this as acceptable? Tilikum had a family, he had a home. That was all taken away from him, only to be trained for sea shows that people paid a lot to see. Since when were orca’s born to breed artificially and be trained? They belong to the wild, not to us.
Second of all, Dawn had a relationship with the whale. What do people do in most relationships? They trust. That’s exactly what Dawn did. She trusted and bonded with an animal. How did this lead to her death? There’s no real answer, but some might say the possibilities are endless. Now I’m not blaming her for her own death, cause that’s just ridiculous and unjust- but I refuse to blame Tilikum as well. What happened could have been the result of psychosis. Tilikum was not only trapped in what was a practically a tub for the rest of his life, but he was also isolated a lot, due to unfair play by the female orca’s. They’d scratch him, cause serious injury to his skin. He was hurt. He was alone. It is obvious that just like any other human, Tilikum had feelings. In the documentary, they show that an orca whale is even more intelligent than a human and possess a part of their brain that humans don’t even have. They have the ability to feel and communicate. So why do this to them? Why place them in a small space and strip them of their rights?
It is clear that Sea World and any other company that existed before or came after, could care less about these animals. Sure, they were interesting and lovable creatures, fun to train, and kids, as well as adults, enjoyed watching these shows, but the Sea World Managers could probably care less and solely focused on keeping the cash rolling in. This highly upsets me and I’d honestly like to see someone stick them into a tub, teach them how to do tricks, and pay people to witness it.
Sounds heinous? Exactly.
Knowing now that Dawn and many other Sea World trainers were killed because of these animals is a sad, sad thing, but why blame someone who doesn’t really have a voice? Why put the blame on a creature who doesn’t belong to us, but to the ocean? Tilikum and any other orca whale are all born and raised in the wild. Being stripped of everything you once knew and being forced into something completely different, can do a lot to someone.
Even an animal.
To wrap it all up, I must say that the documentary was shocking and extremely intriguing to watch and I’d recommend it to anyone. Seriously, watch it people. It’ll teach you things that you probably never even knew.
Well, that’s all for now. Till next post. ~