Every time you watch an 8,000-pound orca soar out of the water and comply with the instructions given by their trainers at marine theme parks, as if in perfect harmony with them, do you think of the trainers killed viciously by orcas?
Blackfish, an eye-opening documentary directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite,features interviews with trainers and experts to reveal the reason why a notorious performing orca Tilikum had taken the lives of several people.
Tilikum, captured by fishermen in Berufjörður at about two years of age, was sold to two marine theme parks. Being kept in a small steel tank, he was dominated by two aggressive female orcas and endured performances every hour on the hour, eight times a day, seven days a week. Even worse, food was withheld from both him and his tankmates when he failed to perform a trick, causing a great deal of tension and exhaustion. His collapsed dorsal fin and abnormal repetitive behavior, including chewing on metal gates to flapping at the glass, were signs of an unhealthy and stressed orca. It was inevitable that Tilikum turned aggressive towards people in such awful conditions.
I really hope that keeping animals in captivity for performances can end one day. We should always remember that "what orcas are displaying in these tanks is a caricature of the real orca – almost a shadow – when you consider what the orca is like in the ocean.” And never to visit sea parks until they empty their tanks.
Take a look at the other star entries!