“Blackfish” examines the tragedy of orcas in captivity

Tilikum

Tilikum, a longtime star of SeaWorld, is an orca that was captured near Iceland in 1983 at about 3 years of age. During these 30 years in captivity, Tilikum has killed three people and seriously injured another.

Blackfish is a documentary by director Gabriela Cowperthwaite that traces the origins and development of Tilikum’s aggressive behavior and asks probing questions about the morality of capturing and keeping wild animals for entertainment and profit.

Through interviews with former SeaWorld trainers and witnesses of those tragic events, the filmmakers weave the background story and enhance these accounts through compelling video footage of how orcas are captured and family groups separated, as well as the strident living conditions of these majestic animals. Cowperthwaite likens the existence of orcas in captivity to that of a human forced to live out his or her life in a bathtub.

The film reveals that SeaWorld teaches visitors that orcas live longer in captivity, when it is a known fact they do not. This calls into question the park’s …. CLICK HERE to continue reading my review at St. Anthony Messenger magazine.

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