Blackfish: Captivity is Dangerous

Yesenia Quintana & Daisy Campos


In the Documentary Blackfish, Gabriela Couperthwaite successfully proves that captivity causes animals to go crazy, by damaging them physically and mentally this is proven by involving stock footage of whale attacks, interview with trainers and researchers and reenactments.

The Purpose:

The documentary is mainly focused on sea world. It talks about they history and how they captured the orcas and their most popular one, tilicum. They focus on how they are treated and what would go on their on a day to day basis. They also go over some of the attacks that would talk place, and their most publicized, Dawn Brancheau. She was Sea World's most experienced trainer and throughout the film it is noted that SeaWorld tries to cover up anything that makes them look bad.


Former Trainers: In interview with former trainers they admit that SeaWorld did everything wrong. They were kept in little stables at night and were kept in the dark. They had little room to swim and they were often bored because of it. The whales would also often fight, but during performances they explained that the orcas always got along, since their employer, SeaWorld, didn't want people finding out the truth and losing money. They claimed that SeaWorld lied so much, they started to believe it too.

Orca Expert: In an interview with an orca expert it was confirmed that SeaWorld would liar about their health. SeaWorld would claim that orcas would only live for 30-35 years, but they actually have the life span of a human, up to 90 years. They orcas would just die faster in captivity. SeaWorld also claimed that A flopped over fin was health for a male, when in reality only 1 percent of male orcas in the wild have it, and 100 percent of orcas in captivity had the flopped fin. SeaWorld just doesn't want to sound bad and lose its income.

Physiologists: In the film there was a women stating that orca need to be kept together, and SeaWorld was depriving them of that. They explained that orcas need to be kept together and sea world was talking that away from them. Not only were they taking them from the wild, they were also taking them from their moms and that location. They would often spilt up a mom and a baby, by moving the baby to another location. The mother would literally cry and scream in grieve. There was even a mother that was sending long range vocals to try and reach her baby. They were hurting whales emotionally, that even a whale did something that had never been heard before.

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Trail: In the film they use what looks like a reenactment. The first one was a very simple reenactment, it looked like a drawing on a note pad. It took place with someone on a podium being asked question, but the questions were in text, not said aloud. Basically it is the senior trainer being questioned by a male employee from OSHA. He asked if they were aware that the whale was capable of pulling and she claimed that since he was a male, that she knows he's capable of rape. This was seen as a irrelevant claim. It just shows what the workers there will come up with make It seem like they did noting wrong when in reality they know about the whales horrid past.

Picking out the young ones: During this reenactment it shows these fishermen,

the fishermen job was to track down the whales and pick out the young ones. Keeping in mind that orcas are extremely intelligent, adult orcas would swim in one direction above water so they could be seen and chased. While the adults are being rallied, the young ones and their mothers are underwater and go a different direction to try to escape. Eventually they need to come back up for air and that's when they are spotted and the boats go to take the young ones. While all this is happening the mothers will not leave. Taking it away from its mother brings it into SeaWorld afraid and mentally torn.

Breeding: In this little clip/ picture they were showing tilikum and it shows all the kids he has breeder and that 50% of whales at SeaWorld have his genes on there. They explained that tilikum was a breeder and honestly that's all he kept him for. Tilikum had been put through so much and instead of taking him out of the show and retiring him they continued to use him for one reason only. Just for the money. They let him feel lonely, unloved and crammed. They also endangered the workers there because now they all have his violent past in them.

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Stock Footage (Attacks)

Dawn Brancheau: The one that that points to captivity leading to craziness is all the attacks. As the film starts they announce that one of the best trainers that sea had, was killed by a whale. As we see in the film the trainers are the only ones the whales see and are with, so it is shocking that they kill the people they are with most of the time. Even the bets of the best are not safe with whales in captivity. Sea world will try their best to convince everyone that the killings are all based on the trainers and why it's the trainers fault for the whales actions.

Up and down

In another attack a very well trainer that has been with sea world and knows everything there is to have a perfect show was being tortured by a whale, pulling him down to the bottom if the pool and keeping his foot in his mouth and playing with him by bringing him back up to the surface then back down again. This attack did not end in a death but it shows that whales well some how end up attacking.

Foot girl

As the trainers are off duty or are not doing a show, most likely they are still with the whales. As a trainers is with two whales she is just messing with them and places her foot on their head and one decides to grab her and pull her into the water. No one was able to do anything but stand there helplessly hoping for the best that the orcas will let her go. They did let her go because they let out the leader of the "family" which saved her life. This shows that no matter how close the trainers are with the orcas that time could only tell when they will turn their backs on them.
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No matter how long trainers are with the whales even if they are with them since birth, captivity messes with orcas minds and have them turn their backs on everyone. It also shows that Sea World does not care how many trainers lives are taken they care for the money and for there business to stay up.