Sea Worlds Killer Whales

Thesis

Gabriela Cowperthware is successful in showing the negative effects of whales being held in captivity by telling you about multiple casualties and what happens to the whales after years of being enclosed.

Example : Dawns Death

At Sea World the trainers that work with the whales are pretty hands on with their job. They're in close proximity with these animals for hours upon hours rather it be during a show or during training for the whale. Which if its tiring for a human to be working long hours it would have the same effects on a larger animal. The whale might start showing those signs too. They could come off as aggravated, maybe not do anything which will lead to the trainer working with the whale not to feed them eventually making the whale mad it's not getting rewarded. This is exactly what happened with maybe one of Sea Worlds best trainers. Dawn Brancheau. To this day people still can't believe it was her fault, which is what Sea World is sticking with. On the day of the accident she was working with Tilikum. One of the whales which has showed signs of aggression many of times before. They were doing simple stuff, pectoral wave around the pool. Tili did it, and when Dawn blew the whistle to tell him he did good and to come back he missed the cue and kept going. When he finally got back to Dawn he wanted to be rewarded like usual with fish. But since he missed the cue and kept going he didn't get any reward. Dawn automatically went to the next thing. She went to the other side of the pool where there was a place she could lay down with the whale, which she and others have done plenty of times before. But this time, Tilikum being deprived of food for something he know he did right beside him going around another time he knew he did it right, he grabbed onto Dawn's pigtail and dragged her in the pool. The spotter who was supposed to be watching wasn't. Tilikum was thrashing Dawn around violently resulting in a broken jaw, part of her vertebra and several ribs. By time other trainers got Tilikum to stop Dawn was dead. By Gabriela Cowperthware telling you this part of the story and even showing a video of what happened, you can clearly see the aggression the whale had towards Dawn depriving him of food. Whales in captivity only get food at certain times or whenever they do something good while training, otherwise they don't. While in the wild they could eat whatever at anytime and have as much as they want.
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Example 2: It's happened before

During the whole movie they constantly talk about attacks that have happened before. One of them happen to be with Tilikum. Almost 20 years before Dawn's death, Tilikum was at another place called Sealand which was way smaller than sea world it was basically a fence type thing in a marina. The whales had to sleep in a small tin like container with no room to freely swim and as they got bigger the room they had got smaller. The whales would come out in the morning with many rakes on them. At this point you can just assume they were starting to develop aggression. Tilikum was the biggest whale there. One of the trainers was setting up for the whales to jump out of the water and hit a ball hanging in the air. Her foot slipped and barely was in the water for maybe 5 seconds next thing everyone saw was a whale grabbing her foot bringing her into the pool. There where 3 whales total in this pool. She was then brought down all the way into the water and ultimately drowned. She was Tilikums first kill from frustration, stress and confinement. By Gabriela first showing this in the movie it gets you set up for what happens when the whales are confined in small places for a while. And she does a good job setting up Tilikums aggression stories before the main one of Dawn's death.

Example 3: The Whales

Sea World claims that the whales are well kept, with their pods and basically given a better life than they could ever get being out in the wild. When it's really the complete opposite. During Blackfish they continuously say that there has been no signs of aggression from whales in the wild. Whales being kept in close proximity for hours upon hours, basically their whole life, can take such a huge toll on them emotionally and mentally. Gabriela does a great job in showing this by again telling you of their aggression and the different ways they might act when they're in a certain mood, just like us humans. All this stress of the whales being kept in confinement can lead to a weakening immune system and able to get diseases easier, which wouldn't really happen in the wild. They usually end up separated from their families. Sea World says they don't separate them but they in fact do. One of the whales had a baby and she would disrupt the shows and just cause problems. But instead of just separating her for a bit they moved her to another park. Which cause the mother basically to go through grief. Captivity makes the whales go crazy. Gabriela does more than enough to show this.