Dangers of Capturing The Free

Arianna Wright

Thesis

In the documentary Blackfish, Gabriela Couperthwaite is successful in showing the dangers of capturing animals that should be free by using interviews and footage.

Defining The Purpose

The purpose of this film was to show the bad outcomes of capturing animals that belong to be free living animals. The story followed the behavior of one specific orca that was captured as a baby from his family and then placed in Sea World. This orca had injured and killed a number of trainers in his time.

Footage

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Too Aggressive: The photo above is from the part of the film when the orcas were fighting each other. One orca started bleeding during the show. Sea World played happy music to try to downplay the severity of what was really going on. Capturing animals whose environment is nothing but space and openness for them to do whatever they want. Putting them in a box where not too much to go from can cause aggressive behavior.
Where It Started: In the film Blackfish, they showed specific footage of Tilikum's aggressive behavior toward the trainers. Tilikum was taken from being free at a young age. That was the beginning that would later on contribute to his aggressive behavior. Because Tilikum was so young this was something that affected him immediately. These animals know where they are supposed to be and taking them from that added to his aggression mainly when it came to the trainers.
Living Freely: There was a part of the film showing the orcas swimming in packs in the ocean. This is the type of environment they belong in where they can live how they want to.Taking these animals from unlimited freedom to a space which is very limited and expect everything to go as planned is not the best case scenario for them.

Interviews

Interviews with witnesses: A lot of people were able to pick out Tilikum during a lot of the attacks because of his fin. They were able to know he's caused problems more than once. Although the audience doesn't know Tilikum's background, they still se his aggression. This is what they built his character off of. When he lost his freedom he lost a part of his good side as well.
Interviews with family members: Alexi's wife was contacted after he was attacked and they had told her that he was okay. When she and his mother got there, they were told he was dead. These orcas were already in a place they were not use to, then to send them off another place unknown to them was a dangerous move. Alexi had no clue of the orcas behavior. Capturing animals puts people around them in danger.
Interviews with former trainers: The trainers were the ones to form the relationship with the orcas. They sensed when something was wrong with them before anyone else. They knew something was making Tilikum irritated. They also knew that Tilikum knew what was going on around him. He reacted to certain things according to how he felt which is what had cased him to act out in a number of situations.
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Conclusion

The film was an interesting film to watch. As an audience member at one of these shows you are not even close to knowing what actually goes on, you just see these wonderful animals do tricks. This film gave a really good insight of the truth for a lot of people.