For those of you who have not heard the latest Sea World news... They will no longer be breeding their captive Orcas! Therefore, the current Orcas they have will be the last generation at Sea World. Furthermore, they are going to ease out theatrical shows.
This is BRILLIANT news and absolutely made my week!
I, like most people, saw the film Blackfish. But for those of you who didn't, it's a CNN documentary following the life of Tilikum, the largest killer whale in Sea World's collection. The documentary follows his life, from when he was snatched from his family in the wild at the age of 2, to the day in 2010 when he took the life of Dawn Brancheau, a Sea World trainer.
|Tilikum at Sea World (source)|
The film was definitely the main cause of Sea World changing its' policies. Blackfish was so influential in changing public opinions and turning people against Sea World. I think the people behind this film; including the director Gabriela Cowperthwaite and Manny Oteyza, the producer; are truly inspiring. Through their own hard work and determination. they've managed to make a difference. I know this sounds cliche, but it is true.
I have seen Blackfish countless times now, and I would encourage anyone to watch it. It still makes me cry and my heart breaks for Tilikum and the other Orcas overtime I watch it, or think about it.
The film explains how captivity has psychologically damaged Tilikum and the other Orcas, which lead to the death and injury of the trainers. Orcas are extremely intelligent animals and have always fascinated me. I am always watching documentaries on them, and seeing them in the wold is very high on my bucket list. They're incredibly social animals, and even have a part of the brain we don't have which is entirely social, enabling them to feel emotions we don't feel. Their family bonds are extremely strong and so keeping them in captivity away from their families in undeniably wrong.
|Orcas in the wild. (Source: nationalgeographic)|
Different Orca pods in different parts of the world behave differently. They hunt differently, taking advantage of their surroundings and the available food. They also communicate differently. Scientists don't like to admit that any species other than humans use language, but it is clear Orcas do. Therefore, the collection at Sea World can't communicate with each other, and so for social animals. those enclosures are like torture.
I will be following the Sea World story and posting about it, and Orcas again. They are, in my opinion, one of the most admirable species on the planet and they continue to delight and surprise us. But the main thing I wanted to say about this story was how happy I am that public opinion changing has lead to change. People speaking out has helped the lives of these animals, and future animals. From the making of a globally successful documentary, to street protests, to the impact from social media; "normal people made a change.
This inspires me so much and fills me with hope for other animals in danger and animal cruelties out there. Sea World is proof that if people know the truth, they will act, and things will change.