Thoughts on Blackfish

Recently I watched the film Blackfish 2013 which really pulled at my heart strings. The film focussed on the story of Tilikum, a renown aggressive orca, and occurrences that happened with him during captivity. The documentary delves into Tilikum’s capturing, his movements between enclosures and accounts from the many parties involved. Blackfish’s inclusion of shocking and confronting footage, along with emotive recollections from numerous individuals provides the documentary with it sensitive tug. It successfully challenges the beliefs of animals used for entertainment purposes, especially orca whales.

There is no doubt that this film changes the way you look at killer whales. One thing I learned is that these creatures are a lot more emotionally intelligent and aware than I thought. It was completely heartbreaking to see the capturing of Tilikum in the wild. That piercing shriek. Absolutely Shattering.

As I watched on, I further understood the exploitation of the Orcas and the lucrative marketing and business schemes behind these innocent creatures.


Here’s when the plot thickens… Slowly revealed throughout the documentary is Tilikum, along with several other orcas, very violent pasts. Is an orca trapped in captivity still innocent if it is violent, aggressive and unpredictable around humans? Is an orca still innocent if it has murdered someone? Blackfish 2013 leaves viewers to ponder this, despite it’s quite obvious one sided opinion.

I personally do not agree with keeping animals of such magnitude in captivity. In fact, I don’t agree with any type of animal being kept in captivity for human entertainment purposes at all. I can understand from a point of rehabilitation, but no. Not for performance and entertainment reasons.

When it comes to animals in zoo’s, captivity, enclosures and so on, it’s quite interesting – all of these facts are right in your face. Yet families from all over the world come to watch these animals every day. They clap and cheer on, while these orcas, dolphins, seals, elephants and so much more do their tricks. The audience becomes bored and get to go home – ultimately, they get to be free. All of this occurs while the whale swims on, alone, in their small pool for the rest of their life.

Where is the fairness in this?

Feature image courtesy of Australian Geographic’s stunning shot. 

This blog post is not to be graded.


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