Friday, September 27, 2013
Tilikum was moved in 1992 to SeaWorld Orlando Florida, SeaWorld used positive reinforcement to train their whales. Even though SeaWorld had bigger enclosures it can never match the wild and is hundreds of miles less than his native habitat. The whales at SeaWorld did not like Tilikum often teasing and injuring him, in the wild Tilikum could get away from the other whales but in captivity he was trapped never getting a break from them. Tilikum was an excellent performer and not to mention the biggest whale in captivity. SeaWorld didn't properly inform the trainers about Tilikum's history they said he wasn't directly involved in the death of a trainer at Sealand of the Pacific. Tilikum was involved in many attacks with his trainers but so were the other whales so it wasn't a big surprise even though some of them were near deaths of trainers. In 1999 Tilikum had killed another person, this person had snuck in after hours, he was found the next morning dead on top of Tilikum. Tilikum was still allowed to swim with trainers and participate during the shows.
Tilikum has 21 offspring only 11 are still alive. The movie also talks about how the mothers are separated from their calfs and if SeaWorld really supported natural family bonds why do they separate the calfs. They show how stressed they are when they are separated at one point they had to call in a marine biologist because one of the orca mothers had made noises never heard before while her calf was being separated from her, turns out they were distress calls made to be heard miles away to keep in touch with her calf which was being driven away. The movie talks about how they have to throw nets between them because the baby won't leave its moms side. And how the baby and mom are in distress sometimes it takes weeks until they start to calm down. Now Tilikum spends his life pacing his enclosure, bored.
Is this how SeaWorld should treat their animals? Keeping them in small enclosures just for our pleasure? When it is so obvious they are stressed and bored? They belong in the wild where they can roam free having miles of space doing what whales naturally do. Is riding on the back of a whale natural for the whale or is just entertainment for us? I love SeaWorld I always have but this movie has opened my eyes to the truth I would love to go back to SeaWorld but I would only feel comfortable doing this if they got rid of the whales, placing them in to sanctuaries, and rehabilitating the babies back to the wild. Blackfish the movie has done a great job in giving the whales some justice and I feel bad for Tilikum there is so much more to his story than meets the eye. This is just my opinion based on the Blackfish the movie for more info go to www.blackfishmovie.com