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To think everybody should watch Blackfish (repeated 2230, Monday, BBC4) if they haven't already?

(89 Posts)
needasilverlining Sun 24-Nov-13 15:18:07

Disclaimer: Not an activist, not keen on PETA or other extremist animal rights organisations - just someone who tuned in because the documentary got a good write-up.

It is a gut-wrenching, heartbreaking look at orcas in captivity: intelligent, social animals who live in family groups they never leave, swim up to 100 miles a day, have a language unique to each pod and can live up to 80 years. Confined to bare concrete tanks, separated from their offspring and forced to do fucking tricks for dead fish before they die after half of their wild lifespan.

I know world hunger, Syria, FGM and plenty of other things are more important, but this truly is a stain on our species' already appalling record on animal treatment. And more to the point, it's very easily fixable.

Watch it - honestly it is haunting and shaming.

needasilverlining Sun 24-Nov-13 15:24:43

And (interrupted mid-post) the horrendous record of human injuries and trainer deaths and the extent to which they're covered up/not acknowledged as anything other than accidents is also very hmm

Fraggle3112 Sun 24-Nov-13 15:28:30

My dad was talking about this yesterday, i haven't watched it myself but from what he said I can't understand how anyone can justify keeping them in captivity.

MrsTerryPratchett Sun 24-Nov-13 15:31:48

I live in an area with orcas and I won't go anywhere that has them in captivity. They have families, huge ranges and are very intelligent. Having seen them in the wild I wouldn't want to contribute to putting one in a tiny box.

FracturedViewOfLife Sun 24-Nov-13 15:47:30

I will watch it on iPlayer later. Thanks, I don't have TV so miss a lot of interesting programs.

Have you seen The Cove?

Bombus Sun 24-Nov-13 16:02:00

I agree, it's a brilliant film that has really stayed with me since I watched it last week.

needasilverlining Sun 24-Nov-13 16:04:20

Link to Blackfish on Iplayer

Whatevertheweather Sun 24-Nov-13 16:08:00

I agree I watched it last week and was shocked and quite saddened. We are planning a Florida in the next year or so and will be scratching Seaworld and Discovery Cove off of the itinerary after watching it

Bradsplit Sun 24-Nov-13 16:09:51

HOW uspettingn is it?could you show to kids?

needasilverlining Sun 24-Nov-13 16:15:37

I think it would depend on the child. It's not gory, although there's some v dramatic footage of a trainer being almost drowned by an orca who grabs his foot and dives repeatedly. There are a couple of descriptions of injuries suffered.

BUT there are also details of how close wild orca family bonds are (adult sons spend more than half their time within one body length of their mother, for example, and if she dies will often die soon after) and then some graphic descriptions of mother whales crying out and grieving when their babies are removed which would break my 6yo DS's heart.

I think it would be a terrific, thought-provoking discussion with an older child though.

LittleBairn Sun 24-Nov-13 16:15:38

YANBU I've been waiting to watch the documentary since I heard it was being made. I watched the Cove and swore never to go near places like Seaworld and the like, we even had tickets booked to go to Disovery Cove I was happy to loose the money.

BigRedButton Sun 24-Nov-13 16:17:17

I can't imagine wanting to keep orcas in captivity. I come from a country with orcas, I saw them often, surfacing. I am for (good, large) zoos and safari parks, but especially for large sea animals, keeping them in captivity is just cruel.

Bradsplit Sun 24-Nov-13 16:23:14

thanks silver

am thinking year 9

AlpacaPicnic Sun 24-Nov-13 16:37:27

Thankyou Op. I have wanted to see this for a while. I didn't see it on the schedule and woukd have been annoyed that i'd missed it.

I went to Seaworld a couple of years ago - is it going to make me hate myself?

needasilverlining Sun 24-Nov-13 16:56:51

Tell us afterwards... I've never been (and now never will) - would be v interested in your perspective.

veryveryanonymous Sun 24-Nov-13 19:12:54

Watched on Iplayer.
Been to Seaworld a few years ago... Wouldn't go now.

Bradsplit Sun 24-Nov-13 19:29:38

no me neither

gremlindolphin Sun 24-Nov-13 20:30:42

Watching it now. Went to Windsor Safari Park as a child and hated it. Would never go to Seaworld. x

Meglet Sun 24-Nov-13 21:17:45

Yanbu. It was hidden away last week so I only caught the end of it. I'll tape it tomorrow so I can watch it from the start.

flatmum Sun 24-Nov-13 21:22:58

Yanbu I watched it last week and also in Orlando a few weeks go while on holiday. I decided to go to seaworld despite reservations and having seen it for myself, the entertainment does not justify having creatures that usually roam 100s of miles a day cooped up in tanks. Will no be going back until we as a society have stopped keeping orcas and other marine mammals in captivity.

Hope everyone has signed the petition as change.org to release poor tilikum. 30 years he's been cooped up and doing shows. Shocking.

ThereWasOnceAGirl Sun 24-Nov-13 21:55:51

Having seen them in the wild I wouldn't want to contribute to putting one in a tiny box.

It's a vicious circle though.

People can state that they will never go to Seaworld after seeing this documentary however after watching a Q&A with the film director she stated herself - less money for the park means the living conditions of the orcas becomes worse.

So it's pretty much a damn if you do, damned if you don't - because they are never going to release them.

Hope everyone has signed the petition as change.org to release poor tilikum. 30 years he's been cooped up and doing shows. Shocking

As lovely as that would be and would be a happy ending. Do you honestly think he could survive in the wild now?
Unfortunately I think releasing him would be a death sentence in itself.

Look at what happened to Free Willy, or Keiko or use his proper name. He lived for around 15 months when he was released.

CelinaGrace Sun 24-Nov-13 22:00:36

I watched this last week and it's haunted me. I have to admit that after about an hour I turned it off as I was just finding it too upsetting.

The animals in captivity may not be able to be released (especially after so many years) but surely legislation could be changed to ensure that no new animals are captured and imprisoned. But I suppose that if there's money to be made….

Cutitup Sun 24-Nov-13 22:33:23

I have watched this documentary twice in the last 24 hours. I made my daughter watch it again with me today after watching it alone last night.

It was so upsetting in so many ways. To watch the interviews with the 'hunters' who initially caught Tilikum in the wild was so moving. Those poor creatures. The bastards at Seaworld should release all their orcas into wide ocean pens so they can live their lives out in relative peace. The recreation of the mothers crying when their calves were taken away made me choke up. It is inhumane to keep these beautiful animals in captivity and I urge everyone to boycott marine parks.

I can hear the cows right now in the field behind my house baying and crying because their calves have been taken from them. It is so distressing to hear and it's been going on for days. It's the same thing, isn't it? Am seriously thinking of becoming vegetarian.

TwoStepsBeyond Sun 24-Nov-13 22:52:12

My friend's DH was telling me about this, thanks for the reminder.

needasilverlining Sun 24-Nov-13 23:04:38

In some ways I think a death sentence would be better than solitary confinement in a tiny pool, with brief breaks to appear in a cheesy show.

There are no easy right answers but I think an ocean pen might be the least wrong one.

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