'Blackfish' documentary dives into killer whale captivity
Monday, July 22, 2013 - 01:23
July 22 - Documentary ''Blackfish'' highlights the tormented circumstances killer whales face in captivity and the subsequent harm they inflict on humans as a result. John Russell reports.
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The documentary "Blackfish" traces the history of killer whales in captivity, culminating in a 2010 incident in which a 12,000-pound orca killed a trainer at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida.
Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite documents how such incidents happen when these massive animals are held against their will.
Studies have shown that the giant marine mammals have human-like self-awareness, an ability to communicate and organize complex societies, making them similar to some great apes.
SOUNDBITE Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite saying (English):
"So in my mind a killer whale, a scary intelligent animal, why would it bite the hand that feeds it. So I kind of went in trying to investigate that question as a mother who took her kids to SeaWorld as someone who didn't come from animal activism. I just wanted to investigate that incident. Peeling back the onion from that incident is what led to making this movie."
"Blackfish follows the orca involved in the incident, from the age of two, when he was kidnapped from his mother in the North Atlantic and severely mistreated throughout his adult life by park officials and other killer whales.
SeaWorld has released a statement accusing the film of painting "a distorted picture" of its facility, calling it "inaccurate and misleading."
"Blackfish" hits limited U.S. theaters in July.
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