When people hear the names SeaWorld, Miami Seaquarium, Marineland, Loro Parque, Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium, or Moskvarium, they are instantly associated with fun and joy. There’s cheering music and friendly hosts and brave trainers, skillfully riding huge orcas, commanding them or other animals to do tricks…nothing else but fountains of happiness and entertainment. People bring their little kids to show them true exotics…
However not many visitors know the whole story – how these orcas were captured and what their life is like after that. These acts of cruelty, driven by greed, moral apathy, and indifference are hidden behind the scenes. Theme parks and their suppliers of enslaved orcas don’t want to expose the public to the way their “beloved stars” get there – it would be not to their benefit- financial or otherwise.
The internet is full of information about the orcas’ capture and details of their lives in small tanks, filled with chemicals and excrement, but it is all scattered and sometimes not easy to find. This documentary presents the whole history of the tragic reality of orcas’ lives in our modern and “civilized” world – from the first events in 60s’ up to our present time.
The major pitch of SeaWorld and similar parks is that enslaving orcas is justified by the need to educate people about marine mammals and to provide entertainment. The educational value of orca shows doesn’t withstand serious critique, however. It is the same as attempting to learn about a country’s culture by watching its prisoners perform tricks for food. Entertaining people with enslaved orcas is simply unethical. All this becomes clear when one takes a closer look at this problem. Many visitors of theme parks don’t know about it and as soon they step into such places, they become a target by subtle brainwashing – everything there sounds and looks like a fiesta… but not for its main actors who are literally sentenced to a life of slavery until their death.
The good news is that SeaWorld and other Oceanariums have been in the crosshairs of animal advocacy groups and environmentalists for long time and their pressure has forced these companies to change their business models. In the West, captivity of animals and especially orcas, has become more and more socially and politically unacceptable. The West is moving toward a more humane regard of other Earthlings. At the same time, business minded people in Russia and China have discovered that orca shows are almost a money printing press and they have jumped to exploit this. Despite international and fast growing domestic opposition, Russia is still issuing permits for orca capture and marine theme parks are growing like mushrooms in China. This is why our fight for the wellbeing of orcas, dolphins, and other Earthlings is far from its end.
After watching this documentary some people will wake up as Humans and feel the urge to do something about it. “How can I help?” or “What can I do?” – These questions are often posted in comments to similar videos. It is the normal reaction of normal human beings who feel deeply disturbed in the light of new evidence of mankind’s cruelty. It is not easy to find the answer to these kind questions. But there are many ways each of us can fight for a better future for all Earthlings – petitions, participation in protests, and support of groups and organizations dedicated to the cause are just a few of the ways we can fight the dark side of the modern mankind…
Documentary was released on January 4, 2017. This is an updated version of The Dark History of Killer Whale Captures.
"OrcaStories" from "Baby Wild Films Presents: The Killer Whale People" by Baby Wild Films
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