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October 24th, 2013
11:02 PM ET

Should SeaWorld free the killer whales?

Experts for and against keeping killer whales in captivity debate the ethics behind the issue on CNN's Crossfire.

Posted by
Filed under: Animals • Grey Stafford • Newt Gingrich • Tim Zimmermann • Van Jones
soundoff (369 Responses)
  1. Mansi

    I think all Sea world does is captivate and torture mammals and earn dollars at their expense .This is the first movie that has truly depicted the real face of this fucked up Place called SEA WORLD.If sea world real cars for mammals then it should free them and let it unite with its family and not captivate it in swimming pools.People please come forward and help close this place so that the mammals can be returned to its home ad swim free as God intended.

    December 20, 2013 at 10:55 pm | Reply
  2. Lee rand

    We have all technology now to study animals in the wild. That is where they belong. Spend some time in a cage or small place of confinement. Shame on Sea World . I was totally shocked that Jack Hanna supported Sea World. God bless (hope I can say that these days) for sanctuaries but get rid of zoos. Tell me we need zoos for research and preservation of species. Do you miss dinosaurs? Have you been to our National Zoo in DC? ANIMALS BELONG IN THEIR NATURAL HABITAT!!

    December 19, 2013 at 12:53 pm | Reply
  3. Jayme

    I think seaworld is wrong. These whales should not be kept captive. It is a huge disgrace. And should not be allowed. These whales should be set free and this practice should not be allowed any where in the world. Period. With the information available. There is no excuse

    December 18, 2013 at 6:04 pm | Reply
  4. Alex

    Sadly, Whales learn a lot through experiences. These survival experiences have been taken away from the Orcas because they are in captivity. The Irony is, they do not possess the fundamental skills that they would have learned through ocean wilderness experience, and from their mother. Sadly, being put into a environment where their basic needs are met, without any struggle, it is clear that these whales would not make it long in the ocean. Now this should be up for debate as Orcas or BlackFish are considered to be highly intelligent animals. The fact that we can hold creatures like these in captivity is just sickening. My heart goes out for all animals such in captivity while corporation make big money on them. It's a shame. As human beings that possess the most influence power; our knowledge, we should understand compassion, and understand our role in this world, and the significance we play among ever living thing on this earth because.... we have more intelligence, and can apply it in our favor. STOP THE DESTRUCTION OF SPECIES, AND STOP THE PROFIT, THAT ANIMAL CRUELTY CREATES... BOYCOTT!!!

    December 10, 2013 at 7:18 pm | Reply
  5. authentikcloud

    Do all you people who think it's inhumane to keep Whales at Sea World eat meat? Well then you know that your daily consumption of tortured animals who are intelligent creatures is also inhumane. How can people be such hypocrites and condemn one thing while supporting the same thing in another activity they do? Pigs and Cows and Chickens want to be free, they want to raise families and live freely, dogs and cats are kept in captivity to, our homes! People get so up and arms over issues that they pretend to stand for, yet come lunch time they are all eating animals that lived in squalor, dark boxes, broken bones, sitting in their own poop waiting to die. How can all these people who do inhumane things each day actually act like Whales in captivity is wrong? It makes me laugh.

    December 10, 2013 at 1:05 pm | Reply
    • Astrohealer

      While you sit there and laugh at people that stand up for at least one right doing, take a good look around at the environment from which we were all raised, everywhere you go there is a meat store left and right on every corner, it is not the people but the conditions we all live in do to a monetary paradigm that keeps everything the way it was thousands of years ago. Can you really blame people for being hypocrites when they are immersed with hamburgers, bacon and sausage at almost every fast food restaurant and store? Nothing in this world is truly free, the money that people use to free themselves to be able to survive and live a life they strive for is actually the thing that is not only enslaving them but all humanity and animals. Does this make you laugh too?

      December 11, 2013 at 8:13 am | Reply
    • Jenny Rennie

      We are talking about entertainment and cruel and unusual behaviors not whether we are carnivores for heaven sake People are dying because these animals need to be set free not kept in captivity Not a meat issue a compassionate ethical issue

      December 21, 2013 at 4:58 pm | Reply
      • Erik Bates

        It's not hypocritical, these mammals are highly inteliigent, self aware and wired to be extremely social. They are placed in and separated at times into smaller pools based upon behavior-water jail cells for life! We are not talking about chickens at the slaughter house!

        December 21, 2013 at 11:48 pm |
    • Idearz

      Really? Dogs and cats? Are you for real? The farm animals you mentioned help feed and clothe us, not just entertain us. Perhaps this is funny to you, as you are clearly a sadist. Seen any good cock fights as of late? Moron.

      December 22, 2013 at 3:41 pm | Reply
  6. Hayley Moran

    Please sign petition and share to release the orcas-

    December 7, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Reply
    • anna baker

      Just watched the movie blackfish ... I won't sleep tonight ... I makes me sick what sea world are doing to those amazing creatures ... Please can someone email me on how I can join forces to get seaworld to release their mammals back to the wild
      The fight is on ;

      December 11, 2013 at 5:02 am | Reply
  7. paxton

    Unbelievable that orcas are still in captivity and teaching young kids that this is ok. Please have some compassion for these sentient beings and release them.

    November 28, 2013 at 3:58 am | Reply
    • Eric

      Well said, Paxton. We don't need to have them in captivity to know how wonderful they are, as Jack Hannah of the Cleveland Zoo claims. DVDs like those by David Attenborough for the BBC are more than enough to leave anyone awe-struck.

      December 2, 2013 at 11:24 pm | Reply
  8. Taz

    No Killer Whale should be kept in Captivity any more. We banned Circuses for having wild animals so why can we not ban All Sea Worlds and any other parks that keep Killer whales. It is cruel. Let them go!

    November 25, 2013 at 7:16 am | Reply
    • Peter

      FREE the Orcas from the sea world!!!!!!!

      November 29, 2013 at 11:30 am | Reply
  9. Hayley Moran

    Please sign and share this petition against seaworld –

    November 24, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Reply
    • cathy williams

      Well I more than agree that this is just the most inhumane practice in the name of GREED using these precious
      mammals to line Sea World's pockets. The excellent film upset me so much and I'm just happy to see people coming
      to the forefront and speaking up and demanding changes. I have been writing letters addressing this particular situation
      and now I know so many others are feeling the same way. Several years ago I heard the quote, "What we do to the
      animals, we do to ourselves." Thank you all for demanding change and DOING something!

      December 9, 2013 at 11:27 pm | Reply
  10. Chris r

    Keeping whales in captivity is cruel, that is fact.. Sea world can say what they want about research but at the end of the day they can still do all the research they want without having to keep the whales captive and make them do silly tricks to get their food.. 3 women we're found being held captive in London the other day for 30 years, 1 of them was even born captive and doesn't have a clue about what the world is like, so why doesn't someone interview them and ask what it was like and then whatever they say is basically speaking for the whales (e.g. Tilikum who has been captive for also 30 years) nobody wants to be stuck in the same place every single day going round and round in circles bored to death and being told what to do for food..

    November 22, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Reply
    • Susan

      Well said.

      November 23, 2013 at 10:34 am | Reply
    • ingrid

      Just wantedto tell you I agree with everthing you have said.
      I have just watched a prog on BBC 4 here in the UK about Seaworld I cried.

      November 26, 2013 at 8:43 pm | Reply
  11. Len Pitts

    Somehow i feel I've run into a Obama lover convention. I say that only because none of you have even considered that there is another point of view or that just because something is called a "documentary" that doesn't make everything in it factual. Remember that Obama said you can keep your health plan and that the new law would make health care affordable. C;mon people, learn to question and think a bit. SeaWorld does more for marine life than all of you criticizers have collectively done in your collective lives. Most of all those killer whales have been born at SeaWorld and don't know what your definition of freedom is. Spend some time at SeaWorld and you'll see the many injured creatures they care for. And you should have learned from Al Gore's fictional film about global warming, things aren't always as some filmmaker portays them to be.

    November 16, 2013 at 7:19 am | Reply
    • Ariel

      There is always someone who will look to justify cruelty towards animals and who doesn't have any empathy for anyone else. That is usually more about the individual and their self perceptions. On the other hand, people of character realize that hurting and taking advantage of poor creatures who are unable to defend themselves is nothing short of cruel and unnecessary and should be stopped. When it is tied to money and entertainment, we the public have the ability to say NO – and to share the message to BOYCOTT SEAWORLD. The greedly managers at Seaworld can't stand losing out on all those millions and will hold out as long as possible (while continuing to try to find ways to make money off the Whales) until we speak their language loud enough via $$$$. I am sure they are already feeling the loss and they will continue to feel that loss thanks to smart parents and adults would don't support such behaviors. This isn't going to go away while the public has a choice to not visit Seaworld; and while parents can teach an important lesson to their children about proper treatment and care of defenseless animals and what business types not to support. Notice we don't even know how many hundreds of millions have been involved. So Len... if you were a test tube baby and born without the ability to speak, it sounds like you think it would be ok for for your scientific parents to subject you to anything because they own you. Because they own you and caused you to be born, its ok for them to do anything they want to you – Right? I suspect you would dream of being saved from such a situation. Sadly, it doesn't sound like you will be anyone's hero and you probably never have been. You would be ok with only getting food if you do the tricks that are demanded of you and if you do them well because of the way you were born?. That is what SEAWORLD calls positive reinforcement via hunger.The negative reinforcement is when you don't eat when you don't do things right. Imagine all the eating disorders that would exist if parents chose to feed their children only if they did well in school. Just like at SeaWORLD, If you don't do the tricks right, the other larger adults will come and beat the crap out of you because they haven't fed them either and the others know it was because of you. Imagine if older brothers and sisters weren't fed because of something the younger kids did and the beating/killing that would occur along with the insanity of it all. Yes, there were documented deaths from that incited fighting – as encouraged by Seaworld to scare the poor whales into doing what they wanted. Seaworld has managed the other Whales to ensure those other Whales beat the crap out of Tilly and others.. You too could have had the same happen to you whenever you didn't do things just right; You could have grown up fearing for your life everyday because of mistakes you made in relation to what was asked of you. When the situation got you so stressed that your stomach was full of acid, no worries because your stomach could be pumped full of anti-acids every day to counter that effect just as these poor whales have been subjected to. That way you can fear for your life and welfare all the time but not die from that fear. Not to mention all the other drugs required to keep you alive from what your environment. Any children born in captivity are owned and will be taken away to another bathtub because SEAWORLD can't have the distractions from the tricks that are demanded. No worries, because the children will be subjected to the same positive reinforcement but just somewhere else and never seen again. Your good with being treated like this because those abusing you have done other things that are good for other creatures? RIGHT!! It's ok year after year after year to be subjected to this!.. because your abusers helped save a few turtlee? I suspect you would hope for someone to come save you and thank goodness there might be someone out there better than you who would try to do exactly that for Tilly and others. No one is questioning that SeaWorld does some good things for many smaller animals but misusing these Whales for expoitation; as occurs at SeaWorld is cruel, unnecessary and inexcusable. So are the many lies they have been telling the people who go there. LIES!!! If Seaworld lies about these matters, who knows what else they lie about. The motivation is – GREED. Unselfish people will continue to fight for these Whales and to help them get homes that are suitable; where they can live in as close to a natural environment as possible where drugs aren't constantly needed to keep them alive due to the torture they are subjected to. I only wish those who can't see this for what it is... could experience a month of the treatment these poor whales have been subjected to. I suspect minutes would feel like years in that situation.

      November 16, 2013 at 3:31 pm | Reply
      • Kelly

        Hey. I can tell that you are very passionate about your beliefs. And I certainly don't want to change them. I did however want to comment about what you said about how they train and feed the orcas. When you were talking about withholding food, that was what the original marine park that Tili lived at did not what Sea World does. The animals there are fed a regular diet in addition to what they get for training. Also they don't just get food for doing a correct behavior. They get other things they like (depends on the individual's preference) like gelatin, ice chunks, favorite toys, or even a scratch in a favorite spot. If you have ever seen a show you may have seen this yourself. Like when they toss the bucket of ice in their mouth after the fish in that bucket were feed out. I also encourage you to look more into training with positive reinforcement. Or reinforcement in general. I'm just saying that because negative reinforces is actually taking away something bad to increase behavior. For example the beeping noise your car make when your seatbelt isn't buckled in but it stops when you buckle up. Or like turning your alarm clock off to stop the noise. Punishment on the other hand is adding something bad, disliked, or otherwise negative to decrease behavior. At Sea world the animals do have a choice to do the asked behavior or not. You can even see it in the shows when an animals ignores the trainer or doesn't do the behavior correctly. I just say this because I have seen it with my own eyes. I know people that work at sea world San Diego and have seen behind the scenes things for myself. Now all that being said I do get where you are coming from. The whale live in really small tanks compared to their natural range, they live shorter lives in captivity, the shows these days are sadly lacking educational information, and big money is made off of them. Don't get me wrong, I do think it's very morally questionable to keep them in captivity under the current circumstances. But I do think it is important to know that the keepers that take care of them do the very best they can and treat the whales very well.

        December 16, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
  12. chetina

    he's creatures a highly intelligent and just as every human knows, one of the most incredibly frustrating thing is trying to get somebody to reason with you when they won't and the communication just is not there and will never be there. The fact that these animals r be coming so frustrated with the lack of communication and ability to communicate with humans to relay the message that they're unhappy is an obvious reason as to why these animals are killing. As people know or don't know killer whales Orca are very intelligent and have an extension of the brain that humans don't have therefore to say that these animals are going crazy is not something that I'm saying or believe. I just believe that as a human should understand it gets incredibly frustrating when somebody does not listen to you when you're trying to relate a message to them over and over. The fact that the Orca have their babies taken from them when they naturally spend a lifetime with their kin is completely inhumane and cruel. furthermore the management of SeaWorld continues to lie to the public and its workers about how these whales are treated how they're supposed to be treated and all of the incidents that have occurred with them. This is obviously a complete corruption situation and the only possible solution would be to release these or cab back into their natural habitat. Not only doing that but also making sure that their house is adequate for wildlife

    November 14, 2013 at 8:14 pm | Reply
  13. JOE

    Many years ago, I took my kids to "Seaworld-Fla." to see the show. We all loved it....
    A few days ago I watched "Blackfish".. I will never go to"Seaworld" again....
    They are far to smart to be in captivity or treated like slaves and forced to do tricks for food.

    November 13, 2013 at 2:40 pm | Reply
  14. jane

    Seaworld sucks. Some corporate idiot decided to take one of the most intelligent creatures from the ocean and put it in a bathtub to make money. They are owned by Anheuser-Busch, the beer people. I'm not sure what we can do to stop the imprisonment of the whales and dolphins except maybe start a "don't buy AB beer or other products" campaign. These people only get it when their profits start to drop.

    November 13, 2013 at 2:28 pm | Reply
    • Jonathan

      You all don't know the facts. Boycotting something is one thing, but trying to put someone out of business is different. Welcome to the real world, you need money to run a business/corporation. I don't know why your thick skulls can't realize it, but it's life. It has to be accepted. Another thing, if you try to free these whales, they will suffer and die, because captivity is all they've ever known.
      Also, SeaWorld is owned by Blackstone, dumbass. 😛


      December 12, 2013 at 9:26 pm | Reply
      • Joe

        You're an idiot. True the whales may die upon being free (our fault) but at least it'd be a steady declining death instead of being induced with drugs and slaved under corporate greed year after year plus intelligent creatures can adapt. Not to mention the lives of future whales being saved if this slavery was stopped today. Jonathan you are an idiot and proof stupid people use technology.

        December 18, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
  15. Suzanne

    I thought Circuses were banned as Sea World is just another CRUEL Circus.

    November 13, 2013 at 1:50 pm | Reply
  16. Catherine

    Humans have more then enough ways to entertain themselves.. from movies to all types of technology to access every imaginable entertainment source from all over the world..
    It is not necessary to subject innocent and helpless animals, whom we happen to have the "intelligence" to confine against their world, to subject them to punishment.. simply to entertain "humans"

    November 13, 2013 at 12:40 pm | Reply
  17. Cortney

    Out of all the many many whales I have read about that they literally stole from the ocean and forced them to perform, the ones that make me the sickest are the ones that punish the creatures in small tanks when they do not want to do their bidding! Why punish them when they are useless to you until they die? Why not just let them go?? I don't understand. It is sick and ashamed all this is for money just as everything else in the animal world. Factuary farms, Dairy Farms, ect ............... MONEY MONEY MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I would never watch a poor creature suffer for money, I would rather be dirt poor.

    It shouldn't be a question of debate, they should be forced to let these animals go. I would love to see the ones that were stolen from the Sea get to return home before they die. To bad some of them had to die being kidnapped and never got to go home again 😦

    November 12, 2013 at 10:08 pm | Reply
  18. Have A Heart

    There is no argument! Free these whales and dolphins and restore faith in humanity! What is the point of kidnapping a calf whale and/or keeping adult whales in shows for our "enjoyment"? It's a sick and twisted thing because it relies on exploiting something else, in this case huge marine mammals that deserve to be free and do their thing as nature intended.
    SHAME ON YOU SEAWORLD!!! I will never support your business and will work hard to spread this message among my social network!! #Blackfish opened my eyes and heart to this tragedy.

    November 9, 2013 at 1:38 am | Reply
  19. Erin

    My family and I have spent a lot of our hard earn money to take trips to Seaworld. But they have lost us for good! Never in a million years would I had gone and spent money if I knew what really went on. Wait ago Seaworld you must be proud!! I just got done watching blackfish and I feel sad angry and betrayed. Never again! They should be left in the wild not in a pool and made to perform. Feel sad for the whales.

    November 4, 2013 at 1:07 pm | Reply
    • Me

      I agree

      November 4, 2013 at 7:22 pm | Reply
      • Lori

        Just watched blackfish , Shame on you Seaworld!I will never go there ever! Very sad how they hold these beautiful creatures captive in small pools for money. Disgraceful at the least.

        November 7, 2013 at 1:26 am |
  20. Wendy

    HI Patty. Yes our outrage is just that unless we turn it into action for meaningful change. Visit Ric O'Barry's website the Dolphin Project for actions you can take including signing a petition to the White House calling for a permanent law banning the capture in US waters of dolphins and whales. Keep educating yourself and others, spread the word, donate, and urge others into action.

    Sign the petitions for Kshamenk and Morgan

    November 4, 2013 at 1:01 pm | Reply
  21. PATTY

    It is beyond disturbing how humans can do such a horrific thing. We need to all help. Besides not attend Sea World, signing petitions and telling everyone we know about this horrible situation, can we all do more? I really want to help but i don't know what to do... There is power in numbers, we need to somehow all unite and try to stop this. Please does anyone have any idea how we can stop this? It makes me sick to my stomach what people do for money. Those poor whales. It breaks my heart how people can be so cruel.

    November 3, 2013 at 2:11 pm | Reply
    • Jeanette

      I watched Blackfish Saturday night and The Cove last night. I could not sleep last night – every time I closed my eyes, I saw whales, dolphins, and that blood bath cove. Such intelligent, self-aware, and socially/family-networked creatures should not be killed or held in captivity for research or human entertainment!!! When you take a child away from his/her family, friends, and home, and force him or her to perform tricks for entertainment and the mighty dollar, we call that human sex-trafficking and it's sick! I don't think part of the whale/dolphin trade/captivity issue is much different. I feel so helpless, and not sure what I can or will do. I do know I will never go to Seaworld or the like or participate in captive "swin with a dolphin" programs. I will raise my child to understand that it is not right to have some animals in captivity and why. It is much more beautiful and satisfying to see these creatures in the wild – and there are many places where you can do this.

      As far as freeing the ones already in captivity (especially for a long time, like Tilikum or ones born in captivity), I don't know where I stand. I don't have all the facts, but have seen some information on how this actually could be worse for the animal. We shouldn't have done this in the first place, but now we have to deal with the consequences and find solutions.

      I'm with you Patty – what can we do to have a real and serious impact for change??? And you are right – there is power in numbers. People need to know the reality behind all this (it should be taught in schools and universities). There is also power in that forsaken mighty dollar. It would be wonderful for some of the wealthiest citizens (who have more $ than they know what to do with) to bring their "power" to the cause.

      November 4, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Reply
      • Carol

        It's so disturbing isn't it. It saddens me beyond belief. There is so much information that shows us that they are not really all that different from us so the comparison to the sex trade is not unrealistic. I just wanted to comment on releasing them. Yes, not all of them can be released back into the wild. The ones where we can locate the rest of their pod (some of them have been located) will offer them the best chance. It all has to be gradual to get them back in good health. And the experts know how to do this and release them into the safest condition. At the very least they should be released to a sanctuary or large sea pen where they experience real ocean water, tides, other marine life, and be able to swim and dive a distance . In no way could this be worse for them than staying in a marine park. I know if I had a choice anything would be better than languishing in a small concrete cell.

        November 5, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
  22. Rick

    BanterAt, let's focus on the issue at hand which is the captivity of whales and dolphins. We can throw a broad net to include all animals but that just diffuses the issue by making it so large that nothing will get accomplished. Let's take it one step at a time and deal with this issue at hand which is the cruel and inhumane confinement of whales and dolphins with no quality of life. The captivity of whales and dolphins is the worst of the worst for many reasons. We can not even come close to replicating an ocean environment with salt water, tides, andthe immense space that they require. In some parks you will find marine mammals losing their skin and going blind because of poor water quality (Marineland Niagara falls for example). I am glad you have an open mind. Then please take some time to learn about their robust life in the wild and then compare that to their life in captivity and you will see the stark and tragic contrast showing that in captivity they are deprived of everything they were born to do and experience. One indisputable fact is that their unnatural behaviours (aggression, biting at the bars to get out), poor health and limited success breeding show how stressed they are in captivity, Further supported by the fact they are suffering from and dying of stress related illnesses. So where did this notion come from that we have to lock these majestic mammals up to keep them safe from nature. That is one of the most bizarre arguments I have ever heard. Do we lock our children up in solitary confinement to keep them safe and then watch them suffer from the stress of their confinement? No. We know these are highly evolved mammals sharing similar characteristics to what make us human. So lets tap in to our humanity to empathize and imagine what their life is like in captivity. It sucks. And let's not delude ourselves that we could ever come close to meeting their needs by offering them bigger tanks or producing more offspring to share this unstimulating environment.

    November 3, 2013 at 11:51 am | Reply
  23. Morgan

    Hi John, true Seaworld may not be taking Orcas from the wild now They already did their damage to the pod populations in the 80s. Now other counrties such as Russia and Norway are on board capturing wild Orcas.. And dolphins are still being captured in abundance. But if you check out the mammal inventory reports for seaworld the success of the forced captive breeding programs for Orcas would break your heart. The calves are dying. The females being impregnated are miscarrying or dying during labour. Regardless of how they are brought into captivity the life there is very inhumane and cruel. And that is what we need to focus on.

    November 3, 2013 at 11:37 am | Reply
  24. john seabrook

    I think what everyone is missing is that Seaworld has not remove an Orca from the wild since the 1970s. It is true a few of those original Orcas are still alive in Seaworld parks but almost of the Orcas at Seaworld were born in captivity. Seaworld no longer captures wild Orcas. I think the last capture was in 1978.

    November 3, 2013 at 10:11 am | Reply
  25. bree

    I strongly believe that orcas should not be kept in captivity they are much happier in the wild a lot healthier and there is a lesser chance of them attacking humans obviously. I think its extremely sad to keep them in these captive tanks and make them preform shows. I recently watched "the whale" about a whale named luna who lost his family and stayed in a bay and befriended people because he was lonely but the government and so many other groups of people were beyond not being ok with the human/whale interaction because they said it was dangerous... later the whale ended up dying because well it did end up being dangerous for the whale he hit a propeller and died to me its no different to these whales kept in captivity their lives are being shorten so people can be "entertained" and to me that is ridiculous take these whales out of captivity and find something better to do with your time.

    November 3, 2013 at 10:10 am | Reply
    • olive

      There is no room for discussion on this. Free the whales and those who think otherwise should be willing to trade places with them. Put your life where your mouth is.

      November 3, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Reply
  26. CreepySleepy

    Please FREE the whales!!! You've made more than enough money you sick freaks!!!

    November 3, 2013 at 1:11 am | Reply
  27. BanterAt

    This is a really controversial topic, and I am still undecided on the issue. I can understand both arguments but it is hard to decided which is the best answer. For many people the answer is simple, just let the whales and other sea animals go, but on the other hand, I can see that the animals situation may not be as bad as some people make them out to be. Here is how I see it. If it is inhumane to keep whales and dolphins in captivity the way that sea world does, then all zoos should also let their animals go and shut their doors. If we go that far, then it is reasonable to say that keeping animals in our homes is also inappropriate because it is not their natural environment. A lot of these animals are a lot better off being in captivity because they are fed everyday without fail, they are not in any danger like they would be in the wild, and I think that these animals understand that they are cared about. That being said, I would not want to be in such a small area compared to being in the free world. People in jail are fed and in a lot of cases there is no danger, but it would still be a terrible place to live. Overall, I am still undecided. This debate was also posted at so that people can actually vote on it and discuss why they voted the way they did.

    In the end, I wan the animals to live an enjoyable life. I also, love being able to see them up close. If there was a way to have both, I would say, lets make it happen.

    November 2, 2013 at 11:18 pm | Reply
    • DrPhanster

      The issue is not whether their lives are 'more comfortable'. The issue at hand is whether it is humane. Would it be humane to keep a human being fenced in an area the size of a tennis court for their entire life? Regardless of access to food, humans are simply not meant to live in such conditions and it will cause severe psychological problems. This is actually, in scale, a much larger area than what is being provided for these Orcas. There is enough research to suggest that these animals are close enough to our own levels of intelligence to make captivity equal to slavery.

      November 3, 2013 at 10:54 am | Reply
      • BanterAt

        Hey Nikki, this is a great comment. Would you be interested in putting this comment on my website where the debate is being hosted? I think that it would be a great addition to the argument.

        November 3, 2013 at 11:16 am |
      • BanterAt

        Thanks for commenting, I appreciate it.

        November 11, 2013 at 10:52 pm |
    • sd

      There's a difference between domesticated animals, for example dogs, that humans have bread to live with us, they would not survive in the "wild". Whereas, wild animals that travel up to 100 miles a day in the ocean, such as Orca Whales, thrive in the wild and basically do not survive (long) in captivity.

      November 4, 2013 at 2:12 pm | Reply
      • BanterAt

        Thank you for your response.

        November 11, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
    • Name*James

      They're better off in a sanctuary not captivaty they would have a much better and longer life they would have much more space but when you say house animals dogs are bred to be a humans companion or to help they are called mans best friend for a reason I know my dog wouldn't make it in the wild since he's a inside dog and relies on me to feed him but cats well they can take care of themselves if they have to but no animal should be in capacity just turn seawolrd into pure water park and show movies or shows about the animal instead of making em do things that they aren't suppose to do they're KILLER WHALES and I wish I could see these amazing creatures up close as well but we should all have respect for them and let them live there life and it wouldn't hurt to watch from a distance but don't interfere let nature takes it course and all wild animals have a longer life span in the wild than they do in captivity like bearded dragons they have a longer life span in the wild even tho they can be house pets but they just don't live as long as they would in the wild they deserve open space and no human interference much more freedom to live there life respect is key escepially to the wild

      November 11, 2013 at 2:47 am | Reply
      • BanterAt

        Thanks for your comment! I enjoyed reading it.

        November 11, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
  28. Colin

    Not only should Seaworld be forced to free all marine mammals. All of the assets of Seaworld should be divided up among the injured trainers and the families of deceased trainers , for punitive damages dur to the fact that the company repeatedly and knowingly covered up the dangers and repeatedly lied to the public about the attacks on trainers calling them incidents or accidents. The company should liquidated and the managers , owners and attorneys complicit with the deception should be prosecuted.

    November 2, 2013 at 8:50 pm | Reply
  29. Janice

    Any business that puts wild animals on display should be illegal; including zoos, water parks etc. These monies should go to rehabilitation centers and to wildlife enclosures whereby the animals are protected in their natural environments. As a society based on conquering and domination and survival of the fittest we place a higher value on our need for greed then on protection and conservation of the world we live in. Wild animals are just that – WILD and should be respected and protected. Any person who has an exotic pet should look in the mirror and see how they are contributing to this vast problem on a smaller scale. If we do not start placing a higher value on the world we live and the creatures that cannot protect themselves; we won't have a planet to inhabit and will drive our wildlife to extinction. based on our own greed. How sad our human race has become indeed.

    November 2, 2013 at 8:25 pm | Reply
  30. RuthAnne's

    Absolutely, free the whales and shut down every sea world, zoo , and circus. Let greedy people suffer not whales and the animals who are captured enslaved and abused. Why do certain people always feel a need to enslave something.....humans now animals???

    November 2, 2013 at 8:10 pm | Reply
  31. jackie foster

    Yes they should free the whales!!! And I cant believe they would take a baby from the mother whale and listen to her cry!!!! That is soooo cruel!!!!

    November 2, 2013 at 8:03 pm | Reply
    • Karen Thoume

      I am so so upset after watching Blackfish. How can Seaworld be so cruel!! I was especially saddened when they took the baby whale away from its mother and she cried out for it. Seaworld obviously don't care about the welfare of the whales they just want to con the public, risk the trainers' lives and make money!

      December 1, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Reply
  32. Sarah

    Yes! I will never step foot in a sea world after watching blackfish. Simply heartbreaking!

    November 2, 2013 at 7:56 pm | Reply
    • Lori

      I agree heartbreaking indeed to see Blackfish film.

      November 7, 2013 at 1:30 am | Reply
  33. Angela

    I don't think they should the ones that have been breaded there will not survive in the wild the new one that have been there for a very little time ya they can survive out there still but no the out hers

    November 2, 2013 at 7:31 pm | Reply
  34. anonymous

    Rose, You are one of the most ignorant bloggers I have come across regarding this issue. It breaks my heart that you are so utterly blind and disconnected from understanding that whales and dolphins function on much deeper complex emotional drives than any human could fathom. Shame on you for being so sociopathic and heartless towards these mammals. And claiming it's a matter of funding to pay for extended spacial captivity is a scapegoat's pathetic revitalizing. The whole point and premise of this was to voice one way or the other: free or stay in seaworld. Of course they should be freed, in the ocean, where they belong. No one would pay a dime. And seaworld is a multi billion dollar per year corporation, they can fund to free them and provide them proper veterinary care before doing so. But they can't rehabilitate their psychosis. It's called PTSD – it's real, look it up. Really, you need to do more research on this topic before showing how uneducated you are.

    November 2, 2013 at 12:40 am | Reply
    • anonymous II

      I agree with you on some of your comments above, however, I believe that dolphins and whales are not superior to humans on their emotional attachments. There are heartless and cruel humans, that abandon their children and do other terrible things, and I believe those are some kind of the symptom of over population and of social and mental decay (I bet there has never been a whale, or dolphin to have an abortion). Most humans would defend their children – even into late adulthood – with their own life – which might be characteristic of most advanced mammals.

      I do not believe that the whales (in the CNN report any way) killed the humans on purpose. I think they were trying to train them. They select the most intelligent of their human trainers because – of course , the most intelligent human would be the most likely to be able to be trained – or understand. Why would they take them down, just to the point of death, and then bring them back up? There has not been an incident of killer whales eating humans – they have a spiritual love of humans, which of course makes them more vulnerable to human stupidity. The only way they have to get ahold of a human is to carry it in their teeth, but they have not ripped any of the people apart.

      It is cruel to keep them in the watery prisons. Certainly they must resent it.

      The trainer that was caught by her pony tail (or actually arm) could have had more understanding, Tilly obviously believed he deserved a treat, he followed with his mouth open. The trainer that brought up the point that he probably did not hear the cues – that makes sense, and makes sense why the whales didn't perform well all day. Whales are affected by ultra sonic sounds and things humans don't even notice. Tilly actually gave a great performance that day, in spite of what ever was affecting the whales, and probably operating on a different communication then normal which he probably felt he deserved even more recognition for.

      These whales are wise to humans selfish ignorance, they have natural advanced communication for long range. Would they communicate to the whales in the wild what terrible cruelties they endured at the unfair ignorance of humans. Still it seems right to let them free. (by the way – even domestic horses can live on open range if turned out – so wild whales, or domestically bred whales, it seems should be able to survive back in their natural habitat)

      November 3, 2013 at 10:16 am | Reply
      • anonymous II

        Already seeing my own folly – I restate a point from another commenter. I don't go to sea world but it is interesting to see the whales interact with humans. If there was a way to have their well being and the continued training and interaction with humans, that would seem to be beneficial.

        Also restating the inferred point above. Humans have dominion over the earth and have many domestic animals as pets, companions, and food, it is not unheard of for humans to be killed by any of these animals, whether falls from horses, attacks from bulls or bores, bites from dogs, trampled or pummeled by elephants etc. Domestic animals who are pets – if they are kept healthy with proper food, and exercise, they live longer then their wild counterparts. What is incredible is that whales with their intelligence and size and different habitat then humans, will still respond to training. If any animal decides to turn the dominance factor around, and be the trainer, that never seems to work out very well for the human. But even animals that have turned on humans, can be gentled back with proper care. It is a balance of acceptance of the punishment of unintelligent behavior and reward of good intelligent beneficial behavior, on both the part of the trainer and the animal. You have to follow the rules. Even nature itself punishes and rewards in this manner.

        There was a small reference to the fact that the interaction between the whales and the humans is intensely psychological.

        Every good mother cries when their baby is taken away. It is intensely ingrained in mother brains they are responsible for the new life – even when they are 18 and leaving for college. (empty nest syndrome)

        The whale baby was at least given everything it needed to survive. Any mother that has lost a baby, would let you know if that was the case with their own baby, (baby was cared for and still alive) they would be relieved. (would not keep them from being sad and maybe angry at their loss of natural care to their baby though)

        November 3, 2013 at 10:59 am |
      • habib

        Should Orcas Whales have freedom or should they be kept in captivity?
        Whales are really dangerous mammals; this is because when they are in captivity no-one could stop the whale from attacking their own trainer; or other trainers. These creatures are really trained and could catch you in a sec. whenever you go inside the water, with a whale you shouldn’t be in with then; something bad will happen to you. 4 days ago there was a trainer that was killed by a killer whale but, just 3 years ago “Our trainers have not entered the water for performances since February 2010 and we have no plans for them to return to that kind of interaction with our whales,” this is because we didn’t want our trainers to be killed, and have no-more trainers left; so we decide not to let our trainer in the water with whales till we find out if they were calm creatures.

        November 5, 2013 at 6:51 am |
  35. Brooke

    Yes they should be freed! Japan has successfully released captive dolphins who found their original pods and rejoined them with no problems whatsoever. Even Keiko, who was not healthy, lived two years in the wild completely self sufficient. The very least Sea World could do would be to build open ocean pens and charge the public to come see the orcas there – living as close to a natural life as possible – with minimal human interaction.

    November 1, 2013 at 3:48 pm | Reply
    • Jonathan

      Bullshit. The whales who were in captivity and were released have died from self-sufficiency or starved. SeaWorld is not going to change.

      December 12, 2013 at 9:31 pm | Reply
  36. Wendy

    Thanks to CNN for presenting Blackfish and making this conversation top of mind. It's interesting that Blackfish started off by investigating the tragic death of a trainer but it soon became apparent that the safety of the trainers is the symptom of a much larger issue: the inhumane existence of whales and dolphins in captivity. The real question we need to address here is whether it is acceptable to keep these animals in captivity. These are highly intelligent, emotional, self aware, family oriented mammals that live in a complex marine environment whose detention in captivity is depriving them of any quality of life. And if we are using their captivity to educate ourselves, then we should have learned by now that their unnatural behaviour, limited breeding success , poor health and drastically shortened lives exemplify just how stressed they are. Blackfish has revealed only a glimpse into the deep cruelty of this industry – if you want more information, you can easily find it on the internet, YouTube or by watching other documentaries such as the Cove. The more you learn about these mamals the more you will see just how cruel this existence is for them. Seaworld and other marine parks will present their rebuttal but really the facts speak for themselves. And the facts speak volumes for those who can't.... “that they are suffering in captivity”. So let's call for an end to this industry and release the whales and dolphins currently in captivity into sanctuaries to live out the rest of their lives with peace and dignity.

    November 1, 2013 at 10:16 am | Reply
  37. rose

    No whales shouldn't be freed not the old ones or the ones born in a captive environment, you all say oh they should be free, but not one of you will try to help pay for funding to keep these whales fed and cared for, to pay for their expenses to the so called sea pen and if the whales don't want to be freed and need to be kept in the pen or get so ill they need care out of the sea pen in a quarantined area. so stop complaining you don't know better than the trainers or the parks of the government that handles these animals. you all think you do but you are all incorrect. get off your high horse and open your eyes the oceans are dying because of our interference take care of all the sick and dead zones, the lack of prey and of course pollution before you decide to put an animal in the toxic waters

    October 31, 2013 at 1:13 am | Reply
    • Ariel

      Clearly these poor Whales are now damaged and Seaworld and others are responsible for that. But as others have mentioned, they are too greedy to take financial or moral responsibility for them unless we create such pressure which otherwise force them to. The blackfish story made mo mention of specific $ amounts but lets face it, people and businessses are so very greedy and nearly always put themselves above others when it comes to money and greed. This is truly the worst thing about humans if you ask me. I am going to boycott Seaworld and I call on the PEOPLE in this WORLD who claim care about our beautiful wild animals to take a stand against this terrible situation. Don't go back to visit any Seaworld location until Tilly is taken care of properly. Help create the pressures needed to force Tilly to get the safe home he deserves. I am also willing to donate money for the creation of a place for Tilly and others to live out their lives in peace and harmony; knowing Seaworld won't live up to their obligations.. While I think it should be Seaworld responsibility to do this, I am doubtful there is any willingness there. But think on this. A good design team could create a location design that allows the public to see these wonderful creatures in the wild in a way that isn't so harmful. Lets get student teams working on this! Landscape Teams and Architects can work together on a wonderful solution. A NEW Home for Tilly should be what we advocate for and it would be a place he can really swim a mile or more. Let's have a design contest for Tillys new home. Once it can be seen and imagined, maybe we can then build it. Let's put a dollar amount on this and have a solution for SeaWorld that can't be denied. Perhaps there are existing saltwater locations already well suited for this? Again, I call on US and Foriegn Citizens to boycott Seaworld. I have made a habit of quietly boycotting situations like this which are so very wrong. I believe that if everyone took this sort of responsibility and cooperated in this sort of approach, Seaworld would have no choice. BOYCOTT SEAWORLD UNTIL TILLY HAS A NEW AND APPROPRIATE HOME WHERE HE CAN BE HAPPY AND FEEL SOME DEGREE OF FREEDOM! Where he too can have peace and harmony.

      October 31, 2013 at 4:24 pm | Reply
    • Susan

      Blackfish was a wake up call for all of us. Now its time for action. The only way SeaWorld can redeem themselves is to help get these whales back and able to live free in the ocean. SeaWorld, step away from your greed and for once do whats right for these mammals!

      October 31, 2013 at 8:21 pm | Reply
    • Sam

      There are plenty of people who would be happy to help pay or fundraise to offer these animals a better existence by placing them back in the wild or putting them into a sanctuary. Bob Baker just paid to have the elephants in the Toronto zoo moved to a sanctuary. Way to go Bob! Bob, Whales don't do well in captivity either. They could also use your help. Kiska at Marineland for one. So there are people who have the means and funds to help make this happen. You are right we do need to clean up the oceans. But do you really think the oceans are more toxic for the whales than tiny chemical filled pools containing their own feces? Focusing on the animals in the wild would help bring attention to their natural ecosystems and keeping then inhabitable. And let's face it trainers are generally only experts on training and keeping the whales and dolphins alive in captivity. And despite their best efforts the animals are doing poorly at best. As one of our leading experts Jacques Cousteau said: " there's about as much educational benefit studying dolphins (Orca whales) in captivity as there would be studying mankind by only observing prisoners held in solitary".

      November 1, 2013 at 1:11 pm | Reply
      • Sam2

        Great comments Sam and I couldnt agree more!

        November 2, 2013 at 3:01 am |
    • Dawn

      Rose, I can only hope you come back as an Orca residing at Seaworld.

      November 1, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Reply
      • Danielle

        I could not agree more... well said

        November 2, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
    • Brooke

      Scientific facts are in opposition to Sea World and its trainers. I trust marine scientists who study these animals, to anything a marine circus like Sea World says. They will say anything to get your money.

      November 1, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Reply
    • anonymous

      You are one of the most ignorant bloggers I have come across regarding this issue. It breaks my heart that you are so utterly blind and disconnected from understanding that whales and dolphins function on much deeper complex emotional drives than any human could fathom. Shame on you for being so sociopathic and heartless towards these mammals. And claiming it's a matter of funding to pay for extended spacial captivity is a scapegoat's pathetic revitalizing. The whole point and premise of this was to voice one way or the other: free or stay in seaworld. Of course they should be freed, in the ocean, where they belong. No one would pay a dime. And seaworld is a multi billion dollar per year corporation, they can fund to free them and provide them proper veterinary care before doing so. But they can't rehabilitate their psychosis. It's called PTSD – it's real, look it up. Really, you need to do more research on this topic before showing how uneducated you are.

      November 2, 2013 at 12:36 am | Reply

      You're an idiot

      November 2, 2013 at 9:28 pm | Reply
    • Peggy marzell

      Rose its people like you how this happened to the whales yes seaworld should be shut down an all the whales and dolphins freed. Same with elephants and tigers and. Himps in captivity. We are one of the cruelest money lusting capitalistic societies since the romans. Fyi, how about the humans locked away in isolation for yr after yr with cruel and inhumane punishment set to drive people crazy .how we treat our animals is a mark on how civilized your society is. We are not to civilized .SHUT SEAWORLD DOWN

      November 2, 2013 at 11:07 pm | Reply
  38. cmara01

    If you think Tilikum's situation is bad, look up the orca Kshamenk being housed at Mundo Marino in Argentina. His pool is barely the length and width of his body. We need to advocate for all captive orcas, not just Tilikum.

    Please look at Kshamenk's living conditions, and I am sure it will make you want to .

    October 30, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Reply
    • Wendy

      Unbelievable. How can we steal them away from the oceans to put them in this unbearable confinement. I signed the petiition for Kshamenk. Please turn your sorrow into action and sign the petitions for Kshamenk, As well there is another whale requiring your help called Morgan. Morgan, a young female killer whale, captured in the Wadden Sea, off the north coast of the Netherlands in June, 2010 is being detained at Harderwijk Dolfinarium despite a comprehensive plan to return her to the wild. Help us make sure she does not live a life in captivity! Please sign the peitition to free Morgan.

      November 1, 2013 at 9:00 pm | Reply
  39. melissa

    humans should never think they are above any other wild living creature and take their lives from them and instead give them a life of boredom and abuse for human benefit. no matter how small or big (how about those lizards and crabs the chinese sell inside key chains- kept alive for 2 months inside a liquid) SEAWORLD should close down and no human with a heart should visit it if only they knew what cruelty they are supporting!!!

    October 30, 2013 at 11:01 am | Reply
  40. Stella Johnson

    A week ago me and my husband went to Orlando, Florida and visited SeaWorld. We watched the One Ocean show and liked it, BUT later that day in our hotel room we watched a documentary Blackfish about orcas in captivity and we were shocked. Staff in SeaWorld lied to us, saying that orcas a solitary animals (they`re not) and they live longer in captivity (which is also a lie), we started researching on the internet and I just couldn`t stop crying, I feel so sorry for those beautiful intelligent creatures, forced to stay in that little pool eating gelatine to prevent dehydration, Icelandic and Pacific ocean orcas kept together creating "a happy family" etc. It is soo wrong, please people let`s do what we can to stop all this torcher of an innocent poor animals!

    October 29, 2013 at 7:54 pm | Reply
  41. Suzanne

    It is of the utmost cruelty to confine any animal of this size, intelligence and mobility.
    Set them all free together to live out their days in their natural environments come what may.
    Even the Dolphins at Sea world are depressed with floppy fins.
    National Geographic sets their Dolphin free and they always come back because they know they can leave.
    It's called reverse psychology.
    Sea world should create an environment attached to the sea and allow all the sea world animals to come and go as they please to and from the ocean and teach them feeding routines so they are guaranteed to be there for the public to enjoy.
    From a Zoologist.

    October 29, 2013 at 6:54 pm | Reply
  42. Joanne

    My family will never support SeaWorld parks. My teenage children are appalled by the cruelty that is obviously enforced and accepted by corporate management. Shame on you SeaWorld!

    October 29, 2013 at 3:58 pm | Reply
  43. BV

    Awful situation. These animals are tortured prisoners.

    Meanwhile, seaworlds share price is holding steady. What gives?

    October 29, 2013 at 11:08 am | Reply
  44. Name*kimberly thomas

    BAN all whales, dolphins and seach lions from captivity. BAN Sea World and Marine Land in Canada. These animals belong in the wild!!

    October 29, 2013 at 2:50 am | Reply
  45. Kris

    I was totally disgusted and appalled watching Blackfish last night. I cannot believe this is even a debate. These magnificent creatures should be freed. Shame on us for condoning the capture and enslavement of these animals simply for our entertainment. I for one will never visit SeaWorld and I will be writing letters to SeaWorld management and elected officials in every state SeaWorld has a park demanding their release.

    October 29, 2013 at 12:08 am | Reply
  46. Herenia

    free the whales

    October 28, 2013 at 11:12 pm | Reply
  47. Name*dolores

    Rehabilitate these creatures and then free them into a safe space. A huge safe space. They certainly earned their keep and Seaworld made enough money because of them

    October 28, 2013 at 8:40 pm | Reply
  48. Trevor

    Yes they should be able to live in their natural environment and experience life instead of couped up in a bath tub where they (Tilikum mainly) hardly move and seem truly depressed

    October 28, 2013 at 8:25 pm | Reply
  49. Curt

    Sea World should be shut down and investigated. Go all the way back to the 70's when they brutally captured and killed these whales all in the name of entertainmemnt dollars. What valueable experience can a child gain from an Orca show knowing how they captured and trained these animals. I will never take my children to Sea World again!

    October 28, 2013 at 7:24 pm | Reply
  50. Lauren

    Free Tili!!
    To sign a petition in an effort to free Tilikum, click the link below

    I am in the process of including dept heads of SeaWorld so they too can see the petition. Every signature can make a difference!

    October 28, 2013 at 7:09 pm | Reply
    • kelly hunt

      i saw movie to i was sick to myy stomach i will never go to sea world again, let them go damn it

      October 31, 2013 at 11:38 am | Reply
  51. Karen P

    After watching this heartbreaking document I truly felt sick. The only pretext they use is its okay because it educates and makes the human species aware of wildlife.I wasnt aware how much human like emotion Orcas are like us. I found it apalling that anyone who watches this would ever do business with SeaWorld. I have gone in the past and have seen gashes on the whales body not knowing and ignorant but now I will NEVER return to SeaWorld. Never unless they truly change animal practices thats driven under the mighty greed of wealth...ITS EVIL WHAT PEOPLE who make lots of money do to all animals!!!!!!...Evil!!!...Whales are tooo massive to keep in a tiny poool!...this should be illegal what they do.

    October 28, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Reply
  52. simon

    #BLACKFISH. So I rarely add my two cents on political or social issues because I feel like everyone has a right to their opinion and I just prefer to keep mine to myself. But I watched the #CNN documentary about Killer Whales & Sea World last nite, BLACKFISH, and it was very near & dear to my heart because I used to grow up going to Sea World in San Diego....maybe once every couple of years. I effing LOVED that place!! When I was 13, I even nagged the workers at Shamu stadium to randomly 'pick' me to be the person from the audience who got to meet Shamu during the show. I remember saying immediately afterwards that when you look that animal in the eye, it sees you back. It acknowledges you. It registers you. It was a very odd but awesome sensation and it was interesting to hear them say the same thing during the documentary. Heck, I even have whales & dolphins tattoo'd all over my body!

    But after watching CNN's #BLACKFISH last nite, I don't think I can ever go to Sea World again. I know documentaries always have an agenda & are clearly one sided, pushing that agenda but Blackfish really solidified the concerns I've always had in the back of my mind and tried to suppress. The initial, cruel kidnapping of the calves & separating them from their mothers/families, the containment of animals that swim miles a day in small concrete pools, again...relocating babies from one park to another & removing them from their families, the hanging dorsal fin of the males, the shortened (by almost HALF!!) lives of Killer Whales in captivity, the aggressive behavior of these poor animals towards their trainers. It's a sad, sad story and as bothersome as it was for me to watch BLACKFISH, it was something y'all should definitely try & see if you've ever visited Sea World or have any desire of visiting in the future. There! That's my two cents. ;o)

    October 28, 2013 at 2:39 pm | Reply
    • Babocka

      I wonder why you people went there to see these animals. You or your kids had the urge to go and see them. After you saw them you say you wont go back, don't need to, but at the same time you deny the right to everyone else who never been there to see these lovely animals at close up. It is typical of you people, "animal rights activists" and other, who have no goals in their life other then to be an "activist" no matter in what field.
      i would recommend to people like you to go out and find some real meeting of life.
      You also forgetting that the care for these animals in captivity is much much better then in the wild. You feel sorry for the animal in captivity, but how you feel about them in wild and the dangerous they encounter every day, even death, you ever thought of that these animals are actually better off and better look after in captivity, where they enjoy themselves and have no danger of being killed like they are in the open seas.
      I personally think that Sea World is doing fantastic job and I am applauding to them.

      October 28, 2013 at 6:09 pm | Reply
      • dj

        Excuse me Babocka... we all have a right to our opinion, however training these animals in captivity for the simple purpose of entertainment is nowhere near the best outcomes for these animals lives. It is clear to me, that you haven't watched the documentary. A lot of documentaries can have an agenda – this one is likely no different. However capturing these animals for the sole purpose of our entertainment is simply not worth the cost. I will never support Sea World, nor anyone in my family. I am also amazed at how unified I am with everyone who has made a comment on this blog – I've read at least 10 posts written by others I could have written myself.

        October 28, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
      • Matt

        They have a longer life span in the wild. You're just believing the lies SeaWord feed you.

        October 29, 2013 at 12:12 am |
      • Greta

        Babocka did you even watch the video? Your lack of empathy is shocking, maybe you should go out and find some?
        You can't say that because they get care in captivity they are happier. Would you be happier to be locked in a closet if it meant you would still get fed and access to doctors? And that nobody could kill you? No. Your logic is flawed. Read a book, and get a pet, people with pets gain empathy.

        October 29, 2013 at 9:50 am |
      • Jill

        Have you watched the documentary? How can you deny when the calf is taken from it's mother how wrecked with grief she is? Have you compared the orcas lives to ours? How about living in a box your entire life? In the wild the way nature intended...nature happens. These whales would never NEED this much medical care in the wild. Humans are making these mammals sick. Think about what you are saying & if you watched the film, WATCH IT AGAIN although I cannot imagine you have & still had written that post. Activist or not, there is no possible way you cannot be horrified by the truths shown in Blackfish.

        October 29, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
      • Myron B. Pitts

        The worst things about the treatment of the orcas are not even in doubt or dispute. Calves are separated from mothers. The orcas are confined in spaces too small for their natural instincts. And even Sea World puts their life span in the park at 35 years or so, when statistically, in the wild, they live as long as humans. To go to Sea World after watching Blackfish is to simply witness cruelty and say: "I don't care."

        October 29, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
      • simon

        you applaud them Babocka?! as others have said, it's clear you haven't even watched the film. watch the film and then come back and write your apology for writing such a stupid thing.

        October 29, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
      • Elizabeth

        That is truly the most ignorant statement I have ever read, Babocka. "Animal rights activists" need to find real meaning in life so that you can still go and be entertained by a show that Orcas are forced to do, or deprived of food? So that you can watch them swim around in their little pool, because clearly that is a better life than with their families in the vast expansive ocean where they live much longer lives? I would encourage you to educate yourself before "applauding" Seaworld, because you're applauding alone, and it would appear that you are the most selfish type of person I can imagine. But by all means, bop on over to Seaworld, and hop in with the "content, and much better cared for" Tilikum. Perhaps he can show you himself just how grateful he is that there are people like you, that keep him "happily" swimming away in his tiny concrete pool being fed dead fish...that is, IF he does all his tricks properly.

        October 29, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
      • Humility

        You are an idiot and belong with all the other stupid humans that believe animals are "better off" in the hands of humans who's sole purpose is to make money off of them. Do you believe your life would be better off in an enclosed space, abused by others, no way to escape, only able to eat if you perform some kind of act. Every species would rather be free.

        October 29, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
      • Joan in Washington State

        GO TO WASHINGTON STATE AND SEE THESE ANIMALS IN THE WILD. I saw 40 of them live and in person up close being families – and you know what they do stuff – like spy hop to look at you and see what you are doing – and the mothers and children are together it's UNBELIEVABLE! and it's real – so don't tell me about your animal rights crap and getting to go see an animal NOT in it's natural environment – it's easy to get to seattle and go on a whale watching – they are flipping all over the san juan islands – did I say 40 IN ONE DAY? yeah – that's right....3 of the residents PODs coming together for a super POD of whales – so take your family there – it's not any more expensive and is THE MOST amazing AND EDUCATIONAL learning you could get dollar for dollar....

        October 30, 2013 at 12:58 am |
      • Yvette

        Slavery is not a right. You do not have the moral RIGHT to enslave another. These animals are taken from their families and their natural habitats and are forced to do unnatural tricks and live in the equivalent of a hot tub. They become very depressed and enraged. It's not safe for the whales or the humans involved. Watch Blackfish so you can get your facts in order. You are just regurgitating the lies that SeaWorld tells the public. I hope you are willing and able to open your mind and respect the right of these intelligent social animals to live thier lives naturally with their families.

        October 30, 2013 at 3:04 am |
      • Morgan

        You can attack the film and can label us “activists” but that is deflecting the real conversation and avoiding the facts by attacking the messengers. The simple truth is that we have taken the time to research this topic and we don't like what we have learned. And if you think educating yourself is "lacking meaning" or a waste of time, then so be it. Ask yourself if they are so much better off in captivity why is their life expectancy less than half of what it would be in the wild? Why then in captivity do they suffer from so many illnesses, aggressive and anxious behaviours and other issues that they do not suffer from in the wild? Do you really think mankind can offer a better enviironment than nature – we can't even come close to replicating a marine environment let alone the water in it. And if your concern is their survival in the wild... their ability to survive in the wild is greatly increased by leaving their families in tact – the marine parks take healthy young males and mostly females for captivity. They don"t just take the sick. What do you think that does for their ability to breed in the wild. They don't breed well in captivity. So are we not creating a self-fulling road to extinction. And as far as I know all animals die in nature at some tiime. Is that a reason to put all animals in zoos. Putting them in zoos and aquariums takes our eye off preserving their natural environments. I would much rather see them die in nature than die of stress related illnesses in captivity We get in a car and drive we even though we know motor vehicle accidents is one of the leading causes of fatality next to illness. I also agree it is wonderful to experience these majestic mammals. But I would much rather do so by taking a whale watching tour that costs minimally more than a visit to the marine park. I would much rather see these animals acting naturally and happy in their own habitat than pull them out to exist in ours with no quality of life. As for the trainers. No arguing they may love these animals. But their expertise is in training and keeping these animals alive in captivity. And I would think that the more they know about these mammals requirements and lives in the wild the harder it is on the trainers to support this business. PLease take time to learn about what goes on behind the scenes and what the marine biologists and cetacean experts have to say. If that's not convincing, go beyond the general argument and learn about the the individual whales and dolphins in captivity and what they have had to endure.

        November 1, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
      • alice

        babocka- i am truly sorry for your way of thinking. i am urging you to do some research, as you are, unfortunately, drinking sea world's kool aid. the dangers that these whales face in life- it is part of nature and a part of life, similar to how it's a big, dangerous world for you out there. you could get in a car accident! you could get robbed! you could get attacked! are you insinuating that it would be better for you to stay in the safety of your bedroom for the rest of your life? please get educated on wild orcas and stop believing the corporate babble.

        November 2, 2013 at 1:03 am |
      • Steve R.

        Are you being serious? I couldn't tell at first since I've never met or even heard of anyone stupid enough to believe that a whale would be better off in what amounts to a swimming pool.

        November 2, 2013 at 5:56 am |
      • Danielle

        I could not help but laugh at your comment...
        you do realize that these poor whales are now killing innocent human beings because they are kept in captivity right ? they are acting out of stress because ignorant people like you pay money to watch these wild animals do a couple tricks and put on a good "show". So while SeaWorld makes millions of dollars each year, these poor whales have their young taken away from them, are kept in HORRIBLE living conditions and are starved if they do not "perform" to par. Its people like you that make me extremely mad. You are not above any other mammal. I hope you get locked in a closet for your whole life so you can see how it feels....and then maybe I'd be the only paying a good buck to watch you.

        November 2, 2013 at 11:32 pm |
  53. Suzanne

    From a Zoologist
    Tilly should be set free in the area he was originally captured from, as there would be genetic recognition between him and the other Orcas in that vicinity. He and all of us are asking for his life back, as his life means as much to him as our do to us.
    All animals love, teach, nurture and emotionally bring up their young and display compassion, patients and tolerance as efficiently as some humans do.
    Tilly is displaying depression and years of frustration due to human entertainment.
    I wish people could just leave animals alone to live their live as they were intended to, and we should be there to help them when necessary as we would our fellow human beings
    From a Zoologist-Suzanne.

    October 28, 2013 at 2:06 pm | Reply
  54. Trenelle Gabay

    After seeing blackfish I was very disturbed the following day. The thoughts kept reoccurring through my mind about the whales, the trainers that endured the frustration of the whales from being fed up of captivity and in return lost there lives or were severly injured, scared mentally, emotionally, physically. They are mammals that are highly intelligent with emotions. Yes they should be set free. Of course at this point if they were, it would be confusing for them to live a wholesome life, but with our technology sea world could implant them with tracking devices monitoring them making sure they are safe. Not that I believe in tracking devices, but its an idea to assist them back to there natural habitat. Very disturbing. Very Unfortunate. Extremely sad.

    October 28, 2013 at 1:56 pm | Reply
  55. Tim

    I think consideration should be given for all the children who have been inspired to work in fields of animal study because of visits to places like Sea World. My sister fell in love with whales and dolphins after a trip to see Shamu when she was little. She is now a multiple pet owner (like a dozen various) and works for Wildlife and Fisheries in protection of endangered species and habitats. If not for a whale in captivity she might be a marketing major. Instead she has a BS in biology and dedicates her life to survival of species.

    October 28, 2013 at 1:43 pm | Reply
    • Name*catrina

      That's the dumbest $&!??? I have ever heard of!!! You obviously didn't see the mama whale SCREAMING FOR HER BABY BACK DID YOU!!!!! YOUR AN IDIOTSORRY BUT YOU ARE

      October 28, 2013 at 7:01 pm | Reply
    • Joan in Washington State

      And you're probably an embarressment to her.

      October 30, 2013 at 1:03 am | Reply
  56. Maria CalsadaThompson

    Thank you, CNN for an excellent documentary; the documentary exposed the heartbreaking, exploitation of Orcas by Sea World. You effectively and adequately used the three rhetorical devices: pathos (emotion), logos (logic,facts, statistics), and ethos (reputation, experience of presenters) to convey the claim that Orcas must be freed. I was in tears, while hearing about the cruel treatment that Sea World has –with full knowledge– submitted Orcas to, for the organization's profits. There is no justification for the torment and cruelty these intelligent, awesome, and emotional animals have been subjected to by Sea World. The collapsed Dorsal fin is an indication that Orcas' confinement in Sea World's mini-swimming pools/tanks are prisons to these animals. Sea World celebrated the birth of the baby Orca , but soon after separated the baby from its mother. I could feel the pain in the mother's cries. Tilikum was also separated from his mother; one of the hunters explained that even after the nets were lifted - the whales remained. The whales expressed pain and grief; the whales did not want to leave Tilikum. The short lifespan of Orcas in captivity also indicates that Orcas belong free, in the ocean, in the wild. As long as Sea World keeps Orcas in captivity - I refuse to visit the park! I hope people boycott the park. I will not support an organization's cruelty, exploitation, and lack of respect to nature!

    October 28, 2013 at 1:15 pm | Reply
  57. Josh King


    I just signed the petition "SeaWorld: End Captive Orca Breeding Program" and wanted to see if you could help by adding your name.

    Our goal is to reach 10,000 signatures and we need more support. You can read more and sign the petition here:

    October 28, 2013 at 1:00 pm | Reply
    • Josh King

      I watched this last night and I'm disgusted in how we treat animals and fellow humans.

      Free Tili......

      October 28, 2013 at 1:01 pm | Reply
    • Joan in Washington State

      Done – thanks for sharing and starting this!

      October 30, 2013 at 1:05 am | Reply
  58. David

    I can't stop thinking about Tilikum's kidnapping/condition and the poor momma calling for her baby after SeaWorld separated them and sold the baby for profit. I am sickened by what I saw in the movie, shut down SeaWorld and free the Orcas.

    October 28, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Reply
    • Rd

      It's just dumb that we are even questioning if we should

      October 28, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Reply
    • Carol

      Free the Orcas. My family and I are joining the boycott of Sea World. Disgusting, irresponsible, dangerous, cruel. The bible says we have "domain over the animals." That translates to me to mean "the obligation to protect.". Bless the beasts and the children. Release them!

      October 28, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Reply
  59. Sarah

    Yeah, sure, let's release all the whales and then complain when they beach themselves or run afoul of fishermen because they're too familiar with humans. Or just outright starve. Cuz that's being humane.

    October 28, 2013 at 10:12 am | Reply
    • Beth

      To live only a single day free is the light of heaven for those forced into the hell of eternal captivity.

      October 28, 2013 at 5:06 pm | Reply
    • Name*catrina

      Yes set them free!!!!!!!

      October 28, 2013 at 7:04 pm | Reply
    • Joan in Washington State

      it's called being alive and allowed to live. from your standpoint all humans should be locked up in little boxes because being allowed in the public we could get hit by a bus, or shot, or murdered, or eat mcdonalds and get cardio vascular disease....and ya can't just open the pens and let them out – but there is ways to do it – and people willing to do it.....and maybe they don't live, maybe they don't make it – or maybe they do – either way they and we are all going to die – so let's live while we can...and deal with the consequences.

      October 30, 2013 at 1:11 am | Reply
  60. monika

    Please set them all free. I have boycotted seaworld and so have friends and all family members. We are a military family and will spread the word about this. They can keep there military discount. Who gave seaworld the right tokeep these animals. Its sad and pathetic. SET THEM FREE!!!!!!

    October 28, 2013 at 4:12 am | Reply
  61. Fred Griswol

    I'm surprised that those trainers weren't better equipped to handle those whales. They should probably have ropes, lifesavers, even guns. Maybe SeaWorld doesn't care any more about the trainers than they do about the whales. And how does SeaWorld get to decide what to do with one of these animals after it has killed a human? Shouldn't the animal control authorities decide that?

    October 28, 2013 at 3:46 am | Reply
  62. Fred T.

    SeaWorld, another big business that kills.

    October 28, 2013 at 3:15 am | Reply
  63. Fred T.

    I'm gonna watch this the whole way through this time. SeaWorld should free the whales, all of them.

    October 28, 2013 at 3:13 am | Reply
  64. Carol

    I am ashamed we still have Sea Worlds and like parks on our planet. As they said in the movie, these highly evolved whales are fellow creatures who share our planet with us. They should not have to live in a Sea World "jail cell" so they can entertain us. Same goes for the dolphins for that matter. I will never go to a Sea World. It would sicken me to see the spectacle knowing what I know.

    I want to find the organizations that are actively fighting for the the cause to free the young ones and allow the older ones to live out their lives in a huge netted area of the sea. More importantly to make Sea World parks a thing of the past. If you want to go see a whale, get on a boat which takes you out to view them in their natural environment.

    I am heartbroken-the collapsed Dorsal fin, the shortened life span, the unconscionable separation of family, the aggressive behavior due to frustration. My heart is broken. I will be researching who is fighting the good fight against this type of Sea World business and make sure I contribute money and volunteer in some meaningful way to help stop this insanity.

    I hope this movie is the beginning of a watershed movement which puts this type of marine park out of business forever.. Perhaps if all the things you do to these whales was done to you, you would learn something. The only way Sea World will change their business strategy is when they no longer make money on these "whale shows". America, spread the world, tell people what's happening, show them Blackfish, boycott Sea World, teach your children!

    October 28, 2013 at 2:26 am | Reply
    • Kenny Smith

      I heard one of the Sea World people say that they let a couple of them go to the sea one time and they came back, well Sea World should do that everyday, give them a chance to see what they want to do, stay or go , they should have a choice like we do . If that comment was even true .Anyway after the Orca's have entertained us and given us many years of enjoyment, they should be released ,come up with a reasonable amount of years of service ,like 10-15 yrs or 15-20 yrs , like being in the military, after you have served your time you have the option to check out. JUST A THOUGHT, don't bite my head off. GOOD LUCK to all of the animals there !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      October 31, 2013 at 12:43 pm | Reply
  65. Stephanie

    The shock I am experiencing after watching Blackfish will reel in my mind and soul forever! I cannot believe the despicable behaviour of Seaworld management and regret that I ever took my children to see those imprisoned, tortured majestic animals. How can we expect more from the moron executives of Seaworld executives when their top priority remains financial gain and human compassion for other living creatures is not present in their very misguided souls. WELL DONE CNN on exposing the shameful behaviour of Seaworld and hopefully if enough people are made aware of the plight of these whales, attendance at Seaworld will drop to the point where it will not be financially feasible to keep them. Thank you for educating a very naive Canadian who will now write to Seaworld to share my disgust at their behaviour!

    October 28, 2013 at 2:21 am | Reply
  66. Ellerose

    Shame on Seaworld and all the so called parks that imprison animals for the almighty buck!! Shame on you and all those that contribute to your immoral behavior

    October 28, 2013 at 1:56 am | Reply
  67. Jina

    I wonder how cold-hearted a person you had to be to run such a cruel business.

    October 28, 2013 at 1:32 am | Reply
  68. John Rosen

    We are all free to do whatever we want to do. Because one or more people object to cows suffering while being milked is not a valid reason to free the cows. Chickens are confined from birth to death for the purpose of gaining sufficient weight to be slaughtered and eaten for dinner.

    If one is unhappy with the treatment of orcas, don't go to seaworld.
    Should you care to defend the rights of chickens, don't buy or eat chicken.

    Millions of families visit seaworld annually for educational and recreational purposes. They will continue to visit and the orcas will stay.

    October 28, 2013 at 1:20 am | Reply
    • Myron B. Pitts

      John Rosen: I hope you agree that people are also free to sign petitions, call for mass boycotts and press for the park to be closed, and the Orcas freed? No one must exercise their free speech in the exact manner prescribed by someone else..

      October 29, 2013 at 5:11 pm | Reply
  69. David Hesperos

    Orca captivity should be prohibited under the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, and Sea World should be held accountable for the many years that killer whales have been held in involuntary servitude in their facilities

    October 28, 2013 at 12:56 am | Reply
  70. Julie

    Wow is all i can say. Those who scream for the freedom of these animals have yet to understand that they are dependent upon humans for their care and couldn't live free. the ones who say boycott sea world do not care that again the animals would suffer. I say stop breading and allow the animals that they have to live out their lives as they are. those beautiful and intelligent creatures are not on this earth for our entertainment.

    October 28, 2013 at 12:53 am | Reply
  71. Daryn

    The behaviour of the SeaWorld management is astounding; blatant lies to protect financial interests even at the expense of human and animal life. I think they should spend a few hours in the tank with Tilly, no worries, if something happens its a mistake on their error.

    To the trainers, form a union and why haven't you done so already, and don't give me they ideology BS.

    October 28, 2013 at 12:44 am | Reply
  72. Bryan Miller

    I am strongly against holding any animal in captivity. It is surely animal cruelty. We are all against testing on animals, how is this any different? Please join me in boycotting these places!
    My eyes are full of tears for these poor beings.

    October 28, 2013 at 12:26 am | Reply
  73. Rick Ward

    I am proud of all the former Sea World trainers who have come out against Sea World and by doing so have put the interest of the whales first. This exploitative industry has been successful making money working in secrecy for years. They are not about to allow the whales to go free so it is up to us to embrace the truth that Sea World is no more than a prison with whales spending two thirds of their time in watery cells that can only be described in human terms as a bath tub. Babies taken from their mothers, families separated and whales mixed together are all reasons for aggressive behavior and frustration that have led to many injuries and trainers dying. Show the "Blackfish" documentary to friends, call and write to legislative leaders, and never ever go to Sea World again.

    October 27, 2013 at 11:46 pm | Reply
  74. Cate

    It's absurd to try to convince anyone that they should still be in captivity. Of course they shouldn't be. I don't know if they all would survive in the wild, but young ones should be released for sure and they should never again be forced to perform four our amusement. These are highly intelligent, emotional animals, it'a about time we evolve already and stop treating them like this. So heartbreaking.

    October 27, 2013 at 11:00 pm | Reply
  75. Leah

    At the very least let him have an attempt at a real life. Even if he doesn't know his family. Anything is better. Free Tilikum.

    October 27, 2013 at 10:58 pm | Reply
  76. Name*Debra Targett

    I Believe we should all boycott Sea World, ALL their advertisers until the Whales are free. I will Never cross their entrance again nor will my daughter. Any one whose products are sold at Sea World also need to be boycotted.

    October 27, 2013 at 10:57 pm | Reply
  77. Nina

    Waching Blackfish on CNN tonight- I'm never going to Seaworld! Captivity is wrong for these sea creatures!! Stop!!

    October 27, 2013 at 10:45 pm | Reply
  78. Lori

    Just finished watching Blackfish. I was appalled at the capturing of Orca's and by Sea World in mis-leading it's trainers on the dangers. I am ashamed that I have visited both Sea World's in San Diego and Orlando. I will never step foot in Sea world again. Set the Orca's free!!!!!

    October 27, 2013 at 10:31 pm | Reply
  79. S

    What is the assumption we as a society are supposing by allowing Orkas to be held captive?
    It is that they possess little to no intelligence or concienssness on any level similar to that of humans'. Afterall if we had any doubt regarding that it would be an incredibly cruel thing to do.
    Just because we lack the technology to determine the true extent of these creatures' true intelligent doesn't mean it does not exist. We have seen them display emotions, they obviously communicate based on their cooperative hunting displayed in the movie. Plus they are capable of long range communication, something we can barely pathom . What more is necessary for the human race to see that these are complex animals? They are not going to talk to us in out language we have to infer some things.
    The claim that the barbaric act of locking these animals in a concrete pool is educative is simply propostourous. They are there for one reason only, it's called human greed.

    October 27, 2013 at 10:27 pm | Reply
  80. lisa lammon

    please sent my set him frree to a judge in orlando if you can thank you

    October 27, 2013 at 10:23 pm | Reply
  81. lisa lammon

    please dont just keep TIlkum IN ThE back in a smalll pond let him free in a sancuary , stop the breeding they use him for and the seperation of the calfs from the mom is its all so cruel and people are dieing and kids are watchen.. GOD IS Watching please set him free hes sufferd long and the rest in small pools lisa lammon age 51 lafollette tn

    October 27, 2013 at 10:22 pm | Reply
  82. Louise

    Conservation be damned. Time to boycott Sea World. Every school in this country should have this documentary as required viewing.

    October 27, 2013 at 10:09 pm | Reply
  83. Isabella hepp

    Yes! It's terrible to think what they do to them!

    October 27, 2013 at 9:57 pm | Reply
    • doris

      Will never ever go to sea world to those these poor Whales do silly tricks for my amusement and to put money into sea worlds pocket !This is not what God intended for these whales. FREE THEM !!!!!!!

      October 27, 2013 at 11:25 pm | Reply
  84. Dre

    Whales aren't meant to be in captivity, just like humans aren't meant to be in cages. What happens to a human mentally after being jailed his/her entire life? SeaWorld is just after the money just like every other corporation in America. Guess what? All wars in human history have been fought over money. Disgusting.

    October 27, 2013 at 9:12 pm | Reply
  85. Al

    The idea put forward that we have any right to 'learn' by confining any creature for an extended time just shows the cruel, selfish and lazy nature of the human animal. This isn't a free exchange of information; it’s an exaction of information, an experiment with the subject being unwilling participants. And for who's gain? Their gain? No, it’s to feed the bottomless needs of man. We want knowledge, we want the emotional experience, we want a day out, we want, we want and we don't care at who's expense. So you spent a day at the zoo. What did you see? How a lion lives in our made up world? How a mammal who's DNA begs them to swim the oceans living in a pond? Oh you say you learned something, felt something? Good for you but at whose cost? What did you give up for that gift? A bit of silver? What did that animal give up? You get to go home when you’re done 'learning' and ‘feeling’ for the day. The teachers all go back to their cages.

    If you want to learn and experience wildlife; then do the work. Get off your ass and go out in the wild and learn, and learn some more. Otherwise read about them in a book or on the internet. Convenience at the expense of others is not a god given right.

    And Mr. Hanna, really? No, Really? Are you sure? I don't know if Sea World threw you under the bus or you did that on your own but really? Open the gate, see if they come back. They can adjust to eating without pleasing a human first.

    To live only a single day free is the light of heaven for those forced into the hell of eternal captivity.

    October 27, 2013 at 8:18 pm | Reply
  86. Theresa

    I've always been fascinated by animals, especially those in the sea - whales, sharkes, dolphins. I have even expressed to my child how amazing they are. I watched Blackfish several times because it seriously cuts to your core. By no means do I think TIllikum was at fault for what he's done ... I feel that between his capture at 2yrs of age and the horrific treatment he did have at Sealand (food withheld and abuse being allowed by other whales) contributed to his behavior when he's mistreated - he learned early on that he had to be defensive. I highly doubt it would have happened if he'd been left with his mom/pod. These animals are made to be in their own environment and are amazing beautiful and intelligent creatures. I've been mesmarized by great whites since I was 5 but you see all sorts of shows about them being studied IN THEIR OWN ENVIRONMENT with tracking devices, etc. We don't need to see these animals in captivity where not only their life span is chopped in half (if not worse) but they are not with their own pods. The fact that I also saw the babies taken from the moms and Sea World didn't bat a lash over it, made me so sad. You basically abducted a mothers child and see nothing wrong with that - yes, its the EXACT same thing!! I have been to Sea World once and trust you me, I will NEVER EVER bring my children to that place because it would be showing support for something I think is so wrong! Do the right thing and release these animals - stop being so greedy!! You have people working at your parks who are so stupid that they tell visitors the incorrect life spans, incorrect knowledge about behaviors, dorsal fins being up or curved. Its nauseating.

    October 27, 2013 at 7:32 pm | Reply
  87. HBsushi

    The question is would whales raised in captivity be able to survive on their own ? If the answer is no, then releasing them would be cruel. If the answer is yes, then by all means let them be free.

    October 27, 2013 at 5:08 pm | Reply
  88. DTorres

    Why not just leave the Orca's alone in the sea, their own environment?

    October 27, 2013 at 4:47 pm | Reply
  89. Danielle

    I watched Blackfish last night with a lump in my throat, a tear in my eye and an ache in my heart. It is incomprehensible how this unethical, unnatural and inhumane exploitation of these intellectual mammals can be classed as 'entertainment'. What will it take to make these money-minded monsters of Sea World and other marine 'theme parks', open their eyes to the psychological suffering and torture they bring to these beautiful creatures? I have never in my life written into a discussion board before but I have never in my life felt so strongly about such a destructive act of greed and the damaging physical and psychological effects captivity is having on these Orca Whales. This HAS to be stopped. We must make an impact, make a change and make a difference to this hideous act of animal cruelty. If there is anyone out there who can inform me of anything else I can do, please let me know! Educate to eradicate!

    October 27, 2013 at 4:24 pm | Reply
  90. Doris

    Shame on Sea World and every other similar "amusement" park. The whales and dolphins they have in captivity should be allowed to return to the ocean and the ones which can't be returned to sea pens. Making whales and dolphins live in swimming pools and forcing them to do tricks for public display should be illegal!

    October 27, 2013 at 3:37 pm | Reply
  91. eedeeyote

    What has gone on at Sea World as depicted in "Blackfish" is an abomination. Here's the most I would allow: to have an Orca serve a short term of confinement to delight human beings and then be set free: No trainers no tricks none of the other trappings that have been added by a mindset that is basically callous and seeks to exploit and manipulate. That is what governs Sea World and there is no way to dress it up and make it smell good. The trainers were starstruck people and sadly obtuse to realizing and respecting the inherent dignity of wild creatures. Ultimately Nature rebelled and tragically, they never saw it coming. But the Sea World supervisors can only be thought criminal for the part they played,

    October 27, 2013 at 2:36 pm | Reply
  92. newsdreamer

    The whales are smarter than the humans that are keep them. This is so cruel. Everyone should boycott Sea World and others where whales are kept and trained. Training is not part of a whales life.

    October 27, 2013 at 8:52 am | Reply
  93. Laura

    Sorry SeaWorld, but I can never go back. Hopefully enough people will voice their disgust by also staying away. And hopefully one day the wales can be relocated to a more humane place. i agree they many not be able to survive if put back in the wild. But their life is a living hell today. They would probably prefer taking the risk of going back to their original homes. How would the top executives of Sea World like if if we stole their children and made them stay in tiny containers and perform for food. This is amazing that it is even legal. Our legislatures need to stop bickering about the healthcare computer system, and come up with legislation to stop this cruelty to whales.

    October 27, 2013 at 8:27 am | Reply
  94. Kat

    Yes! They belong in the wild. Not Abusement parks.

    October 27, 2013 at 8:03 am | Reply
  95. Angela

    I was totally shocked last night watching Seaworld movie. I was holdimg it together until they showed the heartbroken mother crying for her baby. Just to hear those cries the people at Seaworld do not dezerve to be around animals. They know that orcs stay together in pods sometimes the young Never leaver their mothers sides. Blackstone Group you are heartless and insensitive. If I could thehead trainer would was making fun of the trainer who didnt want to separate them needs to be fired. IMMEDIATELY. She clearly has no soul or heart. She needs to be away from all animals and maybe even people. I will never have anyone in my family go to Seaworld and I am joining anyone to hopefully see the release of these beautiful animals. As the researcher said orcas have never attached humans in the wild. So Seaworld get a clue.

    October 27, 2013 at 7:18 am | Reply
  96. Al

    The idea put forward that we even have a right to 'learn' by confining any creature for an extended time just shows the cruel, selfish and lazy nature of the human animal. This isn't a free exchange of information; It's an exaction of information, an experiment with the subject being unwilling participants. And for who's gain? Their gain? No, It's to feed the bottomless need's of man. We want knowledge, we want the emotional experience, we want money, we want a day out, we want, we want and we don't care at who's expense. So you spent a day at the zoo. What did you see? How a lion lives in our made up world? How a mammal who's DNA begs them to swim to oceans living in a pond? Oh you say you learned something, felt something? Good for you but at who's cost? what did you give up for that gift? Some money? What did that animal give up? you get to go home when your done 'learning' for the day. The teachers all go back to their cages.

    If you want to learn and experience wildlife; then do the work. Get off your ass and go out in the wild and learn, and learn some more. Otherwise read about them in a book or on the internet. Convenience is not a god given right.

    And Mr. Hanna, really? No, Really? are you sure? I don't know if Sea World threw you under the bus or you did that on your own but really? Open the gate, see if they come back. They can adjust to eating without pleasing a human first.

    To live only a single day free is the light of heaven for those forced into the hell of eternal captivity.

    October 27, 2013 at 5:44 am | Reply
  97. shirley

    Absolutely yes – these majestic creatures should be free to live as they were meant to. I have lost all respect for Jack Hannah because of his ignorant defending of SeaWorld – his belief that these whales must be held captive to get people to support conservation is ridiculous. The Great White Shark cannot live in captivity but yet the research scientists do an excellent job of studying them in the wild and presenting documentaries on TV to educate the public and get support for their research and conservation efforts. The same could be done for the killer whales. Keeping these whales in captivity and making them perform like circus animals is cruel and serves mainly to make certain people very wealthy.......

    October 26, 2013 at 9:24 pm | Reply
    • mary


      November 2, 2013 at 8:33 pm | Reply
    • mary


      November 2, 2013 at 8:42 pm | Reply
    • Michael

      I totally agree with you. Seaworld lied by telling people that that orcas live longer in captivity than in the wild. They don't by a long shot. They lied about how many orcas have died premature in their parks. Over 25. They lied about the health of their orcas. They have bad teeth, their fin hangs, they injure themselves. These are intelligent, emotional animals that have suffered under SeaWorld for profit and greed. Boycott this company. Let them know that you know the truth now. Let them know that they need to end this torture.

      November 13, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Reply
  98. Jamie

    I watched this documentary. I am a younger viewer so please take mind in commenting. When I was younger I went to sea world I used to think that I'd love to be a trainer. along with that though I saw how small those places where. Years later while in middle school we talked about the event that had taken place in 2010, everyone in my class said its the whales fault. That it should die I remember trying to argue that if I was put in a box I'd get angry. So I enrolled in a highschool that has a marine program. SeaWorld is not mentioned there, if you bring up the 2010 event everyone will say it is natural that a whale would do that after put under those conditions. I believe there is a better way to teach people that we need to be aware of marine life. I'm learning about coral reefs being demolished not because humans crushing, but the sunblock being used which is another whole topic. I know SeaWorld tries to do good, but as humans we Dont fully understand what we are doing. Our brains I Dont think can process what we are doing to these animals. I hope SeaWorld maybe can find other ways to being marine biology to the public besides shows. Whale watching perhaps? Watching the whales from a distance. Its more beautiful to me to capture the whale doing something natural than it is doing tricks. That is all I have to say. Once again I am not trying to be mean to anyone please realize I know maybe I am not fully educated so please mind comments. Thank you

    October 26, 2013 at 9:20 pm | Reply
  99. Adam

    I have always had a soft heart for animals in captivity. This show only reminds me why. These whales obviously display intelligence and emotion that rival human beings. The segment in the show discussing how the mother and kin have been separated is absolutely tragic. The interviews regarding the long distance calls that the mother was making to try and find her baby is horrifying. Somebody, somewhere, needs to do something about this. My family will not be attending sea world any other park that contains killer whales as an attraction. If there was something more I could do, I would.

    Tears in my eyes for these intelligent creatures
    The back of mind full of thoughts
    My fingertips waiting

    October 26, 2013 at 8:16 pm | Reply
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