The production on the orca Tilikum in Orlando, and the response from SeaWorld Theme Park have generated controversy over the stress experienced by animals in captivity.
The documentary “Blackfish”, released in July at the Sundance Film Festival, is about the performance of the orca on February 24, 2010, when she attacked and killed her trainer Dawn Brancheau, her third fatality, as the animal had previously caused the death of another trainer in Canada in 1991, and in 1999 a man was found dead in her pool in unexplained circumstances.
The principal Gabriela Cowperthwaite says that the objective of the film is to raise awareness about the “trauma, stress and frustration that these marine animals experience when living in captivity”, while SeaWorld Orlando Park believes that the documentary about the orca has preferred to commercially “exploit ” a tragedy that has caused a lot of pain, instead of offering the viewer a ” balanced “version on the animal and its environment.
According to Park, the authors of the film showed “a distorted image of one of the most respected zoological institutions,” which performs an “altruistic” rescue, rehabilitation and restore of the natural environment to hundreds of wild marine animals each year .
According to the Organization for the Whales and Dolphins Conservation (WDC), when they live in the wild, male orcas can live up to 29 years, even females can reach 50 years old, while in captivity, their life expectancy is below the age of 20.
In The documentary Coperthwaite denounces the stress experienced by these animals in captivity and also warned about the danger of keeping them in the same tank with their human trainers.