I saw the movie Blackfish last week at the BELL| Lightbox theatre in Toronto.
It Premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this year and received awards.
The movie was partly an expose about the number of times trainers have been attacked by orcas while being held captive and the number of times trainers have been killed by orcas in their facilities.
The documentary, Blackfish, mostly addressed the morals of whether Orcas should be held captive at all.
The focus is on Tillikum, the largest Orca living in captivity. It addressed the question of whether this one particular whale, known for killing trainers, should have been allowed to be sold and resold for public exhibition and for live breeding.
It reviewed the suggestion that his aggressiveness would be passed on genetically and it reviewed the opposing view that his aggressiveness was caused by his early kidnapping as a 2 year old, the trauma it caused to him due to the bombs and high speed chases conducted by the operators during his capture and the separation anxiety, loneliness and grief caused from being torn away from his mother and family pod. It focused on his the confinement to a small tank blackened out with no light and no ability to move or swim for 2/3rds of his life. Physical bullying and bites by other Orcas not of his pod were a factor as well as his great size.
Orcas swim in pods and never leave their mothers.
Each pod has a unique language that they speak.
MRI’s conducted in science show their brain is highly developed and larger than humans, with an added extension outward of the brain that centres on emotion.
The movie solidified my thoughts that whales should not be held in captivity, and I for one am very pleased that the Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada will not exhibit whales.