You may have seen the recent documentary titled "Blackfish". In this documentary, the director focuses on a killer whale, Tilikum, and its captivity at SeaWorld. This whale was at fault for the death of SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau. Brancheau's death inspired director Gabriela Cowperthwaite to create this documentary and expose information the public did not know. Due to the popularity of this documentary, many people were outraged and began protesting the park. There are now petitions to stop the captivity of whales for entertainment purpose. SeaWorld did not agree to take part in the film and responded back that it was a completely inaccurate representation of the park. This has prompted investigation into the mistreatment of the Orcas at SeaWorld and whether or not these animals should be released back into the wild.
Cowperthwaite's documentary aired at the Sundance Film Festival in 2013 and was soon released to a wider audience by CNN. The film shows how the whales were captured and the harassment they receive. Cowperthwaite shows how the animals are confined to small living spaces and how this leads them to lash out and become aggressive with trainers (Trimarco). The performing whale Tilikum, the whale that the documentary focuses on, at SeaWorld in 2010, killed trainer Dawn Brancheau. This is traced back to the frustration the animals feel from living in these small spaces. Ever since the release of this movie many people have questioned whether or not the facts stated in this film are true. .
Now, many people will argue that keeping wild animals in captivity is a bad thing. But what are the actual facts and statistics behind animals kept in captivity? Scientists say that the average life expectancy of a male Orca is about 30-50 years and a female is 50-90. However, all scientists agree that the majority of whales kept in captivity do not live more than 20 years (Killer Whales in Captivity).