December 9, 2013

I’ve loved orcas ever since I first read Kilroy and the Gull, by Nathaniel Benchley. It’s about a young killer whale who’s captured and taken to an aquarium. He makes friends with a seagull named Morris, and together they escape, making it back to the ocean and Kilroy’s pod. Kilroy’s changed by his experience though – he’s determined to understand why humans do the inexplicable things they do.

After watching Blackfish, so am I.

I haven’t experienced this level of visceral horror from a film since the opening sequence of Saving Private Ryan. Part of my reaction was due to strong memories I have of visiting Sea World as a child – beautiful memories of the joy and exhilaration of seeing these massive, majestic animals nearby – memories of the wonder I felt at the relationships they had with the people around them. Memories based on a lie.

Watch the movie. Then go here for a list of popular and research articles about orcas in the wild and in captivity. Then come back – I want to know what you think.

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