Last week we released an interview with director Gabriela Cowperthwaite of the orca documentary BlackFish. In the film, Cowperthwaite goes on to document the mistreatment of orcas by various SeaWorld facilities.
Now more footage has been released by an audience member of a recent SeaWorld show, revealing the horrible treatment of an orca whale that was stuck out of the water during a show.
Carlo De Leonibus visited SeaWorld in Orlando, and captured footage of a beached whale stuck on a ledge during a dolphin show. The whale is seen flailing about for a few seconds before the footage stops.
According to De Leonibus, he claims that the whale was out of the water for a long duration of time before SeaWorld employees took action. As for the duration of time, Carlo said it was “10 minutes,” but his family has said, ” it was more like 20 minutes.”
The crowd during the show was visibly upset, and shouted at the trainers that stood by as the whale flailed.
Now SeaWorld has released a statement on the incident, in an attempt to control the damage:
“The pilot whales come out on the ledge all the time and always get back into the deeper water without any problem. The animals seem to enjoy it and it has no effect on their health of well-being. The younger and more inexperienced animals – like the one on the video – sometimes take a little longer because they haven’t completely mastered the technique yet. The whale was never in danger. The safety and health of the animals in our care are among our highest priorities.”
During our interview with BlackFish’s Gabriela Cowperthwaite, the director said of dealing with SeaWorld:
“They did issue a response to every film critic. They took issue with certain things in the film. They’re focusing on some strange details. We’re a little baffled by their response but we knew they had to do something. We knew there was going to be some damage control right before the film.”
Do you think something more should have been done for the beached whale during the recent SeaWorld show?