We often find ourselves watching documentaries, but one of the most mind-blowing ones we've ever seen was Gabriela Cowperthwaite's Blackfish . For those who haven't already seen it (you can catch it on Netflix and we definitely recommend it), the documentary examines the horrific conditions that orcas are kept in by the management at the Seaworld resorts around the world.
Credit: Magnolia Pictures
The film focuses on the whales who've killed their trainers as a result of their frustration and anger at their captivity and cruel treatment. The major animal that the film examines is Tilikum, a whale who has claimed three lives.
The film suggests that isolation from other orcas, being forced to perform, and the confined conditions he was kept in gradually drove Tilikum to insanity.
One of the major areas of controversy were the comparatively tiny tanks that Seaworld's whales were kept in, as shown in this photo from Google Maps. In the wild, orcas would have territories of hundreds of miles.
Blackfish's global success is considered one of the major reasons that profits at Seaworld have steadily dropped over the years. Despite new pledges to treat their animals more humanely, the damage is done, and Seaworld's detractors refuse to be silenced.
In the midst of all this, Tilikum passed away today. It hasn't been announced what finally killed him this morning, but it is known that the whale had been battling a bacterial infection for some time prior to his death.
We hope that Tilikum can now find the peace in his death that he was never allowed in his life.
Featured Image Credit: PA