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www.wmfd.com - Viewers of the CNN film "Blackfish" took to the web to talk about the film's controversial topic. }}" />

   
 
 
Blackfish Fallout Online Response And Petitions

Story By: Larry Stine

 

 

 
 
 
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  Original Published: 11/3/2013 Viewers of the CNN film "Blackfish" took to the web to talk about the film's controversial topic. CNN's Martin Savidge reports on the tweets and online petitions in response to the network's documentary. The CNN film "Blackfish" is taking social media by storm. On Facebook and Twitter, thousands debate the ethics of keeping killer whales in captivity at aquariums and marine parks. Many say they were stunnded by the movie's allegation that mistreatment of some killer whales, also known as orcas, may have led to deadly consequences for trainers. "After watching this documentary, I can never be happy at SeaWorld again." Says one, and another post says... "Heartbreaking to watch the whales in captivity. How can anyone think this is OK?" But, it's not just the internet. "It's not fair to the animal that they have to be taken out of their natural environment just so we can seen them and learn about them," says one visitor. "They're very big fish kept in very small quarters," says another person. "Doesn't seem very, doesn't seem right." Blackfish tells the story of Dawn Btancheau, a veteran SeaWorld trainer dragged into the water and drowned by a killer whale she was working with in 2010. "All of a sudden the whale just latched onto her, took her under," says Colin Baird, a former killer whale trainer. Now, former trainers like Colin Baird believe killer whales should be released back into the wild or retired to seapens. "Why do you think they are still in captivity?" asked CNN's Martin Savidge. "Well, there's dollars to be made, and they're a very big draw for the facilities that have them" Baird said. "It's a business?" asked Savidge. "It's a business, yes," Baird replied. SeaWorld declined out requests for an interview, but did provide a statement, saying in part. "The film fails to mention SeaWorld's commitment to the safety of its team members and guests and to the care and welfare of its animals, as demonstrated by the company's continual refinement and improvement to its killer whale facilities, equipment and procedures." SeaWorld brings in around $1.5-billion a year, and supporters say millions of visitors are not just entertained, but educated and inspired. "People are having less and less daily encounters with animals and so these kinds of exhibits are teaching people about the wild," says Paul Boyle, of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. "If people don't know animals, they won't care about them."
   
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