Effects of Captivity on the Orca Mind

The Documentary Blackfish (available on Netflix at the time I’m writing this) posits alot of things, and is based off the book I reviewed yesterday called Death at Seaworld. There’s a lot going on, and I’m not sure I completely understand all of the complexities of all of the details of the situation, but I’m not sure I’m a captivity supporter for these animals…

Review: Death at SeaWorld

Death at SeaWorld: Shamu and the Dark Side of Killer Whales in CaptivityDeath at SeaWorld: Shamu and the Dark Side of Killer Whales in Captivity by David Kirby

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In the end, I took a long time to read this book. But it’s heavy, and kind of depressing. But it is a topic that was well worth reading more about and making my way through the book. I felt like it was well researched and covered the subject of Orcas at Seaworld well. I have yet to read a counterpoint work, so at this time I can’t speak to if the book is biased in an unfair way or not. The anti-capitivity point of view of the book is prevalent, but I have to do some further reading before I’ll know what was fair and what wasn’t. (a single book from a specific point of view shouldn’t make up a person’s entire view on a subject).

I do know one thing from this book: Tilikum is emotionally damaged. He needs help, and the captive situation for him at Seaworld isn’t healthy. There is little reason to continue keeping him in captivity (he brings nothing to the breeding program any longer, after all) and the time has come to examine a retirement situation for him. Seaworld should prove that conversation and animal wellbeing are on the agenda beside creating entertaining shows.

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