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Cover 08/07/2013

New documentary 'Blackfish' puts SeaWorld on the offense

SeaWorld says doc is nothing more than a fish tale

Photo: , License: N/A

Photo: , License: N/A


In fact, Hargrove says, over the past few years the park has actually increased its artificial insemination program, to his dismay: “So now there’s more whales and less space in aging facilities from the 1980s,” he says. He says he recognizes that SeaWorld can’t just release its captive whales into the wild, but he thinks the company should be enlightened enough to recognize that keeping killer whales in captivity forever isn’t in the animals’ best interests. “First, we strip these animals from the ocean, now we forcibly inseminate them, and we do it just for profit,” he says. “It just doesn’t fit with 2013. I think people will realize that when they see the film. … And for SeaWorld, I want them to respond by giving these whales bigger and better pools with more enrichment. And I want them to stop the breeding program, so we don’t have these killer whales in captivity forever.”

Cowperthwaite shares his sentiments, but she says her movie’s intent is not to drive home an agenda. Rather, she says, she wants people to draw their own conclusions: “I believe that killer whales are absolutely not suited to captivity,” she says. “SeaWorld needs to be urged to end its captive breeding program and eventually phase out killer whales in captivity. … If my film can be an agent of change, I’m honored, but my intention when I made it was just simply to tell the truth. And I have to trust my audiences that once they see it, they’re going to make good decisions for themselves and their families.”

RELATED: Click the photo below to see 20 killer shots of whales in the wild:

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