Tag Archives: orlando

Protests at Three SeaWorld Locations Sparked by a Six Year Old Who Watched Blackfish

Once young Cash sneaked a peek at the film Blackfish, he was determined to see the whole movie. The film is upsetting even for adults, yet his parents wisely chose to help him put what he learned into a larger life lesson; everyone has the power effect change.

Cash turns seven years old today, and is doing his part to make a difference.
Cash turns six years old today, and is doing his part to make a difference.

Just five years old at the time, Cash decided to make a little film of his own (shown below) asking people to stay away from SeaWorld on his birthday (December 22nd, 2013).
The powerful documentary that sparked this junior activist is Blackfishit “traces a 39-year history of killer whales in captivity leading up to the 2010 killing of Sea World trainer Dawn Brancheau by the 12,000-pound orca, Tilikum, a whale previously associated with the death of two other people. Blackfish chillingly shows that this incident of violence is hardly an isolated one, along the way exploring the extraordinary nature of orcas, thought to be one of the most intelligent species in the animal kingdom.” CNN
Cash’s parents speak about his request on YouTube:

Our 5-year-old son Cash loves Animals, Nature and Science. While we didn’t mean for him to watch it, he snuck in the living room recently and caught a few minutes of the CNN Films documentary “Blackfish” (completely unbeknownst to us). We paused it immediately, but after talking to him about it at length, we decided it would be best for him to watch it start to finish.
It’s an amazing story and it affected him in a way we’ve never seen before. He demanded nobody go to Sea World for one day and wondered how we could tell “everyone in the whole wide world” about his Blackout idea.
We felt a video would be best….whether it reached 5 people or 500,000. This was completely Cash’s idea. We helped him with the script, came up with some creative locations, shot it on an iPhone 5S and cut it together with iMovie. The rest was all him.
We hope to change at least one person’s mind but would prefer many many more…..thanks for watching.


Cash’s engaging video has been shared far and wide, and in honor of his birthday wishes, protests were scheduled today at all three SeaWorld locations: San Diego, Orlando and San Antonio. Fins and Fluke’s Heather Murphy reported that the Orlando event was a huge success, which included a truck-mounted screen that circled the block playing the Blackfish trailer, and ended with everyone singing happy birthday to Cash.

Approximately 100 protesters showed up in honor of Cash's birthday request (notice the sign on the left).
Approximately 100 protesters showed up in honor of Cash’s birthday request (notice the sign on the left).

For their part, SeaWorld recently took out full-page advertisements in newspapers across the country countering the points made by Blackfish and by the book Death at Seaworldbut the ad was punctuated with inaccuracies and falsehoods.
Apparently they are no match for a little boy with a big dream.  Happy Birthday, Cash.
Blackfish can be seen on Netflix, Itunes, and Amazon.

Rescued Juvenile Pilot Whales Were Shipped to SeaWorld at 3 a.m. 9/5/12

Why the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute and SeaWorld chose to ship four young, vulnerable whales in the middle of the night is anyone’s guess – but mine is that they wanted to avoid potential protest. If that is so, it just means that the captive industry acknowledges the unpopularity of their treatment of whales and dolphins. The amusement parks are very well aware that public sentiment is shifting away from keeping whales and dolphins in captivity, and although as usual SeaWorld is claiming that they plan to release these whales their track record on following through is poor.

Young whales are now in SeaWorld.

Update: After being stabilized at here at Harbor Branch, the four juvenile short-finned pilot whales have been transported to SeaWorld Orlando for the next phase of their rehabilitation. Our veterinarian and animal care experts, in partnership with Marine Mammal Research and Conservation Program, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service, and SeaWorld Orlando began preparations late Tuesday for transport of the whales. At approximately 3 a.m. on Wednesday, September 5, the whales were carefully moved into a transport unit and safely arrived at SeaWorld Orlando at approximately 6:30 a.m. The whales will remain at SeaWorld Orlando for long-term rehabilitation, and their prognosis remains guarded.

People are seriously questioning the decision making that went into the whole rescue operation (22 pilot whales beached themselves on Saturday near Avalon Beach in Florida, more on this can be found here), when most of the whales were euthanized while four juveniles and a still nursing calf were taken to the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute. In other words, the mothers and families of these whales were euthanized while the young were kept.  No satisfactory explanation has been given as to why more of an effort was not made to help the stranded adults.  The officials offered only the usual song and dance about how the whales somehow chose to “drink the KoolAid” and follow their sick leader in mass suicide – there is no scientific proof that these intelligent animals would find this an effective survival strategy, clearly it is anything but.
SeaWorld has another opportunity here to reinvent itself into an organization that really is about education, rescue and rehabilitation. We’ll see.