SeaWorld Faring Poorly in CNN Poll – Only 14% of Respondents Would Bring Their Familes

Please follow and like us:
Pin Share

Update: CNN has added yet another showing with a live blog (so you can give them feedback) on Sunday 10/27/13 at 9PM EDT.
CNN will show an encore presentation of  “Blackfish on Saturday, 10/26/13, at 7 pm EST, 4 pm PST.
cnn poll jpg small crop
Starting early in the day yesterday with an interview by Seattle area Orca Network’s Howard Garrett, CNN showcased an impressive line-up of experts to debate the killer whale captivity issue. Journalist Tim Zimmermann appeared on Crossfire while AC360 featured orca expert Dr. Naomi Rose along with Blackfish film producer Gabriela Cowperwaithe. CNN invited the public to ask questions and to send tweets as Blackfish was shown repeated, and they ran a poll to gauge public sentiment on taking families to SeaWorld.
Because SeaWorld refused all requests to appear, the network managed to find pro-captivity spokesmen but their appearance only served to accentuate SeaWorld’s absence from the table since they were not able to address specific SeaWorld issues raised by the film.
CNN has posted this  Crossfire segment, in which a clear request is made to SeaWorld to come out and speak to the public:

In an article at TakePart, author David Kirby outlines the brewing controversy:

Tonight, the documentary about captive orcas, Blackfish, premieres on CNN. The film centers on the 2010 death of SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau by Tilikum, raising serious questions about the highly profitable practice of keeping killer whales in captivity. While SeaWorld has criticized film, they have declined requests by CNN to be interviewed on camera. But, this week, company spokesman Fred Jacobs did provide written answers to a few of the most poignant issues in the documentary.
-Millions of SeaWorld visitors, Jacobs wrote to CNN, “have experienced killer whales in a way that is personal, enriching and inspirational,” adding that it is “our hope” that every SeaWorld visitor will leave the park “with a greater understanding of and appreciation for all the animals we display, including killer whales.”
-And while SeaWorld is certified by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, meaning they meet minimum conservation requirements, during the several times I [Kirby] visited the park to research my book, I heard virtually nothing that would educate people about killer whales in the wild, how long they live, their social bonds, their hunting patterns, and ways to conserve their threatened natural habitats. Instead, I “learned” that whales like blaring music, roaring crowds, back-flips and French kissing.

-In Killer Controversy: Why Orcas Should No Longer Be Kept in Captivity, Dr. Naomi Rose writes “The science is in, and we should realize that nothing—not profit, not education, not conservation – can justify keeping this large, social, intelligent predator in a small box.” Her paper highlighted “the growing body of scientific evidence showing that orcas do not adapt to captivity,” including the example of captive female orcas giving birth too young and too often, which lead to a higher death rate for both mother and child.

CNN is challenging us all to look behind the veil of loud music and bright lights at killer whale shows, and to notice the price paid by the animals. We must choose whether we there is any place for that in modern society, and the one argument that theme parks make, that if it hadn’t been for captivity no one would care, is irrelevant.
At least 86% of us do care, and don’t want to see animals suffer for amusement.

Update – video of CNN interview with Howard Garrett now available:

Please follow and like us:
Pin Share

Leave a Reply