The movie Blackfish was released in July 2013. You were asked to be a part of that revealing documentary. You declined. Now, six months after release, you have issued an Open Letter to give us the "truth."
You say, "Sea World does not capture killer whales in the wild. Due to the groundbreaking success of our research in marine mammal reproduction, we haven’t collected a killer whale from the wild in 35 years."
I ask, "By 'groundbreaking success of our research' do you mean the ejaculation of Tilikum that was shown in Blackfish and attested to by former employers?" You are sick. All in the name of billion dollar profits.
You say, " We do not separate killer whale moms and calves."
I ask, "Can you then explain why it was caught on tape at least twice? Why former "trainers" are haunted by the mourning sounds made by the mothers? How exactly did you kidnap your first whales?" You tricked a pod into separating mothers and children from their fathers and you stole two-year-old Tilikum along with two other calves.
You say, "Sea World invests millions of dollars in the care of our killer whales."
I ask, "Doesn't a billion dollar business demand such an investment? Should we now see you as animal activists?"
You say, "Our habitats are among the largest in the world today."
I ask, "As large as the ocean? How can an animal designed to swim up to 100 miles per day do so in your cage?"
You say, "Sea World’s killer whales’ life spans are equivalent with those in the wild."
I ask, "How about the quality of that life? Unable to swim or hunt for food. Being made to perform in order to eat. How is that equivalent to those in the wild?"
You say, "The killer whales in our care benefit those in the wild."
I ask, "Will you stop passing yourselves off as good Samaritans?" You are a corporation with profits as your only goal. The animals in the wild were designed to live independently of humans and their research.
You say, "Sea World is a world leader in animal rescue. The millions of people who visit our parks each year make possible Sea World’s world-renowned work in rescue, rehabilitation and release "
I ask, "How many orcas have been released?"
You say, "Naturalist Baba Dioum put it best when he said, 'In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we have been taught.'”
I ask, "Didn't the zookeeper in Mr. Popper's Penguins say it best in regard to animals in captivity? 'They only care about the one who's holding the fish.'? Didn't Tilikum kill three people because he does not, in fact, like to perform? Because he does not, in fact, have a relationship with his trainers? Don't those three deaths prove that we can't really understand what we have 'conserved' through kidnapping Tilikum from his family?"
What you didn't say is that you had no response to Blackfish during its making or after its release until at least eight musical performers cancelled shows at your parks. What you didn't say is, "It's all about the almighty dollar."
On behalf of Tilikum,
Melanie Clough (cluff)