Directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite Blackfish is a 2013 documentary film that premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival in January 2013. The emotional and captivating piece was picked up by Magnolia Pictures for wider release.
Blackfish focuses on the captivity of orca Tilikum, who was found to be involved in the deaths of three individuals. The movie highlights the consequences of keeping such highly intelligent and emotional animals in captivity.
During Saturday nights Cowtown Rodeo in New Jersey, 9 year old rodeo horse Buck died after 8 seconds of wild bucking due to an aneurysm of the aorta. Third generation Cowtown owner Grant Harris claims that although 10,000 volt animal rods are still fixed to the inside of their chutes, the horses are not electrocuted in order to trigger wild bucking. Contrary to Harris’ claims the horses are not shocked, animal rights group SHARK have released a video which shows the Cowtown Rodeo administering 10,000 volts of electricity to horses during their shows. After suffering a seizure which saw Duke die in front of a crowd of spectators, witnesses claim the horse was later pulled from the ring by a tractor. This is just one more example where the care and concern for an animal’s welfare is overruled by the value of money and entertainment.
When showing this video to a friend, her reply to me was “How can people do that to an elephant?” Well the reality is tourists do this to these elephants, maybe not physically, but through their desire to experience such a majestic creature up close. The people who train these animals are driven solely by the money the tourist brings. If tourists stop paying, then these practices will cease to exist. If this video stops just one person from funding this practice, then it has done it’s job.
It is heartbreaking to watch, yet the importance of uncovering these practices and using it to educate others is a pivotal step in order to create change.
Please share this video!