tv Blackfish CNN May 27, 2016 6:00pm-8:01pm PDT
sneezing, runny nose and nasal congestion. return to the world with new clarispray. tonight, cnn again presents the award-winning film "blackfish" which we first aired in 2013. this film focuses on the controversy of the capture, breeding and the use of killer whales for entertainment in theme parks such as seaworld. opposition to killer whale captivity exists before "blackfish." but this remarkable film combined with the reach of cnn turned protest into a movement. after it first aired seaworld's attendance and stock price declined. the company refused our multiple requests for an interview. then in a major about-face, in marchek, seaworld announced it will end its killer whale breeding program immediately, and phase out its orca theatrical shows. in a statement the ceo said the killer whale issue is a growing reason why many people don't visit seaworld and this is about the best thing for our orcas, or guests, our ambassadors and our company. first time viewers will feel the film's power.
if you've seen it before, this time will remind you of what it was that made "blackfish" on cnn such a catalyst for change. fire rescue. >> ah -- 6600 sea harbor drive. seaworld stadium. >> okay. >> we actually have a trainer in the water with one of our whales. the whale that they're not supposed to be in the water with. >> okay. we'll get somebody en route. >> gate 3. seaworld stadium. >> gate 3.
>> county sheriff office. >> we need response for a dead person at seaworld. a whale has eaten one of the trainers. >> a whale ate one of the trainers? >> that's correct. [ cheers and applause ] ♪ >> do you believe? >> my parents first brought me to a seaworld park when i was very young. from that point forward i was hooked. it meant everything to me, because, you know, i'd never wanted anything more.
>> i remember, you know, being probably in first or second grade watching national geographic specials or mutual of omaha specials and seeing whales and dolphins, and as a little kid being incredibly inspired by it. i never went to seaworld. i went to the bronx zoo. >> i grew up around the ocean. >> i came from the middle of the country in flat land kansas. >> from virginia. traveled down to the theme park in orlando when i was 17 and saw the night show at shamu stadium. very emotional, popular music and i was very driven to want to do that. >> and i saw what the trainers did, and i said, that's what i want to do. >> one of the trainers there, what are you doing out there? you should be a trainer. it i don't know how to train animals. i never trained animals in my
life. >> how do you prepare yourself for an 8,000 pound orca. >> i always thought you needed degree in biology to be a trainer t. takes years and experience to meet the strict to meet in the water with shamu. >> your personality and how well you swim. >> tried out. got the job right away. i was excited. so, so excited. >> i really wanted to be there, i couldn't wait to get in the water with the animals. i was proud to be a seaworld trainer. the most amazing job. >> i showed up on my first day not really knowing what to expect. i was told to put on a wetsuit and get in the water. >> hi, mom! >> ah, i was scared out of my wits. >> first of all i put my wetsuit on backwards because i was raised on a farm in virginia. >> hi, dan. >> my first thought and memory of that time was that dolphins are a lot bigger than they looked when you get in the water next to them.
>> well, i watched this sea lion otter show and this guy mike morocco comes out during the show with a dress on, as dorky, the ultra ego dorothy, in a dress with a sea lion. the coward sea lion. right? walking along with a little basket and i go, i will never, ever do that. two months later -- hi, i'm dorky! [ laughter ] walking out onstage with the sea lion. ♪ >> i was overwhelmed and i was so excited. i mean, just seeing the killer whale. it's breathtaking. >> i was just in awe. it's shocking to see how large they are and how beautiful they are. >> being, you know, in the presence of the killer whales was just inspiring and amazing and i remember seeing them for the first time not being able to
believe how huge they were. >> you're there because you want to train killer whales and that's your goal. [ applause ] >> i didn't know it was going to happen so i wasn't expecting it. one day, sam, okay, you're ready to go. you're going to stand on the whale. you're going to dive off the whale. the whale's going to swim under you and pick you up again and then you're going to do a perimeter ride around the pool. they just told me to go do and they just told me to go do and i did. wow. i just rode a killer whale. [ applause ] >> you did it, girly. >> when you look into their eyes, you know somebody is home. somebody's looking back. you form a very personal relationship with your animal. >> there's something absolutely amazing about working with an
animal. you are a team and you build a relationship together, and -- you both understand the goal, and you help each other. >> i've been with this whale since i was 18 years old, and i've seen her have all four babies. we've grown up together. huh? >> that the joy i got out of it, is just a relationship like i've never had. ♪ >> come back. >> i have to know. are you nervous? >> i'm scared. >> no. >> nice hair. [ laughter ] >> did you see anything? >> you're going to go over there. he's going -- >> oh, that's don. >> wow.
>> supervisor one day. >> there you go. >> oh! >> i knew dawn when she was new. a great person to work with and obviously blossomed into one of seaworld's best trainers. >> dawn is the senior trainer here at shamu stadium. >> i guess you could say i kind of knew dawn in a past life. >> it's a tough job? >> we go through a lot of physical exertion. do a lot of deep water work. breath holds. very high energy behaviors with the animals. obviously they're giving out a lot of energy as having a lot of fun. >> beautiful, blonde, athletic, friendly. everybody loves dawn. >> and i mean this sincerely. watching you perform yesterday, you're amazing. >> thank you. >> you really are. >> she captured what it means to be a seaworld trainer. she had so much experience, that it made me realize what happened to her really could have happened to anyone.
>> this is detective rivera, the orange county sheriff's office today. date february 24, 2010, time 4:16. in the room with me right now is a thomas george tobin. is that correct? >> right. >> did you see any blood in the water or anything like that? >> well, that's part of -- she was scalped and there was no blood. so pretty much we knew then that the heart wasn't beating. >> once they were able to pull her away, how did he let go of the -- >> he didn't. >> he never let go of the -- >> the arm. >> he swallowed it. >> so the arm is nowhere -- >> right. >> on behalf of the federal government basically suggesting that swimming with orcas is inherently dangerous, and you can't completely predict the outcome when you enter the environment. >> what's the crux of the osha case. stay out of proximity with the animals and you don't get
killed. >> it will have a ripple effect through the whole industry. this is national headline news. >> seaworld's whale performances may never be the same. >> the theme park is arguing in court to keep whale trainers in the ocean. something osha says is extremely dangerous. >> these are wild animals and unpredictable because we don't speak whale, we don't speak tiger or monkey. >> tempers flared between the two sides when osha suggested seaworld only made changes after trainer dawn brancheau's death outraged the public. >> and they won't go back in the water without a barrier between them and the whales. >> and it's too dangerous. >> they won't then be getting in the water riding on the whales things like that? >> if you were in a bathtub for 25 years don't you think you'd get irritated, aggravated maybe a little psychotic? >> the situation with dawn brancheau, it didn't just happen.
it's not a singular event. you have to go back over 20 years to understand this. >> it was a really exciting thing to do until everybody wanted to do it. >> what were they telling you you were going to do? >> capture orcas. >> whew-hoo! >> they had aircraft, they had spotters, they had speed boats, they had bombs they were throwing in the water. they were lighting their bombs with acetylene torches in their boats and throwing as fast as they could to herd the whales into coves, but the orcas had been caught before, and they knew what was going on, and they
knew their young ones would be taken from them. so the adults without young went east into a cul-de-sac and the boats followed thinking they would all go that way while the mothers with babies went north, but the capture teams had aircraft and they have to come up for air eventually and when they did, the capture teams alerted the boats and said, oh, no. they're going north. the ones with babies. so the boats, speedboats, caught them there and herded them in, and then they had fishing boats with nets they would stretch across so none could leave and then they could just pick out the young ones. >> we were only after the little ones. and the little ones, you know, it's a big animal still, but i was told because of shipping costs, that's why they only take the little ones. >> they had the young ones that they wanted in the corrals so
they dropped the nets, and all the others could have left, but they stayed. >> we're there trying to get the young orca in the stretcher, and the whole fam damnly is out near the big line, and they're communicating back and forth. well, you understand then what you're doing. you know? >> i lost it. i mean, i just -- started crying. i didn't stop working, but i -- you know -- just couldn't handle it.
just like kidnapping a little kid away from a mother. everybody's watching, what can you do? but the worst i could think of. i can't think of anything worse than that. now this really sounds bad, but when the whole hunt was over there was three dead whales in the net, and so they had peter and brian and i cut the whales open. fill them with rocks put anchors on their tail and sink them. well -- really, i didn't even think about it being illegal at that point. i thought it was a p.r. thing. >> they were finally ejected from the state of washington by a court order in 1976. it was seaworld by name that was told, do not come back to washington to capture whales. without missing a beat, they
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>> i had actually seen tilikum quite a number of times. he was right across the street here in victoria. >> this show can get a little foggy -- >> all it was, a net hanging in a marina with a float around it. >> tilikum was the one we really liked to work with. well behaved and always eager to please. >> first introduced everything went fine and dandy but the previous trainer used punishment, with a team orca with tilikum untrained. sending them both off to do the same behavior. if tilikum wouldn't do it, both animals were punished. deprived of food to keep them hungry causing a lot of strain with the older animal and frustrated with tilikum and rake him with his teeth.
>> there would be times during certain seasons tilikum would be covered head to toe with rakes. rakes are teeth on teeth and raking the skin from head to toe you could see blood and scratches, and he would just be raked up. >> both females would gang up on him. tilikum was the one we trusted. we never were concerned with tilikum. the issue is we stored them in a module which was 20 feet across and probably 30 feet deep as a safety precaution because we were worried about people cutting the net and letting them go and the lights were all turned out. no stimulation, just in this dark, metal 20 foot by 30 foot pool for two-thirds of their life. >> when we first started they were quite small and quite young. so they fit in there quite nicely, but they were immobile for the most part. it didn't feel good. it just didn't. and -- it was just wrong.
we started having difficulty getting them all into this one small, steel box, to be honest. that's what it was. it was a floating steel box. >> where food deprivation would come in. we'd hold back food and they would know if they were in the module, they would get their food. if they're hungry enough, they would go in there. >> during the winter, from 5:00 until 7:00 in the morning. >> you let them out you'd see tooth rakes and sometimes see blood. >> closing that door on him and knowing he's locked in there for the whole night is like -- to staff, it's a, whoa. >> if that is true, that's not only, you know, inhumane and i'll tell them so but it probably led to what i think is the psychosis that he was on a hair trigger. he'd kill.
[ sirens ] >> an employee is dead after an encounter. >> at a canadian park called sea land of the pacific. sealand of -- >> the victim, championship swimmer and part-time worker at sealand. >> rescuers used a huge net. >> hindered by the whales. >> i'd like to make the change this summer my more immediate goal swim fast and nationals. >> it was sort of a cloudy, gray day, and we were looking for something to do. so we thought, why not go to sealand? it was kind of like a dingy pool with these whales. >> it just felt a little like an amusement park that was kind of on its last legs and everything was a bit gray. >> yeah. like a swimming pool. >> yeah. >> you know. three whales in a swimming pool. >> yeah.
and they would come up and touch the ball and there was -- i think there was have tail splashing. >> some jumping. >> with the fish. >> they hold the fish and the whales jump up, and i remember saying, oh, what a fun job. you know? she's so lucky. and then -- i saw her walking with rubber boots and she tripped and her foot just dipped into the edge of the pool and she lost her balance, fell in and was pushing her way up to get out of the pool and the whale zoomed over, grabbed her boot and pulled her back in. at first i didn't think it was that serious, because you see the trainer in the pool with the whale and you think, oh, well, the whales are used to that. you know? all of a sudden it started getting -- there was more swimming, more activity, more thrashing and she was starting to get panicked. as it progressed you started to realize, well, something's not right here. >> she started to scream, and she started looking around, and
her eyes were like -- bigger and bigger in realizing that, i really am in trouble here. >> and then -- they would pull her under, and then they would come up and then when they'd come up she'd be, help me, help me. then they'd take her down again. >> and she would be submerged for several seconds up to, i don't know. maybe a minute. you don't -- you're not keeping track. >> so, you know, it was harder and harder for her to, you know, to, you know, get the air in, because she was screaming. and my sister remembers her saying, i don't want to die. condolences to her family. >> yeah. >> that we couldn't help her. >> it was pretty retched. >> sealand closed. it's probably a good thing. i mean it was a little pond. and i think the owner, you know, made the right decision for whatever reasons.
i don't believe he's a bad guy, a bad man. i think he was shocked by the whole affair, too. >> the blush was gone from the business, and he decided that -- that was it. we should shut down. >> and no one ever contacted us. there was an inquest. no one ever asked us to say what happened. you know? we just left. >> and no big lawsuits afterwards, and there's no memorial, and, you know, the only thing remaining of keltie barren is -- is -- you know, what's left in the folks' minds who recall the case. >> so in the newspaper articles, the cause death was that she drowned accidentally, but you know, she was pulled under by the whale. >> there's a bit of smoke and mirrors going on. one of the fundamental facts is none of the witnesses were clear about which whale pulled keltie in. >> yes, yeah. it was the large whale, tilikum,
the male is the one that went after her, and the other two just kind of circled around, but he was definitely the instigator, and -- >> and we knew it was that whale because he had the flopped over fin. like, it was very easy to tell. >> sealand of the pacific closed its doors and was looking, i guess, to make a buck on the way out and these whales are worth millions of dollars. >> when seaworld heard that tilikum was available, after this accident at sealand of the pacific, they really wanted tilikum because they needed a breeder. i don't even think that anybody even was questioning, like, is this a good idea? >> my understanding the situation was that tilikum and the others would not be used in shows. not performance animals. our understanding of their behavior, it was such a highly stimulating event for them they were likely to repeat it. >> sealand, we were young, sea cowboys and weren't so technical
and scientific yet as seaworld and had a vision they knew more than us, better than us and tilikum would have a bigger pool, better life, better care and better food and be a great life for him. so it was like, okay, tilly -- you're going to disneyland. lucky you! tite control. clinically proven to help reduce hunger between meals. new, from metamucil, the #1 doctor recommended brand. [ boss ] it is a very smart plan. so we're all on board? [ paul ] no. this is a stupid plan. hate drama? go to cars.com. research. price. find. only cars.com helps you get the right car without all the drama. only cars.com helps you get the right car "daddy doing work",d it's funny that i've been in the news for being a dad. windows 10 is great because i need to keep organized. school, grocery shopping.
orcas' intelligence may be even superior to man's. as parents they are exemplary, better than many human beings, and like human beings, they have a profound instinct for vengeance. presenting "orca." >> if you go back only 35 years, we knew nothing. in fact, less than nothing. what the public had was superstition and fear. >> a fight to the death. between the two most dangerous animals on earth. where what in hell are you? >> these were the vicious killer whales that had, you know, 48 sharp teeth that would rip you to shreds if they got a chance. what we learned is that they're amazingly friendly and
understanding and intuitively want to be your companion. >> are you recording this? [ laughter ] >> and to this day there is no record of an orca doing any harm to any human in the wild. ♪ >> they live in these big families, and they have life spans very similar to human life spans. the females can live to about 100, maybe more. males to about 50 or 60, but the adult offspring never leave their mother's side. each community has a completely different set of behaviors. each has a complete repertoire of vocalizations with no overlap.
you could call them languages. the scientific community is reluctant to say that any other animal other than humans uses languages, but there's every indication in they use languages. >> the orca brain just screams out intelligence, awareness. we took this tremendous brain and we put it in a magnetic resonance imaging scanner. what we found was just astounding. they've got a part of the brain that humans don't have. a part of their brain has extended out right adjacent to their limbic system. the system processes emotions. the safest inference would be these are animals that have highly elaborated emotional lives. it's becoming clear that dolphins and whales have a sense of self, a sense of social bonding that they've taken to another level, much stronger and much more complex than in other mammals, including humans.
we look at mass strandings, the fact that they stand by each other. everything about them is social, everything. it's been suggested that their whole sense of self is distributed among the individuals in their group. >> five of them. these orca are going to attack this sea lion. they have been breaking the ice off and swimming around him. oh, here they come two of them look. you can see them underneath. they made a big wave. look at that. big wave. oh, yeah. >> oh, god, no, no, no. i can't stand it. >> if you can't watch the bullfight, you better leave. here they go, look at this. three of them. >> oh, god, oh, no, oh, god. >> it's all over. >> no, not yet. >> yeah, it's all over. it's all over.
♪ >> the first nation's people and the fishermen on the coast, they call them blackfish. they're an animal that possesses great spiritual power, and they're not to be meddled with. i've spent a lot of time around killer whales, and they are always in charge. i never get out of the boat. i never mess with them. the speed and the power is quite amazing. rules are the same as the pool hall. keep one foot on the floor at all times.
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he arrived, i think, in 1992. i was at whale and dolphin stadium when he arrived. and he's twice as large as the next animal in the facility. >> right at about 12,000 pounds. that's -- that's incredible. he looks fantastic. >> when tilikum arrived at seaworld, he was attacked viciously repeatedly by katina and others. in the wild, it's a very matriarchal society. male whales are kept at the perimeter. in captivity, animals are squeezed into very close proximity. tilikum, the poor guy is so large, he couldn't get away because he just is not as mobile relative to the smaller and more agile females. and where was he going to run? there's no place to run. >> i think he spent a lot of time in isolation.
seaworld claims he's always with the females, but from what i saw he was mostly put with the females for breeding purposes and he didn't spend a lot of time with the other whales. >> it's for his own protection, you know, he gets beat up, and so by segregating him, it provides a physical barrier so the females can't kick his butt. >> tilikum is pretty much kept in the back, and then brought out at the very end as like the big splash. he was always happy to see you in the morning. >> hi. >> there we go. >> good boy. >> look at his choppers. >> maybe because he was alone. maybe because he was hungry. maybe because he liked you. who knows what was going on in his head. >> want to whistle? >> yes? >> that was really loud. >> come on, big boy. >> he seemed to like to work.
he seemed to be interested. he seemed to want to learn new things. he seemed to be enjoying, you know, working with the trainers. >> he, for me, was a joy. he really responded to me, and i, you know, every day i went to work, i was happy to see tili. >> that's cute. [ laughter ] >> you're being too cute. >> i never got the impression of him, while i was there, that, you know, while i was there that, oh, my god, he's the scary whale. not at all. >> maybe some of its just our naivety or whatever. you know, because we weren't given the full details of keltie's situation. >> i was under the impression that tilikum had nothing to do with her death. specifically, that it was the female whales responsible for her death.
what i found really odd at first was the way they were acting around this whale, and what they told us seemed to be two different things. the first day he arrived, i remember one of the senior trainers at seaworld, tilikum was in a pool and she was walking over a gate and she had her wet suit unzipped tied around her waist and making cooing noises and going hey, tilikum. what a cute whale and play talking at him and one of the supervisors said get her out of there, and just screamed at her like get her away from there. like they were so worried something would happen and i remember thinking, why are you guys making such a big deal out of this when he didn't actually kill her? well, clearly management thought there was some reason to exercise caution around him. you know? clearly, they knew more than they were telling us. next two behaviors you're going to be seeing, you can only see right here at seaworld.
>> jeff was out in the audience filming one of the shamu shows. it was a perfect show. all the hot dog sequences, water sequences went off great. >> i was really excited just to be capturing this because it was kind of turning out to be a great show. a show that's kind of complete, it doesn't -- it probably only happens a few times a week. >> at the very end of the show, liz was working tilikum and apparently tilikum lunged out of the water at her. >> and i had captured tilikum coming out of the water kind of turning sideways and appeared to me to try to grab liz, and at that moment, the tape became unusable. i was just kind of basically instructed to get rid of the tape. wanting to kind of preserve the tape, i actually used the editing equipment and snipped out that little half second or second when he did that and stitched it back together so it just kind of looked like a glitch in the tape. and i'm like, look at this. it was like, no. this is no longer usable. so we had to destroy the tape.
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>> i spewed out the party line during shows. i'm totally mortified now. there's something like look at namu. namu's not doing that because she has to. >> namu is doing this because she really wants to. oh, my gosh. some of the things i'm embarrassed by, so embarrassed by. >> at the time of think i could have convinced myself that the relationships that we had were build on something stronger than the fact that i'm giving them fish. you know, i like to think that. but i don't know that that's the truth. i had been there a while and i had seen a few other things along the way that made me question why i was there and what we were doing with these animals. >> on november 4th, 1988, a
killer whale at sea world gave the performance of a lifetime. come see our new baby shamu. >> i knew it was naive of me, but i thought it was our responsibility to do as much as we could to keep their family units together since we knew that in the wild that's what happens. ♪ yes, sir, that's our baby >> kalina was the baby shamu. she had become quite disruptive and challenging her mom a little bit and disrupting some shows and that kind of thing. ♪ she's got the whole place jumping, shamu, she's our baby what i mean ♪ >> it was decided by the higher
ups she's would be moved to another park when she was just 4 years old. that was news to us. to me it had never crossed my mind that they might be moving the baby from her mom. the supervisors basically was kind of mocking me like you're saying, oh, poor colina, what's she going to do without her mommy? >> and that of course just shut me up. so the night of the move we had to deploy the nets to separate them and get colina, the baby, into the med pool. and catina was generally a quiet whale, not an overly vocal whale. after colina was removed from the scene and put on the truck and taken to the airport and the mom was left in the pool, she stayed in the corner of the pool like literally just shaking and screaming, screeching, crying like i'd never seen her do
anything like that. and the other females in the pool, maybe once or twice during the night they'd come out and check on her and she'd screech and cry and they would just run back. there was nothing that you could call that watching it besides grief. >> those are not your whales. you love them and you think i'm one that touches them, feeds them, keeps them alive, gives them the care that they need. they're not your whales. they own them. they were very close. kazaka was the mother, takara was the calf. takara was special to me. they are inseparable. when they separated them, it was to take takara to florida. once she had already been stretchered out of the pool, put on the truck, driven to the
airport, kazaka continued to make vocals that had never been heard before. they brought in the senior research scientist to analyze the vocals. they were long range vocals. she was trying something that no one had even heard before looking for takara. that's heartbreaking. how can anyone look at that and think that that is morally acceptable? it's not. it is not okay. the tempur-breeze makes me,
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standby, dean. >> let's go live to seaworld where dean gomersoll is joining us for a sneak peek. hi, dean. tell us about the new show. >> good afternoon, richard. the new show is whale and dolphin discovery. what it does is it shows the relationship we have between all our animals here -- >> there's so many things that were told to us.
they tell you so many times that you start believing it, you know. >> all the animals here get along very well. it's just like training your dog really. >> i was blind. i was a kid. i didn't know what i was doing really. >> nice. good job. you did a real good job. ♪ >> ladies and gentlemen, this a david from maryland. go ahead and wave at everyone, david. >> i just really bought into what they told us. you know, i learned to say what they told us to tell the audience. >> hello out there. children are some of shamu's biggest fans. we can do just about anything we want. i thought i knew everything about killer whales when i worked there and everything about these animals. i really know nothing about killer whales. i know a lot about being a killer whale trainer, but i don't know anything about these animals' natural history or their behavior. i really in some ways believed a lot of what i was learning from them because why would they lie? >> because the whales in their pools die young, they like to say that all orcas die at 25 or 30 years. >> 25 to 35 years. >> 25 to 35 years. >> they're documented in the
wild living to be about 35, mid-30s. they tend to live longer in this environment because they have all the veterinary care. >> and of course that's false. we knew by 1980 after half a dozen years of research that they live equivalent to human life spans, and every other potentially embarrassing fact is twisted and turned and denied one way or another. >> so in the wild they live -- >> less. >> and then -- >> like the floppy dorsal fins. >> 25% of whales have a fin that turns over like that as they get older. >> dorsal collapse happens in less than 1% of wild killer whales. we know this. all of the captive males, 100%, have collapsed dorsal fins. >> and they say that they're a family. that the whales are in their family.
they have their pods. but that's just an artificial assemblage of this collection, however management decides they should mix them and whichever ones happen to be born or bought or brought in. that's not a family. you know. come on. >> you've got animals from different cultural subsets, these are different nations. these aren't just two different killer whales. these animals, they've got different genes. they use different languages. >> what can happen as a result of them being thrown in with other whales that they haven't grown up with, that are not part of their culture is there's hyperaggression. a lot of violence, a lot of killing in captivity that you don't ever see in the wild. >> for the health and safety of the animals, please, do not put your hands in the water. >> there's always sort of this backdrop, this underpinning of tensions between animals. whale on whale, aggression was
just part of your -- the daily existence. >> we ask that you use the stairs and aisleways as you exit. please, do not step on the seats. these areas may become wet and, therefore, slippery to some footwear. thank you. >> in the wild, when there's tension, they've got thousands of square miles to exit the scene and they can get away. you don't have that in captivity. >> can you imagine being in a small, concrete enclosure for your life when you're used to swimming 100 miles a day? ♪ free feeling >> sometimes this aggression became very severe and, in fact, whales have died in captivity because of this aggression. >> 1988, trying to assert dominance over corky. rammed corky. fractured her jaw, which cut an artery in her head and then she bled out. that's got to be a hard way to go down.
>> i saw that there was just a lot of things that weren't right, and there was a lot of misinformation, and something was amiss and i sort of compartmentalized that part of it and did the best i could with the knowledge i had to take care of the animals that were there and i think all the trainers have the same thing in their heart. they're trying to make a difference in the lives of the animals. >> you think that, if i leave, who's going to take care of tilikum? that's why i stayed. i felt sorry for tilikum. the nuts and bolts, i stayed because i felt sorry for tilikum and i couldn't bring myself to stop coming and trying to take care of him. ♪ gosh, do i love coming out here every day and having the audience just love what we're
doing with the animals. how do i make this animal as beautiful as they are and have people walk away loving this animal and they're moved and touched, and i feel i made a difference to them. >> i left a month before dawn passed away. she was, like, a safety guru. i mean, she was always double checking, making sure that everyone was doing the right thing. so i remember she would record every show that she did and watch it, and critique herself, and she was constantly trying to be better. when i found out it was dawn, i was shocked. that could have been me. i could have been the spotter. what if i was there and could have saved her? all of these things go through your mind. ♪
>> john silica in 1987 was crushed between two whales in seaworld, san diego. i worked there six months and had no idea it even happened. never ahead the story. it was a trainer error. >> it was john's fault. you know? john's fault. he was supposed to get off that whale and for years i believed that and i told people that. ♪ >> i actually started at seaworld five days after that event occurred, and we weren't told much about it, other than it was trainer error. and, you know, especially when you're new into the program you don't really question a whole lot. years later you look at the footage. he didn't do anything wrong. that whale landed on him. that whale went to the wrong spot. could have been aggression but it was not the trainer's fault at all, you know, watching that video. >> when i saw the video of the
killer whale landing on john, i mean, it absolutely took my breath away. i gasped. i watched it two or three timed and every time i saw that, i gasped and i couldn't believe what i was seeing, what kept his body together. his wetsuit kept him together and he has tons of hardware in his body and hard to believe i didn't actually see that video while i was actually an animal trainer. seems to me every person who works with killer whales should have to watch that video. >> tameri made mistakes. most important one, interacting with whales without a spotter.
so she's putting her foot on orca. she's taking her foot off. putting her foot on orca, taking it off. watching the video, knowing orchid, your stomach drops because you know what's problem going to happen. she grabbed her foot. tameri whipped around and she grabs the gate. you see her just ripped from the gate. at this point she knows she's in trouble. she's under the water, flash and orchid both have her. totally out of view. no other trainer knows that this is happening. people start to scream, you know, as the park guests filming it. you hear, you don't see her, but you hear tameri surface. you hear her just scream out, somebody help me and the way she screamed it, it was just such a blood curdling, like, she knew she was going to die. rob, when he ran over he made a brilliant decision. he told the trainer to run and take the chain off the gate. by taking that chain off, it would give the precursor to orca
that she was coming in. he was more dominant than orchid, so orchid let her go. her arm, it was u shaped. it was compound fractured. she's very lucky to be alive, that's for sure. ♪ >> i believe that 70-plus maybe even more just killer whale trainer accidents. maybe 30 of them happened prior to me actually being hired by seaworld and i knew about none of them. >> i've seen animals come out at trainers. >> something's wrong. >> i've seen people get slammed.
>> the whales if they're just playing, or upset for a second. it was just something that happened, you know? it's a culture, you get back on the horse, and you dive back in the water and if you're hurt, well, then, we have other people that will replace you. you've come a long way. you sure you want that? >> a seaworld trainer is recovering today after a terrifying ordeal in front of a horrified audience. ♪
>> for some reason the whale just took a different approach to what it was going to do with a very senior, very experienced trainer, ken peters, and dragged him to the bottom of the pool and held him on the bottom. let him go. picked him up. took him down again. and these periods he was taken down were pretty close to the mark. you know. a minute, a minute 20. when he was at the surface he didn't panic. he didn't thrash or scream.
maybe he's just built that way, but he -- he stroked the whale. and the whale let go of one foot and grabbed the other. >> that's a pretty deep pool, and he took him right down. i think that's to two atmospheres pressure. apparently mr. peters is an experienced scuba diver and that knowledge probably contributed to how he was able to be pulled down there, stay calm and know what to do.
he knew what he was doing. you can see him actually in the film. the depth is so good. you can see him ventilating really hard. so he knows about swimming, diving, being under water. may have been assuming he was %-p by his calm demeanor during that whole affair. i would be scared shitless. ♪ >> he was near to the end. presumably ken peters had a relationship with this whale. maybe he did. maybe that's what saved him, but peters got the whale to let him go, and they strung a net across. and ken peters pulled himself over the float line and swam
like a demon to a slide out, because the whale was coming right behind him. the whale jumped over and came right after him. he tried to stand up and run, of course, his feet were damaged, just fell and he scrambled. and they take this as a prime example of their training working, and, you know, they say, well, stand back, stay calm that did work. they claimed this is a victory of how they do business. and maybe so, but it can also be interpreted as a hair's breadth away from another fatality.
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hi, shamu. hi, everybody. we're the johnsons from detroit, michigan. >> we sure had a great time visiting seaworld. it's one of our favorite places. >> yeah. i like the part when shamu gets everybody wet. >> when the whales get close to the glass and start kicking out the water, wham-o, you're a goner! ♪ orange county sheriff deputies identified the 27-year-old man found dead in a killer whale's tank at seaworld. the victim is daniel p. dukes from south carolina. dukes was found yesterday draped over the back of tilikum, the largest whale held in captivity. >> all i know is their version of it, a young man arrested not
long before he snuck into seaworld, maybe climbed the barbed wire fence and stayed after hours. >> typical story line, a mentally disturbed guy hides in the park after hours answers strips his clothes off and decides he wants to have a magical experience with an orca and drowns because he became hyperthermic. that's the story line and none of us was there to know the difference. >> he was not detected by the night watch trainers, who were presumably at that station. >> there are cameras all over seaworld, all over the back of shamu stadium pointing every which way, there are underwater cameras. i find it hard to believe that
nobody knew until the morning that there was a body in there. they have a night watch trainer every night. that person didn't hear any splashing or screaming? i mean, i just find that really suspicious. >> one of the employees, i don't know if it was a physical therapist or somebody was coming in in the morning and there was tilikum, you know, with a dead guy, a dead, naked guy on his back, kind of parading him around the back pool. the public relations spin on this was that he was kind of a drifter and died of hypothermia, but the medical examiner reports were more graphic than that. for example, tilikum stripped him, bit off his genitals, bite marks all over his body. >> whether that was post-death or pre-death, i don't know. all i can comment on is that the
guy definitely jumped in the wrong pool. >> so why keep tilikum there? this guy here, a proven track record of killing people. clearly a liability to the institution, why keep him around? quite simple to answer. that is, his semen is worth a lot of money. >> over the years tilikum has been one of the main breeding whales at seaworld. it's brilliant because they can inseminate way more female whales. get his sperm and freeze it and he's basically a sperm bank. rule one, you wouldn't breed an animal that shown aggression towards humans. imagine if you had a pit bull, that animal would have likely been put down. in the entire seaworld
collection, 54% of the whales in seaworld's collection now have tilikum's genes. >> the fault is to assume that all killer whales are like tilikum. you have to look at their learning history from birth and understand why tilikum was a hazard to anyone in the water and understand that none of the other whales at seaworld are that way. >> what about the incident at the laura park? >> i can't speak to laura park. i wasn't there. in fact, i know very little about it. probably about as much as the general public knows. ♪ [ speaking in foreign language ]
>> loro parque, it's in the canary islands, autonomous area of spain. largest tourist attraction in all of spain. [ speaking in foreign language ] >> and when seaworld sent the orcas there, everybody was always questioning, like, how did they make that leap to send four young orcas to a park off the west coast of africa with trainers who a lot of them had never been around orcas before.
nothing was ready. the venue wasn't ready. it wasn't ready for the orcas. it wasn't ready for a show. the owner of the park didn't want to lose revenue by shutting down the pools and repairing them. so for three years the animals ate the pools and for three years the animals had problems. with their teeth, with their stomachs. so that's the reason why these animals are enduring these procedures. those are still seaworld's animals and they are responsible for those animals.
>> loro parque doesn't have a good reputation, people that work in the business know the reputation of places, and this park does not have a good reputation. they didn't spend the same amount of time as the seaworld trainers. did not go through the same regimen that the seaworld trainers went through. you know, and really the best trainer, and i said you're the only trainer there -- that -- that can hold its own with a seaworld trainer and i said, but you need to be careful. ♪ [ speaking in foreign language ] >> anywhere along the line it could have been stopped because everybody knew it was tragedy waiting to happen but no one ever did anything about it, and in the end it was the best trainer who lost his life.
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shamu's potential, we see it each and every day. that's why all of our actions are carefully thought out, especially our water work interactions -- whoa! you big dork! especially our water work interactions because they're potentially the most dangerous. >> i've been expecting it since the second person was killed. i've been expecting somebody to be, to be killed by tilikum. i'm surprised it took as long as it did. >> first tonight, a 6 ton killer whale lived up to his name killing an experienced trainer at seaworld, orlando today. >> a tourist said the animal seemed agitated. >> trainers complained the whales weren't cooperating. >> the whole show, the main show, was a disaster that day. >> there was you know, whales chasing each other and eventually the trainers decided
to stop the show because they couldn't get the whales under control. >> tilikum was set up to do a dive with the shamu performance with dawn. >> luckily she saw what had gone on and felt more pressure to do a good show. when you watch the whole video you can see that tilikum is actually really with dawn in the beginning of the video. there's a couple of behaviors she asks him to do where tilikum jumps right in, does exactly what she asks him to do. >> show you how agile. >> there seemed to be a point in the session where things went south, so to speak, and in my humble opinion, it was at that missed bridge, whistle bridge, on the perimeter peck wave.
>> she asked him to do a perimeter pack wave, asked him to basically go all the way around the pool, and wave his flipper. and she blows her whistle. which is a bridge, which tells the animal that, okay, you've done a good job, come back and get food, but he missed that cue. and he went all the way around the pool on this perimeter pack wave. >> we're going to let her keep on waving. >> my interpretation, he didn't hear the whistle. >> didn't hear the bridge, went and did a perfect behavior and what he got, a three-second response, no, you didn't do the correct thing. you're not going to get rewarded and we're going to move on and you can also see through the video dawn is running out of food. >> the animals sense when you're getting to the bottom of the bucket of fish because they can
hear the ice swishing around in the soupy bottom and the handful of the fish delivered by the trainer are all getting smaller. so they know they're coming to the end of session. >> when you see the difference between the beginning of the video and the end of the video, you can see he's not just quite on his game anymore. >> there's no food left. she kept asking for more and more behaviors. he wasn't getting reinforced for the behaviors she was getting and was probably frustrated towards the end. then she walked around the perimeter of g pool. he followed her. and then continued over into the rocky ledge area, where she laid down with him to do a relationship session, which is, it's quiet time, basically. >> tilikum at some point grabbed ahold of her left forearm and started to drag her and eventually did a barrel roll and pulled her in. may have started as play or frustration and clearly escalated to be, you know, very violent behavior that i think was anything but play. in the end, you know, he basically just completely
mutilated that poor girl. >> they were gathering all of the trainers at the texas park. he said there's been an he said there's been an accident at the florida park, and a trainer was killed. hearing that it was dawn, i was, i couldn't believe it. i just remember saying to myself, not dawn. it can't be dawn. he said that and he still has her. and i just -- was so disturbed by that and the reality of how powerless we are. >> convulsion, laceration, fractures, fractures and
associated hemorrhages, blunt force traumas to the main body, to the extremities -- to see this meted out against a trainer, and i cannot fathom the reason. it's shocking. the lawyer for osha asked me what i thought we'd learned, and i'm sitting in the courtroom and i've got the keltie bern case file in one hand and i've got dawn brancheau in the other and they're almost to the day 20 years apart and i'm looking at these two things. my only answer is, nothing. in fact, it's not a damn thing. we have not learned a damn thing for something like that to happen 20 years apart. an 6 pacs of the bargain brand combined. cascade. what are you doing?
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can you tell if it was an accident? >> did this female trainer work with this whale -- >> i don't know. we had a female trainer back in the whale holding area, she apparently slipped or fell into the tank and was fatally injured by one of the whales. >> the first report that a trainer slipped and fell into the water and was drowned. that was the first report. >> it wasn't until eyewitness accounts disputed that and said wait, we have to come up with a new plan. >> the killer whale pulled the trainer into the water, she didn't fall into the water as
was initially said. >> a ponytail. shouldn't have had a long ponytail. it should have been up in a bun. >> dawn would tell you it was her. that was her mistake, in allowing that to happen. >> they blamed her. how dare you? how disrespectful for you to blame her when she's not even alive to defend herself. >> he grabbed her ponytailed and pulled her into the water. that's as simple as it gets. >> there are photographs of plenty of other trainers doing exactly the same thing she was doing. so i knew seaworld was lying about the fact this was her fault. >> the ponytail in all likelihood is just a tail. the safety spotter who apparently didn't actually see the takedown came up with that. >> excited? >> yeah! >> during the spotter's testimony osha pushed him to say he wasn't really sure it was her ponytail in the whale's mouth. he just saw her underwater and assumed it was the ponytail. osha contends the whale grabbed
on her arm saying it was another level of aggressiveness. seaworld saying it was not an aggressive move. >> one of the top curators said when dawn was pulled off the ledge it wasn't necessarily an aggressive behavior by the whale. >> the initial grab was not an act of aggression. this is not a crazed animal. >> they have an invested interest in spinning these so the animals appear like cuddly teddy bears completely safe. that sells a lot of shamu dolls and tickets at the gate, and that's the story line they're going to continue to stick with for as long as they can. ♪ >> recognize that those that say this is a crazed animal that acted out and grabbed dawn maliciously, they want to prove the theorem that captivity makes
animals crazy, and that is just false. >> all whales in captivity have a bad life. they're all emotionally destroyed, they're all psychologically traumatized. so they are ticking time bombs. it's not just tilikum. >> we have to separate what happened to dawn and as tragic as it is, no one wants to ever see it happen again. can seaworld create an environment where it never happens again? yes, i absolutely believe they can. what if there were no seaworlds? i can't imagine a society with the value we put in marine mammals, if those parks didn't exist. >> i'm not at all interested in having my daughter, who is 3 1/2, grow up thinking that it's normalized to have these intelligent, highly evolved animals in concrete pools. i don't want her to think that's
how we treat the kin that we find ourselves around on this planet. i think it's atrocious. >> this hearing's is expected to last all week with osha continuing to work towards this theory -- that seaworld knew there was a calculated risk of injury or death but put trainers in the waters with the whales anyway. while seaworld will say dawn brancheau's death was an isolated incident. for west 2 news. ♪ aerating the lawn! (vo) but with nationwide it's no big deal. okay, your retirement plan is all set. nationwide? awesome. nice neighborhood. ♪ nationwide is on your side ♪ one♪coat, yes! one coat guaranteed marquee interior.
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that's -- when you have a relationship with an animal and you -- you understand that he's killing not to be a savage. he's not killing because he's just crazy, not killing because he doesn't know what he's doing. he's killing because he's frustrated and has aggravations and he doesn't know how to -- has no outlet for it. >> now tilikum was spending a great deal of time by himself and basically floating lifeless in a pool. >> three hours now. and he hasn't moved. >> they try to sugar coat it by saying he comes out in the front pool every once in a while. now he's doing shows. do you know what he does in a show? he does a few bows and goes back in his little jail cell. that's his life. [ cheers and applause ] >> i feel sad for tilikum. a regal thing like him swimming
around the tank with his fin flopped over like that. compared to a wild bull killer whale that size? one of the most kinetic and dynamic things you can imagine. i feel sad when i see him. >> it's time to stop the shows. it's time to stop forcing these animals to perform and basically a circus environment and they should release the animals that are young and healthy enough to be released and the animals like tilikum, old and sick and put in 25 years in the industry should be released to an open ocean pen to live out their lives and experience the natural rhythms of the ocean. >> this is a multibillion organization that makes its money through the exploitation of orcas. >> they're not suitable to have in captivity. the whales are really bored. you deprive them of all of this
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