I have no doubt in my mind that the trainers who work at SeaWorld and interact with the animals daily love them more than any of us could possibly imagine. I appreciate the work that they do and I don’t imagine many people have entered into a career as physically and emotionally challenging (and rewarding) as being a killer whale trainer is.
I respect that despite all of the current media frenzy and war of words against Blackfish and SeaWorld, that this trainer was able to acknowledge that the film has given people the incentive to care enough to even ask questions. I also agree with her that there are some people, on both sides of the spectrum, that are not doing their research before they formulate an opinion, and instead resort to ignorant and hateful tactics to try and get their point across.
However, I find it offensive to listen to a trainer speak to the public and say, “To me, whether it’s a killer whale or a sea lion, let’s not differentiate based on their size or their intelligence.” Which seems to insinuate that there is no correlation between the size of an animal and the size of its habitat; instead the trainer interprets their environment as adequate if they are “happy” (anthropomorphism), breeding (not naturally), eating and interacting.
I also find it offensive to listen to a SeaWorld trainer (basically) disregard and trivialize the 40+ years of research scientists and doctors have gained from studying wild orca populations by insinuating that SeaWorld’s research of their killer whales has been at the forefront of helping the research of wild population dietary habits and vocalizations.
Lastly, the wild population of orcas in the Puget Sound: The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned to have their winter foraging areas designated and protected as “Critical Habitat.” (See more Here.) The SeaWorld trainer in the video acknowledges that this problem is due to overfishing and pollution, amongst other issues. I would love to know how this trainer believes working with the killer whales in SeaWorld will benefit that wild population. Perhaps, when their PR team is finished defending themselves against Blackfish, they can start by raising awareness and then donate to the ocean cleanup where these whales frequent.