After watching the CNN documentary “Blackfish,” Steve-O, famous performer and comedian had the anti-SeaWorld campaign on his mind and, after passing “SeaWorld Drive” in San Diego, the inspiration for a perfect stunt struck him (see the video)
“I have a pretty passionate stance against animal cruelty, as everyone knows,” he said. “But I want to be really clear here too: when I go on tour to various locations, one of first things I think of is what kinds of trouble can I get to to shake things up and get some news … this worked out so great. I could kill two birds with one stone: bring attention to the cause I believe in, and bring attention to myself.”
Steve-O noted that he was very careful not to damage any property during the stunt. And the result is something of a circus itself. The whole ordeal (which took place last May) took five tries and cost him more than a few injuries, but Steve-O says it was worth it.
“It’s magical if I can take a wild and crazy stunt and do some good,” he said. “Here I am setting out to entertain people and then I can do something to make a difference.”
Have you seen Blackfish? Curious about orcas in captivity? Want to know more about how it affects them? Here is a comprehensive list of the bulk of the issues, from both pro-captivity and anti-captivity perspectives, to satisfy your thirst for knowledge about this controversial issue:
General Overview of Orcas in Captivity:
- What IS so Bad About SeaWorld?
- Killer Controversy: Why Orcas Should No Longer be Kept in Captivity
- Killer Whales Don’t Belong in Captivity—and Here’s Why
- The Case Against Killer Whale Captivity
- Blackfish: How Captivity Affects Killer Whales
- Killer Whales Should Not be Held Captive
- The Debate: Anti-Captivity Views
- Blackfish Director: Killer Whales Don’t Belong in Captivity
Captures of Wild Orcas
- The Penn Cove Orca Captures
- Rounding Up Shamu with Don Goldsberry
- Orca Stories—Penn Cove—Don Goldsberry of SeaWorld Inc.
- The Heartbreaking Real-Life Capture of Orcas
- North Eastern Pacific Captures
- North Western Pacific Captures
- Icelandic Captures
- Impact of the Captures Between 1962 and 1973 on the Southern Resident Killer Whale Community
- Orca Pod Destroyed in Japan
- Russian Orca Capture 2003
- Russian Orca Captures: The Inside Story
- Two Orcas Taken in Illegal Capture in Russia
- Corky Hears Her Family
Heath Problems/Injuries/Unnatural Deaths in Captivity
- The Hidden Cost of Captivity: Orca Health of Killer Whales Exposed
- Dorsal Fin Collapse in Killer Whales Explained
- Winnie the Orca Ingests Coins, Tiles, and Other Objects
- Kotar’s Skull Crushed by Gate
- Captive Orcas and Mosquitoes
- Killer Whale Captivity: Is Shamu Stressed?
- SeaWorld Orca Missing Huge Chunk of Chin
- What’s Eating Keet, SeaWorld’s Captive Killer Whale?
- SeaWorld’s Killer Whales Doped Up on Valium to Deal With Captive Life
- Keto and Tilikum Express the Stress of Orca Captivity
Wild Orca vs Captive Orca Lifespans
- Life Expectancy of Orcas in Captivity
- Survival Rates in Captivity
- How Long Do Orcas Live?
- Everything Wrong With SeaWorld’s Claims About Orca Lifespan
- SeaWorld Talks Killer Whale Life Expectancy and Fails Miserably
- 103-Year-Old Killer Whale Roaming the Canadian Coast
- The Truth About Wild Orca Lifespans
- NOAA Statement on Wild Orca Lifespan
- Do Killer Whales Live Longer in a SeaWorld Tank or the Ocean?
Stereotypical/Abnormal Behaviors in Captivity
- When the Orcas Aren’t Performing
- Keet Blowing Bubbles
- Keet Blowing Bubbles Part II
- Kalia Lies Motionlessly On Slideout
- Tilikum Floats at Surface with Mouth Hanging Open
- Kamogawa Sea World Orcas Throw Themselves on Slideouts
- Ulises Floats Motionlessly
- Ikaika Lying on Bottom of Tank
- Corky in a Comatose State
- Gifs and Videos of Abnormal and Stereotypical Behaviors
Statements from Wild Orca Scientists
- Kenneth Balcomb on Captivity
- Eva Saulitis on Captivity
- Dr. Ingrid Visser Speaks on Orcas in Captivity
- Orca Expert (Paul Spong) Provides Insight
- Ken Balcomb and Lolita (end of video)
Info/Statements from Ex-Trainers
- Ex-SeaWorld Trainers Speak Out Against Captivity
- Kim Ashdown, Former Trainer
- Blowing the Whistle—Ex-SeaWorld Orca Trainers Speak Out
- Jeff Ventre, Former Trainer
- Former Trainer Says Killer Whale Captivity Causes Attacks
- Samantha Berg, Former Trainer
- Blackfish Backlash: Former SeaWorld Trainer Carol Ray Speaks with Latin Times About Movement Started by Controversial Film
- Exclusive Interview: Former SeaWorld Trainer John Jett PhD Talks Tilikum
Captive Orca Attacks and the Deaths of Trainers
- List of Attacks in Captivity
- The Debate: Dangers to Trainers
- Kasatka Attacks and Nearly Drowns Ken Peters [Video]
- Brian Rokeach Bitten and Held Underwater By Orkid [Video]
- Kyuquot Attacks Steve Aibel *note: video is incorrectly labled as Dawn Brancheau*
- Original Shamu Attacks Annette Eckis [Video]
- Attack at Marineland France [Video]
- Orca Lunges at Trainer at Japanese Aquarium [Video]
- Orkid and Splash Attack Trainer Tamaree and Break Her Arm [Video]
- Lolita Snaps at Guests [Video]
- Killer in the Pool (comprehensive report of the deaths of Keltie Byrne, Dawn Brancheau, and Daniel Dukes)
- Blood in the Water (Death of Alexis Martinez)
Aggression Between Captive Orcas
- The Death of Kandu 5
- Killer Whale Bled to Death After Breaking Jaw in Fight
- Do Orcas at Marine Parks Injure One Another?
- Trials of Tekoa
- Strikes, Bites and Blood: The Graphic Case for Releasing Morgan, the Wild-Born Orca, From Captivity
- Gudrun Attempts to Drown Daughter Nyar
- Shamu Cam Aggression [Video]
- Kalia Raking Ulises
The Issue of Lolita the Orca
- A Day in the Life of Lolita, the Performing Orca
- Lolita’s Life Before Capture
- Lolita’s Capture
- Lolita Today
- Lolita: Slave to Entertainment
- Liberating Lolita
- From Washington State to Miami, Florida: Lolita’s Story
- Lolita the Orca—Caught, Bought, and Betrayed by the Hertz Family
- Is There Hope for Lolita, the World’s Loneliest Orca?
- Lolita the Orca: Facts, Legal Issues, and How to Get Her Home
- Lolita’s Retirement Plan
Kiska, Canada’s Loneliest Whale
- Marineland Conditions for Killer Whale Still Substandard
- Marineland: Killer Whale Bleeding for Months, Trainer Says
- The Life of Kiska
- Marineland In Depth: Kiska Suffers at Marineland
- Free Kiska: The Loneliest Killer Whale in the World
- It’s Time to Relocate Kiska, the “World’s Loneliest Orca”
- Marineland Killer Whale is Ill
Argentina’s Only Captive Orca: Kshamenk
- Sam Simon Says Kshamenk is ‘Most Abused Orca in the World’
- Kshamenk History
- Kshamenk Needs Humans to Help Him, Not Exploit Him
- Free Kshamenk
- Kshamenk—Not What We Thought, Something Bigger
Legal Battles Involving Orca Captivity
- SeaWorld vs OSHA
- Court Denies SeaWorld Appeal of OSHA Citations
- Here’s All the Places Around the World That Ban Orca Captivity
- NY “Blackfish” Bill to Ban Orca Captive Orcas Approved by Senate Committee
- "Blackfish" Inspires California Orca Bill
- California Bill Would Ban SeaWorld Orca Shows
- Bill to Ban Captive Orcas Put on Hold in California
(Please note: I do not agree with nor endorse any of the articles below, but I included both sides of the argument for the sake of fairness. In addition, I know this list is small, but please understand that it is extraordinarily difficult to find orca-specific articles from a pro-captivity point of view that actually focus on orcas alone. If you know of any more articles, please message me and I will gladly include them on this list.)
Statements from SeaWorld
- Truth About Blackfish
- Health and Daily Care
- Research Publications at SeaWorld
- Social Structure
- 69 Reasons You Shouldn’t Believe Blackfish
- SeaWorld Responds to Questions About Captive Orcas
on the twenty-eighth Thursday of last year
and I missed four days of work
and my mom wanted to know ‘Why’.
he was always a fan of beauty
but what he did
was not beautiful at all.
And last week I got the news
that one of my good friends from high school
except this time
she’d gone too far
and now she was gone.
And I had a hard time falling asleep at night
and her mother
hugged me tight
and thanked me for coming to the service
but I did not
want to be there at all.
This is not
The girl down the street
would’ve turned 21 last year
and I can scarcely imagine
the wild times she would’ve
But she is buried six feet deep
after falling nearly 300
and she did not leave a note.
This is not
My freshman year of college
and my roommate was beautiful
and how I wanted to be just like her.
But she wore herself down
till she was
and if you blinked
you had to go and find her all over again.
So now her parents are no longer supporting her college tuition
but are paying her hospital bills
watching their daughter crumble.
This is not
So y’all can take your narcissistic
of self harm and eating disorders and committing suicide
and shove them as far up your ass
as you possibly can.
Starvation is not beautiful.
Killing yourself is not beautiful.
is not beautiful.
This note I am writing
is not beautiful.
you are beautiful
and it’s about damn time you start believing it.