I first visited Seaworld when I was seven or eight years old. This was in the year 2009, and the Believe show was in full swing. I went to Seaworld San Diego to clarify. I never went to Seaworld Orlando or Seaworld San Antonio. I was instantly hooked. I loved marine life, orcas were my favorite animals, I had Seaworld baby books and countless books on whales and dolphins and I wanted to be a Seaworld trainer or a marine biologist when I grew up. I never thought about where the orcas came from, and I never knew how small their tank is compared to what they’d do in the wild. My whale books told me how intelligent dolphins and orcas are, and that they could almost be as smart as we were.
I recently watched a video of the 2009 Believe show at San Diego with the trainers in the water. The video brought back a lot of memories of my childhood. I remember being really excited for the show after seeing the underwater viewing area. I really wanted to be the kid they picked from the audience to meet Shamu. The music, waterworks, and everything else just made the show really magical for me. I instantly wanted to become a Shamu trainer. I was hooked. I also really liked the rapids ride, the Arctic exhibit (with the penguins and helicopter ride) it was just an incredible experience for me.
The second time I went to Seaworld was when the One Ocean show was going on. The magic seemed to have faded a bit. The trainers were no longer in the water with the dolphins (yes, orcas or killer whales are dolphins) My mom whispered to my aunt, “Look, they just stand there now.” That was the last time I went to Seaworld. I will never go back now.
I knew about Blackfish but I never saw it until this year. After I saw it, I was disgusted with Seaworld, the place responsible for some of my best childhood memories. How dare they? And why was I so blind? Okay, I was a kid, but still. Why didn’t I think where they got the orcas from? How were they allowed to operate like that? I also found videos of other abuse that Seaworld had done too. All I can say is that I hope Seaworld shuts down soon for the good of the orcas. They deserve to be in the wild in sanctuaries. Not in a concrete pool.