The Blackfish Backlash
Guest post By: Kaylin Williams
Hello everyone! I’m Kaylin Williams and I am just a 15 year old girl who lives in Texas. I first visited SeaWorld when I was 6 years old and I saw the “Believe” show. This was when I decided I had a passion for marine animals. I attended SeaWorld again in 2011, 2012, and 2013 during the summer months. I realized I wanted to become a SeaWorld animal trainer in 2011. I walked into Shamu Stadium in SeaWorld San Antonio, Texas. My family and I sat in the very first row, right in front of the blue slide out…the oh-so-famous Splash Zone. The music starts for “One Ocean” and the killer whales begin their behaviors. I wanted to cry because I was so happy and I felt at home in that place. I was astounded…they are magnificent, massive and powerful animals, and as an animal trainer you are vulnerable and fragile. Just seeing the bonding and interaction between these dolphins, (killer whales are the largest member of the dolphin family, so they are considered dolphins) is extraordinarily breathtaking. I decided right then at 12 years old that this, is what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I now keep in contact with many IMATA members, Trainers, Kyle Kittleson, Bridgette Davis, Dan Decker, The Dawn Brancheau Foundation and many others. I recommend you go watch Kyle Kittleson’s response to ‘Blackfish’ on YouTube!!!
I have been gathering information for the last 4-5 years about SeaWorld and I have gathered the truth. I am here to tell you about it. Dawn Brancheau and Laura Surovik are my biggest inspirations. Dawn Brancheau was the woman drowned and brutally dismantled by Tilikum, the largest killer whale in captivity in the world at 12,000 pounds. The film “Blackfish” is spreading misinformation across the world. This movie disrespects Dawn’s legacy. She was a beautiful woman who cared so much about those animals and she fulfilled the dream she had since she was 9 years old. She had that unforgettable smile that we will never forget and a personality we will cherish. This “Shockumentary” is a movie. You can’t believe everything you see in the media. The truth is in SeaWorld Parks and the trainers who work directly with the animals. In ‘Blackfish’ you see these trainers, what they don’t tell you is that one was fired for kicking an otter, another was fired for not following safety protocol and putting his head in a killer whales’ mouth to impress girls in the audience. John Hargrove wanted to be a movie star and when he left SeaWorld Texas to go to SeaWorld San Diego, he hired people to film him doing waterwork, he’s a part of ‘Blackfish’ because he wanted to be in a movie. Samantha Berg has never been in the water with a killer whale and only worked at SeaWorld for 3 years, only one year was spent at Shamu Stadium. Most of the trainers mentioned in the biased film have never spent a day at Shamu Stadium, were fired, and or were demoted and got frustrated. PETA is also a extreme group of people that need to stop criticizing SeaWorld while they are euthanizing young puppies they “rescued” in the back of a van and dumping their precious bodies in a dumpster. These extremists protest that captivity is stressful for the animals, yet these people have the audacity to euthanize animals in less than 24 hours because they don’t want them being held captive in a loving home.
IMATA is an organization that is speaking out. I am speaking out. This is my passion and my drive has led to my utmost goal to fulfill my life’s dream. I am only 15, but I hope people will listen to the truth and spread the message about SeaWorld and conservation. I am the voice of SeaWorld and I will continue to support this facility. Thank you so much for listening to my opinions and goals. I greatly appreciate this opportunity to speak on behalf of my passions. Thank you so much!
SeaWorld Supporter, Conservationist and Future Marine Animal Trainer