Samantha Berg and Carol Ray Talk BLACKFISH, Working at SeaWorld, Speaking Out after the Death of Dawn Brancheau and SeaWorld’s Questionable Tactics

by     Posted 280 days ago

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Former SeaWorld trainers Samantha Berg and Carol Ray provide riveting accounts of their park experiences in writer/director Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s new documentary, Blackfish, which explores the dark side of killer whales in captivity.  They are among a handful of former SeaWorld trainers who appear in the film and share their initial attraction to working with the whales at the parks and their decision to speak out after veteran trainer Dawn Brancheau was killed by an orca named Tilikum at SeaWorld Orlando in 2010.  Opening July 19th, the film brings to light the details of the Brancheau tragedy and reveals other harrowing trainer-whale encounters through shocking, never-before-seen footage.

At the film’s recent press day, Berg and Ray talked about how they became involved in the documentary, why they wanted to work at SeaWorld and interact with the whales but sensed early on that something was amiss, how SeaWorld controlled the PR machine and  kept the trainers in the dark, why they decided to speak out after the Brancheau tragedy, what living in captivity does to large mammals, how SeaWorld uses questionable tactics to acquire wild animals for their parks, and what they would like to see change for the future. 

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