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SeaWorld: Stranded whale video and 'Blackfish' documentary attract attention

SeaWorld: Stranded whale video goes viral, raising concerns about SeaWorld's whales just as a new documentary questions SeaWorld's treatment of orcas (killer whales).

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A birthday trip to SeaWorld turned disturbing when a young pilot whale beached itself and then apparently couldn't get back into the water. Video footage of the "stranded" whale has gone viral, though SeaWorld officials say the whale's behavior was normal.

On the heels of the stranded whale video comes "Blackfish," a documentary that may do for killer whales at marine parks what the Oscar-winning 2009 documentary "The Cove" did for dolphin slaughter in Japan.

Like the viral video, "Blackfish" began with a family trip to SeaWorld. The documentary explores what may have caused Tilikum, a 12,000-pound orca, to kill three people, including veteran SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010.

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News of Ms. Brancheau's death during a show at SeaWorld in Orlando inspired director Gabriela Cowperthwaite to explore what happened. SeaWorld first claimed that the trainer had slipped and fallen; later, it said Tilikum had been spooked by Brancheau's ponytail.


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