Inside The Tanks (Full Documentary)

Inside The Tanks (Full Documentary)

For decades, marine captivity has been one
of the most profitable industries in the tourism sector, bringing millions of people around the world
to watch these animals jump, splash and play. But in recent years, a much darker side
to the industry has come to light. And whilst many of the marine parks
are thousands of miles away, Europe still has over thirty dolphinaria,
and some are closer than you think. My name is Jonny Meah,
and I’m flying to the South East of France, less than two hours from London Gatwick, to Marineland Antibes. I want to see for myself exactly
what goes on in these parks. You know, I don’t want this to be a propaganda piece. I want everyone to have their chance
to have their say on the matter, and I think that’s the only way
that we can move on. I want to find out what life is
like for these animals. It’s a prison, that’s exactly what it is. It wouldn’t be re-releasing
it would be kicking them out What goes on behind the scenes… I personally drugged whales, at Marineland. Yeah, she’s trained for it,
she’s trained for artificial insemination. And where, in light of SeaWorld’s decision
to ban the breeding of orca, do the likes of Marineland see themselves now. We’re talking with them about why,
for a start, they would do this Welcome to Antibes. A piece of paradise on the French Riviera. Famous for its fancy super yachts, crystal clear Mediterranean waters,
and its gorgeous old town. And with around 1.3 million tourists
visiting it per year, Antibes also lays claim
to the biggest marine park in Europe, and the only French sea park to have orcas. I have to say, first things first,
I was really shocked that France even had dolphins, and orcas,
in captivity, in the first place. You know, I thought they were a country that was similar in the outlook of captivity for these sort of animals, and marine animals, as we are in the U.K. I understand there are two sides to every story, so some people say that it’s an educational experience, whereas others think it’s demeaning for the animals,
and things like that. But I want to see both sides of the story, so I’ll be hopefully meeting up with
the guys from Marineland, to find out their opinion, and also the world famous marine biologist,
Dr Ingrid Visser. But first I’m heading off to meet
with the Born Free Foundation who along with Ingrid, have been analysing
marine parks across Europe to make sure they’re complying with a
piece of legislation called the EU Zoos Directive. – This research that you’re doing, what sort of things
have you been seeing, so far in Europe? – Well we’ve seen a lot of stereotypical behaviour,
almost in every facility, so that would include chewing on the concrete, logging,
bobbing up and down, burping, we’ve seen a lot of regurgitation of their food. – And why is it that they do this, do you think?
What’s the prime reason? – One word, boredom. – And how can you tell that? – There’s just nothing stimulating for them to do,
other than the feeding session, and the training. So, there is some training to alleviate the boredom, but it’s the same training they’ve been doing
for five, ten, twenty years. And there’s nothing in the tank,
just the concrete wall. – What’s the overall solution, because they can’t be
just chucked out into the wild surely? – There are, of course, obvious solutions to this. The quickest, easiest and most realistic is
to end the breeding of cetaceans in captivity. You know, even if that was implemented,
say next year, The industry would have, I don’t know,
around forty years to continue displaying
the newest generation of animals that it has, and then in the meantime,
we could look at seaside sanctuaries. So, hearing from Born Free today,
was enlightening, and it was great to hear their opinion,
but I still want to hear from Marineland, and we haven’t heard from them yet. I’ve emailed them, I’ve phoned them, over the past couple of weeks,
and I’ve had absolutely nothing back. So, if I don’t hear anything back after this email, then I guess I’m going to have to go in there and see
if we can speak to them, you know, face to face and see if we can get that interview there. I’m going to send this email, head to bed,
and hope that we get a response in the morning. Today, I want to see Marineland for myself,
and look at things purely through the eyes of a tourist. Marineland is home to nearly 40 different species, including sea lions, polar bears, orca and dolphins. And with that many different animals to see, you’d really expect there
to be a few more visitors around. As a tourist, obviously it’s difficult to say,
without the show starting here but without any of the music,
without any of the charade if you like, it does come down to, one giant pool. And I’ve been sitting here for about ten minutes, or so, and these guys, these dolphins, have just been
going round, and round, and round. And maybe it’s just a form of them getting exercise, but to me, it seems a bit of a tease that the sea is just there,
literally just a stone throw away, and they’re going round, and round,
and round, in this pool. As much as I’m trying to stay neutral, I can’t help but think
the dolphins seem completely bored. But I don’t want to be too quick to judge
so early on in the day, so I’ve decided to head back later, which gives me some time to see
Marineland’s four orcas who are about to perform
in the first show of the day. Wow, and here it is!
The orca tank. To be honest, on first inspection,
it looks big, it looks huge. I haven’t seen any of the orcas yet,
but the show is about to start, and looking at… oh, there’s one over there! I mean they’ve got several pools here, and I’ve certainly never seen a tank this big,
personally. But against the backdrop,
you’ve got the Alps there, it all looks pretty lovely in the sun, but I guess you’ve got to look deeper. The thing is on the big screen, you know, you feel like you’re learning something,
as they’ve got so many facts that are happening up there, and how we’re preserving the planet, and how we’re helping the species and it makes you feel like this is so right, and the purpose here is for a good reason. And that’s what I want to find out, is it? Does it help? I mean it’s clear that the trainers have an undeniable bond
with these animals. They clearly love them. You can see that. But you have to ask yourself then,
if they love them that much, can this really be bad for the animals
that they do adore? Or would they take a stand? You can’t blame people for
enjoying themselves here, because it seems so right.
It seems like it’s for education, it seems like it’s for a reason that’s for good. You know, people are clapping, they’re laughing,
and they’re learning. But are they?
That’s the question. After the theatrics of the show though,
once again, the atmosphere is completely different. The same animals that were jumping about,
and somersaulting through the air now seem lifeless, and bored. But it’s seeing how different the dolphins are
during the show, compared to this morning, that I’m starting to gain a clear picture. Again, it’s a performance.
That’s what it seems at the moment, a performance. But there’s all smiles, you can’t help but smile and again, I don’t know if that’s because of the music,
if that’s because everyone else is smiling, I can’t tell you why that is. But something about a dolphin
pushing someone by the feet, you don’t have to be an expert to tell that
that’s not a natural thing to do. I can see why people come to the park
to get an educational, or perceived, educational experience but I can’t help but feel
that these animals may be depressed. They only seem to come alive during their shows, and it seems to me that behind the scenes,
there’s a lot more than meets the eye. So, I’ve organized to have a chat, with ex-Marineland supervisor, John Hargrove. – So, I left SeaWorld of California
as a Senior Trainer, to basically run and take over
the killer whale program in France, because they wanted a SeaWorld product. They wanted to swim with their killer whales they’d never had trainers in the water with those whales. They didn’t know how to do it. So, myself and another SeaWorld trainer
from another park, we went over and took over the program. And we certainly had our fair share of aggressions. I personally had about
ten major water work aggressions, and the other SeaWorld trainer,
she had about twenty-five to thirty. – Talk to me, John, about the way
that the animals are treated at Marineland. – I mean, I’ll say this.
Trainers love the whales. They do. We went into it with the purest of intentions,
we were children, we didn’t know any better. When I went into it, I started in 1993,
resigned in 2012; I had no reason to believe that these whales
lived anything less than a perfect existence. It wasn’t until I was in my career,
and in my career for years, before you started seeing things, and realizing. Certainly, when we started
separating calves from their mothers, and you would see the way the mothers
and the calves would react, and the trauma. All the drugs, and the premature deaths. I mean, all of those whales are doped up
on so much medication. It’s unbelievable. – So, are these animals in Marineland, do you think that they would have to be drugged up?
– Absolutely. I personally drugged whales at Marineland, and I certainly wasn’t the only one. – So, what’s the future then,
as a result of this public pressure, what’s the future for the likes of Marineland? – You know, I think they’re kidding themselves, if they think that they’re going to continue
to have orcas in captivity, and people are going to accept that. You know, the mounting public pressure on them is going to do exactly to them
what happened to SeaWorld. Listen, if the likes of SeaWorld,
a multi-billion-dollar corporation, could not handle the pressure and the magnitude of the pressure
that was being put on them, Marineland in Antibes is certainly
not going to be able to handle that. Because they are nothing compared
to SeaWorld and the United States as far as size, or money, or resources. And if they want to try it,
and they want to go for it, and they want to try
and play the game, good luck let’s see who wins in the end. It’s clear that the debate surrounding
these animals in captivity is almost war-like. But today, I’m keen to get some facts on the matter so I’ll be spending time with Dr. Ingrid Visser as she carries out her research in the park. – So, I’m looking for things that show the issues. And one of the classic ones
is what’s termed ‘stereotypies’, and that’s abnormal, repetitive behaviors, that to us have no obvious outward function. You know, I’ve seen concrete chewing,
I’ve seen them head bobbing; I’ve seen them pattern swimming; I’ve seen them doing all sorts
of repetitive behaviors. And so that’s the sort of thing that I’m documenting, but I’m also looking for self-mutilation, where they repeatedly hit themselves
in one place or another, and they end up damaging themselves; and I’m looking also for teeth ware. But just as it’s getting interesting,
the conversation is brought to a stop. The Marineland representative wants to know exactly what Ingrid is filming,
and why she’s here. – Well have a good day! – Thank you very much, you too, take care.
– Thank you, bye. And in light of the questioning, Ingrid wants to get her research underway
as quickly as possible. But before she starts, I’m interested in finding out
how she deals with resistance to what she believes in. – Because there’s always that thin line,
as well, isn’t there? Between you sounding like you’re,
excuse the term, but a crazy activist. – Yeah absolutely! – To the general public, and also being someone who’s informing them
about something real, and realistic, and that they can relate to, and believe. – So how do you fight that battle? – Well, what I always do is I present the facts. And then the facts speak for themselves, so as a Scientist, if you can present the facts, then it’s logical to take the next step and go
‘okay, that’s not really what we should be doing’. Look, this ball playing behavior looks cute, but that’s not natural. How many dolphins have you ever seen out in the wild,
in any documentary, playing with a ball? And have a look on the end of the
rostrum, on the end of the tip. See, look at the wounds. – Yeah! – You see right at the top?
On the top and the bottom. – And what’s that?
Is that where he’s been… – That’s self-mutilation, and it’s actually bleeding.
You can see it. – Are these natural though? Would these dolphins
have injuries like this in the wild? – Sure, they do get injuries in the wild,
and sure, they get rake marks in the wild, too. But the fact of the matter is
that this is not natural in here. So, anything that happens,
because they’re in here, is not natural. If you look at these concrete walls,
there is nothing for these animals to look at. – Which is interesting, because the sea lions
and the seals seem to have, more enrichment? – No, on the surface they do. For you. That’s for you to look at.
That’s not for the animals. – So why don’t they put things like rocks under here? – Hello! Because they can’t keep it clean easily. This is a different dolphin again,
and more injuries on it. And this one, you have a look when it lifts its head out,
you’ll see a dark line on the side of it. Like, almost where its cheeks would be. Can you see that dark line there?
You watch when it lifts its head out now, see that dark line? – Yeah. – That is because it’s unnaturally bending its head
like this all the time. – So that’s almost like a stretch mark, is it? – Yeah, well kind of, it’s a crease from lifting its head
above the surface all the time. The observations that Ingrid is making
are so easy to miss for an untrained eye, but judging by what she’s saying, they are also
strong indications of distress within captivity. And it seems that in Ingrid’s eyes,
things are just as distressing for the orca! – What does it do to you
when you see them in a place like this? – This makes me feel ill. It makes me feel disgusted that humanity can do this
to these amazing, intelligent animals, and think it’s okay to sit there and clap and laugh. I mean it’s very demeaning for the animals. They have no choice. – But arguably, the audience clapping, it’s not because of them that these orcas are here
that’s because of the park. – No. The orca are here because of the people. – From a tourist point of view,
if they were to come here. They would see this tank, and they would think
‘Ah you know, it’s a decent size’. Not taking into consideration that
it’s nothing compared to the ocean, but they’d look and they’d say it’s a decent size. – Right, and this is what I mean about the education. – They’re not educating them that these animals
would normally travel 200 km a day. Right? A day. And not just for one day, not just for one week,
but all the time. That’s what these animals do. – And what do you think
they’re getting here, roughly? – Well, I’ve watched between the shows,
and mostly the animals are stationary. They’re not moving at all. And unfortunately, the aquarium
gives information to the public and says, ‘Well, you know, we provide them with food,
so they don’t need to swim’. Well that’s a load of rot. Because these animals have spent
millions of years evolving. They have a need, a biological need, to swim. That’s what they evolved for. For swimming. So, if you keep them penned up, then
you’re going to have a problem with that. – To me, seeing this, there appears to be
a real connection between the trainer and the orca. Is that just to an untrained eye? – Yeah. I mean the only connection that the orca have
to the trainer, is that they give them the food. – If you went in there and fed them for a week,
they’d have that connection with you too. It’s not a bond. – There’s a bond, certainly, on the human part,
you can’t deny the fact. – Oh sure, I mean you can’t tell me that
these guys don’t care about them. You see them interacting with the orca,
and they spend a lot of time with them. That’s not the point. The point is that the orca
have got no choice. It’s a prison. That’s exactly what it is. But it’s even worse than a prison,
because the prisoners have done something wrong. These guys did nothing wrong,
except for look beautiful. I can tell Ingrid is passionate, but I’d like to see
some more evidence of what she has witnessed, so I’ve agreed to meet with her later in the day. – Bonjour! But first, before I leave tomorrow, I want to try one last time to give Marineland
a chance to have their say. But it seems they’re making this
as difficult as possible. And after waiting, waiting
and waiting some more, the lady I’d been trying to contact for months
has come to chat. And somewhat surprisingly, has agreed to an interview in the park tomorrow,
before we leave. – So, that went weirdly well. We’ve been told yes,
we can have an interview. It’s just whether now they deliver on their promise. I’ve got another number to call, which I don’t know why
I didn’t get given it beforehand. But we’re going to call them, and hopefully, tomorrow
we’ll have that interview sorted. Brilliant. But, after ringing the Press Office as suggested. That phone number doesn’t exist. Convenient. Thankfully, after a very long, drawn out process
and a bit more digging around I’ve managed to speak to their Press Officer. They’ve told me that
they’ll call in the morning to confirm but I have to say, I’m not convinced. – One of the first things that I wanted to do
was just show you some of the teeth. You can see especially on these
how the tops are just worn off. So, they would normally be pointed like this. And so here, the wear has got to the extreme, where they’ve actually had to drill in
to take out the pulp. And so, if she goes and smacks that on the concrete,
it’s likely to just fracture. But the interesting thing is,
if you see these teeth like this, that’s relatively normal. But I’m going to show you another orca
where you don’t see any teeth at all. – Wow, yeah there’s literally nothing. – Yeah there’s literally no teeth. So, no teeth in the back row
and no teeth in the front row, here. So, the big push in captivity now, is that they’re trying to challenge
people like myself making statements about the orcas’ teeth
being worn in captivity, and they’re saying things like
‘In the wild some orca have got worn teeth’, and they are correct. But again, they’re distorting the message. Because in the wild
that happens through prey handling. Well, there’s none of that going on, right?
It’s straight down the throat. Through the type of feeding that they do, so we believe it’s possibly
suction feeding, sucking things in. Well again, hello, that’s not happening. The truth of the matter is, that these animals in captivity,
their teeth wouldn’t be like this in the wild. This is the calf. So, if you look at this
they look like a series of ‘V’s’. Those are from where the rake, the teeth went in and then the orca moved away
so they’ve left this ‘V’ mark. I mean, look. Rake marks happen in the wild,
but you don’t see calves, generally, bitten like this. And, what’s interesting is, even while we were there
this was happening. So, this was yesterday. Today, I’ve got another photograph. So, you want to see these ‘V’ marks,
so here we go. Here’s the ‘V’s’. – I can see straight away. – And here’s the little round one
and here’s new bite marks. – Yeah. – Look at that, and you can see, right there, the fresh flesh. – So, this is what your ticket buys you. I mean, you were asking me before, what are the solutions out there? So, let’s have a look at something. One thing that I’ve been involved in
is the concept of a cetacean sanctuary, or a sea pen. And, this is a very real island. – Okay, whereabouts? – Well if I told you, I’d have to kill you. [laugh] – Okay, alright. – I mean, it doesn’t matter where the island is. – Alright, what I’d say to you then instead is, could this be Europe? – This island could be anywhere. So, the idea here is that
you can have multiple sea pens, so that they’re separated. – But if you wanted to, you can open up a gate in between, or you can remove this net here, and the animals have got a bigger area. And then also, this is a corridor that we can move animals from one pen to the next, and the idea as well is that let’s say that we’ve got an animal that’s now
transitioning into a rehabilitation process, because it’s got good potential
for being released into the wild, so we want to distance it
more and more away from the people. Perhaps it comes back at the end of a week, and we reassess things, or it might just be ‘bye bye dolphin’. – So, do you think that these sea pens,
and sea sanctuaries could end up being led, or driven
by the current aquariums? – It’d be fantastic if they did that. I mean, these are the guys
who have the current knowledge on the medications for the animals,
on the food for the animals, and sure we want to help them improve. But they know those animals best. Right, so we would like to see
a full cooperation with them. It’s promising to hear that people like Ingrid are keen on cooperating with the likes of Marineland. But the next day
things aren’t looking quite as cooperative for me. The press officer called, asking me
to email more people at the park. And only after doing everything they’d asked, they’ve agreed to the interview, on the condition that
I show them our footage so far first. And after doing so, a very familiar face
has appeared for our interview. This is Jon Kershaw,
the Zoological Director of Marineland. He knows everything there is to know
about the animals in this park, and why for one, Marineland have them
in the first place. – For one thing, for shareholders, they make money. Let’s not make any bones about that. We’re a business; we’re not financed
by anybody from outside. So, the care that we give to our animals comes through the money that our visitors give us,
so we have to make money. As far as public perception is concerned,
yes, it’s changing. The public are asking for more. They don’t want to come in and see dolphins dancing, like they did back in the 1970s
with a rose in their mouth, and a hula-hoop. Nobody wants to see that anymore,
we used to put a hat on their head with a pipe. I was also intrigued as to why Marineland put a ban on their trainers
being in the water with the orcas. – There were two deaths in three months. There was one in the United States
and one in the Canary Islands, in three months. So, if something were to happen here,
straight away afterwards, I don’t know how I’d really explain that to a judge. – I was with Ingrid Visser yesterday,
here in Marineland, and one of her qualms was that,
one of them, was that this sort of tank would never be sufficient
for animals such as whales and dolphins, as it’s not big enough,
and it’s a concrete tank, which results in things such as self-mutilation and things such as stereotypies, where they’re
just pacing or they’re just not doing anything. How would you respond to that? – I would say she was right. – Right okay.
– I would say she was right. – Right okay. – I would say she was totally right. In the presence of totally incompetent training staff
and bad care for the animals. But that’s the case of every animal in captivity
as far as I’m concerned. – Various other people have said to me that
sea sanctuaries, sea pens, they’re the way forward. What would your response be to that? – They’re still in captivity in a sea pen. It’s exactly the same thing. It’s exactly what we do here. – You’d still need to feed these guys because there’s not enough fish that’s going to come
into their pen for them to support themselves. The other problem with a sea pen is,
you’re talking now, about animals that were born in this environment, that have been in contact with
probably a lot of germs, that the animals in the sea
have not been in contact with, they’ve had antibiotics when they were sick. Is it a good idea, just for the sake of four animals? They should be here;
we need to know all this stuff about these guys. – What about these lesions here? – Yeah, well this is an old animal for a start. Those are scuff-marks,
those are grazed knees, those are mucking about. Don’t forget these guys
have got no hands. If they want to find what’s going on,
they’ve got to do this with it, they’re going to push it around, they’re going to
muck about with the bottom of the pool, they’re going to take algae, they’re going to
pick up fish from the bottom, if there’s any there. They’re going to get their toys from the bottom, so obviously that’s the first thing that’s going to come
into contact with anything. – So, when they’re, what looks like, they’re chewing
on the concrete for example, what’s their reasoning behind that? – It’s just investigation, it’s just messing about,
it’s just something else to do, but it’s another reason. It shows that these animals are permanently inquisitive,
and permanently wanting to learn. – There was also, on Ingrid’s research that she did,
there was a crease on their neck. – It’s because they spend their life vertically. Probably yeah. – You’d agree with that? – Yeah, I’ve never thought of that to be honest. But yeah, why not?
Upright is not a natural position because what happens down there, in the wild,
is very important to them. – Because something could come and attack them? – I don’t think you’ll ever see a wild dolphin vertical
looking around like this. Or if you did, there’s something wrong with it. So, no, no, upright is not the way they would be,
but don’t forget their world is outside the pool. – Well that’s the final thing I want to ask you. – Everything is outside the pool
I’m guessing for the purpose of the audience. How comes there aren’t rocks and things for them to interact with,
under the pool where they spend most of their time? – Because they do that more often, probably,
which is what they do in the wild as well. – So, it’s not a case that it’s harder to clean?
It’s more money? It’s the case of, for the safety of the animals? – No, if we could leave the environment full of algae, with a load of rocks and sand at the bottom,
can you imagine how easy that would be? We wouldn’t be paying divers for a start. You see those guys over there?
They’d be out of work. I’m surprised at how seemingly open Jon is being, and more to the point
that he’s not altogether dismissing, and in some cases agreeing
with certain things Ingrid has said. I want to address some of the issues
surrounding the orca though, and Jon has agreed to give us
a closer look behind the scenes. And one of the first things I want to address, is the fact that the sea is surely
a better environment for these animals. – It’s a better environment for an animal
that’s used to being in the sea, yes. But this is a better environment
for animals that were born in this environment. And you’ll never convince them to the contrary. – So, they would never, in your eyes,
be able to adapt out there? – No. – Why would they bother?
You’d have to brainwash them, you’d have to take away everything
that they know at the moment. It just wouldn’t be fair. It wouldn’t be re-releasing,
it would be kicking them out. – Some people have said to me, including Ingrid,
that it’s all motivated by food. – Yeah, that’s what I used to think. – Maybe she should come and work with us
for a day, and see how it works now. When she was here last, it probably was
still in that era, you know, in the 1980s. But don’t forget
if your motivation is appetite based, as the appetite goes down,
so does the motivation. If it’s no challenge, they’re going to go
‘That’s not interesting’. The orcas seem reluctant to come
to the back pool where we are filming and I can’t help but wonder if
it’s due to the difference in pool size. – These pools are much smaller, but it’s not because they’re smaller
that they’re not as good. The main thing is that
you have to have equal interaction in every single pool. You can’t have one pool that you use
just for parking the animals. ‘Get out of the way, and go out the back’. There is no ‘out the back’. There’s no let’s go and do this in another pool. But don’t forget there are social ties
that you have to respect, as well. If you say to a mother,
‘You go there, we’re going to work with the baby’. And she says ‘no, no, no’. Which she will.
She’s a mother. Then there’s nothing you can do about that. Natural bonding is not something
that you can pull apart. Which is why they say
‘we separate mums and babies’. You try. And as mother and baby arrive,
it’s Marineland’s male calf that I want to find out more about! – In your eyes then,
is he a potential breeding male? – He is in the world community, yes, he is. – But not here. Not with his mum. He is a potential giver of sperm yes. – And you do hear stories
of inbreeding within captivity. – It happens in the wild. At least one generation, it must do. – Has inbreeding happened here? – I’m sure it has done, yeah. – So, looking here, this baby has a rake mark. – When you get fighting animals, the rake marks
are all situated around the head area. Because they go head on. That’s underneath,
that’s playing puppy dogs. Whilst this may be the case,
I can’t help but feel that if this orca was being attacked, surely it would try
and move its head out of the way first, and as a result, the other orcas’ teeth
would catch its body. But it’s the comments Ingrid made
about the adult male orca’s teeth that I’d like to address with Jon next. – We noticed in the pictures
that his teeth are quite gnawed down. – Worn down yeah. – They’re worn down. – What’s that a result of? – Investigating things with his teeth. – Right, so that’s not, again, you know,
where he’s been gnawing and self-mutilating? – It’s not mutilation, no.
– Right, so that’s not, again, you know,
where he’s been gnawing and self-mutilating? – It’s not mutilation, no. – It could be if you want to consider it negative, you can consider it a sign of boredom,
if you wanted to. But if you want, killer whales die in the wild
of teeth problems. They have big teeth problems. Because don’t forget
these guys are crushing bone all day and they break teeth very often,
and they die of tooth abscesses. Incredibly, Jon has more or less
just repeated word for word, what Ingrid had predicted
he would say about the topic, but I’m intrigued to see what he also has to say
about another issue to do with their teeth. – There seems like there’s drill marks in them. – Yes, we drill them out.
– There seems like there’s drill marks in them. – Yes, we drill them out. We drill them and instead of filling them,
we choose just to keep them flushed. Because if we fill a tooth like that,
we’re not going to be doing it in the conditions, the antiseptic conditions,
that would be feasible with man. We can’t do this sort of thing
with a killer whale tooth. So, a killer whale tooth that is opened once, stays open, and is flushed daily. Taking into account SeaWorld’s decision
to ban the breeding of orca in 2016, I thought the likes of Marineland
would be pressured into following suit. But judging by something I saw whilst at the park,
it seems that it may not be the case. – We saw last time we were here,
there was a tube being lined up and the orca was on its back. What’s this preparation for?
Is it artificial insemination? – No, that one wasn’t.
That was a fecal sample. For the training for the artificial insemination,
we don’t actually put things in. – Because you have to go a long way in. – But you do that regularly? – It can be done, yeah. She’s trained for it;
she’s trained for artificial insemination. – So, are there any plans in the near future,
or plans at all, to breed from her? – No, none at all. We have nothing planned, no. – So, you don’t intend for this population of orca
that you have here, to grow? – I’d like it to, but there’s a definite trend
to slow down on this sort of thing and our sperm comes from SeaWorld. – Right. So, SeaWorld donates the sperm samples? – Yeah, we’re still talking with them about why,
for a start, they would do this – Have they shot you in the back,
stabbed you in the back, by doing this? – No, they haven’t stabbed us in the back. I mean, SeaWorld is SeaWorld. They live as they want to,
and they believe in what they believe in, but I would really like to see
the reasoning behind all of this, to find out why it actually happened. I know they have twenty-something whales so it’s going to take years
before their whale population disappears. We have four. We’re in a little bit of a different situation
to what they are. – Do you think there’s ever a future here,
where you may move away from the theatrics and the music? And have it, more kind of, what you’re doing to me basically,
explaining the method behind it. Do you think there’s ever a chance that
that may be a direction that you guys would go? – I think the actual facility itself
would have to be so spectacular so that there is a reason for coming and seeing. Because there still has to be some sort of,
to attract visitors and let’s be very honest, that’s what we’re here for,
attracting visitors. To attract visitors there would have to be
a fantastic facility that would attract, if there’s not the show of the animals themselves,
to attract. But I’m sure we’re going to go towards a situation where all pools will have tunnels, there will be different areas that you can visit,
there will be small coves, there will be water currents. I’m sure we’re going towards
modern facilities being more and more natural. I’m sure we’re going to go that way. And I’m sure we’re going to naturally move away from everything we’re doing now,
simply because everybody has seen it. And it would be crippling financially
to continue doing the same thing when the public is asking
for new things all the time, permanently. After four days at Marineland,
I’m leaving with real mixed emotions. I have no doubt that the staff who work with
these incredible animals love them dearly. But I also can’t help but feel
the people behind the scenes, see these animals as nothing more
than a way to fill their pockets, and are too far removed
to see that these animals, regardless of whether it’s self-inflicted or not,
and are too far removed
to see that these animals, regardless of whether it’s self-inflicted or not, are silently suffering, in what can only
be described as a modern day marine circus. But the reassuring thing for me is, I’ve realized that the prospect of organizations,
marine biologists and hopefully marine parks,
working together to create the best future for these animals,
isn’t a million miles away. And one day, I’m sure,
you’ll only be able to see these animals where they truly belong! Since filming at Marineland, the French Government has banned
the breeding of whales, dolphins and porpoises in captivity.
This has been applauded by non-governmental organisations,
and marine mammal experts, around the globe. Jonny approached Marineland’s Zoological Director,
Jon Kershaw, for a statement… JON KERSHAW:
“We have stopped the killer whale breeding program.
I was against the idea of depriving a group of animals
of the most natural of functions. But given the situation […]
we’ve had no choice but to stop.
Unless the change in the law does not happen,
this will be the last generation of whales in France.” Marineland plan to appeal the ban… So, the question remains… What is the future for these animals?

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About the Author: Oren Garnes


  1. The polar bear at 4.12 looks sick, his fur is limp and he looks exhausted. The polar bears you see in nature documentaries in the wild look nothing like that. Imagine being adapted to the arctic and then forced to live in the south of france.

  2. i know that this is a really serious documentary and i feel bad for the animals there i do but am i the only one who got shane dawson vibes???

  3. If you want to see something actually beautiful you should go see them in the wild on a boat where they are free and not drugged

  4. You can already see the one is sick because its dorsal fin is already bending over. The only purpose is for profit. There are many other people who do responsible research while these mammals are in the wild.

  5. We do the same thing to our own kind. Humanity needs a fundamental change starting at the core of its social mind's existence. The problem is in our social education and the way we grow up to think about life and others. Let me pose a question to you; … If we removed from jail all the prisoners who have demonstrated they would kill more than once, and generally those prisoners who would be people we feared living among us, how many prisoners do you think would be left? I'm guessing more than 4/5. Our biggest challenge is to get a grip on the effect our own reasoning intelligence has in making us become evil and mean . We are a species of life that exists in a perpetual state of inadequate self destructive unbalance. If we were in the natural zone of well balanced evolution, we would not attack and kill thousands of our own children every day on the planet, we would not adapt so easily to eating breathing and swimming in our own waste, nor would be be so fascinated with the art of designing instruments to murder other human beings with.

  6. I think the kind of sanctuaries that Ingrid proposed is a better idea than having these great animals locked up in a tank. And the whole 'the orcas will encounter sickness due to exposed germs' thing is just a realistic issue that should be encountered when it comes to it. I mean really imagine never knowing a world beyond a fish tank? these animals should be rehabilitated, cared, and prepared for to be released into the wild, y'know? like and if the public really wanna pay to be momentarily "entertained" by these animals so badly they should allow visits to said sanctuaries where the people can be informed about animal marine life preservation..HONESTLY IM JUST MAD leave me alone. ; /

  7. i would side with the owner. he seems to be doing his best even if reality is sometimes ugly. … the ''keeping animals purely for our pleasure'' narrative seems a bit dishonest now.

  8. If only could we make it so that we could build seaside shelters for orcas where they can swim consensually to be fed and in return, people would pay money to see them. That's a Seaworld I want to see.

  9. In prison I did the same thing. I walked circles in my cell for hours. There was a faded circle on the concrete ground in the cell from inmates walking the same circle for decades.

  10. Here me out here me out, I do feel like they should be set outside in the wild but again 95% of the whale were forced to be put there because of what’s going on outside world they would be killed outside of the tanks we need to put a plan in place for safety for these animals before letting them go

  11. wait, did he honestly try the "well all the other animals in captivity are treated horribly, so why should here be better?"

  12. Ingrid is my personal hero. I wish I could win the lottery! I would give her all of it to make that Island real!!

  13. We gotta do away with these parks that keep these poor animals in cages. Any1 with a brain can see its fucked up and not right.

  14. Marine Land owner is a animal abuser…. They are kept in a constant state of starvation. So they perform on queue.

    Kiwi vet. First one to ever study beyond school, for longer than 2 months. To further their career…💯😁

  15. Compare the answers given by the Marineland park guy with the comments an announcer makes when a horse has cardiac arrest after being illegally tased at a rodeo. "Don't worry guys we have the best vets, let's give this horse a big hand!"

  16. These “trainers” are literally dumb they don’t know anything about these Beautiful Creatures – literally all they know is HAND MOVE MENT- like learn about what these creatures do not just torture them and put them in a jail cell for YEARS

  17. I am thankful there are people very few but some that care this deeply about animals. We are literally killing them‼️People get a grip. Let them go

  18. There is nothing educational about going to see these animals in captivity but a show. I dont remember anything they talked about as a kid watching the shows. It's just about money for them. They could study them just fine in the wild.

  19. Trying to sound legitimate? Bogus soundtrack, exaggerated speech and pointing out the obvious. You should go far on yt.

  20. For all those validating these peoples' behavior by saying "They'll die if they're released," just look at them. Death is a solace for them compared to the conditions they currently live in. These parks have depressed them so much to the point where they're self-harming and probably even suicidal. What a fucking bastardization of nature. Go live in a kiddie pool the rest of your life. Don't complain because you'll be properly fed and cared for. But you have to perform every day for a bunch of onlookers. And good luck even trying to resist, you'll be on oxycontin 95% of the time.

  21. These huge creatures should never be kept in captivity unless it is there for rehabilitation purposes….. They can think and feel just like you and me, they have their own family structure just like we humans have. This is not a matter if they will attack it’s when they will attack!!!!! Money isn’t the most important thing in the world…… is it??? These whales and dolphins should be protected around the entire world!!! The hunting of whales for any reason should be restricted, including the assholes that say they are doing research!!!!!!!!! (ASIANS)
    The guy toward the end of the video seemed honest about what he said such as these whales may have great difficulty adapting to the wild but with that said I feel as if the animals would rather try to make it in the wild rather than being caged up with a life sentence!!

  22. The problem with releasing them into the wild is they don't assimilate well. Before you tar and feather me I am from Oregon. does anyone remember the movie, Free Willy? Keiko started out in Mexico came to Oregon and the tank in Oregon was huge when it was decided to free him they took him to Norway kept him in a tank like this woman wants to do and released him He never got a pod he did not function he was drawn to humans he was used to his lifestyle in captivity and Died from phenomena. I don't agree with these parks they should not take these animals from the wild it is wrong. The animals just don't recover from being in captivity.

  23. These are wild animals so when they react in a wild way what do you expect when these “tanks” are like prison to them.. they want to live in the wild with there own kind ..they have to hunt for there food… not having it being hand fed to them.. free these whales and other animals let them live free and in the wild like they are suppose too..

  24. Actually when Kasatka took the trainer to the pool,she was worried about her daughter(who was crying) and had a reaction


  26. The obvious sign, that these orcas shouldn’t be captured, is the fin flops! As simple as a statement that that is… it’s that simple to see how wrong their captivity is!!! How selfish can we be?

  27. I don’t get why he’s trying to defend the customers. THEY are funding these places. They should educate themselves and not be so gullible. I was taught not to go to these places and taken to the actual ocean or beaches as we have those in my country. Swim with the fishes and appreciate them there.

  28. I’d rather go on a fishing boat and look at the Orcas on my breaks than go to a place like this!
    Check this out:

  29. The sea pen island was a brilliant idea. One thing about these companies is that they have to make money and if they done they'll go bankrupt and people will be out of a job etc etc. I feel like a great solution would be to have island resorts where the animals have a sea pen and people can go on dolphin/whale watching tours. This would provide the animals the pens and the ability to rehabilitate ones that can be released and the company as well. To take it even further they could have a whole resort and water park on the island providing more income and the money can go back into conservation. Could you imagine a whale watching tour where they can name the dolphin you see and say "this is Sam, he was born in captivity and will one day be released" it would be so beautiful. One of my biggest childhood memories was visiting a seaturtle rescue center where you could see injured turtles and they all had little name tags with descriptions about their rescue and expected release date. The center is still running and educates, rehabilitates, and provides a livelihood to the workers.

  30. They are breathing in chlorine fumes and living in chlorine. There's no stimulation for them. Food is withheld from them, babies ripped from them,,drugged up.. Omg god is watching people just stay idle about everything wrong..wars, starvation while others have food fights ..shouldn't the fact that we can go anywhere in the world in hours be used for starving people and not for financial gain.

  31. More money should be spent on keeping them in the ocean. Please nobody go to these shows because it is you with meaningless lives who enable these.

  32. It's surprising how many aquariums are there…People , don't go there !!! No visitors – no money – no drugged up animals !

  33. orcas are believed to have different languages and cultures among them, much like people .and they are supposed to have a life about the same length as ours, but they die at 25/30 and sometimes younger. they express emotion when they are ripped from their mothers, calves, and people that used to work there have come out and said that its devastating to hear their cries. i believe in rehabilitation and release. not breeding and killing. i would become violent if i was in a bathtub for 25 years too.

  34. Sounds fucked up but white people have a history of putting living creatures in captivity. The state or period of being imprisoned, confined, or enslaved. 

    I know this struck a nerve but prove me wrong.

    And I know you want to say something to get back at me but trust me it will some how be the white man's fault anyway. Unless. 😭

  35. I think that lady is wrong because all those animals washed ashore on the beach and then helped them and brought them to a nice home

  36. The trainers don't love the animals they love themselves and their paychecks lol. It's all about money. And on a side note, there have been no recorded 'killer whale' attacks on humans in the wild. Only in captivity

  37. Education?! Education is a rehabilitation center that helps get injured animals back to health and into their natural habitat. Education is NOT tearing something from its natural habitat and placing it in a jail cell, making it depend on others for food and by doing so they need to perform and behave in a way that isn't natural. Thats the only education coming from places like zoos and SeaWorld! "If you think something is beautiful and people will pay to see it, steal it and put it on display!"

  38. If they really wanted to eliminate their handlers it would have been vicious and quick. It appears to be more of an agitation than deliberate

  39. I'm going 2 say that the guy who worked there was cool. He does make some good points. And I have never thought about the fact that so many of the whales were bred in captivity and as horrible as captivity is, the wild is completely foriegn 2 them. It is so very sad.

  40. I think partly that he is right, they probably wouldn’t be able to survive in the wild even if we tried re-introducing them to it. Just look at what they tried with the orca who played Willy in free Willy. He wasn’t able to because he was so used to people. But the real question is, is it ethically and morally acceptable that we started using animals for entertainment? And the answer should be no. It’s not ok, and it should stop as soon as possible

  41. 20:34 – 20:42 That sounds like the best way to solve this…. If only the money weren't the driving force of those folks.
    The sea sanctuary/sea pen idea sounds like it should be brought to fruition.

  42. I can’t afford these parks , but still if I could wouldn’t take my kids . I won’t contribute to their captivity of these orcas

  43. I've always said that dolphins need to be kept in more of a natural habitat the schools of fish and everything I'm not necessarily for animals being held in captivity, but I'm a firm believer if they are what you provide for them had better mimic their natural habitat for them to thrive and have the best quality of life. If we were to compare apples to apples their life in captivity could be compared to solitary confinement in prison.

  44. You shouldn't have to get both sides. Marine Animals shouldn't be in tanks, point blank. They belong in the ocean.
    SeaWorld and other Parks that have Marine life claim that they are rescue animals, that they won't make it in the real life because they're sick, because they're injured blah blah blah. Animals live, reproduce, die and so on, Life goes on, it's called the circle of life. They'd rather these animals die in tanks from boredom, with limited space, some whales separated from each other because of aggression, they're lonely. They're in tanks listening to LOUD music ALL DAY LONG for YEARS.
    why don't they put live fish in the tanks so they can actually hunt, the way they're supposed to do in the wild, rather than give them dead fish in buckets with ice. Also when they train these animals, if they dont follow a command or do it wrong they don't get rewarded in fish. They are not dogs, they're not pets.
    STOP bringing your kids to such parks, and they will shut it down, and no other orca or dolphin will be in a tank again.

  45. If I had a marine park and had orcas and dolphins I would make the pools miles long and deep and put live fish for them to catch and actually make be like home for them and It would only be for injured orcas and dolphins that aren’t healthy and they would be safe

  46. In 1977 my husband and I flew down to Florida and visited Sea World so our 18 month old daughter could see Shamu. Oh, she saw him alright, saw him try to drown his trainer by rolling him under water all around the edge of the glass tank. They also had porpoises stuck in a tiny cement tank, about 3 or 4 feet high for visitors to touch and gawk at. I HATED it and we never returned and have signed every petition possible to end such practices. These magnificent creatures should be free to roam the oceans of the world, not stuck in tiny tanks making them insane!

  47. They’re incredibly smart, and have brain structures that even humans don’t have. Imagine keeping a human in a cage and making them perform, you’d hate it!!

  48. I feel like zoos are dumb too… invest money into great shows like blue planet and all the Netflix shows. We can watch them in nature

  49. Evian water and I think the other patch is coca cola ? They sponsor this bs? They should have pressure on them!!

  50. How many dolphins do you see out in the wild playing with a ball. Gee probably none bc they don’t have a ball to play with you dumbass like really wtf

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