Moby Doll was the first-ever orca whale to be kept in captivity, courtesy of the Vancouver Aquarium. A whaler was hired to kill an orca for use as a model to build a fiberglass replica for a new public display. The orca was harpooned but she didn't die. So the aquarium directed the whaler to tow her -- by the line attached to the harpoon still stuck in that poor animal -- for 80 nautical miles through rough seas to Vancouver docks. There she was placed in a makeshift sea pen until she starved to death a couple of months later.
Remember Tilikum, the orca that was shipped from Victoria's Sealand to Orlando's SeaWorld after the death of a trainer? "Blackfish" shows us that wasn't the last tragedy associated with this killer whale. I watched the whole movie with a big stupid grin on my face, because I know this whale tale all too well, and there it was unfolding beautifully for public consumption on the big screen. Sitting in the theatre, I couldn't help but think of the reaction that "Blackfish" will cause within the industry, the public and the government. And that made me smile. I figure if all goes well, "Blackfish" will sink SeaWorld's captive orca whale program, just like "Free Willy" sank the program at the Vancouver Aquarium.