The Death Of Sumar: Raw Footage

I hesitate to post this, which was shot over SeaWorld San Diego when Sumar died in September 2010, because I don’t want it to seem gratuitous. But I am going ahead, because death for orcas at marine parks, usually premature death, is part of the orca experience in captivity that marine parks would prefer the public knew little about (much less see).

But marine parks can’t control everything that gets presented to the public, or the air space over their pools. So when there are opportunities to tell a fuller story than gets told from a marine park stage, or in a cheery brochure or TV commercial, the fuller story should be told.

8 thoughts on “The Death Of Sumar: Raw Footage”

  1. Hey Tim! My heart breaks watching this 😦 especially when the other orca goes towards Sumar Once he notices Sumar is in the sling.

    I have a very important question, how can I watch Blackfish?!?!? I’m dying to know.

    Thank you and thank you for all you do 🙂

    -Sateen Zanjani

    1. Where do you live, Sateen? It is on the festival circuit now (next stop is Sarasota Film Festival), but will be in general release thru Landmark Theaters (owned by distributor Magnolia) this summer. And then aired on CNN later this year. So it may be a wait, but you will definitely have a chance to see it one way or the other.

  2. I don’t believe it was gratuitous. These sorts of videos need to be shown to make people realise that $eaWorld is not all fun times and smiling faces. Well, smiling faces on the people who collect the money at the gates anyway and the ignorant people who flock to these prisons for cetaceans.

    I don’t know what relation, if any, the orca to the side of Sumar but it looked quite distressed and was trying to get over to Sumar but of course wasn’t able to because of the shallow water. One can only imagine the noise that was going on around and above these animals, evidence the other orca floating upside down in the adjoining pool. There would have been the noise from the helicopter plus all the heavy machinery to take away the body of Sumar. But then again, these poor creatures are subjected to that dreadful blaring music and the noise of the crowds.

    Of course $eaWorld will just rape another female with stolen sperm and produce yet another closely-related orca to perform in their circus. The sooner these mausoleums for cetaceans are closed down, the better.

  3. Thx Tim. I’ve seen images & videos of Sumar, prior to his death. In this footage, his dorsal fin seems more collapsed when compared to images of a relatively healthy Sumar (although it was bent). If true, this corresponds with observations made by two of the scientists at the Center for Whale Research. That is, when orca are near death, shot, spend a lot of time in shallow concrete pools, or, are exposed to toxins, their dorsal fins collapse.

  4. It’s hard to watch this! It’s a shame there isn’t sound! There is no doubt some heavy communication going on from the other orca. So sad! I can’t believe I ever spent a cent a $eaWorld. So wish I knew all I know today! They wouldn’t have gotten a penny from me!

  5. Hi Tim, I’m trying to find out which orca was with Sumar before he was lifted out of the tank. Do you know? Was it his friend, Splash?

    1. The whale next to him is Orkid. Splash died before Sumar. The whale swimming upside down in the background is Corky II.

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