On July 16, new animal-welfare documentary Long Gone Wild will be released in North America. The film focuses on the plight of killer whales in captivity and within the wildlife trade, picking up where the acclaimed documentary Blackfish left off. Released in 2013, Blackfish told the story of Tilikum, a performing killer whale living in captivity at SeaWorld. The film created a phenomenon known as the “Blackfish effect,” or a major impact on SeaWorld’s business—including plummeting attendance, millions of dollars in losses, and a class-action lawsuit. Long Gone Wild believes the fight to save orcas isn’t over because the marine animals are still kept in captivity for profit and provides an in-depth look at the case against captivity by sharing interviews with leading experts in the field, including Dr. Naomi Rose of the Animal Welfare Institute, Dr. Lori Marino and Charles Vinick of The Whale Sanctuary Project, renowned orca expert Dr. Ingrid Visser, and former SeaWorld trainers Carol Ray and Jeffrey Ventre. Written and directed by William Neal and produced by Rachel Weil, the film shares footage of the wildlife trade that includes capturing orcas from the wild and selling them to the exploding marine theme park industry in China, and points to the hardships orcas experience in captivity, such as collapsed fins, broken teeth, and severe boredom and depression. Long Gone Wild also showcases plans for a seaside sanctuary for marine animals created by The Whale Sanctuary Project that provides a safe, permanent home for retired orcas in their natural habitat with no requirement to perform.
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