Hi reddit, John and Samantha here. We are 2 of the former Seaworld trainers featured in the documentary BLACKFISH.
BLACKFISH is film about the notorious Seaworld killer whale Tilikum that is responsible for the deaths of three individuals and opens in theaters on July 19, 2013.
A little bit about John: I have 14 years’ experience as a killer whale trainer, including both SeaWorld of California and SeaWorld of Texas where I was promoted to the highest ranking Senior Trainer. This allowed me the privilege of working with and swimming with the corporation's most dangerous killer whales. I gained international killer whale experience as a Supervisor with Marineland in the south of France. In France I conditioned and performed waterwork with naive killer whales that had never swam with trainers before. I resigned my position with SeaWorld in August 2012 and currently resides in New York City.
A little bit about me, Samantha: I grew up on Long Island, NY and graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Animal Sciences. I later earned a Master’s degree in Acupuncture and now owns and operates the Alaska Center for Acupuncture in Palmer, Alaska, with my husband, Kevin. We also host a weekly radio program called “Bridge to Everywhere” on Radio Free Palmer. I worked as an Animal Trainer for SeaWorld of Florida from February of 1990 until August of 1993: I worked alongside SeaWorld’s dolphins, beluga whales and sea lions as well as the killer whales Tilikum, Katina, Gudrun, Taimia and Winnie.