By Kate Good
There is not a single person who understands the gross misconduct that goes on at SeaWorld better than a SeaWorld trainer. John Hargrove, a former trainer at SeaWorld Texas and SeaWorld Florida, is a stunning example of one such individual who is using their first-hand experience to now fight for the rights of captive cetaceans.
Hargrove was featured in “Blackfish,” testifying to the atrocities he witnessed, and also participated in while he was employed at SeaWorld. Hargrove is now making his story public, in his new book, “Beneath the Surface.”
While “Blackfish” has worked tremendously to bring awareness to the issues facing captive cetaceans, Hargrove tells The Wrap, it “only scratched the surface.” There are many untold incidents that Hargrove has witnessed that were not even touched upon in this groundbreaking documentary.
The book, published by Palgrave Macmillan, will hit the shelves next year – sure to cause an additional splash to the growing movement to end captive whale and dolphin shows and breeding programs.
Hargrove’s perspective will touch on the many dangers that trainers face when working with captive orcas, an issue that is not often addressed in public forum. In the video below, Hargrove is giving his testimony in the proceedings surrounding the Blackfish bill and details that he personally has been aggressively pulled under water and held by captive orcas – events that cannot be predicted and pose a serious threat to the lives of the trainers.
Of course, Hargrove does not fault the captive animals, but is able to sympathize with their plight in a way that only a person who cares deeply and personally for these creatures can. Holding SeaWorld accountable for the many lies they have told the public to justify their cruel business, Hargrove stands apart as a voice of reason, adding sorely needed clarity to this issue.
“Beneath the Surface” is sure to be a must-read and we will anxiously be awaiting its release next year! Video.