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Vancouver marine educator creates tear-jerking documentary about whales and dolphins in captivity

The film includes never-before-seen footage of Keiko, the orca from the 1993 film 'Free Willy'

A Vancouver marine educator has created a haunting and emotional documentary film calling for the end of keeping whales and dolphins in captivity.

For over a decade Vanessa Prigollini has been using her role as a psychologist and educator along with her passion for nature and photography to generate awareness for the issue in Mexico and in Canada. For several years, Prigollini has worked as a marine naturalist on Canada’s west coast to learn about orcas, with humpback whales that, like her, live in Mexico and Canada.

Earlier this week Prigollini released the Spanish version of a new film that highlights the stark contrasts between wild and captive cetaceans. 

Through the appropriately named film — Contrasts — Prigollini is hoping to foster a sense of empathy toward the creatures. 

“We are talking about the most intelligent animals on this planet. Using them for business purposes is not OK,” Prigollini said. “We should not support this cruel industry anymore. There’s nothing scientific or educational about it.”

The 15-minute documentary features never-before-seen footage of Keiko, the orca that lived in Mexico for a decade before being released thanks to the 1993 film Free Willy.