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Did SeaWorld influence 'Blackfish' poll?
02:44 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

SeaWorld computers poured votes into an online poll about the park

Orlando paper asked whether CNN's "Blackfish" film had changed opinions

More than half of early votes traced to an Internet address were from SeaWorld IP

The park says concerned employees are responsible for the votes

CNN  — 

Maybe it’s not surprising that in SeaWorld’s hometown of Orlando, an online poll showed overwhelming support for the theme park in light of a recent documentary that has raised questions about its treatment of killer whales.

What has turned heads, though, is the fact that more than half of the votes appeared to have come from a computer, or computers, at SeaWorld itself.

The CNN documentary “Blackfish” traces the controversial history of killer whales in captivity, leading up to the 2010 killing of SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau by the 12,000-pound orca Tilikum, a whale previously associated with the death of two other people.

On December 31, the Orlando Business Journal posted an unscientific poll asking, “Has CNN’s ‘Blackfish’ documentary changed your perception of SeaWorld?”