The John Hargrove Career Fish Story

BTS - Timeline

We all know somebody who caught a fish and every time they tell you the story the fish just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

Well, in the case of John Hargrove, the story of how many years of experience he has with killer whales keeps getting longer and longer.

Another whale of a tale, ba-dum ching!

John Hargrove weaves quite the fish story with his public statements about his time at SeaWorld. In various interviews, public appearances and in his own words in Beneath The Surface, Mr. Hargrove paints an inconsistent timeline of his career with SeaWorld.

Hargrove began working with SeaWorld as an apprentice in 1993. He ended his career in August of 2012.

It’s the time between 1993 to 2012 that deserves examination.

In a January 15, 2014 interview with The Wrap Covering Hollywood, Hargrove is noted as “a former killer whale trainer for 14 years”.

14 years? Write that down.

Then, at the Sarasota Film Festival, Hargove was a member of a panel associated with the movie Blackfish. Hargrove stated then that he had been in the industry for 19 years.

19 years? Scribbling that one down too.

But what about the 6 years between 2002 and 2008 when he didn’t work in the marine park industry?

Hargrove Timeline

So, if you were taking notes, you might find that John Hargrove has been inconsistent in telling people how many years he worked with killer whales. The truth is he had 12 years of professional experience with orcas.

When your buddy tells you that fish story and the fish was *this big* you just laugh along with him. But, when you have someone making serious claims and publishing a for-profit book – it makes you wonder. If he will exaggerate about his professional career, what else will he exaggerate about to promote a movie or sell some books?