killer whale

26 Feb

I can’t help but comment on this.  You’ve probably heard about the orca at SeaWorld who killed a trainer on Wednesday.  I have problems with wild animals in captivity, particularly the large, intelligent kind that live in complex social groups.  They just shouldn’t be in captivity, plain and simple.  SeaWorld officials claim that neither isolation nor confinement contributed to any erratic behavior with this animal.  You’ve got to be kidding me, SeaWorld.  Eye-witnesses have said that the trainers knew the whales were acting strangely that day.  Sure.  Taking an animal from the ocean and putting it in a teeny tank doesn’t stress it at all.

This is the third human death that Tilikum, a 12000-pound male orca, has been implicated in.  Of course, SeaWorld will keep using him in shows because he makes money for them.  He’s too valuable for them not to keep him.  This is incredibly irresponsible on their part.  This is dangerous for the animal and for any people that interact with him.  Not to mention, they never should have removed him from the wild in the first place.

I’m not trying to blame the victims here, the trainer or the whale.  But, there is a certain phenomenon of complacency that often crops up when people work with animals.  It’s something that always irritated me when I worked at the zoo.  People think that they completely know their animal.  They get attached to it and attribute human emotions to it.  Don’t get me wrong, I love animals.  But I don’t make the mistake of forgetting that they are wild animals and they need to treated as such.  Anthropomorphizing the animals you work with is not helpful for anybody. When animals attack they are just being animals.  We should not be surprised by this.

Here’s what the Humane Society had to say, and I agree with them one hundred percent.

This is a terrible tragedy and our hearts go out to the family of the trainer.  Tillikum, the SeaWorld orca, has now been involved in the deaths of three people. Using these animals in entertainment is not good for animals or people. Sadly, we’ve seen evidence of that again today. Whales and dolphins are large, intelligent, long-lived, socially complex predators who often hunt cooperatively and are capable of swimming a hundred miles in a day. They are unsuited to permanent confinement, often exhibiting neurotic behaviors in these settings. Capture methods are also inhumane, and often not adequately managed or overseen.

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One Response to “killer whale”

  1. Killer Whale Video February 28, 2010 at 22:41 #

    You gotta expect this to happen eventually, they are called KILLER whales for a reason!

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