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View Full Version : Trainer Killed at Sea World



Tink
02-24-2010, 05:35 PM
http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/AmazingAnimals/whale-kills-trainer-sea-worlds-shamu-stadium/story?id=9932526

I was just at this show last night. I know in articles I read on this they said that the whale that killed the trainer has a "violent history" and trainers were not allowed to swim with him as a result, but I wonder why they kept him at all given his past. He was there as a stud, but does one want to breed an animal that has a history of aggression? I mean in this environment anyway where they need the animals to work well with humans and not be aggressive towards them?

surlywench
02-24-2010, 05:40 PM
People do it with horses and dogs all the time. Not sure what the logistics are with whales, tho. How hard it is to get another stud, find one that'll breed in captivity, etc.

Isabelle Warwicke
02-24-2010, 08:05 PM
Let's not forget that these are Wild Animals. Some may have been bred in captivity, however they maintain their natural instincts. When a person works with animals, in any capacity, but specifically with animals usually found in the wild, one must keep in mind the dangers that may arise in any situation.

It's tragic that this trainer died. My heart goes out to her family.

surlywench
02-25-2010, 03:38 AM
Let's not forget that these are Wild Animals. Some may have been bred in captivity, however they maintain their natural instincts. When a person works with animals, in any capacity, but specifically with animals usually found in the wild, one must keep in mind the dangers that may arise in any situation.

It's tragic that this trainer died. My heart goes out to her family.

This. What an Orca might consider "play" can kill a human in seconds - it doesn't mean the animal is dangerous or "mean", it just means it's an animal.

Alluring Alora
02-25-2010, 03:28 PM
I feel just awful for this woman and her family, as well as for the traumatized people who witnessed this event.

Sadly, until people learn that animals shouldn't be kept in captivity for entertainment purposes, this is going to continue to happen. This wasn;t the first time and it will not be the last. It may not be a whale, it could be a lion, and elephant, ear, whatever. these animals shouldn't be held captive to do tricks for us.

I know people say these type fo shows raise awareness for animlas, but in my opinion, all of these shows and circuses should be abolished. Making a creature such as a bear, elephant, whale, dolphin, lion etc. perform for our pleasure is an outdated, needless and cruel form of entertainment.
These animals arent' as dumb as some people think and they will eventually snap under stresses. I'm not saying that they are all mistreated, though many are. I'm saying that to truly appreciate their majesty, they need to be left in their natural environment.

Then, and only then, these types of deaths will cease to occur.

Just my opinion.

wendyzski
02-25-2010, 05:37 PM
1) If an animal has been raised in captivity, often releasing it is not an option

2) the young woman's mother said that the last thing her daughter would have wanted was for something to happen to the whale that she loved "like a child".

There are no good answers - that's what makes it a tragedy

Lady Anisette
02-25-2010, 06:11 PM
When you work with animals, you know there are risks. I'm sure the trainer was aware of these risks and she accepted them. I worked with animals everyday when I worked at the zoo. 9 times out of 10, if I was bit or something happened, it was because I had made the mistake. Not the animal. You never forget that. When you do, problems arise.

I remember one keeper, who worked with the Asian Gaur (7 feet high and 3000pounds), slapped a bull on the rump to get it to move. The animal gored him through the chest, impaling him on its horn. The keeper survived and went right back to working with the Gaurs. He said it was his fault. He was so used to the Gaurs being placid that he forgot the power the animal actually had. Keepers that work with male elephants know that they are always at risk. It is the nature of the job.

Many of these shows are less than ideal. I will agree. However, places like SeaWorld far outrank those that are wretched. And the breeding programs and scientific knowledge that is derived from these programs can't be gotten in the wild. It would be easy to say leave these animals in the wild where they belong. I think that would be wonderful. Unfortunately, most of the animals don't have a place to go back to. The habitats are dwindling or being poisoned by our societies. The animal populations are shrinking. As a result of human interference and destruction, most of these shows, zoos and parks will be the only places that people in the will be able to ever see an elephant, whale, gorilla, parrots, snake. At the rate we are going, in the future there will be no wilderness.

Tink
02-26-2010, 11:14 PM
2) the young woman's mother said that the last thing her daughter would have wanted was for something to happen to the whale that she loved "like a child".



I was just saying to someone today that I bet if the woman had survived she would say that no one should blame the whale and that she wouldn't want any harm to come to him. This person asked me "how would you know?"....I said I don't know for a fact, BUT given that this was the woman's life work and she loved the animals that she worked with, it is my opinion that she would side with the whale regardless of what he did to her. Just as Sigfried and Roy never blamed the tiger that mauled Roy. They knew and understood the risks and accepted them.

My only real question is about breeding an animal know to be aggressive. Why risk them passing that on? Again, I understand that animals have the potential for aggression, BUT in a captive environment working with humans, I would think they would choose to only breed the ones that haven't had issues like this. But as someone pointed out, perhaps orca studs aren't all that easy to come by, so it's a chance they have to take in order to continue having them.

Ysobelle
02-26-2010, 11:31 PM
My only real question is about breeding an animal know to be aggressive. Why risk them passing that on? Again, I understand that animals have the potential for aggression, BUT in a captive environment working with humans, I would think they would choose to only breed the ones that haven't had issues like this. But as someone pointed out, perhaps orca studs aren't all that easy to come by, so it's a chance they have to take in order to continue having them.


There's also the question of varying the genetics. They have to avoid inbreeding, in addition to all the other logistical problems.

Bean
02-27-2010, 10:00 AM
One of the deaths came from someone jumping the fence after the park closed and then went into the tank.

Adriana Rose
02-27-2010, 01:15 PM
Its hard to say the baby might get the temperment of the dam or of the stud.

When I had horses, we had a mare who was a bit jumpy and a stud who was the sweetest thing you ever met. They had two foals on seperate occasions one was jumpier than the mom ( there was no lack of contact with humans) and the other was sweeter than the da.

That just shows that there is a 50/50 shot of getting a sour temperd animal or a sweet temperd one.

Annabella St. Clair
02-27-2010, 10:47 PM
I don't know anything about breeding wild animals/species. However, based on my knowledge or breeding horses/dogs/cats, I don't think one can really compare a whale, who is wild and always will be, to a long time domesticated breed.

Humans have been able to more readily alter the genetics of dogs and horses and to a certain point, cats. Cats are always essentially wild, they just choose to live with us. Though today's cats do tend to retain more kitten like qualities, especially Siamese or specialized breeds. Dogs, we have messed with alot and bred "puppy temperaments" into them on purpose.

Horses, well, some of the craziest studs still produce docile offspring. My gelding was from a spunky but sweet mare and a used only for breeding stud, who no one but the owner could handle. In all my years at that barn I was never allowed to even take him out of his stall as I did with other stallions. My gelding from this stud, after he was gelded, was a lovely and wonderful horse for 23 yrs. He was a "gentleman" in all respects. I've seen crazy horses come from nice sweet mares and gentle stallions.

Humans aren't going to make whales pets, nor should we try, so what they choose as important in breeding is probably not overall temperament. The whale is a wild and not domesticated animal.

Tink
02-27-2010, 11:14 PM
One of the deaths came from someone jumping the fence after the park closed and then went into the tank.

Yeah that guy was an idiot. "Gee I think I'll go swim with a whale...what could happen?" :roll:

He picked the wrong whale.

Isabelle Warwicke
02-28-2010, 02:10 AM
I read today in the paper that Tilikum is the largest orca in captivity. He is also one of only two breeding bulls in the facility and the only one that was wild caught. (Off the coast of Iceland, no less.) If a person were to put a dollar amount on him, he's worth over $10 million. You can't just run out and catch an orca for breeding. Of the 20 babies born in SeaWorld, 13 were his. Also, SeaWorld is not letting trainers in the water with the whales until a full investigation from outside experts is completed on the observation of interaction with the whales as it pertains to the trainer's safetly.

Some of the best stallions I know in the horse world are royal assholes to who will kick you the moment you turn your back. It sucks, but he does have his niche carved out right now.

Gemdrite
02-28-2010, 05:31 PM
I don't know anything about breeding wild animals/species. However, based on my knowledge or breeding horses/dogs/cats, I don't think one can really compare a whale, who is wild and always will be, to a long time domesticated breed.
That breed wasn't always domesticated though. At some point, it was a wild breed, until humans took the chance to domesticate them.

surlywench
03-02-2010, 05:24 PM
Some of the best stallions I know in the horse world are royal assholes to who will kick you the moment you turn your back. It sucks, but he does have his niche carved out right now.

Christmas, the breeding stud at my college, tried to kill me one day. No wonder I hate the holidays.

Also, initially, all of Tilli's "attacks" seem to have been judged by experts as "whale play". He wasn't trying to inflict harm, but rather viewed the people involved as toys. Which isn't comforting, but it's not necessarily the same thing as pure aggression.