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SeaWorld trainer killed by Orca - February 25th 2010, 02:47 AM

A killer whale at SeaWorld Orlando, in Florida, fatally attacked a trainer on Wednesday as horrified visitors looked on. Witnesses said the 30-year-old, 12,300-pound bull orca named Tilikum, or Tilly for short, suddenly jumped out of the 35-foot-deep tank, grabbed Dawn Brancheau, 40, around the waist and "thrashed her all around". Paramedics rushed to the Shamu Stadium at the theme park, but they were not able to revive the worker.

More information here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wil...e-watches.html


It's not the first time it's happened and probably won't be the last, in my opinion these animals should be out in the wild, monitored, yes, but free, not to made to thrash and flip like a performing monkey. Don't get me wrong, i don't think Sea World abuse these animals, i think they love them very much but money comes first as it's a business but how many deaths and injuries will they let happen before they say enough is enough?


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Re: SeaWorld trainer killed by Orca - February 25th 2010, 02:58 AM

How many cases a year involve people killed by whales?


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Re: SeaWorld trainer killed by Orca - February 25th 2010, 03:16 AM

Cant really blame the whale, its an animal. Cant blame anybody really, just one of those things!
   
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Re: SeaWorld trainer killed by Orca - February 25th 2010, 03:28 AM

This makes me feel sick... Can you imagine how terrifying that would be?
The only sea creature I would ever feel comfortable around would be a dolphin.





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Re: SeaWorld trainer killed by Orca - February 25th 2010, 03:37 AM

A human works with something at least 60x its own weight and incredibly strong. Deaths are bound to occur no matter how well trained the whale is. I think it's awful what happened because little kids had to watch the person drown and die, and not to mention the kick in the ass SeaWorld would take to their business but this is something that's going to happen sooner or later when working with such strong, large and heavy organisms.
   
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Re: SeaWorld trainer killed by Orca - February 25th 2010, 03:43 AM

I feel bad for the trainer and her family, it's an awful thing to have happened - however, it was a hazard of the trade. Working with large animals in captivity is dangerous, and people go into it knowing that.

I feel like establishments like Sea World and other aquariums DO have their benefits - they sometimes take in animals that cannot survive in the wild, they educate the public and give people a chance to see and understand something they never would've otherwise.

I got a chance to work with dolphins once and help train some for a little while at a small establishment in Central America - and I can say that, atleast, at the (very low-key) place I was at, the animals were treated exceptionally well, and they seemed to genuinely enjoy performing. Many of them were "rescues", or they were donated from aquariums.

I can't speak for Sea World - I've never been there, I don't intend to go there, and I've never ever worked with orcas before. I've heard criticism about the living situation for them - and perhaps that alone is reason enough to keep the "whale shows" out of business.


I CAN say that this trainer was probably someone who really loved animals and working with them, and I definitely disagree with condoning her as abusive. This was a tragic accident.


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Re: SeaWorld trainer killed by Orca - February 25th 2010, 04:09 AM

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Originally Posted by a_soldier_of_orange View Post
I CAN say that this trainer was probably someone who really loved animals and working with them, and I definitely disagree with condoning her as abusive. This was a tragic accident.
If that was pointed at me, i don't think any of the trainers at SeaWorld are abusive, i think they have such love and admiration for them but i don't agree with making them perform.


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Re: SeaWorld trainer killed by Orca - February 25th 2010, 05:21 AM

I think it was a tragic accident. Orcas are dangerous, and they are going to stay dangerous. Anyone who works with them goes in knowing that something could go wrong, and sometimes it just happens.

Is it right to make the animals perform? It depends. Whales, maybe not. But dolphins seem to really enjoy it, to them it's just play..


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Re: SeaWorld trainer killed by Orca - February 25th 2010, 07:53 AM

Hi Katie!!

I hope you're OK.

A very sad story indeed. But it's not the first time - as you pointed out - that the exact same whale has killed a trainer. I quote from the 'telegraph'....

"The whale was blamed for the drowning of one of his trainers in 1991 while he was performing at Sealand of the Pacific in Victoria, British Columbia, the newspaper said."

'Sealand of the Pacific' no longer exists. But was only about 15 minutes away from where I now live. The whale was sold to SeaWorld soon after that first tragedy.

What should happen? I think the time has come for 'Tilly' to retire. You can't set her free - for that would no doubt be a death sentence. But I don't think it would hurt to assign her to the task of just being looked at - from a nice safe distance. Then again - if a pit bull kills - we put that 'down'. Hmm..... Does the SIZE of the offending creature play a part in how one might feel about all of this?

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Re: SeaWorld trainer killed by Orca - February 25th 2010, 11:43 AM

Animals in captivity will no doubt lash out at some point, its a hazard you have to face while working with them... and one that should be obvious.

As far as I'm concerned its a tragic accident.

ultimately no animal should be kept in captivity, but for most now it would be unfair to release them into the wild, but no one can expect a wild animal to behave all the time.
I own a couple of super friendly snakes, but I know that one day they might still take a bite at me, I don't expect any less.

Perhaps Tilly should be retired, held in the viewing tank for people to wow over, he must be getting old now, and we all know old men can be grumpy men!!!



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Re: SeaWorld trainer killed by Orca - February 25th 2010, 12:46 PM

The song. "Reclamation" by Lamb of God ran through my mind yesterday when I heard about this...

We humans think we have the right to control, manipulate, and use nature for our own, often selfinsh, needs. We then get surprised when a captive KILLER WHALE gets pissed. Maybe I'm just a crazy hippe and an animal lover, but I don't believe in holding animals as captives for our sick viewing and entertainment pleasures. Hell, I won't even have a cat or a dog because I believe keeping either indoors or on a leash is wrong.


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Re: SeaWorld trainer killed by Orca - February 26th 2010, 01:52 AM

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Originally Posted by Ktwashere View Post
If that was pointed at me, i don't think any of the trainers at SeaWorld are abusive, i think they have such love and admiration for them but i don't agree with making them perform.




It wasn't meant to be directly pointed at you, sorry if it seemed like that =].

I'm kind of iffy on the subject too. Orcas are so huge, and I've heard that seaworld often draws criticism because the habitats are too small for them.


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Re: SeaWorld trainer killed by Orca - February 26th 2010, 01:57 AM

It's a giant wild carnivorous animal the size of a bus. I feel bad for the trainer's family, but it's just the risks of the trade.


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Re: SeaWorld trainer killed by Orca - February 26th 2010, 02:18 AM

I don't like circuses that use animals, and I don't like parks that do animal shows. I think it's cruel, and I don't get any pleasure from watching it. I mean, it's a wild-caught animal that is not going to be too mentally ok with swimming in a "bathtub" for its whole life. I know that raising public awareness about animals is important, I just wish that there was a better way to do it that didn't result in caged animals and mangled trainers.

That being said, my feelings do go out for the trainer and the people who knew the trainer, and the people who had to watch it all happen, and the people who feel bad about the whole incident. Watching or hearing about someone die a particularly gruesome death is distressing, and it's not the direct fault of anyone affected--these things happen.


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Re: SeaWorld trainer killed by Orca - February 28th 2010, 04:06 PM

I don't think the orca was trying to kill her. I think it just didn't realize it was hurting her. Also the mysterious guy that this whale also killed was in the Darwin Awards

As long as the animals are treated fairly, I don't have a problem with keeping them in captivity. These animals are huge and you can't really blame them if they accidentally kill someone. I got kicked by a horse that was about six months old once because she was trying to play. If she was full size she might have killed me. If you choose to work with animals that are as big as an orca you run the risk of accidentally being killed.


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Re: SeaWorld trainer killed by Orca - February 28th 2010, 08:35 PM

not be be an ass but they do call orcas KILLER WHALES for a reason


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Re: SeaWorld trainer killed by Orca - February 28th 2010, 09:01 PM

I think that the animal should be retired, and left alone instead of making it perform. I believe that's what would be best for the trainers and for the Orca.


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Re: SeaWorld trainer killed by Orca - March 1st 2010, 10:26 AM

Wow. That's really sad. But I guess it's just one of those freak things that happens.


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Re: SeaWorld trainer killed by Orca - March 1st 2010, 01:09 PM

i think after the first attack the whale should have been moved to the viewing tank and taken out of the show tank




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Re: SeaWorld trainer killed by Orca - March 2nd 2010, 09:37 PM

Sea World probably cares more about the killer whales than the trainers, and I think that's a very sad realization. I'm actually hoping that one day, a killer whale miscalculates a jump and jumps out of the tank while doing show and goes into the bleachers (where there's no crowds ). There'd be chaos in Sea World, and in the end...they'd just purchase another killer whale and probably even raise the price in tickets. For a trainer it'd just be like "she died? How? Oh...well, don't tell the press anything, let's pretend that we care...hell, even close the park for a day...and then we'll find ourselves a new trainer and get on with the show". Having a killer whale jump out of the tank while on camera would be a swift kick in the ass! It'd easily be on the main page of You tube.

The fact that a killer whale killed a trainer doesn't surprise me. I've seen videos on you tube of killer whales killing seals. They're massive creatures with sharp teeth. You're making a huge mistake when you risk your life by swimming with killer whales, and Sea World doesn't give a shit about it. The fact the the animal makes them money, putting it down or releasing it back into the wild is the last thing that they'll do just because a trainer got killed. I wouldn't blame the killer whale. I'm surprised it didn't eat her.
   
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Re: SeaWorld trainer killed by Orca - March 4th 2010, 07:25 PM

I thought it was ridiculous. If it has killed before why keep it?
And it's not like a dog that you can just put to sleep.
But it can't be released either since it was raised in captivity.
Personally I wanna know what's gunna happen to the Orca.

Quote:
not be be an ass but they do call orcas KILLER WHALES for a reason
No it's not because they are whales that kill if that's what you are thinking.
They are related to the porpuses like dolphins.
They are called killer whales because they can kill whales.
Just classifying that =P


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Re: SeaWorld trainer killed by Orca - March 4th 2010, 08:29 PM

Everything that I wanted to say about it has pretty much been said.

But, I do want to point out how.. rare this is. Because I know, somewhere, peoplpe are gonna start freaking out thinking an orca is going to kill them, just like a shark supossedly would. Or a stingray after Steve Irwin died.

I have a little story for you. Think back, back to... the summer after Irwin died from the stingray incident. I was on vacation down in the bahamas with my dad while he was on a business trip. On his day off, we ended up going on a little mini trip during the trip. On that, we went to a few islands, one where we fed a huge hoard of iguanas, and the other where we ate lunch, sat on the beach, snorkled, and get this. Hand fed wild stingrays, and basically hand fed wild sharks. I HAND FED wild sting rays, and sharks. Not tiny little bottom feeder or nurse sharks, oh no. The one I got to pull into shore, was taller than the tour guide (who, when you pulled the shark to shore, tackled it, and held it up on it's tail, then set it free back into the water to let another shark attack our bait) Now, our tour guide was at least... 5'9. Not a small guy.

To this day, no one on that trip has been bitten by a shark, killed by a stingray, or even attacked by a mass hoard of crazy rabies infected iguanas. (put that image in your head, try not to laugh) And this wasn't a super wealhy trip. Not too many safety procautions were made, other than the skill and knowledge of these tour guides. (I want to add that this isn't some sort of abuse, holding up the shark. No one was hurt, it wasn't even gasping for breath or anything, since it was up for, what, two seconds? So please, don't go yelling at me for supporting "such an awful group like this." It was hella fun, so stuff it )


All in all, attacks like this... Sting ray accidents, shark bites, orcas attacking... They're so freaking rare. And yes, this orca has had a problem before. So yes, they probably should have stopped showing him the first time. But still, it's rare.



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Re: SeaWorld trainer killed by Orca - March 5th 2010, 02:58 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBabyEater View Post
Everything that I wanted to say about it has pretty much been said.

But, I do want to point out how.. rare this is. Because I know, somewhere, peoplpe are gonna start freaking out thinking an orca is going to kill them, just like a shark supossedly would. Or a stingray after Steve Irwin died.

I have a little story for you. Think back, back to... the summer after Irwin died from the stingray incident. I was on vacation down in the bahamas with my dad while he was on a business trip. On his day off, we ended up going on a little mini trip during the trip. On that, we went to a few islands, one where we fed a huge hoard of iguanas, and the other where we ate lunch, sat on the beach, snorkled, and get this. Hand fed wild stingrays, and basically hand fed wild sharks. I HAND FED wild sting rays, and sharks. Not tiny little bottom feeder or nurse sharks, oh no. The one I got to pull into shore, was taller than the tour guide (who, when you pulled the shark to shore, tackled it, and held it up on it's tail, then set it free back into the water to let another shark attack our bait) Now, our tour guide was at least... 5'9. Not a small guy.

To this day, no one on that trip has been bitten by a shark, killed by a stingray, or even attacked by a mass hoard of crazy rabies infected iguanas. (put that image in your head, try not to laugh) And this wasn't a super wealhy trip. Not too many safety procautions were made, other than the skill and knowledge of these tour guides. (I want to add that this isn't some sort of abuse, holding up the shark. No one was hurt, it wasn't even gasping for breath or anything, since it was up for, what, two seconds? So please, don't go yelling at me for supporting "such an awful group like this." It was hella fun, so stuff it )


All in all, attacks like this... Sting ray accidents, shark bites, orcas attacking... They're so freaking rare. And yes, this orca has had a problem before. So yes, they probably should have stopped showing him the first time. But still, it's rare.



Considering how many people go in the water at any given time, the amount of people that are actually attacked is EXTREMELY low. Most of these attacks are in dangerous areas - a surfer paddling out in an area famous for great white sharks and seals, a spear fisher in a shark heavy area, etc, etc.

I've scuba dived with sharks on many occasions, including great whites and bulls (no cage - we like the good old fashioned "swim to the bottom as soon as you jump in the water" approach) and they are incredibly curious animals. When I was in South Africa, I actually saw a great white poke it's head out of the water to take a closer look at our boat. I've heard on many occasions that scuba divers often pet curious sharks, and the sharks seem to enjoy it and come back for more. Obviously, they're predators, they're dangerous, and we exercise caution for a reason - but I think that people overlook how amazing they can be. They're absolutely beautiful animals to be up close with, and they definitely earn your respect when you're down there with them.


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Re: SeaWorld trainer killed by Orca - March 5th 2010, 07:07 PM

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Originally Posted by a_soldier_of_orange View Post
Considering how many people go in the water at any given time, the amount of people that are actually attacked is EXTREMELY low. Most of these attacks are in dangerous areas - a surfer paddling out in an area famous for great white sharks and seals, a spear fisher in a shark heavy area, etc, etc.

I've scuba dived with sharks on many occasions, including great whites and bulls (no cage - we like the good old fashioned "swim to the bottom as soon as you jump in the water" approach) and they are incredibly curious animals. When I was in South Africa, I actually saw a great white poke it's head out of the water to take a closer look at our boat. I've heard on many occasions that scuba divers often pet curious sharks, and the sharks seem to enjoy it and come back for more. Obviously, they're predators, they're dangerous, and we exercise caution for a reason - but I think that people overlook how amazing they can be. They're absolutely beautiful animals to be up close with, and they definitely earn your respect when you're down there with them.
That is amazing

I didn't know they were actually really curious animals. That just makes them that much cooler in my opinion. Me, I have a hedgehog. While there were certainly cooler looking ones with cuter faces, I chose the one that was running around, crawling up the walls, and sniffing pretty much everything in sight. Why? Cause curiosity is possibly the best trait an animal can have. True, it might be what kills them, but without curiosity I'm not sure humans would have evolved from just being an ape...

When we were snorkleing on that trip, I saw a lot of those sharks that we were feeding. I'd love to hang out with sharks more often really. But I'm not really a fan of the water, nor am I the best swimmer. So, I'll just stick with my dogs, cats, gecko, bird, and hedgehog... lol totally an animal hoarder.



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Re: SeaWorld trainer killed by Orca - March 5th 2010, 07:46 PM

In the video in the article one the guy said It didn't seem like it was aggressively doing it. Maybe It was just playing?


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