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Samme!
February 24th, 2010, 02:44 PM
A tragic death occurred today at the famous marine park SeaWorld Orlando when a killer whale caused one of it's experienced trainers to drown.

-- A killer whale killed a trainer Wednesday afternoon at SeaWorld's Shamu Stadium in Orlando, Florida, a public information officer for the Orange County Sheriff's Office said.
The woman, 40, was in the whale holding area about 2 p.m. when "she apparently slipped or fell into the tank and was fatally injured by one of the whales," Jim Solomons said.
But a witness told CNN affiliate WKMG-TV that the whale approached the glass side of the 35-foot-deep tank at Shamu Stadium, jumped up and grabbed the trainer by the waist, shaking her so violently that her shoe came off.
A SeaWorld employee who asked not to be identified confirmed the description of the attack and added that the whale involved is named Tillikum.
SeaWorld uses "Shamu" as a stage name for any of the male or female orcas in its shows.
"One of our most experienced animal trainers drowned" in the accident, said Dan Brown, vice president and general manager of SeaWorld Orlando. He said an investigation will be carried out.
"We'll make our findings known in due course," he said. "We've never in the history of our parks experienced an incident like this. All standard operating procedures will be reviewed." He would not elaborate.
"Please bear with us; we've just lost a member of our family," he said.
A patron who did not witness the event said the park refunded her entry fee, although a spokeswoman said the park remained open.
Guest David Dalton told CNN affiliate WFTV, "All of a sudden, out of nowhere, two of the bigger whales just kind of flipped out, going as fast as they could in the water."
A spokesman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals called the death "a tragedy that didn't have to happen."
Jaime Zalac said the organization had called on SeaWorld "to stop confining oceangoing mammals to an area that to them is like the size of a bathtub, and we have also been asking the park to stop forcing the animals to perform silly tricks over and over again. It's not surprising when these huge, smart animals lash out."
In 2006, a trainer at the adventure park was hospitalized after a killer whale grabbed him and twice held him underwater during a show at Shamu Stadium.
In 1999, Tillikum was blamed for the death of a 27-year-old man whose body was found floating on his back in a tank at SeaWorld, the apparent victim of a whale's "horseplay," authorities said then.
The Orange County Sheriff's Office said the man apparently hid in the park until after it closed and then climbed into the tank.
The 11,000-pound, 22-foot-long whale was "not accustomed to people being in his tank" and "wouldn't have realized he was dealing with a very fragile human being," Solomons said at the time.
"He may have been a victim of what a whale would call horseplay, just playing around," Solomons said.
Full Article Here (http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/02/24/killer.whale.trainer.death/index.html)

How do you think this case will end up playing out?
Will Tillikum be released into the wild, kept at the park, or unfortunately put down?

Thoughts?

Lady Gaga
February 24th, 2010, 04:08 PM
Even though I love animals, I would hope he would be put down. He had already caused two deaths, another would be a horrible and avoidable event. Or, they could release him into the wild. Either way, I think this Tillikum is making horseplay with humans dangerous, and he shouldnt be near humans, even professional trainers, anymore. Imagine if that was just a random bystander. Bad stuff.

twocows
February 24th, 2010, 04:08 PM
When you work with animals, you're always taking risks. I'm sure she knew that going in; it goes with the work. The whale isn't really at fault, it's just a dumb beast. What really should happen is that there should be better safeguards against something like this, but I'm sure the people in charge won't even bother thinking about that; it's cheaper just to put out a few nice words and continue making money.

Dakota
February 24th, 2010, 04:31 PM
I agree with what Lady Gaga said The member, not the real person. : O XD Tillikum should be released into the wild. He caused a few deaths already, it's just way to risky to keep him.

My condolences to the women and may her family pass through this hard time.

BeachBoy
February 24th, 2010, 04:47 PM
Take him to Iceland, the other famous killer whale ... killer went there, Tillikum should follow. He's become grumpy and I think he's served his purpose for the park long enough. (he was a ... baby producer, not usually a performer) While the other two deaths weren't really his fault, either ('91 trainer slipped in other one and was ganged up on, and the '99 accident was an after hours guy that wanted to ride, iirc), it's time he left. There's no chance he stays at that park.

Anyway, of course PETA is going to have a field day with this. =/ I love Sea World, they're a classy organization and do so much for the wild, I'd hate to see this accident damage their standing even further.

Samme!
February 24th, 2010, 05:35 PM
I really hope he is released as well, although it may be difficult for him to survive as he has been in captivity for so long. I've heard that it's quite difficult for an animal that's been in captivity for so long to be able to survive in the wild, I dunno about Tillikum, though. But like Beachy said, it's going to be difficult to keep PETA from interfering and doing something rash :/

Ayselipera
February 24th, 2010, 05:36 PM
I had the same thoughts as Lady Gaga and Bloodex. They should just release Tillikum. I feel like whales/dolphins shouldn't be kept in like that. I'm sure they're well taken care of an all, but they seem like the kind of animals that need to be free, out in the ocean. It's a huge marine mammal not a dog.

.Fenris
February 24th, 2010, 05:48 PM
I really hope he is released as well, although it may be difficult for him to survive as he has been in captivity for so long. I've heard that it's quite difficult for an animal that's been in captivity for so long to be able to survive in the wild, I dunno about Tillikum, though. But like Beachy said, it's going to be difficult to keep PETA from interfering and doing something rash :/

I say release him, then throw the PETA people in there with him and tell him it's his last free meal, as much as I love animals, the PETA are people that talk a lot about how others are dealing with a metaphorical time bomb, yet they can't even deal with a pomerian without euthanizing it.

Medli
February 24th, 2010, 05:55 PM
If anything, I hope they release the poor thing. I wonder if it will have a hard time surviving out there, though. It's been in captivity for a long time. I really hope that they don't put it down, though, but there may be no other choice. Shame that the animal had no choice, really.

Of course, it's a terrible tragedy and I feel for the family. But I just believe that it's not that animal's fault. Everyone will just put the blame on the killer whale for being violent and dumb. It's just doing what's natural, I guess you could say. It's not like you can train every animal. Killer whales will be killer whales. And besides, it probably isn't the happiest being stuck in a tank performing for loud people.

Samme!
February 24th, 2010, 07:15 PM
Well I just walked in to my parent's room and there was a CNN Special Report on about the incident. Unfortunately, it looks like Sea World is going to keep Tillikum in the park for breeding purposes only. As more killer whales are dying then being born, they said it's really Sea World's only hope.

Lt_Nite
February 24th, 2010, 07:51 PM
So sad to see this happen but I didn't know he killed someone before. I say releasing him would be better than putting him down, but that's just my opinion, I don't like to see animals be killed =[

Esper
February 24th, 2010, 07:56 PM
It's a shame someone died, but it is dangerous working with large carnivores like whales.

I imagine a whale not used to being in the wild would have a hard time surviving or be an easy target for whalers, but I don't really know. If either is the case I think he should stay in captivity where it's safe (for him) and kept away from people. Otherwise let him go.

twocows
February 24th, 2010, 08:51 PM
Well I just walked in to my parent's room and there was a CNN Special Report on about the incident. Unfortunately, it looks like Sea World is going to keep Tillikum in the park for breeding purposes only. As more killer whales are dying then being born, they said it's really Sea World's only hope.
Person kills a person, he gets 60 to life or death. Whale kills a person, he gets to have sex all day.

Does anybody see a problem here? :/

EDIT: Since apparently some people didn't understand, this was meant as a joke. We now return to your regularly scheduled thread.

Blue Nocturne
February 26th, 2010, 08:02 AM
Personally i found it funny the way they evacuated the entire park because of the incident (which, don't get me wrong, was tragic, kill the whale! Why should a WHALE get better treatment than a human for doing the same act), its not as if the whale is going to hop on the ground and chase everyone is it?

I say release him, then throw the PETA people in there with him and tell him it's his last free meal, as much as I love animals, the PETA are people that talk a lot about how others are dealing with a metaphorical time bomb, yet they can't even deal with a pomerian without euthanizing it.

I like this post.

Wuchuhurd
February 26th, 2010, 08:18 AM
I can already see people naming their Kyogre's Tillikum.

It's a shame someone died, but it is dangerous working with large carnivores like whales.

I imagine a whale not used to being in the wild would have a hard time surviving or be an easy target for whalers, but I don't really know. If either is the case I think he should stay in captivity where it's safe (for him) and kept away from people. Otherwise let him go.

Im thinking the stress of being forced to do the same things over and over has built up enough frustration beyond Tillikum's breaking point

La Foudre
February 26th, 2010, 09:31 AM
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/media/photo/2010-02/52414340.jpg

They keep him in that teacup.

Something that has the whole freaking ocean, is being kept in that teacup.

I'd kill someone too.

Whales shouldn't be kept in captivity like that.

Not saying that the trainer deserved to die. Definitely not saying that. I'm just hoping that this raises awareness that whales are really big, dangerous predators, not adorable little puppies.

I can't really talk about subjects like this without exploding at the narrow-mindedness of my peers. So uh, yeah. Byebye.

emoBill™
February 26th, 2010, 09:21 PM
Okay, first of all that article is completely freaking wrong.

As of right now I live in Florida and I'm only 45 minutes away from Sea World. We have people here who have seen the attack. Basically the trainer was feeding Tillikum when her ponytail slapped the side of his face. There's two speculations on what happened: either he got thought it was a toy and went after it, or he thought it was more food. After all, the trainers supposedly [according to my classmates who have been to Sea World and seen the shows] smack the sides of the orcas' mouths to tell them that it's feeding time and that they have food. So if she smacked the side of his mouth with her ponytail when she turned around...

It's not Tillikum's fault and it sucks that they think it is. He was only acting on instinct and it's not like he intentionally wanted to murder someone. If they put him down, I am going to be well beyond angry. And I totally agree with the above post (La Foudre). He should not have to be kept in that teacup. But they can't let him out into the ocean now because he doesn't know how to catch his own food.

;___;

Idiot!
February 27th, 2010, 05:58 AM
Hopefully the whale is kept in the park out of the public's sight.

Halcyon
February 27th, 2010, 06:08 AM
Tillikum should be released into the wild in my opinion.
These types of animals aren't supposed to be kept in such small areas anyway.

Misheard Whisper
February 27th, 2010, 06:12 AM
Aww, this is just so horrible. I saw it in the paper earlier, and I just think it's sad.

The whole thing's sad. Why do we have to imprison these beautiful animals in parks in the first place? To gawp at them every day? Even if they released Tilly into the wild, would he be able to cope?
/ttlyrelevantsomehow

No, you fail
February 27th, 2010, 06:13 AM
Just be happy you don't live an hour away from Seaworld I can't even watch the Olympics :(
I think the reason they haven't released the whale is due to the fact I'm sure it takes a lot of time and money to get and train a 12,000 pound whale.

I can remember from previous times going to Seaworld Orlando that whales would sometimes act up and that is what the media is saying what happened over here.

On the bright side I went to Seaworld yesterday because they had discounted tickets lol.

kingofjokers
February 27th, 2010, 07:59 AM
Well isn't he a KILLER whale? yeah just like everyone says they shouldn't be keeping one of the largest mammals in captivity i think they should set he/she free and if necessary they could always keep an eye on her just let it free.

.Gamer
February 27th, 2010, 09:20 AM
Owned.

Honestly, what were people expecting? Its a KILLER whale. If that name didn't send off red lights at first, my hope in humanity is lost more so. We aren't playing with Tonka toys these are giant animals that eat tons (literally) of food every day. We forget about that because "Oh I'm a flippin little dolphin let me flip for ya" its still an animal, its still got instincts, and it still likes to eat. Risk of the job kinda says that. La Foudre, its not a tea cup, its a giant, huge, enourmous tank of water that they keep him in, he lives the life of Riley. Its been in captivity so long it wouldn't know what to do in the wild.

Due to this picture being ginormous click here (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/ac/Orlando_Sea_World_Shamu_1.jpg) and see how the whale is dwarfed by the size of the pool, oh yeah, because its frikkin huge.

People getting upset about this is like being surpised when a lion attacks someone at a zoo, "gee no way".

TheBigMan0706
February 27th, 2010, 09:39 AM
you might not agree with me, but that whale should be killed! He killed one person while he was in B.C., he killed a homeless man that snuck into the Orlando park in 1999 (although we need less of the homeless crowd) and now this! If that monster killed before, then he'll kill again!

The Prince of Sweet Sorrow
February 27th, 2010, 09:57 AM
I have the feeling that wasn't an accident.

Apple Juice
February 27th, 2010, 10:18 AM
I do hope it gets released. It's caused too much trouble already, and the problem should be dealt with. CNN might make it sound worse, but this whale in particular was obviously too wild to tame completely, so the easiest way to stop all problems is to throw it back to sea, and to all you animal lovers: not literally throw it back to sea.

It's sad that someone had to die so that the owners could realize the problem with their whale. ):

Captain Hobo.
February 27th, 2010, 10:18 AM
I think you should put him in the ocean so he can be free and be with his own kind.

emoBill™
February 27th, 2010, 01:16 PM
I think you should put him in the ocean so he can be free and be with his own kind.
He can't be put in the ocean because he doesn't know how to hunt and how to feed himself. If he was put in the ocean he'd die the first day because he's a tamed orca and he doesn't know how to get along without trainers feeding him.

The Faust Knight
February 27th, 2010, 01:21 PM
This is terrible. I have to agree with the thought of the confinement of the whales. They are smart animals; of course they are prone to be desperate living in such a small environment. My condolences for the SeaWorld staff and the victim's family.

emoBill™
February 27th, 2010, 01:28 PM
you might not agree with me, but that whale should be killed! He killed one person while he was in B.C., he killed a homeless man that snuck into the Orlando park in 1999 (although we need less of the homeless crowd) and now this! If that monster killed before, then he'll kill again!
It's not a monster. It's a killer whale. There is a difference. He was born into captivity and there's nothing that he could have done to go to an environment where he could kill like he is programmed to do. Is it his fault that his instincts tell him to kill? They can't reason like humans can -- it's not their fault if they act on their instinct.

And tbh, that guy who snuck in...Tilli was kind of a watchdog for SeaWorld, so I actually applaud him for that. He knew he wasn't supposed to be in there and the homeless guy probably did something to anger him.

It's really not his [Tilli's] fault.

La Foudre
February 27th, 2010, 02:20 PM
Actually, Tilikum was captured from the wild when he was about 2 years old. Which makes this even more wrong than it was before. Ihatehumans, don't mind me.

emoBill™
February 27th, 2010, 02:25 PM
Actually, Tilikum was captured from the wild when he was about 2 years old. Which makes this even more wrong than it was before. Ihatehumans, don't mind me.
Oh, from what I'd heard he was born into captivity. But yes, you're right, it makes it even more wrong because they should not have taken him from his natural habitat. And I hate humans too, so don't mind me either xD It just seems like there's so many wrong things that we do and we should really learn to leave these animals alone :/

Misaka Shiori
March 1st, 2010, 08:27 PM
The problem with animals who are put into captivity is in some cases, they can become violent. If you take pitbulls for example, they are known to violently attack people and cause injury.

In the case of this incident, I'm not surprised because that killer whale had killed two trainers in the past and he was allowed to stay. The question is, do we release him? You know that there are consequences if that were to happen because he won't be able to survive since he lived in captivity for over 25 years and he simply doesn't have the instincts to survive in the wild. Another con to keeping him at Seaworld is that he can potentially kill another trainer like he did in the past, so in both possible outcomes, it's a big lose lose situation.

My suggestion is probably not use him for shows and put him in a bigger pool, but I just don't know... I'm pretty much neutral on this situation.

TRIFORCE89
March 3rd, 2010, 06:29 AM
I think you should put him in the ocean so he can be free and be with his own kind.
However, I don't think they can do that.

While I have seen such shows at SeaWorld, I don't think it's good for the psyche of the animal.

I don't have a problem with animals in captivity, provided they were either rescued or born there and have semi-realistic habitats.

You look at really good zoo or places like Disney's Animal Kingdom and the animals have really well designed habitats. Habitats that aren't just visually appealing to us, but habitats that can lead to a somewhat realistic life on a small scale. Rocks, dens, foliage, pits, lots of space, etc.

The whales do not. Just a tank. A bare tank. Rocks? No. Sea foliage? No. Realistic movement of water? No. They swim in a circle and then do tricks. It's different than other animals, even the animals at SeaWorld (like...I dunno... turtles?) where they're treated like animals. The whales seem to be treated like pets when they're much more.

Now....with Tilikum...

SeaWorld was aware that Tilikum was a danger. Tilikum does not play well with humans. Tilikum was brought to SeaWorld from Sealand primarily as a breeder. And that has worked. He's the most successful sire in captivity with 13 offspring.

Trainers were also kept out of the water Tilikum. His part in the shows was splashing the audience with his tail. The trainer never goes in the water with him, like they do other whales.

You have the largest orca in captivity and it's a pretty damn good breeder, which is why you brought it over to begin with. You know it has a bad history when it comes to people. You keep your trainers out of the water with it. Why not go just that little bit further and don't put it in shows or in special events like "Dine with Shamu" where the incident occurred. Just keep it as a breeder. It took down your best trainer and two people prior. You have to do a better job at keep Tilikum away from humans.

ChimcharFuse
March 3rd, 2010, 02:15 PM
That's sad.
They really need to release that whale.

Living Desert
March 3rd, 2010, 04:50 PM
Okay, first of all that article is completely freaking wrong.

It's not Tillikum's fault and it sucks that they think it is. He was only acting on instinct and it's not like he intentionally wanted to murder someone. If they put him down, I am going to be well beyond angry. And I totally agree with the above post (La Foudre). He should not have to be kept in that teacup. But they can't let him out into the ocean now because he doesn't know how to catch his own food.

As a rule of thumb, press releases lose many important details on the way to print, so I'm not too shocked.

The more detailed story sounds reasonable, It wouldn't suprise me either if someone horsing around in the crowd was fooling around, or one of the other trainers on stage wasn't paying attention and accidentally spooked the animal.

Sometimes, animals just get fed up with doing those kind of acts, add in a highly unstimulating environment, and an animal becomes stressed, prone to panic and can lash out. A show like the one Sea World does daily can be very taxing on an animal's mental stability.

There's probably more than one issue here. It's clear though that this animal needs to be retired from doing shows. What Sea World does with animals when they can't perform anymore, well that depends on Sea World. Personally, I think the animal should be allowed to live out his life away from the spotlight. I don't think there's a trainer on that staff that would want to see the whale get euthanized, but maybe that's naive.

He won't be going out into the wild. There's absolutely 0% chance. Sending an animal out there to compete in a community they have never known is in some ways more cruel than the merciful blue syringue.

JadedIguana
March 3rd, 2010, 07:10 PM
Even though he can kill, he is not as strong as the other wild Orcas. Releasing him in the wild would ensure that he would be dead in a matter of months, due to not having enough energy/experience to work alone, or encroaching on others 'territory'.

A life expectancy of a Trainer/Zoologist/Marine Biologist is forty. There are rarely any people that work with animals that can easily kill them live to be past fifty. I'm not saying to wave this off, but she knew what she was doing, and tempting your luck for so long, you're bound to have that ****** day.


I personally see nothing wrong with SeaWorld, or that Orca. Or the woman. Best of wishes to her relatives.

.Bullet
March 3rd, 2010, 07:25 PM
I think everyone's opinion would change if they knew how nature works. Things kill other things. It's nature. And no, I'm not saying that's an excuse for the whale. Still, it's instinct. The way the universe works is the weaker will die to the stronger. Instinct can't be prevented.

Also, to those who say that the whale should be killed, I'd love for you to explain why. Justice? Pathetic excuse. Fairness? Again, pathetic.

txteclipse
March 4th, 2010, 11:20 AM
You can't release him into the wild. Period. He will have no idea what do do to survive. Can we move on from that please?

Anyway, I can't imagine why all of you could possibly think that captivity is so bad. You get an unlimited supply of food, attention, and affection. The alternative is a brutal struggle, in the wild, with other whales, for a limited food supply. I guarantee that these whales aren't missing anything.

That said, the entire point of Seaworld's whale program is to raise awareness about Orcas and bring them into the public mind. It's not to be evil gremlins that lock up big animals in little cages. The amount of good Seaworld has done for ensuring the continued well-being of the species is probably immeasurable.

In this particular case, I would agree that they should and probably will put greater emphasis on security in regards to working with the whale (if I'm not mistaken, he wasn't doing shows anymore, but I may be wrong). However, putting him to sleep would be outrageous. As has been said, it's a dangerous business, and ultimately there will never be a perfect safety record when working with animals. What happened was sad, tragic even. But that trainer was doing something she believed in enough to risk her life.

TRIFORCE89
March 5th, 2010, 12:59 PM
You can't release him into the wild. Period. He will have no idea what do do to survive. Can we move on from that please?

Anyway, I can't imagine why all of you could possibly think that captivity is so bad. You get an unlimited supply of food, attention, and affection. The alternative is a brutal struggle, in the wild, with other whales, for a limited food supply. I guarantee that these whales aren't missing anything.

That said, the entire point of Seaworld's whale program is to raise awareness about Orcas and bring them into the public mind. It's not to be evil gremlins that lock up big animals in little cages. The amount of good Seaworld has done for ensuring the continued well-being of the species is probably immeasurable.

In this particular case, I would agree that they should and probably will put greater emphasis on security in regards to working with the whale (if I'm not mistaken, he wasn't doing shows anymore, but I may be wrong). However, putting him to sleep would be outrageous. As has been said, it's a dangerous business, and ultimately there will never be a perfect safety record when working with animals. What happened was sad, tragic even. But that trainer was doing something she believed in enough to risk her life.
There's a difference though between captivity and performance. I don't personally, see a problem, when the habitat exhibit tries to be very organic. However, that's not the case with the whale tanks which also need to be bigger and deeper.

SeaWorld does do great things, even with whales, but I think management just dropped the ball. This whale was brought to Orlando for breeding; it should not have been on show for this dining event.

Evilade
March 6th, 2010, 06:42 AM
Well, It's been said, but the clue is the name of the animal. Anyway, I don't really think it should kept in confinement and made to perform for people's enjoyment. They certainly shouldn't put it down, but they should definately consider releasing this whale into the ocean, where it will an infinitely larger amount of space.

What's worse than a dog eating you shoe?...

emoBill™
March 6th, 2010, 10:40 AM
They certainly shouldn't put it down, but they should definately consider releasing this whale into the ocean, where it will an infinitely larger amount of space.
I don't think you've been listening.

Tillikum cannot survive in the wild.
Because he has been tamed well past normal orca behavior, he cannot properly hunt in the wild.

Geez, people, read the freaking thread before you post.

I personally think they should keep him in SeaWorld, but no more shows.
That way he doesn't have to die, but he also doesn't kill anyone.
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