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Thread: Orca kills trainer at Sea World in Orlando while guests watch

  1. #16
    Elite Member Sarzy's Avatar
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    ^ They need to stop breeding them in captivity. It's not fair on them.

  2. #17
    Elite Member Bellatheball's Avatar
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    The orcas "weren't trying to kill Byrne, but Tillikum and his orca companions didn't know that humans can't hold their breath as long as whales," Humane Society scientist Naomi Rose said in a report on the group's Web site.
    They know this how?

  3. #18
    Elite Member Honey's Avatar
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    Sad she lost her life but poor whales, they should be in the ocean

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    Elite Member Moongirl's Avatar
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    I saw on the Today show this morning that this particular killer whale was captured in the wild (I believe it's since been outlawed, at least in the U.S.). One of the former trainers from British Columbia stated that after the incident there, the orca was sold to the Sea World under the condition it would not be used in any shows.

  5. #20
    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    i feel ashamed for going to sea world all the time. because i've been there before and gone to the Shamu shows and i feel guilty b/c i should be boycotting places like that! it goes against everything i believe in for wild animals shame on me, shame on the captivity of majestic creatures of the earth.

  6. #21
    Elite Member cupcake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AliceInWonderland View Post
    i feel ashamed for going to sea world all the time. because i've been there before and gone to the Shamu shows and i feel guilty b/c i should be boycotting places like that! it goes against everything i believe in for wild animals shame on me, shame on the captivity of majestic creatures of the earth.
    I feel the same. We have annual passes and go about 14 times a year. I love the Shamu show, but they have alot of other things to offer as well. Shame on me too. I think im done
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    Elite Member Moongirl's Avatar
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    SeaWorld trainer died from traumatic injuries, drowning, autopsy shows

    STORY HIGHLIGHTS
    -Whale shows canceled Thursday at SeaWorld
    -Trainer Dawn Brancheau, 40, fatally injured by killer whale at SeaWorld Orlando
    -The whale, Tillikum, grabbed her ponytail, pulled her underwater
    -Tillikum has been linked to two other deaths

    Orlando, Florida (CNN) -- A whale trainer at SeaWorld died from "multiple traumatic injuries and drowning" after a 12,000-pound killer whale grabbed her ponytail and pulled her underwater in front of shocked onlookers at Shamu Stadium, the Orange County Sheriff's office said Thursday.

    Dawn Brancheau, 40, was "pulled underwater for an extended period of time," by the whale, Chuck Tompkins, SeaWorld's curator of zoological operations, told CNN's "American Morning."

    The county medical examiner ruled Brancheau "most likely died from multiple traumatic injuries and drowning after one of the park's killer whales pulled her into a pool behind Shamu Stadium," the sheriff's office said in a statement.

    The statement confirms Tompkins' account, saying that Brancheau was interacting with the whale, named Tillikum, in knee-deep water "when the animal grabbed her by the hair, said to be in a long ponytail, and pulled her underwater."

    Rescuers were not immediately able to reach Brancheau because of the "whale's aggressive nature," the sheriff's office said. She was recovered by SeaWorld staff members after Tillikum was coaxed into a smaller pool and lifted out of the water by a large platform on the bottom of the smaller tank, authorities said.

    WESH: Watch tourist's video seconds before whale attackVideo

    "While this incident remains the subject of an ongoing death investigation, there are no signs of foul play," the sheriff's statement said. "All evidence and witness statements indicate that the death was a tragic accident."

    Earlier accounts varied on how Brancheau ended up in the tank.

    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 Brancheau by her waist, shaking her so violently that her shoe came off. A SeaWorld employee, who asked not to be identified, described the incident the same way.

    Orange County Sheriff's Office spokesman Jim Solomons said Brancheau slipped into the tank.

    Tillikum has been linked to two other deaths. He and two other whales were involved in the drowning of a trainer at a Victoria, British Columbia, marine park in 1991. The trainer fell into the whale tank at the Sea Land Marine Park Victoria and was dragged underwater as park visitors watched.

    In 1999, Tillikum was blamed for the death of a 27-year-old man whose body was found floating 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, then climbed into the tank.

    The 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.

    Because of Tillikum's history, as well as his size, trainers did not get into the water with him, Tompkins told CNN. Specific procedures were in place for working with him, he said, although "obviously, we need to evaluate those protocols."

    "He's just a really, really large animal," Tompkins said, noting that female killer whales weigh 6,000 pounds -- half of Tillikum's weight. "Just because of his size alone, it would be dangerous to get in the water with him." But the whale's previous incidents were also taken into account, he said.

    Tompkins pointed out that the 1991 incident occurred before SeaWorld owned Tillikum and that no one is sure what took place in the incident eight years later.

    Tillikum could have been trying to play with Brancheau or get her attention or companionship, said Nancy Black, a marine biologist who has studied whales for 20 years. Such whales play with seals and sea lions in the wild, tossing them in the air, she said. But they do not kill them and end up letting them go.

    "I don't believe the killer whale purposely intended to kill the woman," she said. "It was more likely an accident, I would guess." But, she said, the whale could also have been frustrated for some reason.

    Tompkins said there were no indications of any problem with Tillikum or any other animal just before the incident, and that Brancheau "had done a great session with him ... he seemed to enjoy what he was doing at the time."

    The incident, however, raises larger questions regarding the captivity of wild animals.

    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."

    Black told CNN that killer whales in the wild live in family groups, and males stay with their mothers their entire lives. Family members rely on each other for social structure and play, and they cover hundreds of miles of ocean, she said.

    "I think they do need more space, and situations like that do cause a lot of stress for them, most likely." She said Tillikum had a "flopped fin," something seen in captivity but not much in the wild.

    But Tompkins said, "We have a tremendous track record with these animals at SeaWorld" and a very small percentage of problems. It's useful to have animals in the park, he said, because it gives scientists a chance to study them and gives members of the public an opportunity to see them and learn about them.

    "This is the first time in 46 years that we've ever had an incident like this with a trainer," he said. Although Tillikum is large and has to be handled carefully, "to mark him as a killer is unfair."

    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.

    CNN's John Couwels and Brian Todd contributed to this report.

    SeaWorld trainer died from traumatic injuries, drowning, autopsy shows - CNN.com
    2008 Cable News Network

  8. #23
    Silver Member Popsicle's Avatar
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    Maybe I'm young and naive, but I'm really on the fence with this whole 'These Whales should be in the wild' ; although the mammals intelligence is disputable, all the born in captivity/caught young creatures have ever known is performing for tricks and would not be able to fend for themselves in the wild, I do however think they should be allowed to retire after a few years in groups as they are social animals that travel with companions. Whales also live shorter in captivity

    The whale in question which attacked Dawn was 'known' to be dangerous after it was involved in the death of two other humans! One news source is saying the particular whale did not follow instructions and multiple news reports are saying the whale was bad tempered... well duh!

    I liken it to any other animals that have aggressive primal instincts they will always revert to. I am interested in the intelligence of the Mammals, some comments on the London times website suggest the Whale 'pre-meditated' his attack on his cruel trainer, lol - whatever.

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    Elite Member crumpet's Avatar
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    Animals trainers never wish to see animals that harmed them put down. They know it is dangerous and do it anyway. This trainer knew this whale's history, so she took a claculated risk, as all animal trainers do. As far as animals in captivity goes, I have mixed feelings. On the one hand there are animals that would be extinct if not for zoo or sanctuary breeding programs. I can
    see that zoos and parks can be instrumental in helping humans appreciate these creatures and therefore be more aware of protecting their habitats and oppose the killing of animals for trophies or fur or any other reason for poaching.
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  10. #25
    Elite Member bellini's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AliceInWonderland View Post
    i feel ashamed for going to sea world all the time. because i've been there before and gone to the Shamu shows and i feel guilty b/c i should be boycotting places like that! it goes against everything i believe in for wild animals shame on me, shame on the captivity of majestic creatures of the earth.
    I felt that way when my friend's kids asked me to take them to the circus. I felt so badly for those animals. The tigers sitting on little stools, made to jump through fire hoops. And the elephants, they looked miserable. Afterward, I felt really guilty contributing to their suffering. I'll never go to anything like that again.

  11. #26
    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    ^ bellini - ditto to that. I haven't been to a circus in years; I'm afraid I'd open all the cages and pile the animals in the back of my car so I could drive them someplace safe.
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  12. #27
    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    ugh, its heart-breaking isn't it. i feel like such a jerk. for example i stopped wearing leather jackets in an attempt to be more aware of animal's suffering on this planet at the hands of humans, but i still have leather shoes really lame of me!

  13. #28
    Elite Member bellini's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brookie View Post
    ^ bellini - ditto to that. I haven't been to a circus in years; I'm afraid I'd open all the cages and pile the animals in the back of my car so I could drive them someplace safe.
    Yeah they all look so sad you want to rescue them. I could never go to the zoo again. Haven't been since I was ten.

  14. #29
    Elite Member angelais's Avatar
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    My worst memory of a circus was when I was about ten and some traveling show came through town. They paraded all these animals through the empty lot next to the grocery store. I saw the elephant pretty close up and his shoulder was bleeding from getting whipped. I was traumatized and have never been to a circus since.
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  15. #30
    Silver Member landerq's Avatar
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    Okay. The name of this animal is KILLER whale. That's right. Killer. And why would anyone be surprised that this animal that was deemed KILLER killed something? The idiocy of people never ceases to amaze me. If my neighbor was named Killer John or Murderer Bill or Rapist Next Door Neighbor Guy, I should probably be wary of, say, going over to his house by myself in hot pants and a halter top. Just sayin.

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