Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Shamu Strikes Back

Well as I am sure all of you know by now, a 40 year old female whale trainer was killed today by a 12,300 pound Bull Killer Whale at Sea World in Orlando. Apparently the trainer was involved in the show in front of a live audience when according to one witness, "The Whale swam up, leapt out of the tank and grabbed the trainer in its jaws by the waist and thrased her around" The woman died as a result.

I love Sea World and I love Killer Whales, but folks we are dealing with a 12,000 pound Apex predator and these sorts of things happen...These whales are trapped, tranquilized and sold to the theme parks for upwards of a million dollars a whale, all for our entertainment. Instead of swimming freely in the ocean, they are forever confined to a small tank and made to perform circus tricks. So it's not suprising when these things happen. According to one marine biologist the whale thought it was playing with the woman, and like Lenny in "of mice and men" the tiny rabbit died.

So yes I am hypocritical in that I will still gladly pay my money to Sea World to see these awesome animals...these trainers have to know that they are playing with a loaded gun. And while this is tragic, this blogger will not blame the whale for being a whale.


Mr. Jacobs said...

great post. Its no wonder the whale went a little nuts O. I would to if I was programed to roam the ocean and kill seals and I end up in an oversized swimming pool.

Let Freedom Ring said...

While we enjoyed our annual trips to Sea World with you and Matt with a TON of wonderful memories I agree that no one should blame the whale. It's amazing to see these wonderful whales up close at Sea World but even better, for all involved to see them while we are sailing the ocean blue.

Love ya, Susan

Brett said...

Good points Gar. And quite frankly, while this is a tragedy, it is not like this is ordinary. We all take risks. When we get into non-SUV's and drive on the freeways we take our lives into our hands at the whims of those dangerous SUV's that seem to prey on freeway commuters.

Seriously, when you hike half-dome or any other peak, you take a calculated risk. Periodically, people die - and it is sad, but you don't outlaw hiking. How many trainer deaths have we had? Not many. It is a calculated risk - they know they aren't dealing with people here. It is sad. But so is every car wreck, plane crash, lost hiker, and so on.

The only thing I would point out... and I am really amazed you blew this. Killer Whales are not whales. They are in the porpoise family.... in fact, I believe I still have an uncollected $20 on a wager related to this very issue with someone... now who could that possibly be....?

Garrett said...

Brett you always did follow a "Porpoise Driven Life" (:

Pauly said...

Agreed. Keepingb a Killer "Whale" in a tank is like keeping you locked up in your bedroom for the remainder of your life. Not a huge issue, but definately not appropiate.

dole2obama said...

Shamu did indeed go postal! Love the Mice and Men reference.