The death of the female trainer by the gigantic Orca Tilly at Sea World Orlando was quite tragic.
Of course the debate on how it could have been prevented can be mixed with the debate of why is there a Sea World at all.
We live in Orlando so from a simply economic viewpoint Sea World provides quite a few jobs and tax revenue for the Orlando metro area. But is it fair for humans to profit off the lives of non humans?
Well I guess it is no less fair than the fact that humans eat the flesh of non humans every day and seem to have little guilt over this practice.
Here are a few select opinions from the Orlando Sentinel recently on "what we should do with Tilly and Sea World?"
"Captivity(of the Orcas) creates a high level of stress, partly from the intense confinement, the high volume of chemicals in the water; the lack of social interaction and the inability to swim for miles. The sonar with which they communicate should travel for miles, but instead bounces back and forth within the pool.
Death and agitated behavior can be traced to infections, chemicals, and the frustration of having their needs denied.
We must learn to enjoy and respect all animals in their natural habitats, without imprisoning and forcing them to perform tricks for us."
from Don Anthony of Animal Rights Foundation of Florida
The last sentence is telling since I have seen Orcas in the Puget Sound in their natural environment and they seemed reasonably docile and happy(as long as they have enough fish I suppose)
SeaWorld's "Believe" show is nothing short of breathtaking. Everyone shouting to set Tilikum free has no idea what they are talking about. He's already been in captivity so long that he'd never survive in the wild. Everyone shouting to euthanize Tilikum like some rabid dog is clueless.
The only way to educate the next generation about saving our planet through conservation and recycling is through educational venues such as Sea World.
from Joy S
The relationship between the trainer and the whale is fascinating and has really not been investigated much. Is it possible that the whale valued her as a possession not unlike King Kong with his blonde female psuedo love interest.
Maybe he felt she was in danger and wished to protect her or maybe even more weird he harbored an attraction for her. From the reports he did not apparently openly injest her as a meal but more took her hair and gave her a ride.
We feel in that the Orcas appear to be quite intelligent they might can experience a relationship with humans as friends; maybe one day even openly communicating with humans thru some future technology. But we feel they should be left in their own environment largely and that parks such as Sea World should be be built near the habitat of the animal not with the animal being flown thousands of miles to spend 30 years in a tank.