Tilikum's Back: SeaWorld Right to Let Whale That Drowned a Trainer Perform?

Living 2011/03/30 21:50:59
Add Photos & Videos
The killer whale that drowned a trainer last year at SeaWorld is performing once again -- and we're not totally sure how we feel about it.

Tilikum resumed his show in Orlando on Wednesday for the first time since 40-year-old Dawn Brancheau's death, The Associated Press reported.

No trainer has been allowed in the water with the killer whales since and they stayed out of the pool on Wednesday.

SeaWorld Animal Training Curator Kelly Flaherty Clark told the AP that returning Tilikum to performing at this time is what's best for the whale, even as they are still improving safety measures.

But as thousands enjoyed the show, about a dozen protesters outside the gates argued that the killer whales should not be held in captivity. Several held up signs reading, "Free Tilly."

Meanwhile, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has accused SeaWorld of recklessly putting trainers in danger. The company is fighting OSHA's citations and a $75,000 fine.

Do you think it's safe -- and appropriate -- for Tilikum to perform?

Read More: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=13259213

Add a comment above

Top Opinion

Sort By
  • Most Raves
  • Least Raves
  • Oldest
  • Newest

  • abbiekat 2011/03/31 14:38:37
    Yeah, just make sure everyone is careful around the whale and make sure the audience doesn't get to close to it.

    yeah careful whale audience close killer whales
  • Tony 2011/03/31 14:35:13
    I was at SeaWorld recently and I asked one of them about it. He told me they all accept the danger and are aware that at any time any one of these whales can do something unexpected. But everyone of them believes that what they contribute to help educate people about the whales makes it all worth it.
  • davyd god loving patriot 2011/03/31 14:31:30
    davyd god loving patriot
    Animal 1, human 0. Is'nt it nice to know just how valuable you really are ? This would not go in any other country, only in twisted America would this happen lol remember one of nobama's czars wants animals to have human rights and lawyers to defend them, I guess tilikum had his lol
  • SEAL76 2011/03/31 14:25:53
    No mammals or other wildlife should be kept in captivity to perform tricks. It is stupid and boring as well an inhumane.
  • Tony SEAL76 2011/03/31 14:35:53
    have you ever seen the show?
  • kenan01 2011/03/31 14:24:33
    Has he shown any remorse? Is he likely to be a threat if he is released into SeaWorld? Will he have to wear an ankle braclett and report to a parole officer?

    He's a Whale that does not have the brain to know what he did was wrong, so, I doubt that he will understand that he should not do that again.

    They had already labeled him as "Dangerous" prior to his last killing, so, what is it that the humans do not get? Sounds like they are the ones with the problem.
  • rugrat1411 2011/03/31 14:20:42
    Those trainers know the risk that they are taking when they get in the water. They love what they do just like I love my dogs. Any animal can attack and kill that doesn't mean you shouldn't train them.
  • kenan01 rugrat1411 2011/03/31 14:25:57
    Really, you are comparing a dog to a Killer Whale? They have the word "Killer" in their name. DUH.
  • earer rugrat1411 2011/03/31 16:14:57 (edited)
    If a dog kills someone they get euthanized, so at least when you are around them, you know it hasn't killed anyone yet. Therefore, this specific whale, the cause of two deaths, has a much deadlier record than any specific dog in America that is permitted to be around humans..
  • MBSVirg... earer 2011/03/31 16:35:04
    MBSVirginia BN-2
    3 deaths.
  • dhellew2 2011/03/31 14:18:20
    Blame the trainer not the whale. The whale is a wild creature and should be respected and treated as such.
  • Splinter76 2011/03/31 13:58:10
    Not for the same reasons that PETA would state, but I think this whale (and the others) should be released to the wild. Yes there are poachers. Got it. But really... they need to put these whales in the wild and let them live their "lives". Plus... hello... your trainers are in DANGER! Human life. Danger. Idiots.
  • Dark_or... Splinter76 2011/03/31 16:35:52
    the whale wont be able to survive on its own after being held captive for so long
  • Dixienc Dark_or... 2011/03/31 16:57:45
    Exactly and people don't see that. He's better off where he is. I watched a thing late last night where one of his handlers was talking about how he was dying being off by himself all the time and that allowing him back into the open tank has given him new life. They aren't allowing anyone in the water with him but this guy said he would do it in a second. The accidents were not deliberate. It was more the fault of inattentive trainers than the fault of the whale. He didn't bite them or try to eat them. He was doing what comes natural to him......pulling his "mate" under water with him.
  • Splinter76 Dark_or... 2011/04/01 12:02:52
    That is a really, really good point. Then... I don't know what to do. I also didn't realize what Dixie was saying below. I thought the whale was like "Here we go! You're MINE!" But if he was just doing what is natural to him... then just keep the teeny humans away.

    Thanks for the clarification! I change my statement!
  • Dark_or... Splinter76 2011/05/18 23:25:49
    glad i could clear things up
  • Scout 2011/03/31 13:43:40
    These are wild animals which shouldn't be in captivity to entertain the public.
  • Nancy 2011/03/31 13:23:36
    They know the risks that come with Tilikum so if they are willing to take the risk so be it.
  • bluelady 2011/03/31 13:22:31
    I would let the whale perform, its not his choice to be where he is.... but would not let human be with him in the tank...they are a social animal and seem to enjoy the "work" of performing ...and at least its a form of excercise for it...I do think Sea World should not have any breeding of them in captivity tho the shows may be another way for them to finance some of the great R&R; work with sick and injured Marine life that they do
  • earl 2011/03/31 13:21:02
    Mama always said,"stupid is as stupid does"

    Does the name "killer" whale mean anything?

    Mess with the bull, your gonna get the horn!!!
  • MaiVai 2011/03/31 13:15:04
    I really have no idea what to think, can they let tilikum back into the sea (haha free willy) or can't they just keep him for looks. You know, they look really cute so might as well work on that.
  • yankee's wife 2011/03/31 13:08:04
    yankee's wife
    This is the third person this whale has killed! You wouldn't catch me in the water with it, or anywhere near it for that matter! He should be set free back in the ocean or made into sushi.
  • Unique 2011/03/31 13:07:36
    they are animals its not like they did it on purpose
  • ^v^ DEATHBATQUEEN ^v^ 2011/03/31 12:56:34
    Im so tired of the damn stereotyping!!!! 1st pitbulls now killer whales (orcas).... let the damn animals alone. i want to go to a 9 yr college for marine biology to work with these beautiful animals you just have to take the damn risk that is thrown at you before you get in the water with them!
  • yankee'... ^v^ DEA... 2011/03/31 13:09:35
    yankee's wife
    Why is it stereotyping? They are not banning all killer whale shows. They should just get rid of this "killer" whale. Don't even get me started on pitbulls.....
    stereotyping banning killer whale rid killer whale pitbulls nasty pitbulls
  • ^v^ DEA... yankee'... 2011/05/06 22:07:03
  • Dixienc ^v^ DEA... 2011/03/31 17:00:27
    Thank you for what you do. It's really sad to think how many people don't see the FACTS here. He didn't know he was doing something so wrong. It is completely natural for a young whale to pull it's "play mate" under water to play. It's not like he tried to eat them or that he viciously attacked them. He was doing something natural to him and the trainers didn't move when they needed to, weren't paying enough attention, or just were inexperienced themselves not to see the signs. If they were to release him now he wouldn't survive. He has no clue how to feed himself.
  • Sass Dixienc 2011/04/01 14:07:58
    He would eat, natural instincts would kick in if he got hungry enough.
  • Dixienc Sass 2011/04/01 14:42:13
    Sorry...but you're wrong here. It's already been proven with the ones they've tried to release. They end up bringing them back in if they can keep them alive long enough to recapture them.
  • Sass Dixienc 2011/04/04 20:23:59
    Former dolphin trainer Rick O'Barry, who trained dolphins for the TV series "Flipper," says that captive orcas and dolphins are "so stressed out you wouldn't believe it." As the Humane Society of the United States and the World Society for the Protection of Animals say in their report "The Case Against Marine Animals in Captivity," captivity causes marine mammals to lose their natural feeding and foraging behaviors. Captivity also changes their social behaviors. The report explains, "Stress-related conditions such as ulcers, stereotypical behaviors including pacing and self-mutilation, and abnormal aggression in groups frequently develop in predators denied the opportunity to forage. Other natural behaviors, such as those associated with dominance, mating, and maternal care, are altered in captivity, which can have a substantially negative impact on the animals." Animals that are normally peaceful in their natural environment can become violent when confined.
  • guitarplayer2571 2011/03/31 12:29:45
    the trainers know the risk when they take the job, however now the whale has had a taste of killing it may do it again?
  • srini 2011/03/31 12:08:46
    The link was misleading "should orcas perform?" (which sounded like it was a PETA-sympathetic question). IMO, orcas should perform--but not this one, which already has had experience of killing a human; in circuses (circi?), it is standard practice NOT to allow a large-cat which has killed a human to perform any longer (as it is likely to respond by killing again instead of performing to command) but to either ship to a zoo or euthanise (rather cold hard fact).
  • Torchmanner ~PWCM~JLA 2011/03/31 11:54:40
    Torchmanner ~PWCM~JLA
    What are they going to do, prosecute the 'killer' whale for a 'hate crime'? DOJ won't even prosecute a videotaped felon.
  • earer 2011/03/31 11:47:51
    No, people's lives are more important than entertainment
  • gabbycedotal 2011/03/31 11:40:41
    I'm not gonna be the trainer.
  • kmay 2011/03/31 11:22:02
    Irresponsible of S.W.
  • Eneri 2011/03/31 11:18:57 (edited)
    ... although I will say that it shouldn't have been captive to start with. Too late to release it now, really. It's been apart from it's home for too long.

    Anywho, They should be aware of the risks associated with any animal interaction. Death at a zoo? Human fault. (with the exception of the rare stalking ((normally tigers/lions)) before attacking) This? Same thing.

    Also, It had been said (when the story first came out) she did something she shouldn't have- so, if this is truth, she's at fault.
  • Bess 2011/03/31 10:59:34
    As long as no one gets close to them.
  • **love*you*too*much*too*let... 2011/03/31 10:52:14
    U people dont get it do u? This is an animal that is supposed 2 b a wild animal. And do any of u "NO" voters understand that a killer whale has instincts?-or all animals 4 that manor. Either he was feeling afraid, or just wanted 2 plaay. He wasnt trying 2 kill her . Or well, it looked like he was just playing. manor feeling afraid 2 plaay 2 kill looked playing tilikum manor feeling afraid 2 plaay 2 kill looked playing tilikum manor feeling afraid 2 plaay 2 kill looked playing tilikum CAN YOU REALLY BE MAD AT THIS FACE????
  • **love*... **love*... 2011/03/31 10:56:32
    And if we set it free, it may- im not saying this is definate- be hunted. And eaten. And then there will be 1 less killer whale that exists. And just because we set him free doesnt mean he caant still kill people. Do u like seals?- I do and he will eat them!

See Votes by State

The map above displays the winning answer by region.


2016/02/14 19:02:51

Hot Questions on SodaHead
More Hot Questions

More Community More Originals