Trainer Almost Drowned by Killer Whale

It’s time we all stopped being shocked by beautiful wild animals who hurt or kill human beings.   Coverage of the killer whale who almost drowned his trainer was scary but completely understandable.  There’s a reason an Orca is referred to as a “Killer Whale” and not the “Gentle Whale” of the deep.  It’s because they are capable of killing as we saw in 2010 when Dawn Brancheau was drowned at Sea World Orlando, in front of a live audience.  That same whale was involved in two other deaths as well.   In 2003 Roy Roy Horn was mauled by his tiger in Las Vegas.  Referring to the tiger as “his tiger” is also a misused phrase.  As much as the tiger may have been familiar with him and even felt affection for him, a tiger has natural instincts that are uncontrollable.  That’s part of the beauty of these creatures; they are unpredictable, untamed, beautiful and powerful.   I recently wrote about the shark attack in Australia that resulted in the death of a surfer.  Man’s response to those attacks is to go out and kill Great White Sharks.  Why are we any less dangerous than they are?  We choose to kill.  Animals kill for instinctual reasons; to eat, to defend themselves or their offspring and because they are unpredictable.  The Orca that dragged his trainer underwater may have been playing with him, or may have been upset, no one will ever know for sure.  But make no mistake, if the whales’ intention was to kill his trainer, he wouldn’t have made it out of the tank.  To be shocked by the its natural behavior is simply ridiculous.  We must stop thinking animals are nothing more than zoo, circus  or aquarium attractions; something to amuse humans on a Saturday afternoon.  I am not suggesting these animals are mistreated in any way.  But what I am saying is we shouldn’t be so pompous as to think we can control big, strong powerful creatures like the killer whale, or a tiger, simply because we have the power to keep them locked up in a tank or behind iron bars.  No matter how well-trained and in control we think we are, truth be told, they are the masters of their natural or man-made domains.

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