The Sea World Tragedy, are Trainers Expendable While Shamu is Allowed to Live?
Dawn Brancheau, a trainer at Sea World was killed on Wednesday, February 25th by Shamu during a performance. Shamu took hold of Dawn’s pony tail and thrashed the trainer and then drowned her, by keeping an already badly injured Dawn under the water for forty minutes. Yes, Dawn is a trainer and in her line of work, things like this can happen. What I don’t understand, is how they could have allowed Tillikum, the whale to keep performing, after being involved in two other deaths. Tillikum was one of the three Orcas involved in the 1991 killing of a woman, who had lost her balance, and fell in the pool at the Sea Land Park of the Pacific near Victoria, British Columbia. If this wasn’t enough, this whale was also responsible for the death of another man in 1999, the man’s body was found draped over the whale, apparently the man had fallen in or was pulled in by Tillikum.
Here we are in 2010, and Tillikum has struck again. This time he has killed a trainer in front of many witnesses, who I’m sure will be traumatized for many years to come. This could have been prevented, if a little common sense would have been applied to the previous situations. Whether or not, Tillikum is a valuable part of the show and the star of Sea World, he should have been euthanized back in 1991, or at the very least after the 1999 incident. A young woman would still be alive today, if they had taken these preventive measures.
I am very much an advocate of animal rights and a believer in the humane treatment of animals. I am very appalled and sickened when I witness photos of animals being tortured in labs. It depresses me to see cows being placed in confining pens, where they cannot move and are treated like objects instead of living creatures. I personally think that Shamu’s home is out in the wild, swimming in the seven seas. Even though I have also experienced the magic of seeing Shamu perform, I still think that submitting an animal to an unnatural existence is cruel.
Given the present situation, and the fact that this animal has killed and he probably will kill again, if not euthanized. Something has to be done. I am appalled at some of the reports on this incident. It has been commented on the news, by others, who knew about this whale that this whale was dangerous. One trainer stated that Sea World wants to keep Tillikum alive for breading purposes. They don’t want to kill him, because he is worth millions of dollars. So I guess. trainers are expendable, but killer whales are not.
It is a common practice, that when a dog hurts a child, the shot gun is immediately used, and the dog is killed. This is even a scriptural principle, for it says in Genesis 5-6 “And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each man, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man.”
6 "Whoever sheds the blood of man,
by man shall his blood be shed;
for in the image of God
has God made man.”
This was the one of the first commandments given to Noah, when he left the ark and became a member of the new earth. We are not to allow an animal that has killed a human being to live. To allow that animal to live is disobedience to God. It doesn’t make a difference whether that animal is a mongrel dog or Shamu. That whale killed three human beings and he is still being allowed to live. Have we come to a place in history, where animals are more valuable than human beings?
If another human being had brutally murdered Dawn Brancheau and had drown her and there were others witnessing the crime, there would have been no question, as to the fate of the offender. The offender would automatically be put on death row and almost everyone would agree that this would be the fair and equitable way of handling the matter.
How is it that we pity an animal that kills a human and yet, we will execute a murderer? By the way, killing a murderer would be the right course of action. Biblically, if a human being or an animal kills a human being, their lives will be required of them. Dawn was killed by animal that had already killed before. Yet, because this particular animal is part of a money making attraction and is worth millions, he wasn’t euthanized.
I personally do not have anything against Sea World. This park is an amazing place. The work they do with animals, truly takes your breath away. I have seen all their attractions and Sea World owes a great debt to this talented body of trainers. I’m sure that if one of the dogs in the Pets Ahoy attraction became vicious and attacked one of the trainers, there would be no objection to killing that dog, because dogs from animal shelters are very easy to replace. Shamu is another story, and because of this whale’s rarity and cost, killing it will take some thought. All I know, is that a young woman was killed. How many more incidents like this will have to take place before something rational is done?