a judge ruled that the video footage showing Tilly the orca attacking SeaWorld
trainer Dawn Brancheau won’t be made public, Brancheau’s autopsy
report was released recently--and it sure doesn’t sound like Tilly
was playing when he grabbed her by the ponytail and pulled her under water.
According to the six-page report, Brancheau's left arm and part of her scalp
were ripped off, she suffered spinal cord injuries, her ribs were broken,
as were bones in her legs, arms, and face, she had bruises and cuts all
over her body, and, ultimately, she was drowned.
This sounds more like an act of rage than an attempt at “play”
gone wrong. As PETA President Ingrid Newkirk says, “These were not
love bites, but the vented fury of an angry and frustrated being who has
been deprived of everything in life: family, friends, freedom—all
for the sake of human profit and a few giggles.”
Orcas may not have the same sense of revenge that humans do—and Tilly
may not have premeditated the attack—but it’s not unusual for
animals in circuses, zoos, travelling exhibits, and amusement parks to injure
or kill the people who deprive them of everything that is natural and important
to them. And can you really blame them?
As I pointed in my previous post about the attack at SeaWorld, Tilly’s
action shouldn’t have come as any surprise. Not only was he involved
in two other deaths, the tank he was kept in was a virtual bathtub in comparison
to his natural ocean home. (Performance artist Brian Feldmann even held
an 18-hour tub-in to symbolize the 18 long years that Tilly has spent in
While Tilly still has an innate instinct to kill, he is a mere shadow of
an orca—unable to swim for miles and miles, hunt, choose a mate, socialize
with other members of a pod, and communicate via echolocation.
The only thing that people learn by visiting a SeaWorld theme park is that
it is acceptable to yank marine mammals from their natural habitats and
imprison them in manmade environments that bare little resemblance to their
If you haven’t already done so, please sign the Care2 petition asking
SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment President Jim Atchison to relocate Tilly
to a sea pen.. After nearly three decades in captivity, it would be unwise
to release him directly into the open ocean, but a sea pen would allow him
to enjoy a more natural environment.
captive whale takes revenge 29/4/10 read
dolphins to be freed 3/4/10 read
seaworld killer whale drowns trainer 25/2/10 read