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Old 2010-03-02, 13:05   Link #1
chikorita157
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Tilikum and Seaworld... Is it a good idea to release him or not?

Last Wednesday as most known, a SeaWorld trainer died when Tilikum grabbed Dawn Brancheau and drown her into the water. I'm quite surprised that there haven't been much talk about it, but something was bothering me. Is it a really good idea to release him like most Animal Rights activists wanted.

Before I go though what I want to say, here is some background information on Tilikum. He was captured near Iceland in November 1983 at the age of two. Ever since then, he was living in captivity. In 1991, he killed a female trainer, and then he was moved to SeaWorld Orlando in 1992. In 1999, he killed a 27 year old intruder who was in his pool by a combination of hypothermia and drowning. He was allowed to stay and now this.

Now that I gave the history of this Orca whale, here is my thoughts on releasing Tilikum. There is a reason why SeaWorld is not considering at all to releasing him. This is because one, he was living in captivity for over 25 years and for a whale that he does not have the instinct like hunting for food and skills to interact with other orcas in the wild. Wild Orcas depend on hunting on other animals such as fish to survive, but since Tilikum being dependent on being fed by humans and human interactions, it makes it nearly impossible for it to readapt to the wild. Sending him back to the wild can be seen as a death penalty since because of the reasons I mentioned, it won't be able to survive.

They have done this to Keiko, which was a Orca whale that was featured in the children's movie, "Free Willy." Although looks good in the movie, I have read an what happened after and it was not a good idea because it was also the same position of Tilikum and for the reasons above, it didn't survive and died on December 12, 2003 at age 27. Also, it couldn't reintegrate back to other wild orcas as well.

Also, leaving him at SeaWorld have it's consequences as well because what happens if the incident happens to another person like they did wit the last three people? This is a big lose lose situation, either way, it's going to turn out bad. My only suggestion is to put him in a bigger pool and not use him for shows and let him live peacefully without releasing him. That what I can see from it.

Not to mention, Orcas are part of the Dolphin family, the same Dolphins where they are friendly to humans and willing to help humans out when they are in trouble.

What is your take on this issue?
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Old 2010-03-02, 13:07   Link #2
ChainLegacy
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I don't know what to do specifically about this orca. As a whole, though, we humans need to stop imprisoning these amazing creatures. They do just fine on their own the vast majority of the time. Has anyone seen that recent National Geographic documentary on orcas? Truly awe-inspiring creatures, they are. They possess refined senses, size, sociality, and extreme intelligence all in one package.
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Old 2010-03-02, 13:17   Link #3
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Releasing him into the wild now would just be giving him a death sentence.
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Old 2010-03-02, 13:39   Link #4
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Releasing him back into the wild would be the death of him. I know his history and his background, but even so he's still far too dependent on human care, and at this point in his life I doubt a pod of orcas would accept him.
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Old 2010-03-02, 13:48   Link #5
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Releasing him back into the wild would be the death of him. I know his history and his background, but even so he's still far too dependent on human care, and at this point in his life I doubt a pod of orcas would accept him.
i don't know about that, if they can find his original pod they might accept him back. didn't same happen to willy?

just look up wily on wiki, guess it didn't happen.

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Releasing him into the wild now would just be giving him a death sentence.
and his current accommodations are akin to being struck in a bathtub. which would be worse, being struck in a bathtub for reminder of his life or dying in the ocean.


my only real concern at this point is that tilikum has no fear of humans and what would happen if he approach humans swimming or in small boat.
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Old 2010-03-02, 13:57   Link #6
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Tilikum will meet with the Council of Elders and tell them that the humans *can* be defeated. He will lead an army of orca that will destroy shipping worldwide and drive the humans out of the sea. Even lagoons won't be safe
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Old 2010-03-02, 14:01   Link #7
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Tilikum will meet with the Council of Elders and tell them that the humans *can* be defeated. He will lead an army of orca that will destroy shipping worldwide and drive the humans out of the sea. Even lagoons won't be safe
they are too fat to fit in a lagoon>_>
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Old 2010-03-02, 14:03   Link #8
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No. He is already domesticated, so how can one expect him to live in the wild?

Unless you are releasing the same group of killer whales he grew up with together with him. At least he can survive with some little companionship.

Killer whales idea of "play" is the same as dolphins, but because they are twice as big, the trouble they generate are twice as disastrous. It is something the Oceanpark management have to deal with.

Dolphins do play with pufferfish by grabbing them in their mouths, then letting go when they inflate. The toxin's numbing effect, combined with the sudden ballooning of the poor pufferfish, was probably a hell lot of fun for the dolphins. What we humans are to the orcas are what the pufferfish are to the dolphins, except that :

1. We have bones that can be broken.

2. We cannot stay underwater indefinitely.

3. We are "hard and brittle" toys instead of "soft and inflatable".

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Tilikum will meet with the Council of Elders and tell them that the humans *can* be defeated. He will lead an army of orca that will destroy shipping worldwide and drive the humans out of the sea. Even lagoons won't be safe
I would like to see the Los Angeles-class sub take on a horde of Orca with a set of torpedoes.
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Old 2010-03-02, 15:57   Link #9
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he will make a human avatar and live on both land and sea
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Old 2010-03-02, 16:15   Link #10
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I've never been a huge fan of whale shows whether it be dolphin or killer wale. I don't know if anyone here saw the heated debate on the Larry King show about this subject.
I hope it will light a spark, specially since Ric O'Barry's docu The Cove came out a little while ago.. well it is in the news due to the Oscar nomination it has. I for one am against keeping those animals in captivity, the capture of these animals their training methods and the fact that they never keep recon with the animals stress level kind make me kind of angry. Those animals use sounds to communicate and are highly sensitive for it, they are kept in a small tank that not only re-bounces any sounds they make but the noises during the shows can drive an animal nuts.
This situation just proves how selfish those people are that even though such an animal has killed before they still refuse to acknowledge it and simply use it for their own gain as a tool.
The discussion on Larry King was also a great example, the representative trainer for Seaworld could only whine about the other party not knowing what they do.. that they use them for learning material.. but he himself admitted that he has only been working for seaworld itself for only a couple years and doesn't know the full details of what the organization does. He goes on about studying them but I find it hard to believe that Seaworld has never actually studied that they are self aware.
The trainer was going on and on that captivity isn't a bad thing cause the animals only care about being fed, this angers cause it shows that you missed the most important lesson of being a trainer. Same goes for that woman who died, I am sorry for her but she was acting like the whale was a child, telling her sister in colors and rainbows about them... I remember we had a woman at the zoo in the Netherlands who did the same with a gorilla, smiling at him etc. etc. as if it was a tamed pet but he broke out and attacked her also.
Also another trainer was killed in December according to Ric O'Barry, also killed by a killer whale but Seaworld is masking it up to prevent it from becoming a mediahype thing.
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Old 2010-03-02, 16:30   Link #11
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There's two ways to look at this. One way is that the orca is too domesticated to be left in the wild. He will die as he cannot rely on himself to feed. He needs humans for that. He will not feel safe in the ocean as he is too accustomed to the safety of his "bathtub" that has now become his home. He killed the intruder because he broke into his "bathtub" of a house. He wanted to protect what he felt was his. I justify him for doing that because it was his instinct to do so, as any other animal would (unless that intruder wasn't actually an intruder).

On the other hand, I can see how Seaworld staff are reluctant to keep the orca. He's killed two trainers, and if they keep him, they will run the risk of losing another trainer, a risk they'e likely unwilling to take. From their perspective, it is better to let him go. They value other orcas who are more peaceful and perform better as well as their trainers more than a whale with a blood-stained background. For the sake of their staff, it's not profitable for them to keep him in the waterpark. Also, keeping the orca in his own tank and not use it for their shows would be a useless cost. Considering the orca is not useful for performances, there is no point for them to keep him there. It is better to use that extra space for other animals that would be more appealing than one that has a history of violence, one that could scare visitors and audiences alike away.

Honestly, I would like for them to keep him. He will die if they don't. I do not know the circumstances of the death of the other trainers (or the intruder). Perhaps the trainers' deaths were their own fault or caused by an accident through no fault of Tilikum. However, either way, I do not see it likely that keeping Tilikum will sit well with Seaworld.
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Old 2010-03-02, 16:50   Link #12
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You obviously can't release him into the wild, as people have said, unless you want to kill him.

So the obvious solution is to just don't go into his bathtub. Seriously, how hard is it to stay out of his water? You can probably still have him do some tricks, and be in a pool where people can observe him up close, without risking people in his pool.

This shouldn't be a difficult question. It's the fact that dumb animal people are dumb.
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Old 2010-03-02, 17:05   Link #13
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This shouldn't be a difficult question. It's the fact that dumb animal people are dumb.
Part of what made the death so shocking was that it was with an experienced trainer, who from what I know, worked with Tilikum before and never had a problem with him. So I suppose they thought it was a risk worth taking.
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Old 2010-03-02, 17:13   Link #14
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Originally Posted by chikorita157 View Post
Is it a really good idea to release him like most Animal Rights activists wanted?
You mean those same kind of activists that "free" captive born minks, sending them into certain death?

and in blind sickening righteousness patting themselves on the back?


... I say "Suuuuuure"
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Old 2010-03-02, 17:38   Link #15
chikorita157
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
Tilikum will meet with the Council of Elders and tell them that the humans *can* be defeated. He will lead an army of orca that will destroy shipping worldwide and drive the humans out of the sea. Even lagoons won't be safe
Quote:
Killer whales idea of "play" is the same as dolphins, but because they are twice as big, the trouble they generate are twice as disastrous. It is something the Oceanpark management have to deal with.
Or what Kanata have said it... that

Spoiler for episode 6:


Dolphins are friendly animals, but with Orca's being 2x bigger than a Bottlenose Dolphin, it can spur some trouble. Also, with the size of Bottle-nose Dolphins, I highly doubt it's capable of doing what Tilikum have done.

Now for the serious stuff...

Quote:
I for one am against keeping those animals in captivity, the capture of these animals their training methods and the fact that they never keep recon with the animals stress level kind make me kind of angry. Those animals use sounds to communicate and are highly sensitive for it, they are kept in a small tank that not only re-bounces any sounds they make but the noises during the shows can drive an animal nuts.
There are pros and cons of putting an animal in captivity. One is conservation and preventing an animal species from becoming extinct. Some animal rights activists won't realize that putting endanger species and breeding them in captivity helps the endangered species from becoming extinct and they are returned to the wild after the population is high enough.

The small pool sizes is a animal welfare issue and they should be put in sufficient enough pools not made with cement, but emulating what a natural habitat of a animal. The training and using an animal for performance purposes is a controversial issue, but I rather not get into the issue because I believe that the animal should be treated humanely and have a sufficient enough space to live in if they were to live in captivity. You can't simply release a animal in captivity because there are moral and other issues as I and others put it. People would like to release these animals to the wild, but don't know the big consequences behind it since of it living in captivity for so long.

However, I believe that this incident will make these companies like Seaworld improve the welfare of the animal and try to increase the pool size and also take my suggestion, make the habitat look more natural as it were to wildlife since releasing them isn't a good option.

Quote:
On the other hand, I can see how Seaworld staff are reluctant to keep the orca. He's killed two trainers, and if they keep him, they will run the risk of losing another trainer, a risk they'e likely unwilling to take. From their perspective, it is better to let him go. They value other orcas who are more peaceful and perform better as well as their trainers more than a whale with a blood-stained background. For the sake of their staff, it's not profitable for them to keep him in the waterpark. Also, keeping the orca in his own tank and not use it for their shows would be a useless cost. Considering the orca is not useful for performances, there is no point for them to keep him there. It is better to use that extra space for other animals that would be more appealing than one that has a history of violence, one that could scare visitors and audiences alike away.
Maybe a place where Tilikum needs is not in the ocean, but in a marine reserve comparable to animal reserves of some sort where he can live peacefully in a bathtub environment where the size is sufficient enough so that he won't harm humans and it needs not much human interaction except for feeding and not be used in shows. This is close to the suggestion I have made in the first post.

Quote:
Part of what made the death so shocking was that it was with an experienced trainer, who from what I know, worked with Tilikum before and never had a problem with him. So I suppose they thought it was a risk worth taking.
There are always going to be risk when performing with animals that are 2x bigger than Bootlenosed Dolphins. Comparable to putbulls, it's the same. Owners of pitbulls are always going to have some risk of it attacking someone or even the owner.
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Old 2010-03-02, 18:15   Link #16
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Originally Posted by RadiantBeam View Post
Part of what made the death so shocking was that it was with an experienced trainer, who from what I know, worked with Tilikum before and never had a problem with him. So I suppose they thought it was a risk worth taking.
Possibly. But I meant from now on, mostly. I'm not adverse to risk, but only if the potential reward is worth it. I just don't feel this would be. Plus, I was basically pointing out a third option, as the question seems to be:

A. Release him - bad because he dies
B. Don't release him - bad because he could kill someone else

The third option is to not release him, and just don't let anyone else into his pool when he's swimming in it. No deaths at all.

(And dumb animal people I was referring to, are those that want to release him, having no clue that it means his death.)
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Old 2010-03-03, 09:01   Link #17
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Originally Posted by chikorita157 View Post
Maybe a place where Tilikum needs is not in the ocean, but in a marine reserve comparable to animal reserves of some sort where he can live peacefully in a bathtub environment where the size is sufficient enough so that he won't harm humans and it needs not much human interaction except for feeding and not be used in shows. This is close to the suggestion I have made in the first post.
I think that would also be the best option. He cannot be kept in sea world because it's a risk to the trainers. An animal reserve would be a much better option.

And as for the dumb animal rights activists, they should study a bit more about what happens to animals that have been domesticated only to be thrown back into the wild later. That and they should read "Life of Pi" which was not only entertaining but educative as well.
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Old 2010-03-03, 19:21   Link #18
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Originally Posted by chikorita157 View Post
There are always going to be risk when performing with animals that are 2x bigger than Bootlenosed Dolphins. Comparable to putbulls, it's the same. Owners of pitbulls are always going to have some risk of it attacking someone or even the owner.
I'm not saying there isn't a risk factor, I know there is. There's always a certain amount of risk involved when you're working with animals, especially something as big and powerful as an orca. I'm just saying that the death of the trainer was a shock to some because she seemed aware of the risks and had worked with Tilikum before without a problem, so they didn't seem to expect anything would go wrong.
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Old 2010-03-03, 22:03   Link #19
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The problem is the orca is not domesticated. Sure, they might spend most of their lives under human care, but that isn't true domestication. Now, if we started selectively breeding orcas until they were modified evolutionarily to live with humans (like dogs, farm animals, etc) that would be the real deal. I doubt anyone has the resources to do that or the legal ability so they will likely remain wild animals in captivity indefinitely. They simply aren't meant to live under these conditions.
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Old 2010-03-03, 22:23   Link #20
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Why don't you just put it to sleep.
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