February 25th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

Should wild animals be used as entertainment?


A killer whale at SeaWorld in San Diego. This is not the same orca involved in yesterday's trainer death at SeaWorld Orlando. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The death of a whale trainer at SeaWorld never had to happen.

The park has canceled whale shows today and is re-evaluating safety procedures - a day after a 12,000 lb. killer whale grabbed the trainer's ponytail, dragged her underwater and killed her.

The 22-ft. long killer whale has been linked to two other deaths, including the drowning of a trainer and some idiot who apparently climbed into the whale's tank one night.

One marine biologist says in yesterday's death, the whale may simply have been trying to play with the trainer or get her attention - because that's how whales play with seals and sea lions in the wild - tossing them in the air.

She says killer whales normally live in groups with their families - and males stay with their mothers their entire lives. They rely on their family for social structure and play - and cover hundreds of miles of ocean. She says situations like this cause stress. Duh.

PETA wants SeaWorld to stop confining these animals to an area that's like the "size of a bathtub" to them... and forcing them to perform silly tricks over and over. That's not what they were meant to do here.

And this isn't just about killer whales. Wild animals are not meant to be kept in places like circuses - where there are many reports of abuse - or small cages in zoos - or forced to perform in places like Las Vegas, where a tiger attacked its handler during a Siegfried and Roy show a few years ago.

And inevitably when someone playing around with these wild animals gets attacked, it's the animal that gets put down. It ought to be the other way around.

Here’s my question to you: Should wild animals be used as entertainment?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Dan writes:
We used to visit SeaWorld when I was a child and I remember the magical atmosphere of the place. Then I visited as an adult. I was sickened and sad. Anybody who can not see the cruelty inflicted on these creatures hardly deserves to be called human. As badly as I feel for the trainer, I feel even more sorry for the whale. Ban SeaWorld. It's no different than dog fighting.

Margaret in Omaha, Nebraska writes:
Wild animals are wired to be free and roam and do what comes naturally to them, not stupid animal tricks. If people could just put themselves in the animal's skin and think about being confined and forced to do unnatural things, I think people would no longer purchase tickets to shows with animals.

Brett in Oriskany, Virginia writes:
Many years ago, when I lived in Manhattan, some drunk climbed into the Central Park Zoo's polar bear enclosure. The polar bear did not invite the drunk to a game of hearts and open a bottle Merlot. The bear attacked the intruder and New York's finest shot. Yeah, the bear… Of course, Sea World sees neither the animal nor the human. It sees dollars. People will pay to see this whale, secretly hoping it will chow down on another trainer.

Joanie writes:
I agree with PETA and Jack. Get rid of ALL confinement and silly tricks in circuses and places like Seaworld. Wild animals were meant for the wild, not for human entertainment. It's called respect. Respect for our environment and those who share it.

Chris writes:
No. Killer whales should not be kept in captivity and used for entertainment in any way! I was watching CNN this morning and the spokesman for that particular SeaWorld was trying to convince everyone that the sole purpose for keeping these animals was for research. That is b.s. They are making money and that’s all they care about! I mean I just saw a picture of a woman surfing on top of one of these animal’s heads. Is that research?

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (276 Responses)
  1. KF

    Tilikum is a wild animal, unpredictable and powerful. Confined in a small tank and deprived of the normal social structure of his species, I'm surprised he doesn't try to "play" with his trainers more often. They need to find a way to keep him busy without putting trainers in danger, and let him live out his life in peace. I think it's time we stopped these nonsense whale shows. Watching Orcas in the wild is so much more satisfying and much less harmful. I know they now breed some in captivity but that doesn't seem fair for animals that are so large and so smart.

    February 25, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
  2. Debbie

    Debbie from Corpus Christi writes:

    Very simply, no. We should no use wild animals as entertainment. It's cruel, and I think humans should have progressed past this neanderthal thinking long ago. I consider these water parks no better than a cirucs. There have been many instances in the recent past where these animals have made their trainers, "their" entertainment and this has got to stop. Safety has got to the wayside for the almighty dollar. Shameful.

    February 25, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
  3. Jack

    Many times the animal isn't put down. This Killer Whale will probably not be destroyed. This was an industrial accident in an industry that probably has more than its share. They need to learn from this to minimize chances of a recurrance. The display of "tamed" animals in zoological gardens and circuses may acctually work effectively towards species presevation in the wild. I would agree with PETA that a killer whale needs a very large volume for comfortable accomodation. Zoological gardens should be subject to stringent oversight as to animal care and accomodations – but they should not be eliminated.

    February 25, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
  4. Pat

    No, wild animals should not be used for entertainment. I agree with PETA: "Stop confining oceangoing mammals to an area that to them is like the size of a bathtub. Stop forcing animals to perform silly tricks over and over again. It's not surprising when these huge, smart animals lash out." The Human Society agrees: "They are unsuited to permanent confinement, often exhibiting neurotic behaviors in these settings. Capture methods are also inhumane, and often not adequately managed or overseen." Even in confinement, wild animals don't want to be fed–they want to hunt, a natural activity that they are biologically programed to do.

    February 25, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
  5. Jake Scherr

    The public at large needs to be better educated on these animals, so that we can have a greater respect for them. These shows, show how smart these animals actually are and can in some capicity educate the public about them.

    February 25, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
  6. ReilleyFam

    It's beyond stupid and cruel to use animals in this way. Even as a young kid as much as I liked seeing the animals at the zoo I instinctively sensed it was wrong and even dangerous for the zoo staff. As an adult I have never gone to any animal show/display and no kid of mine will either – they will be taught that it's wrong and cruel. Someday this will be like slavery, tobacco, etc – seen as an uncivilized part of a bygone era.

    February 25, 2010 at 6:55 pm |
  7. Mark Mcdougal

    I completely agree. Animals,*especially* large ones, or ones that are used to a free range environment, should not be kept in constricted, artificial environments. It's cruel, and inhumane. It's said that zoos facilitate greater exposure to and understanding of animals, and that benifits them as a whole. That may have been true 100 years ago, when zoos were the only way to see some animals, but now that you can turn on the Discovery channel and see all you want, complete with informative narritive, that argument dosn't hold water any more. I believe that all life is connected, and that when we disrespect, and even abuse animals, we are doing a profound diservice, not only to animals, but to ourselves.

    February 25, 2010 at 6:55 pm |
  8. Liz Dundov

    No, they should not. As much as I love animals and have been in awe of them at shows in my youth, the fact of the matter is, they are wild animals. Eventually, there will be human deaths. It has to be expected. The animals are wild and should remain in the wild. They should not be trained and confined for our amusement. it is both morally and ethically wrong, as well as dangerous. This is both out of respect and safety for the animals as well as the humans.

    February 25, 2010 at 6:55 pm |
  9. Lawrence McNamara

    Given that a majority of these "trained" animals are either threatened or endangered in their natural habitat, we should be concentrating on expanding their populations in the wild or assisting in breeding the ones already in captivity & releasing them back into their native habitat- not using them as entertainment.

    February 25, 2010 at 6:55 pm |
  10. Brandon

    it's a simple question really if boiled down to the real matter at hand.

    Humans can barely tolerate working a job 9 hours a day as we all feel that something is lacking. Look at those in jail, at what such confinement does to our species.

    I'm just not sure how we ever convinced ourselves that taking animals like these and putting them in a confined space, throwing them in front of a screaming crowd and forcing them to entertain us was somehow good for the animal. It'd be like us doing the same thing to a human and then saying the same thing.

    February 25, 2010 at 6:55 pm |
  11. Kodiak Fisherman

    Free Willy!

    February 25, 2010 at 6:55 pm |
  12. Sue

    No- absolutely not. Our celebrities and politicos are much better entertainment, thank you very much!

    February 25, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
  13. Brett from Oriskany,VA

    Wild animals belong in the wild,period. Even "saving" endangered species by imprisoning them in zoos is cruel and gratifies humanity's ego. Its a Killer whale, so what do you expect. Animals do what is natural to them. They don't adjust to pools and cages. Many years ago, when i lived in Manhattan. some drunk climbed into the Central Park Zoo's polar bear enclosure. The polar bear did not invite the drunk to a game of hearts and open a bottle merlot, the bear attacked the intruder and New York's finest shot....... yeah the bear. This Orca does not deserve a death sentence, nor does it deserve, after three deaths, to continue on at Sea World. It needs to go back to the Pacific and eat seals. Of course, Sea World sees neither the animal nor the human. It sees dollars. People will pay to see this whale, secretly hoping it will chow down on another trainer.

    February 25, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
  14. David

    Of course animals should be used in entertainment. This is such a ludicrous question to pose to the public but I'm not in the least bit suprised people who feel otherwise.

    If we were to remove all animals from entertainment we'ld have to cancel shows that are terrific and educational television programming on the off chance someone might get hurt.

    Think of it like this...if a dog attacks and mauls a child should we cease having dogs as pets? If a possum runs on the freeway and causes a ten car pile up should we shut down the freeway and evaluate the safety procedures of freeway driving?

    Killer whales in captivity have only been responsible for the deaths of humans three times in the last two decades, the problem is the media frenzy you vulturous reporters and members of PETA stirring up public outrage that, newsflash, isn't a problem in this rare case.

    As for animals being treated badly, fix the animal abuse but don't you for a minute try and convince me that a life in the wild with preditors (killer whales don't have preditors but other animals do) and food shortages and territorial disputes is a better life. I've seen wild dogs during my stint overseas for military and let me tell you those dogs would've benefitted from some domestication as they were malnourished, scared, and sick.

    Here's my question to you: Have we become so stupid a population that this minor event causes nationwide concern?

    February 25, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
  15. RiK

    they take the risk, they pay the price

    February 25, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
  16. Cindy- St. Louis

    One word- NO!!!!

    February 25, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
  17. Karen Elliott

    I live on Cape Cod and about every two years go out on a Whale Watcher Cruise out of either Hyannis, MA or Provincetown, MA. Whales belong in the sea and not at SeaWorld...............................Thank, Karen

    February 25, 2010 at 6:57 pm |
  18. Don - Crystal Lake, IL

    Wild animals, even in any form of captivity, are still wild animals. Whale, lion, gorilla, bear makes no difference. Somehow we've lost our respect for these beautiful creatures when we decided to turn them into performing clowns instead of trying to educate ourselves on how we can preserve them. Just ask yourself, what if the tables were turned and we were in the cage, or pool?

    February 25, 2010 at 6:57 pm |
  19. Ashley

    I definitely think they should stop using wild animals as entertainment. It's not entertaining in any way to me to see graceful, large animals caged in small confinements and being forced to cater to humans. It's sickening. It's not where they're meant to be, and its completely unethical to be keeping them in these situations, and then have people getting upset when an accident happens. They're bound to happen; these animals are not our pets (this applies to any idiot who thinks a chimpanzee or any other wild animal is their pet as well; it's absurd).

    Ashley from New Hampshire

    February 25, 2010 at 6:57 pm |
  20. Tia

    Jack – Most of us can agree that these animals belong in their natural habitats living the lives they enjoy rather than in a tank or cage performing to make humans happy. The fact of the matter is, though, that neither Sea World nor Ringling Brothers (nor any other facility) will give up their "wild animals" because the revenues they generate are too great an incentive to continue what they're doing. The only way these animals will ever get to return to the ocean is if Sea World becomes bereft of consumers.

    February 25, 2010 at 6:58 pm |
  21. Celeste

    Simply put, No. I have worked with various animals in my life, including raptors. I did work for a bird show where we made the raptors perform by flying from trainer to trainer. The birds had to be kept hungry, and were weighed every day to keep their weight at a certain level. I did not agree with this. After one season I quit.
    I believe most wild animals should not be used for entertainment purposes. Displaying wild animals for educational purposes (such as a zoo) is acceptable as long as care is taken to give the animal good quality of life. Using them for entertainment leaves too many opportunities for abuse, in my opinion.

    February 25, 2010 at 6:58 pm |
  22. DanS

    We used to visit Sea World when I was a child and I remember the magical atmosphere of the place. Then I visited as an adult. I was sickened and sad. Anybody who can not see the cruelty inflicted on these creatures hardly deserves to be called human. As badly as I feel for the trainer I feel even more sorry for the whale. Ban Sea World. It's no different than dog fighting.

    February 25, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
  23. Petesis

    This marine biologist uses the word playing to describe the way a whale kills a seal or sea lion, and relates it to the behavior with the trainer. That is really not playing. It is killing and toying with the prey.
    This animal is too smart to be allowed to continue. And if they released him, he would not be able to join a pod (as a rogue male) and he very well might attack a kayaker. I would say it is sushi time.

    February 25, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
  24. Darst Thompson

    No. The argument that SeaWorld and other theme parks like it is similar to the Japanese argument for whaling; that it – the park or the whaling – are a means to study the animals. It is little more than window dressing to appease the families who visit.

    February 25, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
  25. Mike Crockett, TX

    Absoluteluy not. Wild animals should be left in the wild where they belong.

    We have enough entertainment from the wild animals in Washington we elect to do our business and never seme to be domesticated enough the do it.

    February 25, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
  26. Mattison Brooks in Virginia

    Jack, I'm all for holding animals in sanctuaries and preserves for study and observation, but that means they are still in the wild where they belong. People might say that aquariums or zoo's offer that same experience, but the key difference with that sort of enclosure is that its NOT a protected natural habitat. It has fences, gates or walls. In short, I don't think animals of this size should be stored in an aquarium for our amusement or even for research. Study em in the wild and observe creation as it was meant to be; free.

    February 25, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
  27. Danielle

    "And inevitably when someone playing around with these wild animals gets attacked, it's the animal that gets put down. It ought to be the other way around."


    I do find it interesting that we as a society do not consider animals in moral standing unless, of course, they commit some kind of moral wrong against us - then they are deserving of punishment. Animals do not have rights, really. They can't be put on trial. Yet we kill them when they do something true to their nature. Very sad.


    February 25, 2010 at 7:00 pm |
  28. Scott from Tampa

    No Jack. Plain and simple.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:00 pm |
  29. Edward

    No they shouldn't be used as entertainment. There's this myth that there is some form of affection between the whale trainers and the Orcas. It's kind of like the type of affection a cat has for it's mouse, the trainer being the mouse. Humans are not natural prey for them but they are the size of prey animals. The real myth is of the "tame" wild animal. Wild animals are wild. Just because they have been forced into performing in side shows doesn't mean the instincts have been beaten out of them. 20,000 or more years of domestication hasn't bred all the wild instincts out of dogs but with Orcas most are first generation so they are completely wild with all instincts intact. Orcas in small tanks are little different than the old time circus elephants that spent their days chained to the ground. These animals have ranges in the thousands of miles not tens of feet. I'm not saying to end zoos or even all animal shows but Orcas have no place in captivity.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:01 pm |
  30. Josh D

    I said the same thing to my wife when we first heard the story. Wild animals are not put on this planet for our amusement. If we really want to see creatures like this up close then we have to go to their environment. (i.e. take a boat to where they are). It's not as convenient as a theme park and there won't be as many overpriced snacks, but it's the right thing to do. I feel sorry for the "trainer" but if she really loved animals this much she'd be working at Scripps, not Sea World.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:01 pm |
  31. Bill Wilbur

    "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." ~ Gahndi

    February 25, 2010 at 7:01 pm |
  32. Ed M Kokosa

    Circuses should be limited to dogs and horses, animals that have been domesticated to be a part of human activities.
    Zoos (and SeaWorld types) should be limited to animals that can have "reasonable" habitats created for them. This certainly doesn't include Killer Whales.
    Rodeo's are an obvious human sadistic treatment of animals. These other venues aren't perhaps inherently sadistic, but are still wrong.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:01 pm |
  33. Stuart

    Twenty years ago I swore off going to zoos. I have been in San Diego and gone to the SD Zoo, Sea World, and the Wild Animal Park with my now adult children. Five or six years ago I was again in San Diego with a younger son, and capitulated and we went (for me the first time in 15 years) to all three again. He (and I) were entertained by all visits. Since then I have not gone to an animal exhibit of any kind. It is my personal feeling that animals should not be caged for profit. I feel that my buying a entrance ticket promotes poaching and kidnapping in the wild and I refuse to be a part of it anymore.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:02 pm |
  34. Jay in Nashville

    No they should not.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:02 pm |
  35. Brian Cooper

    Mr. Cafferty,
    This was a tragic accident and my thoughts go to the victim's family and her friends and co-workers. However, it was an accident and should not be twisted into a symbol for any crusade to have the parks eliminated.
    The Seaworld parks do far more good than harm. They accomplish important research that pobably couldn't be duplicated in the wild. They help rescue and rehabilitate stranded animals. The goodwill and popularity that dolphins and whales have for being cute and intelligent is driven by parks like Seawolrd and TV shows like Flipper. How many dolphins in the wild have been saved because their popularity with the public forced the tuna and other fishing industries to develop 'dolphin safe nets'.
    Seaworld is not the villan here. No one is. That is why it's called an accident.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:02 pm |
  36. Barry

    There's no end to which humans will go to be entertained. Let's try to recall that the poor animal's first name is Killer and he was just living up to his name

    February 25, 2010 at 7:02 pm |
  37. Matt Hoston

    No, they should not.
    What kind of whale was that again at Sea World?

    February 25, 2010 at 7:03 pm |
  38. Jim B. from Utah

    I am not decided on whether or not wild animals should be allowed to be "performers" in circuses or marine shows but if they are and you are associated with training them then you need to realize the risks and be willing to accept the consequences. These are *wild* animals. They have instincts and will act on those at some point in their life. We simply cannot blame them…they are after all, in fact, *animals*. When they are bigger than humans bad stuff *will* happen. There really isn’t much these “marine world’ places can do to prevent these types of accidents. You need to interact with them to train them…if you do you accept the risks…which could mean your death…pretty simple actually.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:03 pm |
  39. Nicholas

    "...and some idiot who apparently climbed into the whale's tank one night."

    i like it.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:03 pm |
  40. Tony

    Hi Jack,

    I think its time for this nonsense to end. Holding these animals in pens just doesn't work. It's been shown time and time again. Time to let them go. Seaworld should get a hold of James Cameron and have him create some nice 3-D shows instead!

    February 25, 2010 at 7:03 pm |
  41. s. brock

    I find it appalling at how human beings can support themselves
    at the price of another living creature's quality of life. I refuse to
    attend a circus because of the inhumane treatment of the animals,
    especially the elephants. The orcas are no different. These
    living creatures have the right to live in their natural habitat and be
    free. Is it any wonder that they rebel at being held captive for a
    lifetime to perform and amuse people. Shame on all the people
    involved in these jobs. I think the orca who is now in a holding
    area should be let go into the ocean with the other captives.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:04 pm |
  42. Matt

    You know the old adage ‘If you mess with the bull mess with the bull you get the horns’? Seems fitting.
    Matt G
    Waltham, MA

    February 25, 2010 at 7:04 pm |
  43. Bill Wilbur

    "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." ~ Gandhi

    February 25, 2010 at 7:04 pm |
  44. Linda Buehrens

    No wild animal should be required to interact with humans outside of their original habitat.

    They should ban wild animals being used for any entertainment purposes.

    My sister lives in Vancouver, BC and their aquarium no longer has the Orcas performing, but are still kept in confinement too small for their natural instincts and life styles. They have pods that come near the aquarium and the sounds bring tears to your eyes, they are so sorrowful and lost without their pods.

    Stanley Park in BC no longer has their zoo on the grounds as the poor animals were kept in such small confined spaces.

    Humans should try being kept as these poor helpless creatures are kept in small spaces and see how long they can do it.

    Milwaukee, WI USA

    February 25, 2010 at 7:04 pm |
  45. Emily

    I don't believe that wild animals should be kept captive unless they are endangered. What if it was the other way around, and the animals kept us captive? We would no like it!

    February 25, 2010 at 7:04 pm |
  46. Bonita Lejejs

    Absolutely NOT used as entertainment. These are living creatures, many quite intelligent. It is arrogant of us to make them " dance for their dinner" and then be surprised when one of them , exhibiting natural behaviour patterns , causes the death of a trainer/keeper ! What a shame for all. What a shame.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:05 pm |
  47. Mike M

    The death of the Sea World trainer is a tragedy and a horrible accident, but I see no reason to jump to the conclusion that as a result we shouldn't ever keep wild animals in captivity. Sea World is not just entertainment, but an important educational resource. The fact that a killer whale grabbed one of its trainers yesterday doesn't mean that the animal was either mistreated or under stress. As the scientist you quote in the article suggests, it is natural for the whale to play with sea lions and seals in the manner that led to the trainer's death.

    PETA is not a credible source of animal welfare information. It's unlikely that they know anything more about killer whale behavior than your average reporter with a liberal arts degree. They have a well known and extreme political view point that adds heat but little light to these sorts of discussion.

    As I understand it, there are no plans to "put down" the whale. Sea World and its trainers know full well that killer whales are dangerous animals, just as many dangerous animals are kept in zoos worldwide. Captive animals are not ordinarily killed for behaving normally, even if they do hurt a trainer. You shouldn't suggest otherwise.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:05 pm |
  48. Heidi

    No. And people should speak with their wallets and stop visiting animal theme parks, zoos that do not provide adequate space for their animals, and all circuses.

    I am a US citizen living in London, UK.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:06 pm |
  49. Eric

    In order for civilized, urban people to appreciate wild animals, there is almost a necessity to essentially cage, display, and on a base level, entertain with the animals. Zoos, for all the good they do, are actually, entertainment, albeit benign. Should we fail to remind people of the magnificence of the declining animal kingdom, we would never be outraged enough to care about their slaughter, poaching, or abuse. Why do people rile against the Japanese for killing whales, especially when there is not goo reason too? Because of places like Sea World, and our video zoos, anthropomorphizing in some instances, but nonetheless, getting us to care. Tigers, bears, elephants (especially the babies). Ignorance is bliss. Ignorance is also not caring...until it's too late, and they are all extinct. Yes, there is value to 'cage' and 'entertain' with a small percentage of these creatures, for the benefit of all the rest.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:06 pm |
  50. Raul

    Wild animals belong in the wild. Man has no business riding a whale's back for any reason. I mean come on...would you ride a Grizzly Bear's back like a horse? I don't think so. So leave them alone. Go whale watching if you feel a need to see them.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:07 pm |
  51. Ryan Daugherty

    Nope – we have politicians for entertainment. Kind of like a barrel of monkeys, but a bit less serious. That should be enough. Free the whales...and the monkeys.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:07 pm |
  52. Christina Brundage

    No wild animals should be in captivity unless it is for a breeding program for endangered species. They are not created for human amusement.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:07 pm |
  53. Roy

    Surely Jack you know we live under Capitalism. If someone will pay then there is no limit to what people will do. This is just one example of the stupidity that comes with Capitalism. Let's see. Convince someone that it is a good job to get in with a KILLER WHALE. Remember, it is a K I L L E R Whale. Duh! Some people care much more about animals than they do people. I don't get it.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:07 pm |
  54. Andrea Blitzer

    No. It is cruel to confine animals whose natural instincts are to roam. No matter how calm they seem, they are wild animals with instincts that cannot be detected by humans. They are not blame for deaths of trainers. It's not like they know right from wrong and are chosing to commit a wrong.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:09 pm |
  55. Jon S.Pridham

    PETA is right we shouldn't use animals for these different form of entertainment. But as long as we use animals tragedies like this is bound to happen and the news will keep showing them, I've seen picture of a person climbing over two warning fences to take a picture of this bear, well you can guess what happened, the bear grabbed the person, who started yelling while been mauled, bystanders starting beating the bear off with sticks. Now in my opinion they were beating the wrong animal.

    Jon S.Pridham
    Kittery, ME

    February 25, 2010 at 7:09 pm |
  56. Debbie

    No. I'm sorry the woman was killed but these are animals that should be allowed to live naturally.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:09 pm |
  57. Maddie Severson

    Having aquariums and wild animals so close to the public allows humans to understand and have a compassion for them. It makes us understand how valuable they are to us, and motivates groups like PETA conserve them. Taking that from the public eye could have an opposite effect in that we would stop caring about them in the wild, forgetting about them, or at least not have as large of an interest.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:09 pm |
  58. Kelly

    If an animal is injured and cannot re-enter his prior habitat after rehabilitation and survive, captivity is obviously a better option.
    But to capture a whale or any other animal for that matter and put them a small tank/cage for entertainment purposes is wrong.
    Human beings need to respect animals and our environment. Using animals for entertainment is only for our enjoyment, we seem to feel like we have some entitlement to it for whatever reason, but only at the expense of the animal. If given the choice, I'm sure these animals would rather be left alone then doing "silly tricks over and over."
    Seaworld buys these whales for entertainment and to make money. While it's important to our society to understand and research these animals, there has to be a better way. We have no right to take their freedom nor should it be our choice.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:10 pm |
  59. Trey

    I don't think that shows like this should be held. I would rather pay big money to see them in the wild, where they belong, than even take a free ticket to see them at a place like Sea World. It's one thing to have an aquarium that displays creatures for educational purposes in as close as possible as their natural habitat. It's total explotation to do it in places like this, no matter what the intentions of the keepers and vets have. It's a shame that the young lady died, but this just shows that people are not "top feeders" on this planet.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:10 pm |
  60. Haze

    this is a stupid question!!! everyday animals are used for entertainment and companionship and for working and for eating and for clothing...should we reconsider all those uses??? NO!

    February 25, 2010 at 7:10 pm |
  61. Aaron

    No they should not be used in this way. I have no sympathy at all for this death. Nothing tragic about it whatsoever.

    If you mess with animals and they kill you, that's why you are dead, and rightfully so.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:10 pm |
  62. Minerva from Los Angeles, CA

    I agree 100% with Jack, and PETA. It is very tragic that this trainer was killed. She must have loved and understood these animals very well. However, the fault belongs to the corporations which cage these animals for profit. Every living thing on this planet has a right to live its life the way it chooses, and not have its life structured by others.

    The orcas in captivity are deprived of their normal family structures and space to move. They are not dogs or cats that bond with people and have deep emotional lives tied to their owners. These are wild and not well understood animals. How arrogant of us humans to think we can do with them as we please. How humiliating to make it learn tricks and repeat them ad nauseum for our amusement. These are magnificent, awe-inspiring forces of nature best left in nature. Shame on the humans who put them into bondage. I'm sure the orcas also enjoy entertaining humans to a point, but to spend your whole life like this is to become neurotic and finally explode in uncharacteristic behavior.

    Sadly, no laws will be passed to protect them. No changes will be made. Lots of talk will happen, but it will go on as before. The orca in question will be killed because it revolted against its oppression. It will be replaced. Until all the orcas revolt at the same time and become destructive and refuse to work, this abuse and shame will continue.

    People – it is up to us to move the politicians to move the laws that move the orcas out back into the sea. No more sham Shamus!

    February 25, 2010 at 7:11 pm |
  63. Bob of Baltimore, Md

    Should people be used for entertainment? The wild animals are just that wild.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:11 pm |
  64. alvin

    wild animals should not be blamed for their natural behavior, it is survival of the fit thus specific guidelines must be followed to prevent these animals from being stressed in prolonged captivity. maybe this whale should have been allowed back into the open seas given its prior history. we should not fault the whale.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  65. William Fowler

    We use animals for all sorts of purposes. Some entail danger for the animal or the human. We should do all that is possible to minimize risk and balance ends and means of exploitation of animals. Situations like this are cause to reevaluate human relationships with animals. I believe we are moving toward more "humane" treatment of animals.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  66. Kevin from Livermore CA

    No, wild animals should not be used for entertainment. We should focus our attention on making sure they stay wild and our "entertainment" should come from being able to see these animals in their natural habitat (from a distance of course). On the other hand though it is important for organizations like Seaworld and the better Zoological facilities to continue their conservational efforts and breeding programs, many wild animals have been saved because of them. The real question is "where to draw the line".

    February 25, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  67. helen

    no,they should not be used for entertainment. what are we,just unthinking entertainment junkies who have to be entertained and fed continously. Sea world should stop using these majestic animals in their shows, and having them stuck in some 'pool' they are ocean swimmers and lives in pods. we are a selfish lot of people. the people who go to Seaworld are living in a bubble,they only want what they want.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  68. Robert O'Lexa

    Let's assume that there is intelligent life on other planets in the universe, which there probably is. Let's assume that that life is as far advanced beyond humans as we are beyond the animals we use for entertainment. If you think it is acceptable for us to use whales, tigers, etc. for entertainment and display them in tiny cages or "train" them to do tricks or to place wagers on them fighting one another, then you MUST also believe that it would be acceptable for these beings from another planet to use humans for the same purposes if they were to come across us and decide to use us for their pleasure.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  69. Kenneth Preston

    Absolutely not! These animals have been enslaved and abused in order to perform stupid tricks for the amusement of others. What is the motivation for the abuse? As usual, it is the almighty dollar. Furthermore, can you blame the animals for fighting back against their abusers? How would you are anyone of us feel if we were stuffed into cages, abused and forced to do tricks for the amusement of others? We would want to fight back as well.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  70. Wes

    Sure. We use animals for everything... food, clothing, companionship, entertainment, etc. We do so with an understanding that there is always risk that comes with these rewards. Your dog may bite you, your steak may make you sick if not properly prepared, and yeah – animals such as polar bears, tigers, and killer whales may do harm to those who choose to be in close contact.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  71. Michael

    Killer whales are smart, loyal and very social and they don’t cover hundreds of miles of ocean but thousands ...I think this whale was playing or got confused that her trainer was a seal? As it relates to Siegfried and Roy that lion didn’t attack he or she did what comes natural which is pick up her cubs by the neck and carry them to safety b/c he fell…free this whale…

    February 25, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  72. Juan Pablo Crespo del Granado

    Millions of years of evolution did not design these amazing and beautiful animals to be used for our pure entertainment. If we completely change their environment and in fact abuse of their capacities, tragic outcomes like these should be expected.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  73. Mae Jeanne Rescineto

    The disgusting practice of keeping animals in captivity and forcing them to exist in in-humane conditions is all about money. The "trainers" and the park owners and zoo directors should be forced to live as these animals do for just one week, let alone for years and years and animals do, and see how they like it.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  74. kurtis lopez

    You hit it on the money, I am not glad this happend to this trainer but it was just a mater of time that this happend, no animal specially wild ones should be kept for our stupid entertaiment, leave them as GOD put them on this earth to live there lifes like it was ment to BE!! When we humans stop atending these stupid & cruel shows then these idiots will leave these animals alone. I agreed with your coment at 6:30 pm on CNN 100000 % 2/25/2010 I hope you keep reporting on the matter of returning all these animals back where they belong, WHERE GOD PUT THEM!!!!!! thank you!!! Vega Alta, Puerto Rico!!!

    February 25, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  75. Rolanda Kinney

    PETA is ABSOLUTELY CORRECT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Return these beautiful species back to where they came from.
    How would you feel confined to your bathtub away from your family for the rest of your life???
    We should NOT use wild animals for entertainment--EVER!!!!

    February 25, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  76. Sean Fay

    It is very sad that we marvel at the beauty and majesty of these incredible living things and yet we encourage, through our dollars, subjecting them to a life without real freedom. Sad to love something so much but to be so ignorant to the harm we do to them.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  77. jeff Wacksman

    Why doesn't Sea world have some type of tranquilizer gun to deal with these type of issues? It certainly could have saved a life.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  78. Valley

    I'm not what you would call an environmentalist, but I just don't think it's right or fitting to 'corner' specifically 'wild' animals into places like Sea World, giant aquariums, zoos, entertainment shows (like in Las Vegas), etc. Deer, canaries, and anything that doesn't, like dogs, enjoy being a pet fits under my definition of 'wild'. But we live in a society of consumers, so it's an exercisde of wisdom to not tell anyone to give up anything... captive and dangerous wild animals included.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  79. Tor McKEE

    The last time i checked we are all animals. Some humans have no problem with using their bodies or special talents to entertain the masses, but there is an obvious difference. Humans choose to do this and I am pretty sure that wild animals such as this whale did not choose to be apart of this entertainment. I would be okay with treating animals this way if cages were put into the wilderness and then the animals willingly go into the cage, but frankly this is not how it is done. .

    February 25, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  80. Craig Jones

    Wild Animals especially one's considered predatory , ie Lions and Tigers and " Killer Whales", should not be contained in any manner, nor should they be subjected to the whim of humans to be trained to interact in manners that are un natural to their species. The human desire to interact with these wild animals should be at the discretion and risk of each and every one of us with, said wild animals in their natural habitat at you own risk. Humans are at fault not animals for this recent and unfortunate death and we should be held accountable as a species for our ignorance not animals.. The Circus is for Clowns!Set Willy Free!

    February 25, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  81. Hanna

    I think wild animals should stay where they belong, in the wild.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  82. selena esslinger

    When I was little my family vacationed there often. I loved the whale show. As I have gotten older I see the obvious danger and think using a whale or any other wild animal for entertainment is reckless. Keeping a whale in captivity to preserve the species and release the offspring is an admirable conservation effort. So, in the end, it depends what perspective you wish to take.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  83. Matt Sutherland from Los Angeles, CA.

    The trainer's death is a shame, to be sure. But the real shame lies in the fact that we humans still cannot see that forcing these animals to perform is torture. On another note, I'm sure the killer whales at Sea World have a better health plan than most Americans.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  84. Annie from PA

    No, we should never enslave intelligent creatures and deny them all that is natural to them for our selfish pleasures. We are supposed to be smarter species, but the jury is still out on that.....

    February 25, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  85. JohnDavid

    No, animals should not be used as entertainment. No monkeys in movies and TV commercials, no whales at SeaWorld, no tigers in cages at the Zoo or for LSU's football mascot. I listened to a presentation a few years ago from a former assistant to an animal talent agency who described horrific abuse by the "trainers". The chimps were rented for movies and TV. She said that the chimps were beaten and abused and treated so poorly that she reported the company. I'm sure this goes on daily. Sad. We need tougher laws to protect animals.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  86. James Spencer

    I must admit I would like to see a whale do cool tricks, but animals should be put out in the wild. These animals don't have enough area to live. I think keeping animals in a tiny cage or tank is just wrong.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  87. guy m

    No wild animal should not be used for entertainment.....
    Politcains should be used for entertainment.....

    February 25, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  88. Marie

    No animal should be used as entertainment. I live with my cat and respect him as a fellow creature. He does not exist FOR me. When he cuddles me etc., he does it because he wants to.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  89. Judith Burlage

    I pray that this incident motivates Americans to liberate these magnificent creatures!

    February 25, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  90. george hunihan

    If I had to spend my entire life in a bath tub, I may have some anger issues as well.

    Free Tilkum

    February 25, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  91. Peggy Fishburn

    The only good that could come out of this tragedy is if all wild animals are returned to their natural habitat. I'm really really sick of the lame excuse that exhibiting wild animals is the only opportunity for people to see thes animals. So what?

    February 25, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  92. Lise Quinn

    Animals should not be put on display, kept in tiny cages/pools whatever..You know this is really where the phrase "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you." comes home. Animals are not 'lower' or 'less' than us. We are arrogant fools for thinking so.
    I am not a vegetarian, and it has been said that in part our increased brain size and evolutionary development comes from eating meat. But there is a big difference between eating for sustenance and 'hunting for sport' – for the fun of it = killing is fun – we are a psychopathic society in this regard.
    We need to treat everything better, the earth, the oceans, the animals and even each other.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  93. Lisa from Texas

    If you take an animal's life away, they may end up taking yours. How can you blame them?

    February 25, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  94. Lyneese Hollowell

    No! Domesticated dogs and cats are not wild animals and have been bred to be human companions. Wild animals should not be used for entertainment. However, in cases where certain species are endangered, I think they should be kept in reserves or zoos where they can be housed in roomier and more natural surroundings not in cages.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  95. Peggy Brown

    I often disagree with many of Peta's views and methods, but in the case of marine mammals I have to agree with them. 25 years ago I lived just about next door to Sea World in Orlando. I was new to the area, knew nobody and after buying a season's pass spent every afternoon in the park. I got to know many of the animals, was able to interact with them and the more I knew them the more their narrow, sterile existance bothered me. These animals are far too intelligent and sensative to live like this, it is no wonder that occasionally one snaps, the wonder is that more don't. These animals should be free.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  96. Genevieve Hannon

    Zoos and aquariums may allow people to gain compassion and education about animals by being close to them, but they are not learning about these animals in the proper environment. Most animals display different behavior (often disturbed, frustrated, bored) when behind bars or in tanks that are too small. It's unfair to everyone involved. We do have Animal Planet and safaris and sanctuaries. There is no reason anymore for us to cage animals like this just to learn about them. I do appreciate the conservation work all of these places do, but animals should not be made to perform tricks. Circuses are absolutely terrible places for animals, even domesticated ones. There is well-known abuse that occurs and these circuses should be shut down (ie, Ringling Bros.)

    February 25, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  97. cynthia

    how long are we going to run under the belief that we, as humans, have the right to just dominate any other living creature?we act more like beasts than any wild animal. every living creature has the right to simply be what it was meant to be. but for the sake of money, we continue to subject the other inhabitants of this precious to cruelty and degredation. i am truly sorry for the death of any human in a show, zoo, circus,or just in an environment that the animals should dominate, but i agree that they should be left to be free and majestic, and beautiful, as they are. especially when it's viewed that the animal is at fault when situations such as this happen. they do not belong to us!!!!

    February 25, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  98. Richard Blackwell

    Bottom line is always the almighty dollar. Sea World is responsible for the unfortunate death, not the killer whale. If the public stopped coming to see these animals, or tigers in Las Vegas, there would be no need to keep natural preditors in captivity. Profits will always come before sensibility. Hold the ownership responsible.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  99. Bill

    Humans staging wildlife shows with killer whales is analogous to hamsters staging wildlife shows with hawks–the hawks only eat mice so we hamsters are safe... Not! Killer whales prey on seals–warm-blooded mammals just like we are. But so-called "wild animalls" in captivity benefit their species in a worldwide context by educating the public and decison-makers about the plight of endangered species and the need to preserve their habitats. This trainer knowingly took the risk–and unfortunately sacrificed her life–to share that understanding with millions of visitors to Sea World throughout her career. Wildlife entertainment can be the best form of wildlife edcucation. Take away the live creatures–look at them only in photos and museums and comic books–then see how fast they disappear.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  100. Mae Jeanne Rescineto

    The disgusting practice of keeping animals in captivity and forcing them to exist in in-humane conditions is all about money. The "trainers" and the park owners and zoo directors should be forced to live as these animals do for just one week and see how they like it.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  101. Gemma

    These whales should never have been put in a tank to perform! Like zoo's and circuses. This needs to stop, these animals are kept in an un natural environment in which causes them frustration by being trained to do tricks which they were not meant for and when they injur a human they get killed? I feel for the womans family who was killed. But i simply think this was a accident waiting to happen!

    February 25, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  102. Eric

    As a person who has worked around and observed Tilikum for 4 years, I can say that the animals at Sea World arent JUST used for entertainment, having orcas in aquariums have allowed scientists to learn aspects of this animal's life that wouldnt have been possible via observations in the wild., as well as bring an awareness to an animal that was feared and misunderstood by humans for centuries. But on the other hand Sea World's shows have gotten bigger with louder special effects and props, I think a good evolution in whale training would be to tone down the shows and simply showcase killer whales and let their majestic nature and awe-inspiring presence minus the blaring sound systems, jumbtrions and laser lights. in a more tranquil less stressful environment

    February 25, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  103. Qiana

    It's absolutely a disgrace on how we as humans treat wild animals. It's beautful to see these creatures, but I much rather see them in their natural habitat. I have rarely taken my kids to the zoo, because when I have went I see lions, elephants, tigers, etc pacing in their confined spaces. These animals as well as whales are used to traveling miles in the wild and they are social animals. Imagine if we had to spend years in our houses without leaving and maybe getting mild exercise in our backyard? Even a dog who's not walked and given exercise can have behavioral problems and they are domesticated. It's unfortunate what happened to the trainer, but it's bound to happen with wild animals in captivity! That's why they are called wild animals! They belong in the wild!

    February 25, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  104. Dan

    I am conflicted b/c I do not like seeing animal environments in zoos and the circus, but I've been to this show and it was amazing to see these creatures. I equate it to eating chicken. I don't want to know how the chicken got to my plate, just that I enjoy it. As long as these animals are treated as well as possible given their circumstances, I am accepting of it.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  105. Dan

    It's one thing when a zoo attempts to recreate a more natural habitat for an animal, and often zoos are homes to animals who were previously abused in circuses, etc. An elephant who has spent most of his life in a circus would not know how to survive if released back into the wild. Zoos can be a very positive thing for animals and people alike.

    But in this case I would (unfortunately) have to agree with PETA on this one. You can't essentially imprison a wild animal and force it to do tricks for food while expecting it not to flip out every so often. People ooh and ahh over "Shamu" at Seaworld, but do not realize what the animal is actually experiencing.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  106. Oluwashola

    This is total Crazy, If I have my way they should all be put to prison for using Wild Animal to make money. instead of putting them in ZOO.
    Set them free all of them.
    Shola From Morocco.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  107. Dale Hoffmann

    Yes the whale should be performing at seaworld. The tank may be small but the whale will live longer at seaworld than it would in the wild. But the real reason it should continue to perform is because it is an ambassitor for its species, just like animals at the zoo. If people didnt know about the mountain gorrilas in zoos, other people would not try to preserve thier habitat.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  108. marei-jeanne fethiere

    have just 5 words to say..."the planet of the apes"

    February 25, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  109. Gayle

    Aquariums, zoos, circuses are inhumane. Teaching a whales to do tricks, lions jumping through a fire ring, elephants dancing etc, this is all so crazy. Parents look at this as a form of entertainment for the children, where actually it is ABUSE of wild animals. CLOSE all the Aquariums, Circuses, Zoos etc. FREE God's creatures and return them to the wild where God intended for them to be!

    February 25, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  110. Lisa Lipton

    It comes down to greed and ignorance. Should wild animals be confined and made to entertain us? NO. Is it likely to stop any time soon? Not when there powerful business entities such as Sea World and Feld Entertainment's RINGLING BROTHERS who can lawyer their way out of any attempts to help these majestic animals.

    Elephants, tand whaleshe largest land and sea mammals are routinely and claustrophobically confined and mistreated, and then we are shocked when something like this unfortunate event occurs?

    Lisa Lipton
    Dallas, TX

    February 25, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  111. Mary Piepenbrink - Wilmington NC

    As a young child I was taken to the circus and was wowed and amazed. I recall wondering "what kind of life do the animals have...?" In my 20s I went to Sea World and was disgusted. It is particularly cruel to pull wildlife from their habitat for entertainment profits under the guise of "education". I will not support zoos, Seaworld, or circuses. Responsible aquariums such as NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher is a perfect example for all of us. It has no Orcas but we are amazed, wowed, and educated at a non-profit research facility and we leave knowing the animals and fish are being cared for and ultimately returned to their habitat by responsible scientists.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  112. Carol S. White

    No, killer whales, bottlenose dolphins and porpoises should NOT be "incarcerated" in tiny entertainment environments, but be free to roam the ocean in their natural, social habitat. John C. Lilly, who studied bottlenose dolphins for decades, said: "These animals have large and fine brains and this fact should make us pause before we attempt to treat them the way we have treated other animals." John Lilly later believed that they should all be released, because they are at least as intelligent as we are and perhaps more so.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  113. Jaycie, Los Angeles

    NEVER! As a free roaming mammal yourself, Jack, how would you like to be confined to a small cage 24/7 and only let out to perform a few tricks and to be forced to eat whatever your handlers decided to feed you in order for you to survive? The only entertainment appropriate for wild animals to be a part of is nature films made in the wild without either harming or disturbing the animals. The use of wild animals as entertainment is barbaric!

    February 25, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  114. Kathleen Maloney

    Jack, I agree with your opening statement, animals should not be our source of entertainment; dressing them up and trained to do tricks..

    While I feel sorry for this women and her family such a tragedy...
    the animal should not be put down simply because it cannot think, react, understand as a human, but humans sometimes should say
    always forget the animals place in our wolrd and try to change their nature.

    This lovely creature should not be put down.... these are
    God's gifts to men do not disrespect them.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  115. Laurie Mangicaro

    Jack, you are so right! While it is tragic that this trainer died, her death is the result of animal exploitation and the public's need for mindless, wreckless entertainment. Those of us who oppose rodeos, circuses, and other animal shows are not merely tree hugging fools. We are mindful of the critical link between animals and their natural environments and understand the wrecklessness of financially motivated human intervention and manipulation.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  116. jagdeep singh

    We as humans are trying to reach the other planets but we cant even make simple honest decisions about our own planet and our wild exotic animals. Whales are born to ride the oceans not to be stuck in the little water pool. People who work with these animals they always say and pretend that they love them so much ! how could you love them when you trying to kill them with suffering and stress. I am so frustrated about all this because we will talk about it for few days but yet will there be any actions to really stop this unnecessary wild animal games ? i don't think so. If we will play with the fire we will get burn and actions always speaks louder then words. i wish all the whales should be out there where they belong, deep blue oceans...just think about this if we were to put in the cage and get candy for doing stupid tricks day after day .. yes i would bite some one too !!!

    February 25, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  117. Barbara Day

    Every being on this planet was put here to fulfill it's own destiny according to it's own design. As humans, it benefits us to be able to observe them, study them and learn from them, but only without disturbing them and only if they are allowed to be what they are. Capturing them, confining them and training them to be something alien to their own nature is always a cruelty, and a disservice to both animal and human alike. They were not put here to entertain us, and only the most shallow and narrow minded among us accepts that they are.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  118. Maddie

    I do animal rescue work, and am an animal welfare activist. This won't be the last time something tragic like this happens. A person lost their life, and animals meant to be in their native wild habitats will continue to be kept in inhumane, horrible conditions. Until humans learn to respect all sentient beings, there is no hope that this will be the last incident. People can learn about wild animals instead by going on line, traveling, reading. We humans always abuse those who can't speak for themselves. Animals in their native habitat are the most beautiful sight – seeing them behind bars, in circuses and zoos and aquariums and marine parks is heart breaking. As long as there is a buck to be made, the situation is hopeless. In my view, what we need are very strong laws in every state and country protecting all animals from abuse, exploitation, scientific experiments, back yard breeders etc...the list goes on and on. Sad to say nothing humans do to other creatures who cannot speak for themselves surprises me anymore. We never learn, but I still can hope some day we will. Maybe this poor creature had just had enough!

    February 25, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  119. Adam Steinberg

    It's amazing that there is a debate!!! It's a KILLER WHALE...doesn't the name say it all? I don't think they survived in the wild all this time bouncing balls on their noses and doing flips. It's cruel and another example of how the almighty dollar comes before whale or human life!

    February 25, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  120. Adam in DC

    I saw an interview where one of the Sea World trainers said that Killer Whales are like people too and have bad days from time to time. Humanizing animals like this is exactly what leads to these types of problems. My dog is a dog, not a human. And a Killer Whale should be treated as a Killer Whale, certainly not like a human.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  121. Louis P Ferrari

    It's appalling enough what mammals in our oceans have to endure. Putting them in less than a few acres of water compared to their normal environment is just plain cruel. If I were a killer whale in captivity for decades like this one, I am sure I would have some very stressfull days no matter how many herring they tossed me.. It must be no better than jail. Saratoga, New York

    February 25, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  122. harry

    Why do humans believe that we should encarcerate other creatures for the amusement and profit for others?

    Of course humans have been doing this type of cruelty since Rome and before it built the Coliseum. The question is whether we, 21st Century humans, should continue the practice?

    We should not be surprised when an animal attacks a human, however, we often just point our finger at the beast.

    I can never understand why officers of the law have to kill pit bulls when they attack?
    Anyway, I am not one to condone the use of animals for profit or otherwise. I long ago decided never to visit zoos or circuses. My children hated me for that, but now they understand.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  123. Annette, Augusta GA

    Animals should not be used for entertainment. I hope this tragic event will at least bring more awareness to the problem of confining and exploiting wild animals. I would never visit a place like Seaworld or go to a circus–if you do you are directly supporting this type of treatment of animals.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  124. Lisa Adams

    It seems our society only finds value in things it can make money off of or things that entertain them. Life and quality of life has no value. We expolit everything we can. If we concentrated more on educating people on the importance of wild animals and the enviornments they live in everyone would beneifit. I'm with PETA on this one.

    Lisa, Republic, WA

    February 25, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  125. Mara

    No! We as humans are so self absorbed. These are creatures of the planet just as we are. I liked the planet of the apes where they put the humans behind bars. The flip of the coin. And people please quit putting your pets in costumes. I am so embarresed for them.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  126. Robert from Japan

    A few years ago some friends took my family down to Kumamoto to see a bear show. I was shocked at the conditions these poor bears were kept in, and how they had to beg for food. If people view this as entertainment, then I wonder about the mentality of these people in the first place. For Japanese though, they saw absolutely nothing wrong with this, and demanded more and more from the bears who had to ride bikes and other nonsense.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  127. Lynne Wilson

    Most definintely wild animals, being wild animals,need to live in the wild. They do not need to be removed from their natural habitat to be exploired by humans to serve human interests. Above all else, human greed is the motivator for trapping wild animals into captivity. Wild animals pay the consequences. How difficult is the concept that there is diversity in the world that needs to be respected, and sometimes that means leave it alone. Fooling around with nature is not only silly it is stupid and it is cruel. Should wild animals be used for entertainment? Absolutely not. No more than humans should be used for animal entertainment. To each its place, respect that. And take joy in this world's diversity in life with awe. Lynne Wilson, OUter Banks of North Carolina

    February 25, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  128. Remi

    Please remind people that the Orca is not a "whale" per se but a member of the dolphin family. Also, that it is not a "killer" per se either, but was called "Killer Whale" because the species was seen killing whales for food.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  129. Sheila

    I think animal acts have run its course in our society as far as entertainment and are not necessary. Perhaps back in the 1800's when P.T. Barnum had his circus, the public was thrilled to see a lion or tiger jump through a hoop, etc. That's not true today. The same goes for elephants getting on each others backs, etc. The thrill of these animal tricks that have been seen for years is gone IMHO.

    Children can see lions, tigers, bears, elephants and other wild animals in zoos. They don't need to see them do tricks, however, to appreciate them.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  130. Al Malpa, Windham, CT

    Keeping a wild animal in captivity, out of its natural environment for no other reason than the entertainment of, and profit for humans is no different than leveling rain forests. Both are an affront to nature..

    February 25, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  131. Joao Caldeira

    Well, short answer is no.

    All around the world there still is a medieval notion that men has the god given right to rule upon all animals. Most forms of animal entertainment are, to different extents, animal slavery – from violence against animals (bulllfights) to not providing close-to-wildlife conditions (whales in Seaworld). In any case, it is always unethical to make a profit from making an animal suffer.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  132. Lothar

    Killer whales belong in the sea, not in an artificial pond for profit and amusement. This particular animal even had a history of human kills but no one seemed to care as long as the money kept flowing. Those who insist on seeing real whales in their natural environment ought to go whale watching. The whole enterprise of caging wild animals is fraught with problems. Who of us would like to be caged, trained with a whip or given shocks? Some humans are just plain greedy, cruel and stupid. Three cheers for the whale! Are you listening Siegfried and Roy?

    February 25, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  133. Carole Wayne

    Come on, Jack,
    Wild animals are used every day for entertainment. Haven't you ever listened to comments made by those animals in Congress? If that's not entertainment–pure comedy–then I don't know what is!

    February 25, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  134. Diana

    "Born Free"........Re-introduce him to the pod from whence he came.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  135. Joanne costanza

    When will we ever learn that it's wrong to use other beings for our benefit at their peril. Today's sad death is one more attempt by the universe to teach us this.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  136. Don from Belleville, Ontario

    Society's treatment of animals in circuses, Sea World type shows, and especially in the inhumane way we raise poultry and livestock for our food, is a great indicator of how even America and other western countries are not really civilized. An alien landing on our planet would be appalled. Let's hope we start to do better very soon, for the animals' sake.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  137. Tod Zaret

    You nailed that one right on the head Jack. The government should outlaw this type of animal abuse. Its destructive and unfair to the animals and extremely dangerous to the human animals that exploit these creatures. Everyday hundreds of dolphins are slaughtered in Japan that the Japanese deem unworthy of export to seaworld and waterparks like it all over the world. They also sell dolphin meat in Japan as whale meat. Thats their dirty little secret. Theres a documentary on this that I urge you see and bring to light this horrible practice. Its called "The Cove" and its about Richard O'berry who was the lead trainer from the Flipper series until he learned where Flipper came from. A town called Taji along the Japanese coast where no cameras area allowed to witness the daily blood bath.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  138. JA

    I've always supported our rights as a people in a democratic society.
    I've also been sympathetic to the rights of animals, as they have no voice or control over what we decide to do to some species. That being said, my research, especially with whales, because I find them fascinating, is that they are a species which require contact with their own, are capable of communicating with their own and for that reason alone, should not be in captivity. Also, they are a tremendously sensitive but strong and in need of open areas to live and swim.
    No, we do not have the right just because we can, to keep animals in captivity.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  139. Randy

    Not for entertainment, and this includes most zoos. If an organization like PETA could be employed to sanction appropriately spacious captive habitats for animals that would not survive otherwise, that may be another matter, if the facility would clearly be financially stable, indefinitely.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:30 pm |
  140. oscar

    Captivity is not good for any living creature period.

    Think how we would feel if an alien race more advanced than ours would take us and put us in cages and forced us to do acts for their amusement. Well, that's exactly how animals in captivity feel.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:30 pm |
  141. John Freeze

    As a retired animal husbandry supervisor at a progressive zoo, the issue still remains that wild animals are still held against their will in zoos and aquariums. Under the guise of education and conservation, these institutions are still motivated by money through some form of entertainment. We should be advocating phasing out these archaic establishments.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:30 pm |
  142. easyice

    First of all what animal said they wanted to be chained up
    and abused in a zoo? The zoo keepers are no better than
    Michael Vick. They are exploiting animals for financial gain.
    I believe that's illegal and one of the reasons Vick was locked up.
    Please go and ask a grizzly bear if he likes wearing roller skates
    and I hope he knocks your head off. Incidentally the whale that
    killed the lady I believe we call a KILLER whale, duh!

    February 25, 2010 at 7:30 pm |
  143. Remi from San Francisco, CA

    Please remind people that the Orca is not a "whale" per se but a member of the dolphin family. Also, that it is not a "killer" per se either, but was called "Killer Whale" because the species was seen killing whales for food.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:30 pm |
  144. Mike

    One of the most spiritual experiences of my life, was having the J pod of Puget Sound surround and swim under my kyak, making eye contact and sharing their bad breath in the exhale spray. No intent of any harm, only as curious as I was of them. One of the most depressing experiences of my life, was later seeing one of their relatives held as an animal slave at sea world. I fail to find the educational value in observing humans tame and force any animal in a way, that would be considered illegal if forced on humans.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:30 pm |
  145. Bobby Newsom

    Keeping wild animals in captivity can be morally justified only if it is for the benefit of the animal, as in large preserves in Africa. Keeping wild animals in captivity for entertainment (or for profit, which is more often the case) is morally indefensible.

    Bobby Newsom
    Decatur, AL

    February 25, 2010 at 7:30 pm |
  146. janet Hudson, fL

    Absolutely not. No animals should be used for our entertainment and profit. How sad that a KILLER whale doing only what nature intended him to do may be destroyed by our own stupidity!!! I am saddened by the loss of life and it is the owners of Sea World who should be "put down" for putting profitability ahead of animals and people!

    February 25, 2010 at 7:30 pm |
  147. Tom Dawson

    Absolutely, positively not. The profit motive is so evident at Sea World. And how can they – Anicmals for entertainment operators – rationalize another death from this whale or any whale or elephant or lion or tiger or ????? who all, among many others, were not created to be confined. If the public would just rise against these "shows" and not patronize them, they'd soon be over and the unfortunate animals would hopefully be returned to their natural habitats. Tom Dawson, Pacific Palisades, California

    February 25, 2010 at 7:30 pm |
  148. Joanne B

    This is a KILLER whale and anyone who thinks he can tame one is nuts ! Perhaps she was playing, however it is a KILLER
    Joanne B

    February 25, 2010 at 7:30 pm |
  149. Barbara Rentz - Sarasota, FL

    No. Anytime animals are used for entertainment, they lose.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:30 pm |
  150. Kate, Washington state

    No, wild animals should not be used as entertainment. We as humans are perfectly capable of seeing these animals in their natural habitats, and should do so. This past year I visited Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo with my 4 year old niece. Upon viewing the gorillas, (which are enclosed indoors, surrounded by glass) my niece asks me "Why are they so sad?" Why do we as humans think we have the right to contain any type of animal, especially the ones who share 99% of our DNA?

    February 25, 2010 at 7:31 pm |
  151. Irene Norcross

    Of course not!. I thought animal abuse is against the law and confinement of wild animals is abuse. When will people wise up and stop supporting this industry by not giving them money to see captive wild animals. It's an outrage!

    February 25, 2010 at 7:31 pm |
  152. Anthony Rodgers

    No , not amimals of this size.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:31 pm |
  153. C A A Dover, NH

    Human and animal lives have been intertwined for thousands of years. It would be hard to think of people without dogs or cats or cows, but some specific species do not have any other contact with our lives except as entertainment. Continuing certain entertainments, such as circuses and wild animal shows, do not respect the purpose of the animal itself; it only serves to perpetuate human arrogance that all life on this planet exists only to serve our selfish needs.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:31 pm |
  154. Kathy Pazienza

    No wild animal should ever be used for entertainment purposes. Any creature that is enslaved will try to escape or act out in an aggressive manner at some time. I think l people should stop going to these parks and then the desire to make money at the expense of these poor animals would stop. That includes the bulls being killed in Spain, the animals in zoos and the whales at Sea World, etc. I will never support one of these places with my dollars. Picture the reverse...what is animals were the" owners" and people were enslaved....how would people act? With resignation, depression, aggression? Or just placidly entertain the crowds?

    February 25, 2010 at 7:31 pm |
  155. Ann

    Some animals will probably only survive in captivity because of the loss of their habitat and poachers. Ideally no animal should be in captivity but we don't live in an ideal world, yet.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  156. Cynthia Rose Martinez

    cI am sad for the trainer, but, I feel more sad for the Orca. He's in a perpetual prison. He's a wild beast, he is supposed to be free.

    I believe because the trainer had been feeding him just prior to the attack, when he fell into the pool the whale thought he was "live prey". It's his instinct, and Orcas do toss their wild "prey" into the air to kill them before they eat them. He acted instinctively, on the impulse of "sensing live prey" in the water.

    Those are the dangers of incarcerating and taming wild animals. As our prisons can become dangerous with men who are "locked up" so an animal can act on his instincts and become dangerous. It's not "their" fault. Its ours. Our selfish greedy fault.

    So I believe wild animals should NOT be used to entertain us by locking them up in circuses, Sea Worlds, etc., and if they are they should be in "their own" habitat, and willing to perform, as we prefer to be, its only humane.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  157. rike

    Having killer whales jump through whoops is like having a pig fly, It's just not right

    February 25, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  158. LeRoy in Jersey City

    Jack, contrary to the marine biologists’ statement that, “whales play with seals and sea lions in the wild – tossing them in the air.” Killer whales in the wild, in fact, eat seals and sea lions – thus the name “killer.”

    February 25, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  159. Toby Brutto

    I believe zoos and wild life entertainment is the best and most direct way to educate our young about conservating species still in the wild. My own local zoo, Omaha Henry Doorly, has some of the best spacial psychological care in the World for many species of animals. However, the conditions on a National level to which we keep many types of display animals under is still very appalling on a far too large scale. If any organization is not able to provide "substantial" physical space, care and training of display animals; they should NOT be allowed to operate in this country.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  160. Sylvia of California

    Animals should not be used for entertainment. The death of the trainer at Sea World was tragic. However, we should not avoid the next one by in turn killing this creature of nature. The solution is to respect animals and not keep them away from their natural habitats and natural family bonds. We teach them to do tricks for the entertainment of humans and for profit to some. Shame on us! Think if the situation were reversed!

    February 25, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  161. ralph woehrman

    "Dancing With The Stars" is inane. Dancing with animals is both inane and absurd, and should be VERBOTEN.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  162. Alan (Tennessee)

    Right on with this one Jack!

    To answer that question all one has to do is look around at how inhuman man is, has been and will always be to other men when a profit is to be made.

    Apply this logic to animals who human's asily enslave for profit and twisted "entertainment" and the answer is clear. Personally I never attend zoo's, animal parks, Sea World, the Circus or any other place where people must go to be "entertained" by animals!

    Isn't there enough entertainment watching idiotic human beings on television "reality shows", soaps, talk and political commentary shows?

    It sickens me that people make livings of the exploitation of animals. Those who say we are saving them from extinction need only look at who the world's greatest predator (man) is that is killing them, and driving them into extinction.

    All animals should be appreciated in their natural environments, ever heard of a National Park? Let's appreciate all animals in they're their natural environment(s) – at least until we destroy that for profit!

    February 25, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  163. Roger

    I am surprised CNN failed to do their research about Tilikum and his offspring.. there is an aquarium in Spain near the Canary Islands called Loro Parque where several of Sea World's whales are living there on-loan.. and this past december, two months ago a killer whale by the name of Keto drowned a trainer there as well, and Keto is none other than one of the first of many offspring of Tilikum. Can killer whale aggression be genetic? I dont know, but there needs be a long hard look at how marine mammals are kept in zoological parks and aquariums and how theyre trained for both the sake of animal and human safety

    February 25, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  164. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    The sorrow lays in that man must hold dominion over everything he contacts. Be it animals, or his fellow man, in either case the irony is,is that we can never really be the compassionate human beings we claim to be.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:33 pm |
  165. bernice lapierre

    I do not feel that these killer whales should be kept in these tanks for our enjoyment. They belong in the ocean where they came from. This is a tragedy that should not have happened.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
  166. Carol

    For the people who are saying that without keeping animals in captivity we could not learn about them or cultivate our compassion for other living beings – give your heads a shake! Freedom is the ultimate compassionate choice one can make. Humans have not only enslaved each other with our ridiculous meaningless 9-5 existence, we have also enslaved every other living thing on this planet. Why are we still living in the pockets of our ancestors? Don't we know by now what is right and what is wrong? Billions of animals are exploited and tortured every year for human wants (mainly due to capitalism) and what's most tragic? No one sees a problem with it. I'm ashamed to say that I'm happy a death was a result of animal slavery. At least it sheds some light on what is really going on. We are all here for our own reason.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
  167. Leon Spitz

    Humans have used animals for pleasure and food thousands of years. The Romans used and abused lions, tigers, and bears in their coliseums for the pleasure and enjoyment of spectators.

    Animals don't belong in zoos, bathtub sized aquariums, or circuses. Would an elephant or large felines and monkeys choose to join a circus and be caged or chained for the duration of their lives? Would orcas and dolphins choose to entertain humans in their tubs? These intelligent animals belong in their natural environment where they entertain us regardless.

    Sadly, much of the environment from whence these animals originate
    is being steadily destroyed by humans and/or killed by humans for food and pleasure. And, who gave us humans the permission

    February 25, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
  168. Sophia

    No, wild animals should not be used as entertainment. They are unable to understand and give consent to performing. We should not use their inability of communicating as an endorsement to exploit them for our own personal gain. Attacking is the only option they have in order to send us the message "No, I do not agree to doing this and will not be forced into it".

    As we expect our higher authorities to ensure our well being, it is our responsibility to do the same for those we have superiority over.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:35 pm |
  169. Emden (Deep in the Heart of Hurst Texas)


    These whales provide great education to our young about sea life.

    We forget they are wild, predators and confined.

    Perhaps its time to free them all

    February 25, 2010 at 7:35 pm |
  170. Kathleen LaPiana

    I have not gone to a zoo in thirty years. The animals committed no crimes, but are kept in cages and spend their lives pacing like any condemned criminal. To save our souls and our planet we humans have to realize that we are just a part of the picture. Animals have as much right as we do to live free and happy lives. There is no excuse for keeping such a magnificent animal as the Orca in a small tank, with no social interaction with his own species. All wild animals kept in captivity should be released, with the exception of those that are not able to readapt to their natural environment.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:35 pm |
  171. Denise

    Unless as others have stated, the animal was injured, or a young orphan, animals belong in their natural environment. I cannot go to any zoo, circus or other arena were animals are caged and/or made to perform human tricks. It breaks my heart that as humans we have very little humanity toward animals or other humans for that matter.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:36 pm |
  172. Mike , Columbia MO

    Perhaps this was just a tragic illustration of 'labeling theory'. For the good of us and the whales, lets start calling them Orcas. Its far more PC.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:36 pm |
  173. Charlie

    I must disagree with Mike M. This whale should be 'put down' as it has killed three times now and may get the taste for it. Obviously though this will not happen as it generates too much income for it's owners. If people stop going to see this and other whales, then they will stop keeping them in captivity as they will become a burden rather than a profit making venture!

    February 25, 2010 at 7:36 pm |
  174. Nicole from the Netherlands

    No, wild animals should not be used as entertainment. The only reason to "keep" wild animals should be to help them. To preserve them upon return to nature. To keep an Orca whale in such a way. It's....
    If wild animals are kept to educate and entertain humans they should at least be given a chance to have a choice to perform. The Orca can't do anything he would do in nature. That's no space for them!!!!
    I am sorry that the trainer died. I hope the Orca lives, he propaply wanted to play

    February 25, 2010 at 7:36 pm |
  175. Rolanda Kinney

    I would also encourage everyone to watch "The Cove."
    It is a hauntingly sad account of what really is happening to beautiful dolphins for the sake of entertainment.
    Very difficult to watch....but important to know the truth.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:36 pm |
  176. Kelbe

    this is so similar to the Jeff Corwin case. Wild Animals should not be played around with. Jeff was an interesting man, and no doubt he entertainted many people. I myself was a fan, but when he goes to far and the animals retaliate, we are all shocked. his death was tragic, but how can we be so shocked that something like this happens? Wild animals are wild. plain and simple, and it is really sad that we (humans), think we can dominate them and make them bend to our every whim. eventually there will be consequences for our foolish beliefs that we are that much stronger than animals. and this is just one of them. this is sad but not suprising.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:36 pm |
  177. S.J. Fields

    Absolutely not!! It is the epitome of cruelty and arrogance to believe that humans have the right to remove animals from their natural habitats and enslave them so that we can sell tickets to watch them languish.

    This particular orca should be returned to it's native Iceland. Even if it does not thrive, I am sure that it would rather die in the ocean than live out a miserable life in a glorified zoo.

    Sandra Fields
    Lebanon, Kentucky

    February 25, 2010 at 7:36 pm |
  178. John, Fort Collins, CO

    I have always hated the concept of animals in zoos. A bored gorilla sitting in a cage next to a tire hanging from a rope is very offensive to me. And must be torture to those poor creatures. In this day-and-age, with high def video, we no longer need to entertain people as the Romans did in the Collseum.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:36 pm |
  179. Ed in CO

    What is the "tragedy" here?

    The person who died, died doing what they loved. None of us get out of this life alive. I hope I am so lucky as to end up doing something that I love when my time comes.

    The tragedy may be that the animal is caged and has to perform "tricks" for it's food. Isn't that what all us working stiffs have to do? So this animal is just being forced to conform to our human socio-economic system. And now, there are a few idiotic people who think the whale should understand that under our lawst it committed murder and should be be punished by execution for it.

    Dumb humans! More of them should be turned loose in the wild to see how well they fair in the "real world", then they could come back to the cities and educate the rest of us about how things really work.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:37 pm |
  180. charles, Rochester New York

    Jack, did not Hollywood try to teach us that you can’t tame the beast in the beast? Doesn’t anyone remember King Kong!

    Charles, Rochester New York

    February 25, 2010 at 7:37 pm |
  181. Pam Brown

    As a former gorilla keeper I can tell you none of these animals should be in captivity. The excuse that breeding in captivity is saving the species is an out right lie. If you want to save a species you protect it's habitat. Captive breeding is actually cruel and there just is not enough genes in the captive gene pool to warrent any breeding at all. Zoo's and aquariums need to put themselves out of business by stopping the breeding. If you knew what really went on behind the scenes you would not pay a dime to get through the gates. I was Ivan the gorillas keeper at the B&I Cirucus Store in Tacoma Washington until 1992. I also was a keeper aide for 13 years at Woodland Park Zoo in the gorilla unit.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:37 pm |
  182. cathy

    He may have been bored, he may have been playing, he may have been angry and we'll probably never know what went through his whale brain, but making these majestic seafareres into clowns is asking for trouble. Day after day in a tiny pool doing tricks is no substitute for the sea and his own pod. I feel sadder for the whale than the poor girl. I pray they don't kill him.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:37 pm |
  183. reggie botkin

    of course not what would killing the whale do? Confining a creature like that is the problem. What are we thinking when we keep these creatures in these enviroments. We can't understand when an elephant in a zoo goes crazy and stampedes, what the hell are we thinking, it is cruel to put these creature in these enviroments and should be stopped. We can enjoy these creaturse without torture and confinment. This whale is a wild animal doing what come natural to him and killing him would be a huge injustice. I am sorry for the loss of a life cut short but the animal didn't understand he was killing a human being. This will not bring back the life cut short but I bet I she would not want him killed

    February 25, 2010 at 7:37 pm |
  184. Saul Snatsky

    Hmm...let's see now, killer whale...why do you suppose they're called that? In general, I'm really tired of people thinking that animals are here for our entertainment. I call it the Disney-fication of nature. Some animals are considered cute and good, like little bunny rabbits and other are bad like snakes. Let's face it, in the wild animals kill and eat each other–and not necessisarily in that order. It's about time we left what's left of nature alone and quit using animals as entertainers–especially large, dangerous, highly intelligent ones like orcas, or as commonly known, killer whales.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:38 pm |
  185. Craig Jones

    Humans should not hold Wild predatory animals hostage as some kind of special entitlement for entertainment purposes.... sea aquariums should set Willy Free, Zoos and the Circus should let Dumbo go home!

    February 25, 2010 at 7:38 pm |
  186. Russ Seuffert

    Should animals be used as entertainment? Definitely not !

    It's both cruel and inhumane to take them form their natural environment ( a whale from the vast ocean) and place them in confining quarters and force them to "perform" "cutesy" tricks for our viewing pleasure.

    There are many other entertainment venues for humans to explore.

    I, for one, wouldn't care to slosh around all day in a bath tub to keep someone amused.

    Spring Lake Heights, NJ

    February 25, 2010 at 7:38 pm |
  187. Rusty

    No. Wild animals deserve to live in their natural environment and shouldn't be forced to learn unnatural behaviors and be confined for the amusement of people.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:38 pm |
  188. gary thoms

    thank you jack for giving us tht opportunity to speak. ABSOLUTELY NOT.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:38 pm |
  189. tanya

    when did it become okay to traumatically take a wild animal from its natural habitat to perform for our entertainment. studying animals has a purpose, rehabilitating and releasing is key, there is no reason for us to pay 75 dollars for torture. i dont advocate death of any human but do you really expect a beautiful but wild animal to be happy in a tank the size of a bathtub! if anything they should release him to the wild obviously he doesnt want to be there.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:38 pm |
  190. frankie

    I think it is a little bizarre that PETA put out their statement immediately, do they not believe the trainer's life had any value or the trainer's family deserved politeness? The trainer being killed by the whale, is just something that happened. How many members of PETA started to love wild animals when they were kids going to the zoo or the circus?

    February 25, 2010 at 7:39 pm |
  191. Andrea

    Of course wild animals shouldn't be used as entertainment! They are wild! If people want to see a killer whale or a whale period, why can't they go on an excursion where whale watching is offered? Quite surprisingly, you get to see a whale show and you don't have to hear about someone being attacked on the news later that night! My fiance voiced it best when he said, "Just because a WILD animal is caught and held in captivity for a number of years, taught a couple of tricks, and fed some fish, doesn't make them any less WILD! What's next, making Big Foot dance?!? Ridiculous.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:39 pm |
  192. joan Wishkoff

    Jack, very well said your report that is. I believe that God has given us a sacred trust to respect and take care of creatures who do not have the capacity to rule or to conclude the way we do. Keeping these creatures for amusement purposes is cruel and unethical. We can take photos of animals in the wild and at sea. I will support any efforts to stop this travesty through Peta and elsewhere. Joan Wishkoff Wilmington Delaware

    February 25, 2010 at 7:39 pm |
  193. gregpry erato from California

    Jack -the issue is not "wild" animals performing as most of these "wild" animals are not wild at all -quite the contrary -most are born and raised sometimes generations deep in captivity -the issue is Tillicum has three strikes against him now and perhaps if not put down he could be released into to the wild where he can throw and drown seals like killer whales do in their natural habitat...

    February 25, 2010 at 7:39 pm |
  194. sieglinde

    Sadly sadly ,the orca will be blamed.Wild animals schould be left in the wild,and not entertain humans

    February 25, 2010 at 7:39 pm |
  195. Mike Ankar

    All animals whether it be dogs or whatever will always have their animal instincts. So when a pet attacks it owner...I have no sympathy, like snakes for example..they are not intended to be pets

    February 25, 2010 at 7:39 pm |
  196. Miriam Gray


    Remember the tv ad for margarine in the 1960s? It applies here:
    "Its not nice to fool with Mother Nature."
    All animals belong in their natural habitat not in the circus, the zoo,
    and the "amusement parks"... So who's amused?
    Sacramento, CA

    February 25, 2010 at 7:39 pm |
  197. beth

    No animals should not be ever be a form of entertainment and a meal ticket. Tilikum will not be destroyed; he's a very large goldmine.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:39 pm |
  198. kathryn

    Entertainment no, Education yes. I do believe that it is acceptable to allow people to see wild animals in zoos that keep these animals in conditions that are as close to the wild as possible. If children can see animals living close to the way they were meant to live than they will be inspired to become advocates for the environment and will work to preserve our planet. I can understand why people want to "play" with wild animals, I'll admit that I would love to play with a cutie tiger cub, but I would never do that because my love of those animals makes me want to see these animals living the way god intended them to live.


    P.S. Jack, I'm snowed in which is why I'm at home writing to you instead of studying Environmental policy SUNY ESF so that I can help save wild animals!

    February 25, 2010 at 7:39 pm |
  199. Annie

    No, Jack, and thank you for asking. Wild animals should not be required to perform for the entertainment of human beings. To that point, circuses would be far more entertaining - and draw far more business and public support - if they employed human beings to do the entertaining and released their elephants and other wild animals to live a more natural existence in sanctuaries.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:40 pm |
  200. Yaseen


    First of all, I extend my prayers and thoughts to the family of the victim. I always look forward to your real world questions every afternoon, but we need your supervision skills at SeaWorld Orlando. I'm sure you would do an excellent job teaching a class titled " Safety 101" as part of every Marine Biologist's training. It is perfectly fine to use wild animals for entertainment purposes, provided that caution is excercised. This is the best way to avoid the deaths of innocent and hard-working employees in the future at SeaWorld as yesterday's tragedy reminds us that it is the third time.


    February 25, 2010 at 7:40 pm |
  201. Mimi from P.R.

    Wild animal should not be used for entertainment. Forcing them to learn "tricks" and repeat them over and over is boring for them and certainly against their nature. As long as people pay big bucks to watch the shows, corporations like SeaWorld will continue to exploit them. The same goes for Ringling Bros – they exploit elephants and other wild animals in the name of "entertainment". Does anybody ever wonder what happens to the animals when the show is over? Shame...shame.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:41 pm |
  202. micki

    I feel animals that are in captivity are treated as slaves they are made to do things that are out of the norm for them. In the case of this killer wale I feel it just got tired of being told to do the same thing over and over and just snap this wale has already in the past has expressed its feelings. Its an animal its time to let them live a normal life as God put animals on this earth to be who they are wake up

    February 25, 2010 at 7:41 pm |
  203. Jessica

    Let me first say that I am deeply saddened by the loss of the trainer from Sea World. My sympathy is with her family. But, I do not think animals of this size should be kept in captivity, or be used for entertainment purposes. This animal is obviously under tremendous amounts of stress, and should be released back into the wild. After all, these animals belong in the wild...

    February 25, 2010 at 7:41 pm |
  204. Judith Cunningham

    I applaud you for your statements pointing out the widespread tragedy of animals lives being destroyed by the industries you mentioned. It is not a surprise that they sometimes lash out against their profiteering jailers as their basic natural instincts are violated daily. Too many people mindlessly support these enterprises and the abuse continues.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:41 pm |
  205. Sandy in the OC

    Wild animals should NOT be used as entertainment. For all those commercial/for-profit's that say "we educate". Really? Here's a suggestion America, use the internet, read a book, go on a real african safari, watch a movie, go kayaking, visit a taxidermist! Leave the wild to the wild and save some money! Hey Disney, Six-Flags, Bush Gardens, and underfunded Municipalities with you stealth-like "Corporate Partners" ... Let's GIVE a Life – Free Willy !

    February 25, 2010 at 7:41 pm |
  206. JoAnne

    Asking you a question Would you like to be held captivity–No I do not think so. So why would it be any different for killer whales, or any other animals.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:42 pm |
  207. Kevin in CA

    Wild animals have be used for entertainment, going back to the days of the Romans. Point made.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:42 pm |
  208. Richard

    I have seen enough of the National Geographic specials on these animals to know that the behavior exhibited by these giants are anything but play! These whales toss around their prey till they break the seals backs or cause them to drown. They are after all, "Killer" Whales!

    February 25, 2010 at 7:42 pm |
  209. roseann cherasaro

    no jack these beautiul creatures should be left alone in the wild.to expect them to act like a lap dog is truly delusional.i do not go to zoo's or places like sea world because it bearks my heart to see the mighty be treated like a circus clown.if they had a pool big enough to truly let the whales act "au natural" i might reconsider..but i still despise the dumb tricks that people makes these whales do.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:42 pm |
  210. Dan Rosich

    Dear Jack,

    Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! Not only from me, but from all the beautiful wild animals on our planet! It is absolutely ludicrous, arrogant, and selfish of us to put wild animals in cages, pools, circus tents or on the Vegas strip – to serve only as entertainment for our viewing pleasure. And then to expect them to act 'civilized' when we crack a whip or hold a treat up for them to perform a trick. And then everyone blames the poor animal when they revert to their instinct and someone gets mauled or killed.

    Our arrogance is surpassed only by our stupidity. State and Federal laws should be created to stop the madness. There is no other animal on earth that traps other animals and trains them for entertainment (resulting in someone earning big dollars by the way).

    Mother Nature is awesome. Why do we work so hard in so many ways to screw it up? The human species is supposed to be at the top of the food chain. I sincerely have my doubts. I think the wrong species are in cages today.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:42 pm |
  211. Ima Killa

    As Chris Rock would say, "The killer whale went killer whale." Don't mess with God/Nature's creation.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:42 pm |
  212. Dana in Colorado

    Good God. It's amazing that human beings – supposedly the most evolved species on earth – are still so cruel as to hold in captivity other species. Animals are not ours to use for entertainment!

    Alan from Tennessee said exactly what I want to say: "animals should be appreciated in their natural environments". We can even support the economies of other states and nations by going whale-watching, going on safari, etc.

    It is my wish that all animals should live their lives in their natural habitats – AS WE DO.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:42 pm |
  213. John Roorbach

    Jack. I stand corrected. A killer whale did drown its trainer at a sea acquarium somewhere in the Canary Islands. But the idea that animals should be caged and displayed for our amusement is sickening. Just a patheetic display of human inconsideration and lack of compassion. Now if they could be trained to eat just Republican politicians...

    February 25, 2010 at 7:43 pm |
  214. Bryan

    Trust me, this will be a hot topic for a week or so, the hype will go away, and then we will have this conversation again in 2 years when it happens again. The news is just a continous process of reporting the same stories every other year. I hate to be so crucial in a time of need for the family of this woman, but she knew what she was getting herself into. She knew the dangers. This isn’t the first time a “killer” whale has attacked and killed its trainer at a Sea World facility. Unfortunately, what she loved to do had its dangers.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:44 pm |
  215. deemarie

    I went a zoo once. It made me sick inside. I'd never go to another. Ocean animals such as the killer whale, dolphins etc. should never be kept in pools.

    Using zoos for breeding endangered species is OK.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:44 pm |
  216. Celine Gandolfo

    it is sad to lose this special woman who was so dedicated and loved these animals so greatly. It is also truly a crime against nature to capture and remove wild animals from their natural habitats for the sake of entertainment and "scientific study". This is more about the making of money for parks or research centers than anything else. How can one justify capturing a whale of this size used to traveling great distances and swimming to great depths in complex family groups, and place him into what is basically a bathtub? I hope our human population evolves to understand that this is no way to teach our children to live in harmony with our planet. I hope we reach a point where we say to ourselves "What were we thinking?" Once again, this is truly a crime against nature.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:44 pm |
  217. Craig Jones

    Follow up to last comment:

    Killer Whales should not be held accountable for human life while being held in captivity. Republicans and Democrats should be held in captivity and trained to do stupid tricks for not being productive in passing a reasonable Health care Package! Providing the old saying applies here to being able to teach old dogs new tricks

    February 25, 2010 at 7:45 pm |
  218. jasmine of san antonio tx

    well first off listen to the question: "should animals be used as entertainment?" well no, why should anyone or thing be used. that killer whale is defenseless when it comes to being taken into captivity, and for what human profit and enslavement? sure sea world and other organizations do a good job of rescueing animals, but they should be released once they are treated. what kind of life is this for them. that animal cannot be truely happy in captivity. can animals in captivity migrate seasonaly as they do by instinct, or choose a mate and reproduce? no and if they reproduce it is usually artifically or "arranged". people need to find it in their heart to put themselves in the places of animals in captivity. i mean is the fact of abuse seen in the orcas dorsal fin not enough to set free enslaved animals all over. i believe we can be entertained so much more by animals in their natural habitat, as well as learn from them. plus attempting to imitate an animals natural habitat does cost millions in upkeep, and with this economy we don't need that.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:45 pm |
  219. Kevin from Hope Mills NC

    No. I regard zoos as entertainment also and they should be phased out. In no case should wild animals be removed from their natural habitat.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:45 pm |
  220. stephanie potts

    God did not create us to entertain animals in the wild..nor did He create the animals to entertain us..each ceature in it's natural environment is exacly where it should be save dogs and cats which were bread down by us, and as we have seen are put down by the millions each year because of our incredible ignorance..at the end of my daily prayer is a cry in my heart for every child who suffers, and for every creature..

    February 25, 2010 at 7:45 pm |
  221. Judith Clark, Rhode Island

    Why are we still asking this question in the 21st century? Of course wild animals should not be used for entertainment. Domestic animals should not be used for entertainment. What utter arrogance to think that we as humans have any right to take any animal and force it into submission so that money can be made. I have to wonder why animal entertainment was not outlawed long ago.
    Anyone who has studied and understands the animal community knows full well that in order to get any animal to perform, force is mandatory. These creatures, consequently, live lives of stress and depression. And, frankly, this is animal cruelty, pure and simple.
    If parents would stop taking their children to places like Seaworld, circuses, and zoos, then perhaps children could learn that animals, in general, are not here for our use and exploitation. And driving these businesses into closing their doors permanently would be a fitting demise for the soulless wonders who own and work in the world of animal entertainment, and try to con the public into thinking that the animals "love" this life.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:45 pm |
  222. Rev. Jacqueline Ziegler

    I absolutely do not think that wild animals as well as any other nonhuman species should be used for human entertainment!

    For the whales at Sea World and other similar places being kept in these tanks is like confining and limiting a human's movement only to the house they live in.

    I do not think this whale should be killed. I am sure the woman who was killed cared deeply for the whales she worked with and I am sorry for her family and friends that she was killed. However, again, I do not feel the whale should be killed.

    The whales don't need to be cared for they need to be left to live in oceans free. For eons they have cared for themselves. The care we're talking about is care related to our keeping them in captivity.

    All nonhuman species have a right, yes a right, to exist as creation meant them to exist. Whales are not an exception to this.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:45 pm |
  223. 2thdk

    I believe a percentage of the money made to see these animals goes toward protecting the ones in the wild. Yes, It upsets me to see an animal confined to a tub that would naturally travel thousands of miles each year. The trainers are aware of the risk working with these whales, as well as an electrician is aware of getting shocked! If the show helps protect the orcas in the wild, I’m a supporter of Sea World.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:45 pm |
  224. Kathlyn Parks

    Sea World and everything like it is an embarrassment to the human race. Zoos and wild life "entertainment" have nothing to do with education. All wild animals should be seen in their natural environments. Anyone who says the whales are not stressed by living in such confined space is obviously either ignorant or lying. It's like saying a human confined to one tiny room would not be stressed. All we can do is boycott such shows and support humane organizations that work for laws prohibiting the capture of wild animals.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:45 pm |
  225. Ilana of Los Angeles

    It sickens me to see such a beautiful and wild creature held in captivity, solely for the amusement of others. Why would any educated parent take their children to a place where animals are treated as a commodity? Sadly, it is a commentary on our society's long-standing emphasis on profit, over the humane treatment of animals.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:45 pm |
  226. Barbara Beall

    Stop this horrific animal cruelty. Reunite Tilly with his pod with careful supervision. If I was any of those whales I would kill the trainer too.

    Respectfully Yours

    February 25, 2010 at 7:46 pm |
  227. sharon mcgeeney

    Time and again we are being shown that these animals do not belong
    in a circus environment. They are not here for our amusement or for
    Busch Gardens or the local zoo to make money. There are many different ways
    for people to learn about and see these magnificent creatures.
    It is flat out abuse to keep an animal of that size confined to a bath tub.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:46 pm |
  228. Sherie Dempsey

    This whale, if given the choice, would be at sea where it belongs. I would think big profits would, at the least, provide the best home possible based on their habitat.. We can make a difference. We could refuse to go to places that provide this entertainment. If you want to see these animals visit them in their habitat. Any animal will follow its instincts.
    Fat chance this would work.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:46 pm |

    The answer to this is easy......NO!!!!! Animals were ment to be free...Even our loved dogs and cats should never be caged or tied up...... All animals are a special gift form God......
    Jay Talmage Las Vegas, Nevada

    February 25, 2010 at 7:46 pm |
  230. John Roorbach

    The fact remains Jack that there are no reports of wild killer whale attacks on human beings in their natural environment.

    Thanks for listening Jack. Thanks for hitting the nail on the head so often. But please don't run for office. They'll ruin you!

    February 25, 2010 at 7:47 pm |
  231. Theresa Pilon

    Animals of any kind absolutely should NOT be used for entertainment. It's a testament to our lack of intelligence that we can't find anything better to entertain ourselves with and that we would expect something called a KILLER whale to be nice to us. I'm embarrassed to belong to the same species as these people at times like this.
    Theresa Pilon, Ontario

    February 25, 2010 at 7:47 pm |
  232. Niki

    Exactly 2 months ago, on December 24, 2009, a trainer was drowned by Keto, Tillikum's son, at a public aquarium/marine park in Spain – yet this incident got no news coverage at all...

    These highly intelligent, social beings obviously do not belong in captivity. Please retire them to natural bay pens and release them if possible. I have always boycotted marine parks because of their cruelties to animals – the captures, the confinement, the involvement with the bloody Japanese drive fishery slaughters, etc. It's not worth my money. I will certainly never support SeaWorld.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:47 pm |
  233. Marc LUBULA

    And why we call animals wild when an animal most of the time kills when he is hungry but us human kill for the pleasure of doing it...never seen an animal doing a genocide the way we do them...so who can we call wild...animals or humans...let's leave animals alone because they have the right to be in their territory like we do have our own and our way of living

    Marc Lubula
    Silver Spring MD

    February 25, 2010 at 7:47 pm |
  234. Joe

    Yes, animals should be "used" for entertainment . Imagine how many people these creatures have inspired and educated. The subtle theme to most of these shows is one of wilderness conservation – and it would be tragic to loose that. One wonders how many PETA members first fell in love with animals at a zoo or a circus.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:47 pm |
  235. Qiana from Columbus, OH

    It's a disgrace on how us humans treat wild animals. These creatures are absolutely beautiful and can awe anyone, but I'd much rather see them in their natural habitat. I have rarely even taken my children to the zoo, because I hate to see large animals such as elephants, lions, etc pacing in their confined areas and even in some inside exhibits had fake trees as props! These animals as well as whales are social animals and are used to traveling miles and miles. Imagine if we had to spend the rest of our natural lives confined to our houses and get a little exercise in our fenced in backyards? Even a domesticated dog can have behavioral issues if it's not walked and given a little exercise! It's very unfortunate that the trainer was killed. But these animals are wild animals. Sea World is a business and can only see the money in their pocket than finding the best interest of their animals.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:48 pm |
  236. gina olondriz

    Dear Mr. Cafferty,
    That poor animal should be set free. How would you feel if you were 30 ft long and had to live in a pool the size of a bathtub. Please please please send him home. People are abusing this poor animal. He has a mother and family like everyonelse. Perhaps if one wanted to see a wild animal like that they should take a boat tour and see this animal in the wild. That way both people and animals can live in harmony.
    Thank you fro bringing the story to so many.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:48 pm |
  237. Lydia

    It's time to evolve from this cruel practice. We consistently say one thing, and then do another. We say we don't want to be unnecessarily cruel to animals. What could be a clearer case– and then the loss of human life? For what?

    February 25, 2010 at 7:48 pm |
  238. rona

    Maybe we should think of planet of the apes. I think it is so sad that the animals are being held captive for money

    February 25, 2010 at 7:49 pm |
  239. Bebe

    I don't believe that Dolphins/Whales should be made to perform shows for our entertainment. If in captivity, they should be in a tank that is comparable to their natural habitat, which is impossible. So...there are enough documentaries where humans can view these beautiful creatures, in their natural habitat. There is enough information that proves that these animals in captivity are stressed.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:49 pm |
  240. Tim Swing

    Sea World has provided an oppurtunity for millions of children to be exposed to marine mammals. Most of them grow up with a love and compassion for the creatures instead of a craving for whale McNuggets. The good far outweights the bad IMHO. How many children have cheered for this trainer and her whales during her long career? How many left with a lifelong love for whales?

    February 25, 2010 at 7:49 pm |
  241. Elwood Ahlsted

    I can't believe that the people are so stupid, that they don't understand that Wild Animals are to be kept in there naturial suroundings!! Why blame the Whale and put it to sleep, when in fact the owners should be the ones put to sleep!! P.S. now that i think of it, people are that stupid!! OZ from St.louis

    February 25, 2010 at 7:49 pm |
  242. Al from Los Angeles

    No. If you want to see wild animals, go into the wild and see them.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:50 pm |
  243. Chris Dawson

    Whales and dolphins and other animals need spaces to roam.
    The various parks' need to obtain dolphins is part of the reason why so many are brutally killed in Taiji, Japan. Without this demand, that killing would not have profit potential behind it and might fade away into history.
    Viewing wild animals in the wild is a far better way to see, understand and study them.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:50 pm |
  244. Diane - St. Louis

    February 25th, 2010 7:21 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation. Absolutely not. Why? Because it is obviously inhumane to do so. How would you (the zoo keepers, etc) like to be placed in a cage for the rest of your life...never being allowed to ever be free again? This caging of animals is one of the cruelest things man can ever do.
    Hmmm...how about everyone in charge of this sort of moneymaking endeavor be placed in jail for the rest of their lives...only being let out of their individual cages a few minutes each day?

    February 25, 2010 at 7:50 pm |
  245. Tywun

    We should ask the whale his side of the story or put him on trial in New York...I mean, really? It is a KILLER whale! This animal should be released into the ocean.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:50 pm |
  246. Peg

    Of course not, certainly not animals of this size and status–endangered. It's one thing to have a domesticated animal like a house cat, but to put a huge whale in something so constrictive as an aquarium pool is outrageous. These whales travel miles and miles each day, and have extended social relationships, all of which is destroyed when they are placed in captivity. BOYCOTT SEA WORLD.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:50 pm |
  247. Bob Carde

    Hi Jack: RE: whales show

    I had the opportunity to visit Antartica and see the pinguins in their natural habitat. I do not believe I would enjoy seen the pinguins in an enclosure created by humans.


    February 25, 2010 at 7:50 pm |
  248. /Susan Luckowski

    In my opinion killer whales, elephants, bears, tigers,lions, etc. do not belong in confined areas and used as entertainment oddities for people to watch. If one wants to see the wild animals then go on a safari, take a boat out into the ocean or wherever else the wild animals of the world live. Too expensive? Then rent a dvd or vhs tape and watch the animals, mammals in their own environment. Circus animal performers are in the same predicament. People doing tricks and such should be the focus of the shows, not trained (incarcerated) animals.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:50 pm |
  249. Austin Frees

    No, they are wild for a reason. It's unfortunate what has happened at Sea World but this is yet another lesson we should all take out of this.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:51 pm |
  250. Jasmine in Germany

    No kind of animal should be used for human entertainment, not ponies and poodles in the circus, and certainly not ones which normally live free in the wild.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:51 pm |
  251. Rodrigo

    Simply put, NO. Numerous animal protection agencies (including The Vancouver Humane Society, The Humane Society of the United States, The Vancouver SPCA) all agree that whales physically suffer the limited movement allowed in small artificial pools, suffer social deprivation when removed from their families in the wild, and suffer much shorter life spans than their counterparts in the wild.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:51 pm |
  252. Kareen

    We are boaters from Seattle, WA and are used to sailing with the Killer Whales in the wild. One needs to respect them and marvel at them! They are beautiful, but I can not abide the thought of having them in captivity! They swim in pods and are very "family" oriented. Please let them be as nature intended. When they swim around your boat you can develop a strong respect for them and their size!

    February 25, 2010 at 7:51 pm |
  253. Jim Kerwin

    Jack...Let the animals out. Domestication is not something taught...mother nature has given animals tools to survive in the wild. Let's try filling the zoos and alike with members of Congress..they are much more amusing and less likely to screw any more things up.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:51 pm |
  254. raymack2009

    No animal should be used for the entertainment of people. If we choose to use them; we should not be surprised when they act in accordance with their nature. I agree with PETA; animals should not be held in captivity for the mere pleasure of humans.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:51 pm |
  255. David- New Jersey

    We absolutely should use animals for entertainment. Children as well as adults learn a wealth of knowledge from animals in captivity. It also saves lives showing which to careful of. In ancient times the romans used humans for entertainment. What we use as entertainment less than .ooo1 % of the animal population. I am very sorry this tragedy happened, but there is a risk with all aspects of life like driving. Over 1000 people die every day in the USA.. What should we do with driving?

    February 25, 2010 at 7:52 pm |
  256. Debora

    The death of a smart, kind, and intelligent trainer is beyond sadness. And, no doubt, equally sad is the quality of life for these intelligent animals kept in captivity and contained within small tanks. I disagree that wild animals should be used as entertainment.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:52 pm |
  257. Stevenjb

    When a homeowners animal kills someone that animal gets destroyed. When the animal belongs to a corporation, well, this is America after all. Cost Benefit analyses rarely side on consumers or employees.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:52 pm |
  258. Jacob

    Dear Jack,

    This is such a tragic incident and I wish it could have been avoided. The fact of the matter is that when one is dealing with any wild animal outside of its natural habitat, no matter how well trained, the potential for injury and death to the caretakers is greatly increased. In addition, these accidents usually occur without warning and when the animal in question is trying to "play" with the trainer. Unfortuantley its quite difficult for a 12,000 lb mammal to understand its own strength and how fragile the human body is.

    With that said, I think that animals should not be used as entertainment to the degree that they are now because it is impossible to monitor both how they are treated and the quality of the facilities that they reside in. Conversely, I think that the public needs to see these animals for learning purposes because innitiating a direct connection reinforces the need for conservation in the wild.


    Providence, RI

    February 25, 2010 at 7:52 pm |
  259. Roger

    I can see some animals living/performing at Sea World but NOT killer whales.


    February 25, 2010 at 7:52 pm |
  260. Matt Lamont

    Wild Animals should not be used used as Entertainment.
    They are beaten and abused at times. They are getting stressed and they are suffering!
    Keep this up and their nerves will snap and they will go WILD!

    Remember King Kong?

    February 25, 2010 at 7:52 pm |
  261. Lois von Hippel

    The way to be entertained by whales is to view them in their environment. If you can afford to go to Florida or California and pay to see them at SeaWorld, you can go on a whale watching cruise.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:52 pm |
  262. Joan Arca

    Remember Dumbo, his mom was just trying to protect him, she went out of control at "spectators" laughing and taunting him, and she was locked up for life, she never could be with him again. That's our society.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:52 pm |
  263. animal lover

    NO! These wild animals should be kept in their own habitat and not in a human environment so we can profit from their captivity. I refuse to go to zoos and other animal arenas because of this unfair treatment. It infuriates me to see how these beautiful creatures are kept in cramped quarters without room to roam freely like they would do in the wild.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:52 pm |
  264. Connee Robertson

    These animals should absolutely not be used for our entertainment. They are used to travelling hundreds of miles in a day and many circumnavigate the globe through the oceans. This animal was captured and taken from its pod in the wild and forced to live in a bathtub, essentially. His family misses him and would remember him. There are many whale experts..biologists and mammologist that will tell you that they know each other and never forget each other just as if you had a child stolen from you, you would not forget that child. These animals are as intelligent as you and I and they communicate using sonar, which cannot be used in a bathtub. This is cruel and it is a wonder a testament to their spirit and intelligence that they do not kill more often! Talk with Rick O"Barry if you want a good opinion!

    February 25, 2010 at 7:52 pm |
  265. Will

    Does the word KILLER mean anything to people anymore??

    Captivity is good for nothing. Living things should not be USED.

    Instead, maintain and don't destroy their natural habitat.
    Let them live as they were meant to live.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:52 pm |
  266. Lynda from NC

    like this they shouldn't – animals this big being stuck in comparatively tiny cages is just asking for problems and inhumane. We have lots of movies and documentaries to educate & entertain the public and children about wildlife without having to put them in such inappropriate and dangerous captivity. Free the (killer) whales!

    February 25, 2010 at 7:53 pm |
  267. Brent Duty

    No. As much as we all enjoy seeing the animals, we all know deep down these animals belong in their habitat. We all need to be good stewards of the planet and stop trying to control nature. This is especially true with intelligent animals.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:53 pm |
  268. Lynda Clark

    Wild animals should be left in the wild. We have seen over the years tragedy after tradegy involving beautiful caged wild animals doing "tricks" for an audience instead of the "wild" animal enjoying their natural environment. Technology has developed so many other creative avenues for a circus, park, and other venues that we no longer should be training/torturing the wonderful creatures that live on our planet. It is horrifying to watch a giant whale, or an elephant, or a monkey, or any animal do tricks to entertain people and also have to live caged their whole life...how incredibly tragic it is for these wonderful creatures. Let's use technology for entertainment not God's creatures.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:53 pm |
  269. Doug Clark -- Indianapolis

    Do white whales play with seals by tossing them up in the air as you said? Yes. But just before they eat them!

    February 25, 2010 at 7:53 pm |
  270. Martha Smith

    If you think the Orcas are kept in impossible conditions, you should see the petting pool. When I took my children there 25 years ago, I asked how often the animals are rotated in and out. The answer was never. Imagine spending your life in your living room with your family and all the neighbors. You don't have to be a PETA member to know that this is just wrong.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:53 pm |
  271. Heather

    The answer is in the question. Wild animals are wild. They should be in the wild. They do wild things, like kill their prey. Shut down Sea World, shut down the zoos, shut down Ringling Bros. They don't teach kids anything but how to exploit animals.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:53 pm |
  272. averittblessed

    While I agree that wild animals belong in the wild and this should have never been allowed to begin with but when a animal is injured and can not survive in the wild they have managed to save those animals, ( I can do without the circus tricks) it is a fact that if some of the species that are listed on the endangered or near extinct list were not in captivity there would not be any left because of the poaching or man made problems that has become thrust upon the animals of the world . In fact there have been several successful programs to repopulate some of the animal species through captivity breeding then releasing .

    February 25, 2010 at 7:54 pm |
  273. mike altig

    Jack, we do not need to see, these confined animals for our entertainment. We can watch CSPAN and see all the baboons we want. Mike Altig

    February 25, 2010 at 7:54 pm |
  274. Iowa Hawkeye

    I have never understood why human beings think they need to be entertained by wild animals. Unfortunately, we ingrain this into our individual lives from the first day we have a pet cat or dog and make them do tricks all for the purpose of getting ourselves to laugh. I will never pay money to watch an animal entertain a crowd. It is difficult enough to see wild animals in zoos.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:54 pm |
  275. Leslie

    I don't think the big killer whale should have to stay a captive. He is certainly not reliable with people. Wild animals deserve at least something close to what nature intended and this is apparently a wild-born Orca. I rather like the idea that he could go back to the area where he was captured.....So tragic to lose the lady trainer.... But it seems misguided to blame the wild animal.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:54 pm |
  276. Yvonne Parker

    Dear Jack,
    Should wild animals be used for entertainment? Absolutely not! Animals should have the same right as we do, to live out their lives the way God intended. To take them away from their habit and force them to spend their entire lives in captivity entertaining humans is wrong and should not be allowed, As for the "Killer Whale," to put him away would be cruel and inhumane, What happened was not his fault. If they did the right thing, they would reunite him with his family where they kidnapped him from as in the movie "Free Willie." What a wonderful conclusion for this sad story.

    February 25, 2010 at 7:54 pm |