After Dawn Brancheau, a trainer at SeaWorld amusement park in Florida, was killed by a “killer whale” called Tillikum, is it time to give some thought about the training of animals to perform tricks?
The trainer died from “multiple traumatic injuries and drowning” after being dragged into a pool by the whale.
According to reports, Tillikum was blamed for two earlier deaths, one in 1991 (also one of his trainers) and a man in 1999. Because of this, Tillikum is usually kept away from other whales, and trainers are apparently not allowed to get into the water with him.
Whilst the public obviously enjoy watching animals perform tricks, whether that is in a circus or amusement park, very few seem to give any thought about the training that is required to achieve these performances.
Unfortunately, many animals are treated badly in order to get the results that the public find so entertaining, and even if they are not, why is there such an interest in wanting to see animals perform unnaturally?
Surely, it is bad enough that we keep a whale captive in such a small area, without having to subject it to the humiliation of performing tricks as well. If we must imprison these creatures, why can’t we just enjoy watching them swim around naturally?
From a personal point of view, I find it much more interesting to see animals living the way nature intended, and feel sure that we (humans) could learn much more from this experience.
Whilst our technology and knowledge has advanced considerably over the last couple of thousand years, it seems our basic instinct of badly treating the inhabitants of this planet (including humans) has changed very little.
We still choose war as a means of settling disputes, kill each other over religious differences, allow selected minorities to control our destinies, and support the abuse of animals to amuse us. Is it any wonder we are still awaiting formal contact with an alien race, why would they want to communicate with such a primitive and barbaric people?
Perhaps parents could help the human race more by encouraging their children to see the more natural wonders of the world? Watching chimps drinking tea (dressed in human clothing), Lions jumping through hoops or whales performing in aquatic prisons is not the way forward.