"So, a killer whale killed a person. Nope, no warning of that ever happening."
Believe me, I'm not going to make light of this. What happened to that trainer is a horrible, horrible thing.
For those who came in late, a killer whale at Sea World grabbed his trainer by her ponytail and started "playing" with her (more on this in a minute) in the tank. By the time help arrived, she was dead. This is the third person with whale has killed. He killed on trainer, and then killed some putz who broke into the zoo just so he could swim with the whales (I believe he got a Darwin Award. No kidding).
The reason I put quotes around "playing" is because some people are saying the whale is a killer and others say it was playing and the whale didn't realize the harm he was causing. But killer whales in the wild show this kind of mean streak. They will grab seal pups and start tossing them to each other like they are playing catch. And chillingly, they always let the last one go, shaken up, but alive. Unlike all the others they caught.
This is the part that ultimately gets me. People are so inundated with propaganda, from movies like Free Willy to plush toys, that they forget that these are still wild animals. Apparently, the one at Sea World has always given off a violent vibe and had to be kept separate from the other whales. The way people are writing and talking about this, the biggest tragedy isn't that the poor trailer lost her life to the whale's natural instincts, but that the whale is being presented in the news like a serial killer. They want their big, fluffy, friendly new-age whales, that are majestic and godlike and kids can feed them and trainers can give them a kiss on the nose. They want their illusion of friendliness back, not the hard facts that these animals are taught to behave this way, how they really behave is much different.
If I recall correctly, when Sea World first opened, they let one of their secretaries go for a whale ride as a publicity stunt, and it attacked her, grabbing her by the leg and dragging her through the water. She survived.
Yes, these shows and exhibits are amazing. But never forget the people involved in them are putting their lives on the line every day.
And if you ever want to participate in an animal show, take it from me -- penguins are more fun. And safer. They only pee on your shoes and walk away like YOU'RE the asshole.