As a SeaWorld San Diego passport holder, trainer Dawn Brancheau’s death on February 24 at the Orlando, Florida, SeaWorld greatly concerned me, along with my family and the rest of the world. Some think that the killer whale (orca) Tilikum’s behavior (this killing and his involvement in two earlier deaths) is a translation of what the orca is feeling about being entrapped. They feel that it is time for SeaWorld to realize that keeping Tilikum and the other orcas confined in tanks is immoral. Some recognize also that SeaWorld is a place where staff/faculty/trainers love to educate about marine life, and accept that working in an environment with wild animals can be dangerous.
A couple weeks ago, my family took a trip to SeaWorld San Diego. We enjoyed the animals, and when a trainer asked my younger sister if she wanted to take part in the “Believe” show, her face lit up with happiness. As my parents were signing the permission form, the thought of safety did run across their minds, but they never imagined that the orca my younger sister was going to interact with was Kazatka, the one who had attacked her trainer just four years ago.
Is it time for SeaWorld to consider the safety of their staff/faculty/trainers and the 1,500 families that visit their parks a day?—Karinna Carrillo, 9th grade, Laguna Blanca School
A killer whale killing? Should we be surprised?
It is obvious that the captivity of animals has become overrated. As a freshman in high school, I think this kind of incident shouldn’t be a surprise to us but expected from a killer whale being held in captivity. This accident was completely avoidable in that wild animals such as an orca, killer whale, should be in the wild, not in a pool nearly twice the size of the animal.
Wildlife is meant to be seen in the wild, otherwise it is no longer wild and would be called captivelife.—Marla Bonser, 9th grade, Laguna Blanca School