SeaWorld's killer whale 'misunderstood big kid'?

Worldnet Dailyby Les Kinsolving

Posted: March 02, 2010 1:00 am Eastern

© 2010

The Florida Department of Corrections reports that as of Feb. 28, 2010, there are, at the Florida State Prison in Starke, 393 men on death row, having been found guilty of first-degree murder.

At Lowell, Florida's correctional institutional annex, there is one female who is also sentenced to death.

But at Miami's SeaWorld, the killer of three human beings, a killer whale named Tilikum, will continue to be the star of the show.

First-degree murder is generally defined as: premeditated killing with malice aforethought.

Is it realistic to presume that killer whales are incapable of any thought?

And when Tilikum (whom the New York Times identified as "Tilly, for short") grabbed trainer Dawn Brancheau, age 40, "by the hair while she stood in shallow water, and dragged her into a deep pool," to her death, is it realistic to presume that "Tilly" did this killing with no thought in advance?

On Feb. 26, the New York Times published the following headline:

"Intentions of Whale in Killing are Debated."

There is no detailed explanation as to why in the name of common sense was Mrs. Brancheau standing "in shallow water" along with this killer who "dragged her into a deep pool," where he killed her.

Times writer Damien Cave asked and elicited the following memorable questions:

Was Tille (the killer whale) "acting violently, possibly because of stress from captivity? Or was he just playing?" (italics added) (How do the families of the three human beings whom Tilly has slaughtered feel about this incredible Times suggestion that Killer Tilly may have been "just playing"?)

"When chimpanzees, alligators, pythons and pit bulls have been involved in attacks against humans, they have generally been euthanized quickly without debate. But whales and other large mammals in captivity are different, experts say, because they are truly wild and they live under the watchful care of professional trainers, who can explain their behavior in context." The "experts" to whom this incredible theory is attributed are not identified by the New York Times.

Why are captive whales "truly wild" and not "captive alligators or pythons"?

Why should chimps, gators, pythons and pit bulls be "euthanized" (mercy killing) for attacking humans – but not killer whales, which kill humans? Graham Worthy, identified by the Times as "a whale expert at the University of Central Florida," was quoted as saying of his own interactions with "Tilly":

"He struck me as a laid-back guy who is kind of lazy, frankly. He's a misunderstood big kid." (Maybe that astounding asininity was also believed by Mrs. Brancheau when she went into the same water with this "misunderstood big kid.")

Equally unbelievable was the Times-reported statement of SeaWorld's head of animal training, Chuck Tompkins, who denied this killer whale "bore any responsibility for his actions. ... 'He is the member of a family group here, a pod of animals. These animals are a valuable resource for us to learn from.'"

That also evokes questions:

If that killer whale in his killing three human beings bore no "responsibility for his actions," shouldn't the name of this predator be changed from killer whale to insane killer whale? And how many people can believe that this creature had no idea of what he was doing when he killed three human beings?

If killer whales are at all a "valuable resource for us to learn from" – as they kill human beings – why should anyone want to kill cancer cells, which kill many more people than killer whales?

How can the state of Florida, which is planning to kill its death row's 394 human beings (to show how much they disapprove of killing in cold blood), allow the continued exhibiting (for substantial profit) of the thinking and deliberate killer (whale) of three human beings?