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News about marine biology, ocean science, marine conservation, etc.

Trainer attacked by killer whale at Loro Parque

Postby Cetacea » 10/9/07

Thanks for that, I was wondering who it was (which orca) and how it happened and nothing seemed to turn up, was probably a bit too early for another article. I love the way they can still call it an 'accident', when she got hit and dragged under repeatedly , so the orca slammed into her accidentally, accidentally took hold of her and dragged her under and accidentally didn't release her...
It couldn't possibly be an attack, after all, her arm is still attached....
I love the logic of these people...
"There is about as much educational benefit to be gained in studying dolphins in captivity as there would be studying mankind by observing prisoners held in solitary confinement" - Jacques Cousteau

We're not unique, just at one end of the spectrum.
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Postby Max'inux » 10/10/07

Orca attacked a trainer? What else is new? This happens with a lot more frequency than I originally thought, it seems.
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Postby Cetacea » 10/11/07

Found a few more articles, all say pretty much the same thing but an interesting bit of news was that, surprise, surprise, Loro Parque tried to lie to the press about it and tried to pass it off as a fall rather than an attack....

Killer whale attacks keeper at Loro Parque in Tenerife

There’s considerable debate about what really went on, but one thing is clear: one of the keepers who performs with the killer whales at Tenerife’s Loro Parque is seriously ill in hospital after an incident on Saturday.

The injuries happened in a warm-up session with the whales in between shows, which as the picture above shows (taken from the park’s web site), take place in a purpose-built pool and arena . According to press reports, Loro Parque first tried to play down the event, but local media claim that rather than it being a fall that caused the injuries, she was in fact attacked by one of the whales, which can weigh up to 5 tons.

Sources en español say that some of the whales are currently on heat, which may have affected their behaviour. One person commenting on a local news web site claims that the keeper was severely bitten, and has lost a large chunk of one arm, as well as having serious rib injuries.

Source
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Postby Tursi » 10/12/07

Animals have bad days too guys.
Even in the wild ;)

If the animals were as unhappy as you say, I think we'd see attacks every week. Resulting in many deaths.
They know they could kill us. And they choose not to.
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Postby Ghandi » 10/13/07

that point is irrelevant tursi, there are filing cabinets probably even rooms full of literature- scientific papers- that show that captivity is physically and mentally damaging to cetaceans.
John Coffey, a cancer biologist at John Hopkins University said: "I don't think there is any benefit in buying shark cartilage and eating it, any more than I think that eating rabbit will make me run faster."
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Postby Tursi » 10/13/07

I'm not going to turn this into a captivity vs. anticaptivity debate, as I've been through enough of them.

I do agree that these animals never should have been captured from the wild in the first place. However, we cannot change the past and releasing them back into the wild would prove nothing, as most,if not all of them, wouldn't survive.

Though most facilities take excellent care of their animals and love them dearly.

Anyways. My prayers to the trainer and Tekoa. I hope she makes a full recovery (the trainer obviously :-p )
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Postby Cetacea » 10/13/07

Just a few things...

Tursi wrote:Animals have bad days too guys.
Even in the wild ;)


Strangely there has been no (or maybe one) recorded attack of an orca on a person in the wild however..Thaat is despite the increasing number of people going to see them and people do swim/scuba with them in Norway ad New Zealand so the oppurtunity is there..


Tursi wrote:If the animals were as unhappy as you say, I think we'd see attacks every week. Resulting in many deaths.
They know they could kill us. And they choose not to.

The trainer is one of the only stimuli they have, plus not unimportantly the person with the fish, they are not dumb, I wouldn't want to piss off the person who brings me food ...
Besides, one trainer at least has been killed and a survey showed tht about 50% of people working with marine mammals were injured by them at some point.
They may choose not to kill their trainers but the reason behind it I believe is dependency.
This is an excerpt i quoted recently in another thread which describes the deteriorating trainer-dolphin 'bond' on being transferred from a tank to a seapen and being provided with life fish (mainly secretly introduced into the pen, so they would no longer associate food with the trainer) in order to be released:

"Early on Echo and Misha would spend some time playing with people. Michelle didn't want to frustrate them by cutting of their interactions with humans abruptly, so occasionally she would sit in a small inflatable boat and let the boys come by to be rubbed. They seemed to like it at first . Then they started to get snippy about it, sometimes even slapping their tails on the water and making it perfectly clear "i don't need these rubs."
once after a feeding session, when the fish were gone, michelle gave Echo the 'retrieve' sign, thinking he might bring back a ring that was floating in the water. He left and returned with a fish in his mouth. he shook it and ate it in fron of her- as if to say, "i don't need your fish, either."
The boys also felt less need for human made toys as well. both occasionally pushed the buoy around but Echo didnt seem to have the same sexual fixation on it that he had had back in the lab."


She (the author) also describes increasing aggression (in at least one of them) during sessions where they were fed by hand or had to undergo medical exams.
it is also important to point out that these animals were fed regularly whether they performed the way they should or not, so they weren't starving them into obedience, nevertheless, once they got their "own" food which they did not associate with people and where in a more natural habitat, they wanted little to do with their trainers and became aggressive eventhough before that they would come up and ask for attention and 'love'.
I feel that explains a lot about why we don't see attacks more often, the animals are dependent on these people and they know it.

Tursi wrote:I do agree that these animals never should have been captured from the wild in the first place. However, we cannot change the past and releasing them back into the wild would prove nothing, as most,if not all of them, wouldn't survive.

Though most facilities take excellent care of their animals and love them dearly.



A very common cited argument, well it's been done,too bad, nothing we can do, we might as well go and enjoy the show...point is, there are also a lot of examples of releases working very well....

'Love' cannot replace an adequate habitat and in the case of orcas it's certainly not helping their lifespan in captivity...


It should also be noted that the display of marine mammals has been banned or severely limited in several countries as it is deemed cruel.
"There is about as much educational benefit to be gained in studying dolphins in captivity as there would be studying mankind by observing prisoners held in solitary confinement" - Jacques Cousteau

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Postby Izzy » 10/13/07

Thank you, Cetacea. This argument is getting really obnoxious, though. Flat out, it's been scientifically proven that mammals do NOT do well in captivity, and do much better when let out back into their natural habitats. If it is your choice to join an institution that believes in harming the cetaceans and treating them very very badly, then that's your choice, and you're free to make it. But don't convince US that it's the right thing to do.
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Postby Tursi » 10/13/07

Izzy, I wasnt trying to.

Please dont assume I want these animals hurt or treated wrongly. Because nothing could be further from the truth.

Cetacea, you have your own opinions and I respect them. As I said before, I'm not going to turn this into a debate. Therefore, I'm not going to reply to your statements. ( And I truly dont say that to be rude. I really dont want to start arguments )
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Postby danny_orca » 10/13/07

Oh not again. This is getting ridiculas. You'd think that people would learn by now? But no they haven't.

"Two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and i'm not sure about the universe." ~ Albert Einstein

A prime example of that quote.
R.I.P Steve Irwin

R.I.P Keiko

"Maybe they do it because the danger of losing one of the family is always real" - Killer Whales Up Close and Personal

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"Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve" - Dr. Napoleon Hill

STOP CAPTIVITY !!
FREE CORKY !!!


"We have the chance to save our wildlife if we just make that effort to save their environment" - Steve Irwin

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Postby Cetacea » 10/13/07

Tursi wrote:Cetacea, you have your own opinions and I respect them. As I said before, I'm not going to turn this into a debate. Therefore, I'm not going to reply to your statements. ( And I truly dont say that to be rude. I really dont want to start arguments )


Fine by me, if you look at my post history you will see i've been through this a lot as well and it does get tiring. Just wanted to point out that there is a wealth of experience and evidence backing up my opinions...
"There is about as much educational benefit to be gained in studying dolphins in captivity as there would be studying mankind by observing prisoners held in solitary confinement" - Jacques Cousteau

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Postby Izzy » 10/13/07

ok guys, time to stop this topic. sorry. I know we all have opinions about it, and that there is a wealth of scientific data to support the anti-captivity debate.

This debate is reminding me of evolution debates. Lets stop it now. Sorry. If anyone has a problem with the locking of this topic, feel free to PM me.
~Izzy
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If you think Education is expensive, try Ignorance.
"The inhabitants of the sea have much to teach us." ~Wyland
"I have slipped the bonds of Earth to dance with dolphins." :dolphin: ~Wyland
"If human civilization is going to invade the waters of the earth, then let it be first of all to carry a message of respect." ~ Jacques Cousteau
NOSB: A great way for high schoolers to learn about the oceans.
A whale killed a dolphin but he was acquitted because he didn't do it on porpoise.

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