Shamu Attack: Whales Gone Wild

Stephen Blackwell :: Thursday, February 25th, 2010 6:00 pm

There are only a few events that could occur which grip our national consciousness tighter than political scandal. One is when a white school girl is mysteriously killed or abducted. The other is when an animal kills a human being for sport.

Did SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau deserve to die? I don’t think so. Then again, it’s never occurred to me to ride a 30-foot long evolution-honed killing machine like a surfboard.

Did Tillikum, the murdering whale in question, have enough? Was it revenge? And who the hell is in charge of the whale-naming department at SeaWorld anyway? (I remember years ago Opie and Anthony joked SeaWorld had another killer whale on site named TouchASnatch.) What’s it take for a seemingly domesticated animal (one used for entertainment purposes, no less) to snap? And why do animals kill us so violently?

The Stamford cop who shot that rampaging chimp to death last year began honoring interview requests recently. Imagine this: You’re a cop (wait, it gets worse), and you pull into a quiet suburban driveway to find an enraged, bloodied chimp beelining towards your squad car. It’s 200 pounds, it’s pissed, and, shocking to everyone else except the chimp’s owners, it’s had a couple of drinks and popped a few Xanax. For me, situations like this prove the Second Amendment should never be repealed.

Naturally, Frank Chiafari pulled out his handgun and shot the chimp dead. Afterwards, he found out the chimp bit a woman’s face off. Now he has PTSD.

Tillikum will not be euthanized, and SeaWorld trainers will continue training and performing with Tillikum — after he’s released from the killer-whale version of a time out. I don’t know who is right or who is wrong, but what I have gleaned from the two stories is that Frank Chiafari should probably never get a job at SeaWorld.

Whenever this stuff pops up, I’m reminded of John Jeremiah Sullivan’s fabricated GQ article, “Violence of the Lambs.” (I would love to link to this article, and if you can find it please leave the link in the comments section, but as of now I think Conde Nast have their hats thrown in the forthcoming encapsulated Internet.)

What Sullivan presupposes is that animals, especially dolphins and chimps, are planning a violent revolt against human beings, and a war with animals is even less appealing than war with the Taliban and their cult of suicidal martyrdom. On a micro level, if a pack of hungry wolves beset your door, who will your pit bull side with? All I know is that my Jack Russell is a son of a bitch through and through, and I wouldn’t be at all shocked to see him gnawing at my ankles or even pissing on my face.

It’s probably not the best idea to live with a chimp. Using sea animals for entertainment is also a little sketch. But there’s no evidence to suggest that Tillikum killed in a reactionary manner, or in a spiteful manner, or in a nefarious manner whatsoever. Unless, of course, the dolphins told him to do it.

5 Responses to “Shamu Attack: Whales Gone Wild”
  1. Cut him some slack- he’s only HALF Jack Russell.

    Posted by: Margaret February 25th, 2010 at 7:32 pm
  2. What the fuck r you taqlking about with the white girl. Im a white male and who tells you this info. unreal info just to get attention. Only blacks cry racsim. what about Mexicans how come no one is crying why they dont have a NFL coach huh? STUPID FUCK…

    Posted by: Brandon Verley February 28th, 2010 at 5:03 am
  3. “There are only a few events that could occur which grip our national consciousness tighter than political scandal. One is when a white school girl is mysteriously killed or abducted.”

    dont be silly, we get frantic when nigger school girls get killed or abducted too

    Posted by: bryan lee March 1st, 2010 at 10:04 pm
  4. It is a killer whale whoever trains or try to train these wild animals all know there is always a chance they will turn on you… hint the name KILLER WHALE! My heart goes out to the family for there lost! she didnt deserve to die. but the fact remains you are dealin with a wild animal that weighs 12,000 lbs. No one knows why they “snap” but i am sure she knew the chances she was takin each time she stepped out and rode these whales or whatever she does for the show! the animal needs to be released in the wild not in a tank day after day.

    Posted by: Renee Myrick March 4th, 2010 at 8:25 am
  5. [...] ago a trainer named Dawn Brancheau was murdered by, of all things, a killer whale. We casually abduct animals, tear them from their [...]

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