Author: David Manly
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Last by Alchemystress on Jul 10, 2011, 10:52am
Parents screamed, children cried and I looked on in horror at the scene unraveling around me in the Shamu tank at the San Diego Sea World in February 2010.
Death was up to his usual tricks.
The stadium was packed and the trainers were putting the whales through their paces. Birds circled above, eyeing the fish the trainers were using as rewards for Shamu and his pals performing their tricks
But then, a lone brown pelican, about the size of a poodle, landed on the far side of the tank to take advantage of the bounty.
The trainers didn’t notice. But Shamu did.
In an instant, Shamu dove under the water, swam up under the bird, opened his mouth and, with a splash, dragged it down. The trainers realized what happened when the carcass floated to the surface and the whales began fighting over the prize. They immediately stopped the show.
Instinct had trumped training, and Shamu was sent for the killer whale equivalent of a time-out.
A week later at Sea World in Florida, instinct won over conditioning yet again. Only this time, the victim was a female trainer. According to news sources, while the trainer lay down in a shallow area leading into the tank, her ponytail was floating and attracted the whale’s attenti . . . More