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Whale Trainer Dies During Rehearsal

Written by PETA | December 28, 2009 / CC

When I hear “Christmas spectacular,” I think snow, lights, and a tree—really, it doesn’t take much to make me happy. For the twisted folks at Loro Parque in Spain, however, it’s apparently not Christmas without some animal exploitation. Wholesome and heartwarming? Yeah, right.

There was nothing festive about the death of a captive orca’s trainer during the rehearsal for the zoo’s Christmas performance. The whale hit the trainer, who drowned after being underwater for several minutes.

Freedom must’ve been first on this orca’s Christmas wish list. Orcas swim up to 100 miles a day in the open ocean, so confining them to tanks in theme parks is like confining a person to a bathtub. Captured from their ocean homes by boats that chase orca pods to shallow waters so that the animals can be surrounded with nets that are gradually closed and lifted onto the boats, some orcas die from shock or stress. Others slowly succumb to pneumonia when water enters their lungs through their blowholes. After they are torn away from their homes and families, these animals are then forced to learn circus-style tricks from trainers who withhold food and isolate animals who refuse to perform.

At the top of my New Year’s wish list? A PETA theme park in which the only “animals” forced to perform are the animatronic kind.

Written by Logan Scherer

Commenting is closed.
  • ashley says:

    I am incredibly shocked at the lack of sympathy for the loss of HUMAN life… This is ridiculous… you people really do disgust me. You are comparing a person with a Soul to a wild animal… you all are pathetic judgmental holier than thou morons.

  • Angie says:

    I am a huge marine mammal lover and feel that Seaworld does a huge injustice to these animals. The trainer knew what he was dealing with and so did Seaworld. An orca is a wild animal that can never be tamed. The public forgets that when they see them doing tricks. However the intelligent animals are doing tricks for their supper. I once read a book written from a trainer at Seaworld flipper’s trainer that stated that these animals are starved before the shows so that they will DO these tricks. Animals just like people can only take so much tortue before they lash out. Just think about the poor little Ringling elephants that are tied down daily. Shame on anyone who goes to these shows!

  • Piccolo77 says:

    It isn’t the trainer who brought the whale there. I blame the business. Keeping whales captive for entertainment purposes should be illegal.

  • Abby says:

    It makes me so sad to hear about a persons death but when you really think about this peron deserved it. I mean it is simply cruel to keep such amazing animals in confined places just for the sake of other peoples enjoyment.

  • Carmen says:

    Orca 1 dumba human 0.

  • JulieG says:

    The Orca knew what it was doing. It has been done before many times at seaworld. The whales break down and because they are so smart and resourceful they decide freedom may come if they get rid of the person in charge. This means drowning a young adult hired to look happy pretty and peppy in a wetsuitthat feeds the Orca dead fish for doing humiliating tricks in a small tank for life. Sadlythis park will now improve it’s business because people will want to get a chance to see a trainer get injured or die at the show like the one that just happened. Free Lolita and ALL captive dolphins!

  • jodi says:

    I think the trainer got exactly what he deserved

  • Hiren says:

    Spot on Heidi! Some people don’t realise that they’re hurting other people or animals.

  • Kurt K says:

    Carla So if this man’s family finds you and beats you up can I say you deserved what you got? You knew what you were doing when you dishonored this man’s family and his memory. This man choose to work with marine mammals that much is true. I bet he did it because he was an animal lover not an animal abuser. You are going to be fighting an uphill battle if you can turn on a person who obviously cares for animals.

  • carla says:

    Heidi this was an adult man who knew damn right what he was doing. Please do not excuse him that he has not been taught. You do not have to learn to have a heart and some compassion for animals. He deserved what he got.

  • heidi says:

    I’ve loved animals my entire life and have never eaten meat. The capacity for cruelty toward animals has always seemed a contradiction of the human heart… but expressing happiness over loss of life is cruel. What if this man had children? I’m sure he had people who loved him. It’s this additude that makes society think we are crazy. We assume he was mean. I don’t agree with animal confinement at all. Not everyone has been taught. Not everyone understands. This is the mission.

  • Terese says:

    This poor whale… Does anyone know what will happen to him????

  • lance says:

    thank you peta for educating me and others on the compassionate way to treat animals..and to continue to show the public the truth behind the scenes

  • Brittne says:

    I do not feel bad for the guy…unfortunetly these animals are wild and people trying to tame them for money and to entertain people…seriously? There are so many other things that people are entertained by and keeping wild animals in captivety is not humane they should be free in their habitat. People are so ignorant to many things dealing with animals domestic or not they all have families feelings emotions and they know whats going on and its not fair at all!I hope they don’t punish the whale its not the whales fault people should not be doing this to them

  • Nicki says:

    Simple solution if the whale wasn’t in this environment then the trainer would still be alive. Why do humans have to control everything? I have no sympathy when anything like this happens to humans if they do decide to kill the whale then they need executing themselves they put the whale there they have created the problem. End of.

  • Kristof says:

    Animals in prisonship … so sad. The majority of people just doesn’t care about their faith and that’s the reason why there are no sufficient laws to protect animals. To my opinion laws are the most important tool to stop the suffering of animals.

  • Susanne Nardi says:

    What is the problem with humans? Can’t we just let the animals live in freedom? Orcas closed in a pool!? Even in Las Vegas I know they have this awful show. I Pay every month a snall sum of money to WWF to rescue the Orcas! But the free orcas! Poor guy that was killed but let them free in the ocean!

  • Adriana T. says:

    This is so sad to hear. Someone needs to address this issue to a public figure. Maybe this site can start with a petition titled Stop the abuse of our wild life…They hurt just like we do

  • Olivia says:

    My deepest sympathy for the young trainerto his family. this is so sadi just hope this can shed some light on WHY animals need to be freethis “shamu” is a wild animal who gets angry by doing demeaning tricks!

  • eddy loomans says:

    If these majestical animals would have been where they belong the ocean for example these “accidents” would not have happened. Leave these gracious creatures where they belong and such stupid accidents will never occur. Close all animal “entertainment” parcs now…..

  • Chris Jones says:

    “..A PETA theme park in which the only “animals” forced to perform are the animatronic kind” Isn’t this similar to ‘fake fur”?

  • george says:

    good thats the best christmas present an orca whale in captivity could want for christmas! orcas are wild WILD! not pets the thing that gets me most wound up is that the places where the whales are kept make out as if they are saving the whales dolphins and whales should only be kept in captivity if it really has to be like if it was injured and wouldent be able to make it in the wild thats it simple!

  • briana says:

    The whale shouldnt have been kept in such a small area

  • Michael Rivera says:

    You try to train an animal that EATS great white sharks and you wonder how the trainer was killed?

  • SHARI says:

    HEARTBREAKING! Yes I feel bad for this young man who died. But this poor whale who is suffering in such a small space is absolutely torturous and most be making himher go crazy. When will mankind ever learn.

  • Heather says:

    I’m sorry the trainer was killed but what do you expect when you take a BEAUTIFUL animal like an Orca and put them in a “fish tank”…IT’S PURE TORTURE!! Maybe if we took all those theme park participants and locked them in a tiny closet for a week they may have a different perspective on what they are doing to all those captive animals’ psychological wellbeing!!

  • Jennifer Carter says:

    I’m sorryactually Im not but thats what happens when you mess with nature. Whales dolphins etc belong in their natural habitat Leave them alone!!!

  • Rosa A. says:

    As mean as this might sound the trainer should have seen this coming a million miles away. Wild animals are WILD animals and just because you give them food when they do something you want doesn’t mean they will not act in their nature. Leave wild animals in the wild.

  • Jayme says:

    i have no sympathy for this person but I now do feel sorry for the poor whale who will most likely be blamed for this. All i want for Christmas is cruelty to animals to stop.. sigh

  • Heaher says:

    what are they going to do with the whale? how can I help it get to be freed?

  • Paula Scharenbroch says:

    Pathetic useless excuse for a human being and I’m a Christian so…the trainer is deadGLORY BE TO GOD.

  • JULIE says:

    No doubt the animal will suffer more cruelty on top of the distressing wickedness already endured.Why cant man just leave animals in their own enviroment instead of using them for entertainmenttest’strials etc.It makes me sick



  • Tanja says:

    We need a law to forbidd such entertainment parks. We aswell do need some lawyers to speak for all the animals that cant speak for themselves. Its a cruel world.

  • Vanessa says:

    it is not the animals fault that this happened if they do something to the whale then they must be more inhumane then anyone originally thought they were.

  • fiona roberts says:

    I love it when you hear of ‘trainers’ getting hurt and so on it makes me think haha you shouldnt mess with the wild then should you!? Why do the public feel sorry for humans when they get hurt when they do all those cruel things to animals for ‘entertainment’? Oh well one less cruel person out of this world.

  • tanner says:

    A Peta theme park would be amazing! you could even include a peta animal adoption centre or places where people can donate to animal shelters.

  • Sarah says:

    How sickening…In some sick way I think the trainer deserved what was coming…will they ever learn?? This is not the first time this has happened. And now the poor whale is made out to be the bad one…

  • Carla says:

    Great News!! Sounds mean.. but I care more for animals than humans lately!!!!

  • Pete says:

    How disgusting. All so sick people can have some “entertainment.”

  • shawn says:

    stop hurting animals

  • heather says:

    What r they gonna do to the poor whale???