Whale Trainer's Death Reveals Hidden Dangers Of Anthropomorphizing Carnivorous Predators
The recent deadly attack of an adorable -- or "killer" -- whale on its trainer has stunned the world, as people everywhere try to understand how an animal with such human characteristics applied to it can be a fierce and efficient predator.
"That a Killer Whale would do such a thing stands in stark contrast to the thousands of stuffed Shamu dolls we sell every year," said Sea World spokesperson Wanda Banyan.
Bayan added that horrific event "truly defies nature."
Some experts have pointed to the 1977 movie 'Orca: Killer Whale', starring Richard Harris as a captain who doesn't know the meaning of the word "Jaws", as one of many unheeded warning signs concerning the dangers of killer whales.
That viewpoint, however, is not popular with the buying public, who continues to expect such natural predators to be docile, happy creatures capable of waving their flippers to say "hello" and "goodbye" to an adoring audience, say Sea World officials.
"So far, our safety record of imparting our animals with human characteristics -- such as grasping the concepts of humor, dancing, and peek-a-boo -- has been impeccable," said manager of San Diego Sea World Duke LaBorde. "Of course, you're bound to get a severed arm here and there from a little girl trying to offer our resident polar bear a Coke, but by and large, our program of reducing nature's most dangerous beasts to avuncular quadrupeds and lovable aquatic mammals has been nothing but a huge success."
As LaBorde suggests, events similar to the whale attack are by no means unprecedented. In 1990, tragedy struck the National Zoo in Washington D.C. when a child jumped a fence to ask a Bengal Tiger to autograph his box of Frosted Flakes. He was mauled and killed.
This latest incident, however, has struck a chord with the public, and has many wondering what other secretly-dangerous creature is being ridden this very minute by some dickhead perched on its back.
"We are urging Disney to put warnings at the beginning of all applicable films," said Bruce Dunning of the Southeast Child Safety Institute, "explaining that lovable creatures like [lions] Simba and Pumbaa, if encountered in the jungle or on the street, would rip your face off, remove your entrails, and feed them to their young."
Dunning says that such warnings are "just a start, and will hopefully lead to a day when all creatures, animated or otherwise, will be correctly depicted not as having human characteristics, but as coolly stalking their prey, taking down the weakest member of the herd and devouring it to sustain its own existence."
"What a gorgeous life lesson for children," added Dunning.
His efforts may not go far in this situation, however; Sea World officials have decided to keep the killer (literally) whale for now.
"We're thinking about putting a cowboy hat on it, see if that keeps her calm," said animal crew chief Lisa Nelson. "Animals love hats."