Visiting a zoo is a different experience for many people, it may seem surreal to witness wild animals that only exist on television, but are so close to humans and so far away at the same time.
However, there are social movements that want to abolish these places. Because many times they cause physical and behavioral disorders in caged animals.
According to the Zoo’s Animal Welfare Education Center (Zawec), lack of space, social pressure, presence of visitors, diseases and other health issues are the main challenges animals are exposed to in these centers.
Thilikum A Orca A male in captivity in the Pacific Ocean at a zoo/aquarium in Victoria, Canada. From capture to death, Thilikum attacked three people, becoming the model with the longest history of attacking humans. But to find out why this happened, you have to rewind to 1983.
A tragedy foretold
Two years after arriving in Icelandic waters, the orca was separated from its parents and moved to a concrete storage tank at the Hafnarfjörður Marine Zoo near Iceland’s capital, Reykjavík. For more than 365 days, Tilikum can only swim in circles waiting to reach his final destination, Canada.
When he finally reached the land of the Pacific Ocean, Haida II and Nootka IV had to be shared with two females. These species are dominant according to the relationships maintained.
According to British newspaper ‘Mirror’, three He was forced to spend 14 hours in an enclosed 7.9 meter pool Popularly known as ‘The Module’.
As if this was not enough, Thilikum was assaulted by his comrades, who beat him on different parts of his body and developed stomach ulcers due to stress.
In order to improve the quality of life of the aquarium animals, the company hired Bruce Stephens, a marine life trainer, to offer some suggestions to help maintain a peaceful environment.
At the time, according to ‘The Sun’, Creatures already ‘steal’ training materials from their trainers They were very excited about the things that went into the water.
A sad fate
On February 20, 1991, 20-year-old Kelty Byrne first set foot on land in the Pacific Ocean to work as a part-time instructor while studying marine biology in college.
What she didn’t imagine was that she wouldn’t leave the zoo because Dilikum drags her to the bottom of the pool and she cries out: “I don’t want to die.”; All in front of hundreds of tourists who had gathered to witness the event.
According to the aforementioned media, Kelty managed to surface twice, amidst the panic of other trainers who tried to help her, but in each of these she was dragged down by ‘Tillie’ – the nickname given to her by the trainers – by other killer whales.
“I threw the life preserver on him. She tried to grab the ring, but the whale wouldn’t let her. It was a play session for them and she was in the water,” trainer Karen McGee told the Mirror.
The zoo initially said Byron fell into the pool while walking on the shore. Several witnesses vouched that it was ‘Tili’ who dragged her from the edge of the pool. Played with her for 10 minutes till she died. After several maneuvers by forensic teams, the coach’s body was recovered three hours later.
“It was a tragic accident,” Sealand’s manager at the time, Al Boles, told The Seattle Times: “I can’t explain it. The whales were playing around, and we’re sorry she drowned.”
The verdict of the forensic investigation revealed that the cause of the woman’s death was: “Drowning due to forcible drowning by an orca (killer)”.
The report recommended 12 tips for Sealand of the Pacific to implement in its business Have a person responsible for the safety of employees during work program and implement a system that allows for rapid isolation of whales when necessary.
Several experts confirmed in the documentary ‘Blackfish’, which chronicled the life of ‘Tili’ – that they believed the capture and captivity of the aforementioned orca turned it from an intelligent and sensitive animal into a “psychopath”, assertions SeaWorld vehemently denied.
The Accidental Twins
Just 18 months after the incident, Sealant closed its doors for good Tilikum was sent to Sea World in Orlando, USA in an attempt to preserve it.. However, eight years later, the animal returned to attack others in new locations.
According to various US media reports, Daniel Dukes, 27, visited the park on July 5, 1999, and managed to swim with the whales, defying security at the park’s closing time. It is not yet clear how the man ended up in the pool. Because it was found in pieces on the back of the sea animal And it was concluded that he died of hypothermia.
Don Brancho, also a coach, was Tilikum’s third victim. In 2010, the woman was caught by her ponytail and drowned in a pond while giving a pet show in February 2010. Brancho freed himself, however, by grabbing her by the waist and shaking her several times with ‘Tili’., which caused his death. SeaWorld in Orlando is still open to the public and Thilikum died of the disease in 2017.
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