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March 30th, 2011
12:02 PM ET

Killer Whale Returns to SeaWorld Show

Click here to check out the CNN story on the killer whale's return.

Leave your comments below.

Filed under: Ali Velshi • Anchors
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. David

    Hey, you wanna get in the water with a "killer whale", that's your problem. Don't fault the whale for playing with his new toys, though.

    March 30, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
  2. Ralph Fudge

    The killer whale that killed his trainer should be killed himself, as any other wild animal that turns killer of man.

    March 30, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
  3. Helen

    Killer Whales suppose to be in a wild not in the show...

    March 30, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
  4. larry

    the whale, tillicum, should be free in the ocean, but since he's imprisioned by humans, everything should be done to ensure his mental and physical well-being.

    March 30, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
  5. Yemoja

    We claim to love animals. How could that be, when we abduct them from their natural habitats, then cage them. These beautiful whales belongs to the sea, not in a closed confined space to be put on display, for human entertainment.

    March 30, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
  6. Sophia

    I think that the whale should be able to go back to the show because you have to remember that the whale is an wild animal and it needs to feel like its free and not all cooped up. You might never know but the whale could of thought that it was playing and forgot really how big it is.

    March 30, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
  7. Barbara

    The whale should have been euthanized the same day the trainer was killed. To allow the whale to be back in view of the pubic is perilous. And a $75,000 fine for the life of a human? The thinking here is quite flawed.

    March 30, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
  8. Yemoja

    We claim to love animals. How could that be, when we abduct them from their natural habitat,, then cage them. These beautiful animals belong to the sea, not on display, for human entertainment.

    March 30, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
  9. marcia greer

    He should be returned to the wild, but barring that, he must be returned to performing. They're intelligent animals and need distraction from confinement. What we should learn from this is to stop confining killer whales for entertainment purposes. Or any sea creatures. Or any creatures, period.

    March 30, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  10. Michael

    I hope that in the mix of this debate the real problem is highlighted, which is the fact that these marine mammals have no business in captivity.

    March 30, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
  11. Andy

    I think the killer whale should be allowed back in the show.
    It doesn't know it did anything wrong.
    You can't expect everything to go off without a hitch when you are playing with the biggest natural born killer on the planet.

    March 30, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
  12. Khalid

    Either let the whale lose or keep it in the show. Killing the whale should not be an option.
    These are natural animal instincts, and every trainer goes into the tank knowing this.
    Sea world should not be held accountable other than what they have been charged for. They should however had provided life insurance for the trainer, and if that wasn’t done they should be accountable for a lot more.
    Keep in mind that the trainers know what they are getting themselves into. The Animal should not be held responsible at all.

    March 30, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
  13. Chris

    Yes they should allow it to be in the show or better yet release it into the wild. I am no animal lover or anything but people should stop messing with animals and if they chose to mess with animals in captivity, you should blame those people when something goes wrong. How would you behave and act if you were imprisoned for your entire life for no reason other than someones amusement?

    March 30, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
  14. Pierre

    Of course the killer whale should be allowed to participate in the show. He is an animal, and can not be held accountable for his actions. Humans toy with animals as if we are "true masters" of all species. Truth be told, we have no more grasp over our on species to even begin to think we can tell others what to do. I would like to see all animals released back in to the wild, with out the threat of poaching. Live and let live. But that is too much to ask of humans, so instead, yea, lets go ahead and restrict their participation in a show...

    March 30, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
  15. Alex

    Yeah the whale should get back in contact with the trainers.
    despite the fact that the last trainer died. trainers take the risks into their own hand when in contact with an animal. You cant really predict their next move/

    March 30, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
  16. Geetanjali

    Once bitten twice shy...thought that was the way to go.

    March 30, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
  17. quinn brown

    It is important to understand the commitment that has been made to hold these highly intelligent animals in captivity. Human error should not be the reason the most enriching part of the animals day is removed. He cannot return to the wild.

    March 30, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
  18. Jim Bellon

    This whale has killed 3 people now but because it cost SeaWorld $2M they keep it and are worried about it's mental health? It's an animal and should he killed or released to the ocean, before it kills someone else. Its ridiculous that the animal is still being used in shows. I will never go to SeaWorld again and I live in Orlando. SeaWorld seems to care more about money and it's animals then it does about it's employees. Absolutely disgusting.

    March 30, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  19. Ozzie Monge

    Please, stop referring to Orcas as "Killer Whales." I know that misnomer sounds more dramatic than "Orca," but it is erroneous. They're not even whales, they're great, big dolphins.

    March 30, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  20. Elizabeth Liddell

    I worked at see world for two summers in a row one of which with the shamu show. Telli is like a bull, he has a temper like any other dominant male animal. He is by far the best part of the show and is a risk worth taking.

    March 30, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  21. Katie R

    Id say put the poor animal with the other wales and have a one on one trainer, and not make it preform it just needs a break wales and dolphins are not they type of animals that really enjoy people cheering/yelling constantly in their presents.

    March 30, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  22. BJ

    Not NO! But Whale NO!

    March 30, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  23. Karin

    Just to remind everyone this is not the first time this whale has killed someone. In this country dogs are put down if they bite or maul someone do death or if they cause severe injury to humans. So why is this whale allowed to continue? Does it have something to do with the revenue it generates?

    March 30, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  24. Don Grant

    The orca needed to be be removed as the brutality of the incident was enough as in all probability occur again. If it were a human he/she would be locked for life.

    March 30, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
  25. Eric J

    I don't understand how this is even an issue. This is a KILLER whale which, all the training in the world can't change it's nature. So we are shocked and appalled by that wild nature. Let it go back to the wild and let's focus on more important issues.

    March 30, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
  26. Nina Fox

    Orca’s are intelligent and powerful mammals which need to be released into their natural habitat, where they belong.

    By capturing these beautiful and majestic creatures, tearing them away from their pod (family) then placing them in an area equivalent to a prison cell for humans and taught to do circus tricks… would you feel?

    March 30, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
  27. megan

    I understand that this is a wild animal, but its not the whales nor the trainers fualt. You are taking a KILLER whale, a animal of the ocean and are trying to change all the insticts to make him or her entertainment for people. It is called Killer whale for a reason.

    March 30, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
  28. Ian Shirm

    People are afraid of being eaten by sharks, Great White sharks are afraid of being eaten by Killer whales. Killer Whales are in the Dolphin family, so most likely smarter than humans... My conclusion is Killer Whales are on the top of the food chain, and need to put humans in their place from time to time.

    March 30, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
  29. Anne

    These animals are beautiful, but were named Killer Whales for a reason. Any well educated trainer who freely chooses to go into the water is well aware of the risks. Let the animal swim.

    March 30, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
  30. Reg Tupper

    The question is not whether or not Tillicum should be back in the show, the question is why do authorities allow shows of performing orcas to take place at all. This kind of bizarre exhibition is Victorian in its values and not fit “entertainment” for the 21st century. I am proud to say live in a city with one of the world’s top aquariums, and where shows with whales have been banned for over a decade. The California legislature should take action in the same direction.

    Reg Tupper
    Business Development Officer
    Pacific Salmon Foundation
    Vancouver BC

    March 30, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  31. Carla

    I have seen this whale perform many many times and am always awed at their intelligence and beauty, but should these animals really be taken from the wild for our entertainment definitely not but most of these animals were born in captivity not saying this is good either in the case of Tilikum I think he should be allowed to continue in the show if its for his well being this is the only life he now knows at the end of the day we must always remember these animals are wild and will always display some of its natural instinct

    March 30, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  32. Lori Parker

    How did the news find out about this? Could it have been a press release by SeaWorld? Could it smack a little of sensationalism? My opinion... a bigger audience for bigger money.

    March 30, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  33. najaah

    the whale should not be return to the wild since he as been bought up out of the wild. We should not blame the animal for problems that go wrong, he is only an animal we don't know what he is thinking. However we should look at all sides and realize that maybe the whale felt threated or maybe a human cause the problem. We're always blaming and never thinking

    March 30, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  34. Bayla Washburne

    I have been a scuba instructor since 1977, so I do have some knowledge about killer whales, I realize most people find them "cute" and entertaining, but they are not named KILLER whales for nothing. They are possilbly the MOST dangerous creature in the ocean. I have seen a killer whale kill a great white shark on more than one occasion. In fact, the killer whale is the only creature that will take out a great white. They should be in their natural habitat or be watched very carefully. As cute as they are they are very dangerous!

    March 30, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  35. Ron Voss - Boston

    I don't believe in any way that this was an intentional act. It was simply an accident. Remember that it is a whale, not a human being, and it really doesn't realize it's own strength and power. It made an unfortunate error on that particular trick which sadly cost the life of it's trainer. This is not a reason to euthanize the animal. I'm sure it didn't even know what had occurred These are not circus animals, and belong in their natural habitat, not in a swimming pool.. FREE WILLY!!!

    March 30, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  36. builderific

    Anyone who states that these animals need to go back to the wild, etc. clearly does not understand these creatures very well. They have intelligence that rivals most humans and have bonds with their trainers that run as deep as family. They live very happy lives together and much of what we know of how to help the ones in the wild we have learned with the ones we keep close to us.
    The accident that happened was just that. An accident. But the trainers know the dangers better than any of us when they get in the water (when they used to let them). And right now, the whales and trainers are upset with the changes in the show! You can see it in them! It should be up to the trainers to as to whether Ali should be in the show. And to should be up to them whether they get back into the water with the creatures! The rest of us are just armchair quarterbacks!

    March 30, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  37. G. Sana

    these whales did not ask to be placed in these situations. the people who made the decision to place them in these situations have the responsibility to provide for their well-being in every aspect. these people are solely responsible for the risks that came with it. don't punish the whales for their natural instincts.

    March 30, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  38. Yemoja

    The true killer here is not the whale. It's man! Let's reverse the roles. Let's put humans on display for entertainment. Oops, I forgot, we already have!

    March 30, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  39. Chris S.

    As a resident of central FL, I heard on the news this morning that this whale was the cause of 3 other deaths. Therefore, I feel he is too dangerous to be in the eye of the public and to be handled closely by the trainers.

    March 30, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  40. Vincent Gugliuzza

    When will the report on the Killer Whale story reveal that the whale did not intend to harm the trainer, but the killer whale was exhibiting behavior consistent with sexual/mating behavior of these creatures. That is why the animal is not considered a lethal threat. It is not a killer Killer Whale.

    March 30, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
  41. George

    Well, since it's been living in captivty for a large portion of its life, it would be idiotic to let it back into the wild, hoping that the killer whale will suddenly remember how to hunt for its own food. People who say " free the animals" need to see that animals that have lived most, if not all, of their lives in captivity and would probably die if released. Also, a good portion of the population wouldn't be here and society would not be as advanced as it is now if we did not conquer over other animals

    March 30, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  42. Daniel

    I think it's a good thing to have this whale back in the show. This is a wild animal, caution should always be the utmost concern when in close contact .

    March 30, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  43. Andrew

    Trainers understand the dangers that come with training KILLER WHALES! Although what happened to Dawn was tragic all trainers know the risk. Killer whales are very friendly but just like any animal they can turn on their owners/trainers. We havent pulled tigers away from magic shows! Haven't pulled elephants from circus's! Why should we pull a killer whale and kill it? Be smart people, don't be ignorant and know some facts. If we killed everything that turned on us would we ever have a president? lol or friends? off topic but whatever!

    March 30, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  44. Janel

    First let me begin by saying it is extremely unfortunate that a life has been lost. Under the circumstances The whale should be freed but at this point knows nothing else except captivity. I do not feel the whale is at fault. We forget that animals are and will always be WILD. The will resort to what is natural to them. Just as people resort to primitive ways when pushed to their limits.

    March 30, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  45. Louis Richardson

    COM'ON GUYS!!! The bottom line is $$$$$$$$. I can see this exhibit grossing kazillions more now that there is a greater possibility than EVER that visitors may actually get a chance to see someone swallowed or attacked.
    SeaWorld knows exactly what they are doing and are already spending the xxxtra revenue. They know that where there is eminent danger lurking... there will always be paying customers!!!

    March 30, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  46. Darren McCoy

    change the name to the happy whale. ever hear of the self fulfilling prophecy?

    March 30, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  47. Ronald Felton

    Let the whale go. It is extremely crewl to keep this animal caged just so the seats can be filled.


    March 30, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
  48. Madalon Baum

    Once we make the decision to determine the fate of an animal for our gain, whether it be for education or profit, we have an obligation to do all we can to keep it healthy and happy. We can, however, NEVER forget that a wild animal is ALWAYS wild. We may be able to train it, and think we've tamed it, but it's responses to stimuli (that may not even be evident to humans) can be unpredictable. I think sometimes we put animals in unnarural enviornments and situations then blame or condemn them for doing what is normal behavior for them.
    GO TELLI! and Godspeed!

    March 30, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  49. Karen

    I have mixed feelings about training wild animals for entertainment. Some seem to actually enjoy what they're doing, especially those born in captivity. Others, like the big cats clearly look like they'd just as soon eat the trainer and be on their way. But I feel like the whale liked his trainer and was playing with her. He had no way of knowing she couldn't hold her breath like he can.

    March 30, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  50. Logan

    the word killer is in the name. i dont know what made them think it wouldnt happen.

    March 30, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  51. Marlene Dietrich

    The name Killer Whale is not because the whale is dangerous, it is just an ancient name given by the uninformed. It is from the Dolphin family & dolphins are known for centuries to be lifesavers to humans who are in danger of drowning. The SeaWorld trainer was not killed by the whale, but it was just a tragic accident, where clothing worn by the trainer was mistaken by the whale as an object that was to be carried off to the other side of the pool. The whale probably did not even know that he was carrying the trainer, or causing her to be drowned.

    March 30, 2011 at 5:16 pm |

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