KILLER whales, despite what their names suggest, have been involved in very few recorded attacks on humans – at least in the wild.
But if they are kept in captivity, the majestic creatures can become violent, or even deadly.
Since the early 1970s, there have been more than 30 incidents with orcas in captivity that have resulted in human injury or death.
In most cases, these attacks involve pushing against people, dragging them to the bottom of the pool, or hitting them with their bodies.
Several people were bitten during attacks, especially when the whales tried to drag them with their teeth.
Most often, those involved in fatal attack personnel have been in zoos instead of the public.
In 1999, however, an offender at SeaWorld named Daniel Dukes was found dead after entering the orca enclosure when the park was closed.
Many groups believe that hurricanes in captivity are stressed by being unnaturally cohesive, which makes them aggressive.
Parks like SeaWorld have insisted that they prioritize the health and well-being of animals.
However, a number of groups such as Peta have criticized such parks as cruel.
These are some of the most notorious violent incidents involving killer whales.
On April 20, 1971, SeaWorld PR Secretary Annette Eckis would ride an orca in a bikini for a publicity stunt.
At first, the stunt with the five-year-old Shamu seemed to go well.
But after a few moments, Annette slipped off the creature’s back and Shamu grabbed her leg in her jaws.
She swam around the tank, dragged the crying woman with her and refused to let her go.
When divers fought desperately to free themselves with metal poles, they feared that if they pulled them harder, Annette would have their flesh cut off in the strong teeth of the creature.
Eventually, they were able to bring themselves to safety, after which they immediately collapsed from the fright.
She was rushed to hospital with multiple stab wounds and stab wounds.
TRY TO DROWN TRAINER
Kasatka, a 30-year-old orca, was said to have been disturbed by hearing her bald cry when she snatched Ken Peters and dragged him underwater at the attraction in San Diego, California.
Cameras in the park show Peters Kasatka giving a kiss from the side of the pool.
If everything had gone according to plan, he would have dived down before being triumphantly lifted out of the water on the whale’s nose.
But when his head broke the surface, it was clear that something terrible had gone wrong.
As he tried to stand while the crowd clapped, he began to flutter wildly as Kasatka bit his foot.
When shocked to see the audience, the orca suddenly dived deep into the pool, pulled Peters with it, and let him fight for his life and air.
The trainer was twice submerged by the 5,000-pound animal while grabbing its foot and diving for less than a minute each time.
DEAD LIGHT FUNDS
One of the most bizarre incidents at SeaWorld Florida took place in July 1999, when the naked body of a dead man was found.
The body of 27-year-old Daniel Dukes was discovered covered in scratches and bruises, draped over Tilikum, the largest killer whale in captivity.
Dukes, later identified as having a history of mental illness, had made his way past SeaWorld safely and remained in the park after it closed.
With only his underwear, it is still unclear whether he jumped, fell or was pulled into the big tank by Tilikum.
A medical researcher later concluded that Dukes had hypothermia and drowned.
Dawn Brancheau, 40, a veteran animal trainer, had always dreamed of working at SeaWorld Florida.
But on February 24, 2010, she was tragically killed by a hurricane for horrific tourists.
SeaWorld said Tilikum, a 26-year-old man, got into the orca tank in the morning.
Witnesses described how the animal suddenly grabbed her by the upper arm, threw her in the mouth and dragged her under the water.
Among the horror injuries she sustained were a broken neck, a broken jaw, and a dislocated elbow and knee.
Skana once showed off her dislike for a trainer to drag the pool
DELIBERATED HARMING PEOPLE
Miami Seaquarium in Florida has long been famous for its performances featuring enormous sea mammals and human trainers.
In the early 1970s, the park was home to young orca Hugo.
But his behavior became so restless that managing director Anthony G Toran was forced to admit that working with Hugo had become too risky.
He added that Hugo had “made some similar direct efforts to harm human artists”.
In one incident, coach Chris Christiansen received seven stab wounds to his cheeks after placing his head in Hugo’s jaws.
Hugo would keep his mouth open, but instead he clenched his jaws close to a mishap.
Another trainer, Manny Velasco, recalled in 1973 that both Hugo and Lolita, a young female orca held at the Miami Seaquarium, had become aggressive, and lunged at trainers on the platform.
Co-coach Chip Kirk was left with a permanent scar on his arm after being pushed into the pool by Hugo.
Jeff Pulaski had his wetsuit snatched from him by both Hugo and Lolita.
Hugo had a tragic end when he died of a brain aneurysm after he rammed his head against the wall of his tank several times in an apparent attempt to kill himself.
HOLD UNDER FOR 4 MINUTES
In the 1970s, he was involved in two notable incidents in the park where he tried to drown trainers.
The first saw him grab a male trainer by the leg and hold him down until the man almost lost consciousness.
In the second, in May 1978, coach Jill Stratton, 27, was nearly drowned when Orky II suddenly pinned her to the bottom of the tank.
He kept her under water for a horrible four minutes before she could be rescued.
Orky II was involved in another incident nine years later in 1987 when he broke on top of a trainer while riding on top of another orca during a performance.
Coach John Sillick had a number of broken vertebrae, a broken femur, and a broken pelvis.
Orky finally died the following year.
Loro Parque in Tenerife was the site of the first death involving a captive orca in Europe.
On Christmas Eve 2009, coach Alexis Martinez, 29, participated in the preparations for the big Christmas special planned for the New Year.
Another seven trainers were also present in the pool when the 14-year-old male orca Keto collided with him.
Alexis was kept underwater for several minutes before he could be rescued, at which point he tragically died.
The autopsy report found that Keto hit Alexis with such force that it caused his chest to collapse.
It concluded that although the immediate cause of death had been drowning, Alexis’ death had been “violent.”
The report describes multiple cuts and bruises, the collapse of both lungs, broken ribs and sternum, an injured liver, severely damaged vital organs, and puncture marks “consistent with the teeth of a hurricane.”
SeaWorld has long disputed claims about the conditions under which its captive killer whales are kept, including accusations that they have such acute stress that they become ill, aggressive and die prematurely.
Last August, the park came under further scrutiny after the “sudden and unexpected” death of San Diego orca Amaya – with the cause of death in anticipation.
The parks have long come under control, with campaigners claiming that the 36ft swimming pools in which whales are kept are inhumane to mammals.
Earlier speaking to The Sun Online in 2018, former SeaWorld trainer Jeffrey Ventre claimed that some whales were so psychologically traumatized that they would destroy themselves and other orcas.
They gritted their teeth or chewed concrete out of boredom, causing dental damage, and “listening” – scratching each other with their teeth – was common.
“There was a lot of self-mutilation,” he said. “Jaw popping was seen regularly – it’s a threatening display between two orcs.”
UK’S FIRST CATCH ORCA
Cuddles was the first orca in captivity in the United Kingdom to keep the young man at Flamingo Park in Kirby Misperton, North Yorkshire.
Born sometime around 1966, he was caught in 1968, along with 24 other orcs, in Yukon Harbor, Canada.
He was transferred to Seattle Marine Aquarium before being sent to the United Kingdom.
Upon arrival at Flamingo Park, he was accommodated with two flat-nosed dolphins and learned tricks.
Between 1969 and 1970, his behavior became increasingly aggressive, to the point that keepers were forced to use a shark cage to protect themselves when cleaning his pool.
In May 1971, he was transferred from Flamingo Park to Dudley Zoo.
Just months after arriving, he attacked the director of the zoo Donald Robinson, and dragged him to the bottom of the pool.
Robinson was pulled from the pool with head and leg injuries, but survived.
The following year, there was another incident that left Cuddles’ coach Roy Lock in the hospital with a broken nose.
Cuddles would just give Lock a ‘kiss’, but rammed his head too hard into the trainer.
Vancouver Aquarium in Canada was home in the 1970s to two orcas, a young female named Skana and a young male, Hyak 2.
Speaking in May 1978, trainer Doug Pemberton described Skana as the dominant animal in the pool.
“She’s able to change moods in minutes,” he said, adding that she and Hyak 2 were both “voiceless”.
He reminded him how on one occasion, “Skana once showed her dislike by a trainer to drag the pool. Her teeth sank into his wetsuit but missed his leg.”
Undocumented reports also claimed that Hyak 2 once broke a trainer’s leg by hitting it with its tail flap.
World’s most savage killer whale attacks as 4,000kg beasts try to drown trainers, maul swimmers & break necks Source link World’s most savage killer whale attacks as 4,000kg beasts try to drown trainers, maul swimmers & break necks