Doctor Oz discussed with Julie Scardina about the death of Dawn Brancheau by Tilikum, a killer whale at Sea World. Tilikum is a 12,000 pound killer whale, which is the largest killer whale that Sea World has (Dr. Oz pointed out that this is about the size of a school bus). Some believe that it was the swish of Dawn’s blond ponytail that caused the killer whale to attack, but I have also read that some people believe that Tilikum had pre-meditated the plan to kill Dawn. Dawn’s family has asked Sea World not to kill the whale, and they are respecting this request.
Julie Scardina knew Dawn well and also has trained with killer whales. Scardina said that it is very rare when something like this happens, because trainers are almost never killed by whales. Dr. Oz asked Scardina how you can assess the risks of these animals and if there was ever a time when she thought that she could be at danger. Scardina said that you get to know these animals on a very intimate level and if you ever think the animal isn’t in a good mood or is having a bad day, they don’t take chances. If something does not look or feel right, they don’t get into the water with the killer whales. Dr. Oz said that some people say these are wild animals and should not be kept in captivity but should be out in nature. Scardina’s argument is that by having them in parks like Sea World, guests are able to educated about these animals. Scardina said it was not very long ago that people would hunt killer whales for food. What do you think, should killer whales be kept in nature or should a few be kept at places like Sea World? Comment below!