That tiger didn’t go crazy. That tiger went tiger! --Chris Rock
Of course you have heard by now. Yesterday a killer whale that is part of the Orlando, Florida, Seaworld orca show killed one of its trainers during a show. It has not been readily determined if the incident was an accident or an act of aggression on the part of the killer whale; some animal experts have surmised that the killer whale was simply playing. To the 3,000 pound whale, people are simply toys. However, it has been noted that the killer whale in question has killed twice before.
In one instance, the killer whale grabbed a biology student in its mouth and dragged her around the pool. When the student attempted to escape, the killer whale managed to block her path, and then the killer whale and two other whales tossed the student around between them. Sounds like a game of catch to me. The killer whales were probably having the time of their lives. I cannot believe that animals would be that calculating and cruel.
But let me get this out of the way before I go any further. My heart goes out to the family and friends of the trainer who lost her life. Only a person with the hardest heart would not feel a certain measure of sympathy and empathy upon hearing of the death of another human being. But we should not be surprised when animals conduct themselves as animals.
Human beings have become so arrogant as to believe we can tame the forces of nature, rather it be the land or animals. But every now and then nature reminds us of her omnipotence. Every now and then, lakes and rivers will overflow and/or destroy the dikes and dams meant to contain them. Mudslides and other natural disasters will reclaim the land stolen by human development. And supposedly tame wild animals will revert to their most base animal instincts.
My concern now centers on the fate of the killer whale. It would be morally repugnant if that thirty year old animal is destroyed for just reminding us of our real place in the whole order of things. Not only that, some of us conducts ourselves more like animals than the actual animals, and do so with impunity in the name of religion, politics, and a myriad of other convenient excuses.
And on the flip side, I look forward to the day when the headline reads, “Human beings go human.”