back to article SeaWorld killer killer whale must die, Bible insists

The revelation that Tilikum - the killer whale which last week lived up to its species' name by killing SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau - had killed before, prompted much debate as to whether the tragedy could have been avoided. In 1991, Tilikum was involved in the death of Keltie Byrne at an aquarium in Victoria, British …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Stoned whales

    ....but how are they going to light up under water?

    mines the one smelling lightly of soft drugs.

    1. Elmer Phud

      Whale song

      Had you ever wondered why whale song is so deep?

      It's that laid back drawl that comes from the stoner (though how they keep the Rizlas dry is a mystery, they can get a light from undersea volcanos)

      Whales never have any problems having conversations with Howard Marks.

  2. lukewarmdog


    I thought biblical types were all dead against drugs.

    Doesn't commandement 420 say :

    And thou shalt not smoke the leaves of naturally occuring plants (except at such times as big business lobbies Government to have it allowed).

  3. Anonymous Coward


    ..maybe simply don't use wild animals as family entertainment....

    1. Rattus Rattus

      Re: don't use wild animals as family entertainment

      Can I get an Amen! to that?

  4. Neal 5

    Oh yeah, really

    American Family Association King James Bible (SeaWorld Edition)

    But you can't give us chapter and verse on that one can you?

    I smell baloney on that quote, and I bet "pantless" is also a secret biblical code for something else. Dan Brown would have a field day with this.

    Bring in the Japanese, they would know how to solve this with a satisfying outcome for all parties, I hear whale meat is quite a delicacy, I'm not if it is sushiable, if that is the correct culinary phrase.

    1. Cameron Colley

      Whale is very good.

      It's like a darker, more irony veal with a slight fishy taste.

      I wouldn't think it would be sushiable as it's not fish, but perhaps you could have a nice Orca Carpaccio?

      1. Alien Doctor 1.1


        I would suggest the irony would come if they kill the whale and eat it then they'd be eating more transubstantiated flesh.

        Hope I got that one right if not the "black helicopters of God's light" will be after me; oh well, whiskey tango etc.

        It's an animal you fucking idiotic conservative religious freaks - get over it.

        Aside: I started watching Stargate Atlantis (yet again) this week and loved what the Wraith Queen "Marta" in S1E2 said to Colonel Sumner - along the lines of "we don't care if our food disagrees with us" - totally off-topic, but again, WTF. (Stargate people will understand).

        1. Disco-Legend-Zeke

          Besides The...

          ...meat, let's not forget the whale oil.

          The last time i bought whale oil, it was $250 per ounce.

          Of course that was a hella long time ago, when it was the only approved lubricant for the spring motor of a BOLEX H-16 or H-16R 16MM camera.

          Since that time, the precision lubrication functions of whale oil have been taken over by the oil of a desert plant known a jojoba, which retails for £50 a liter.

          At the peak of the whaling industry, whale oil was $1200 a barrel, but was replaced by petrolium pumped from the ground.

          These days I stick to getting lubricated with 211.

  5. TeeCee Gold badge

    The Bible.

    I never cease to be amazed at the comprehensive coverage of unlikely situations therein.

    I have to say though, finding that it covers what to do in the case of homicidal zombie revenant* oxen is probably the most surprising thing I've heard so far.

    *I'm guessing that the stoning for the first offence is supposed to be fatal, what with the instructions not to eat the resulting flesh** and all.

    **Probably a sensible warning if they are prone to coming back from the dead. I'm not sure that Gaviscon is up to coping with the level of gyppo tummy that could cause.

  6. Nux Vomica

    Surprised because a killer whale...

    er... kills?

    You keep an 11,000 lb predator in close confinement and train it do do tricks and feel aggrieved when it occasionally gets pissed off and reverts to type? That's the surprise for me.

    It's not a source of innocent fun and education, its cruel exploitation of a dangerous animal for amusement. Until these dimwits figure that out, animals will suffer and people will die.

    1. Aaron Em

      And *should* die.

      Yeah, I said it: I'd like to see something like that happen at a zoo or a "Sea World" every damn day.

    2. Paul 4


      An intelligent, social predator, which naturaly roams thousands of miles in close confinement on its own (or in very small groups)

  7. Anonymous Coward

    I'm all for following the bible literally

    and it was a whale not an ox. This guy is nuts, and god shall smite him for quoting falsley

  8. seanj

    Bible ignored, nightswimmer molested.

    Regarding the 1999 case of the poor chap/stupid retard who decided to sneak a little nightswim with creatures prefixed by the word "Killer", according to the AFA "His body had been bit and the killer whale had torn off his swimming trunks after he had died."

    So it's not actually a run-of-the-mill Killer Whale, it's also a sick, perverted, interspecies necrophiliac killer whale.

    Hang your head in shame, Seaworld, Tilly's about to have sexual assault and "interfering with a corpse" added to her rap sheet. Man, she's going to the chair.

  9. Stone Fox
    Thumb Up

    it's refreshing to see

    someone from the "I have an imaginary friend called jesus" brigade with a sense of humour.

  10. WinHatter

    I wouldnt want to be

    the executioner.

    Stoning to death an Orca type may kill you first.

    Mine's got pebbles.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    If it was a tiger

    nobody would be surprised.

    So why the surprise when another apex predator - in a cage, being made to perform tricks - does it?

    People really are stupid.

    1. ravenviz Silver badge

      Re: If it was a tiger

      No but sea dwelling mammals are intelligent and wouldn't kill a fellow intelligent being. Like what people don't.

      1. A. Coatsworth Silver badge
        Dead Vulture

        here's the catch...

        It wouldn't kill a fellow intelligent being, but have no problems with those beings -barely bigger than a seal- who misunderstood their place in the food chain.

  12. Mos Eisley Spaceport

    Dang these religious nutters

    Why can't they just leave us all alone?

    1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge


      Because God tends to smite them dead when they bother him

      <<runs from divine and not-so-divine retribution

    2. Dale 3


      He's not a religious nutter, he's a very naughty boy.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Ah yes, them olden days

    When people were stoned when they committed adultery. Nowadays, they commit adultery when they are stoned !

    1. ravenviz Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Ah yes, them olden days

      Or commit adultery and get sponsored by the state.

  14. jake Silver badge

    I have a collie whelping ...

    It's almost 4AM, 6 pups on the ground & two to go (hopefully, according to the ultrasound) ... I really don't have the energy to shred this nutball.

    Can someone from the US please show the rest of the world that we aren't really a bunch of religious fundies?

    1. Sly

      Vocal minority

      makes people think the majority think that way. Gotta love the fact that people believe the vocal media ratings grabs over real news... oh wait... real news isn't reported much any more. Nevermind.

      Mines the one with the PDA with the Bible on it in the pocket.

      1. Michael Hoffmann Silver badge
        Thumb Up


        ... or it didn't happen.

        OK, don't need to see the pics of them *during* the whelping, but pics of 8 collie puppies would make this day much brighter!

        1. jake Silver badge

          @Michael Hoffmann

          It happened ... I have pics posted for various folks who participated in the last 40+ years of this blood line. They are available, if you know where to look ...

          It's now nearly 24 hours later, we have 8 healthy pups, and my Ninny is doing a really good job as a first time mother ... I'm a really happy camper. So is mom-dawg-Ninny, which is vastly more important than my opinion! :-)

          Life goes on. Learn to not look like a wounded seal ...

  15. Mephistro

    I just had a revelation

    'the ox shall be stoned, and its owner also shall be put to death.' (Exodus 21:29)"

    You just need to be very stoned or raving mad to use most of this book's 'teachings' in any modern context. Yeah, I love religions, dude!

  16. James 12


    ORCA also know as Killer Whale... What part of this most obvious name do people not understand.

    On the religious subject, just how do you stone a whale I mean what get it out of the water first, or just throw them into its tank...

    Either that or spike it food with a good amount of hash...

    1. Anonymous Coward

      how do you stone a whale

      put hash in the sardines?

  17. R J Tysoe

    It's in the name

    It's just as well they don't keep Sperm Whales in captivity. Imagine the mess that would make.

    Mines the one with Free Willy in the pocket.

  18. Lionel Baden

    who the hell

    I mean seriously who is big enough and strong enough to stone a whale to death !!

  19. Anonymous Coward


    Stoning an Ox may work but I'm not sure that throwing stones at a 6 ton seamonster lurking behind armour plated glass is going to be very effective as a lethal solution.

    1. ravenviz Silver badge


      Please be consistent: either take both metaphors literally or not. If it's a whale and not an ox, it may as well be an Exocet missile instead of a stone.

      Mine's the one with the heavily annotated book of worship in the pocket.

  20. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    Jonah's whale...

    ...isn't killed apparently. But then, it was doing what God wanted, and Jonah survived. In a bible story, though, that doesn't guarantee your safety. God might make you (if you're a whale or another big fish) swallow his prophet, to teach the prophet a lesson, and then punish you for harming his prophet. Because God is * ****.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    I thought it was the American way to kill things

    I guess the whale thought that seeing as he's done the time, he may was well do the crime.

    Forget the sharks, we got humans with frikkin' laser beams!

  22. Dan Salter

    The clue was in the name

    Killer whale. Nuff said.

  23. Flugal

    More seriously

    Was the whale wearing clothing made of mixed fibres?

    And how much gear would you have to use to get a whale stoned?

    I would like to hear the splendidly eye-browed Arch Bish of Canterbury's views on this one, for (im)moral guidance.

  24. lglethal Silver badge

    jonah was a midget perhaps?

    Has anyone consider the possibility that the Orca was just trying to replicate a scene from the bible - Jonah and the Whale anyone?

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Whale / religitard smack down

    I think we should throw the entire organisation's membership into the pool, suitably armed with stones, and see who's god is the most powerful.

    My bet would be on Veles, god of the beasts, but unfortunately he reckons gambling is a sin :-(

  26. ElFatbob
    IT Angle

    Sound principles

    Easy to mock the ancient Judaic laws, but the principles are quite sound.

    Basically if an animal kills someone, then in order to stop a repeat event, the animal should be destroyed. If the owner doesn't do this and it kills again, then the owner is held responsible (for the life that has been lost).

    The death penalty was required for murder and when, by omission of action by said owner a (second) death occured, this was deemed to be the same (legally) as the owner committing murder.

    The underlying principle is simply that human life is held to be more important than animal life.

    Sounds very similar to the legal principles we operate today: - i.e. dog kills child, dog is killed, owner of dog is held culpable by law. Or corporate manslaughter. Duty of care..... Don't here any mocking here.

    Except in this case, there seems to be an exception because the animal is 'wild'. It's a fair point to make as to whether such an animal should be in captivity (personally, I don't think such animals should be kept in captivity) BUT this animal has killed 3 people and whoever has responsibility for it needs to either destroy it or release it.

    And, given it's track record, someone (CEO Seaworld perhaps?) needs to be held legaly accountable for what happened. If they were, you might not find them so willing to keep such a creature in the first place.

    As i said, sound principles but...... mock on, until it happens again.

    1. ravenviz Silver badge


      There can be only two practicalities with this scenario:

      1) Killing the ox destroys that violent gene;

      2) Killing the owner destroys the gene that allows people to be killed without remorse.

      In both cases if either had ever procreated then it only makes sense that any offspring is also put to death. QED.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sound principles

      Of course the essence of various ancient laws often make sense in the right context. For example, "don't eat pig" makes a bit more sense once you've seen the film Snatch and have considered what kind of diet wild pigs might have. But it's the rigidity of interpretation of these ancient laws that ultimately undermines the spirit of these rules and usually sends those advocating them off on wild tangents that at best make little sense, and at worst actively harm people and society.

      Generally, the "ancient civil code of Israel" (Charlton Heston possibly required for the voice-over) belongs in ancient Israel, not in modern America, because human knowledge has refined the source material that produced such a code, confirming some things as common sense that keeps everyone healthy and happy, adding other things that people just weren't aware of back then (and there are plenty of those), and debunking other stuff that amounts to superstition.

      Getting all shouty about a religious text invites ridicule because it implies an unquestioningly rigid view of that text, setting it above the actual knowledge that should be defining how a society should function.

      1. Eddy Ito


        I haven't seen the movie, do they mention trichinosis? I imagine the understanding of cooking by ancient folk wasn't quite up to par with today and rare pork was more common. I also think the quoted passage was more in reference to the potential for the ox to be diseased eg. mad cow or similar. Such diseases would likely have been seen as demonic possession or other related evil and historical tribal knowledge would likely have shown that eating the diseased meat was not conducive to good health. Basically, I think there are reasons for most of what appears in the bible, it's just that they didn't have a good grasp of the reasons and attributed most things to the good word, "Word Up!"

        1. Disco-Legend-Zeke

          If There Were Nothing...

 Old Wive's Tales, they wouldn't have lived to be old wives. The Jews were envied by other cultures because they were healthier.

          Same misfortune befell witches, who, by making soap (thats what's in the big kettle) and practing other healthy habits, avoided the common pestulances of the day.

          It's impossible to ignore a pox, but beer helps you tolerate it.

          1. Paul 4

            People seem to forget

            that these silly laws were not so silly. It may seem odd to not eat pork or shellfish, but would you want to eat them in a hot country with no refridgeration?

  27. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    Hardly surpirsing is it?!

    Keep an animal that roams thousands of square miles of open ocean in a 50m wide pool of water and it goes a bit mental!

    Doesn't take David Bellamy to work that bloody obvious fact out!!!

  28. jai

    physically impossible?

    how do you stone a killer whale? the velocity of the rock is going to drop drastically as it enters the water, you might get a lucky strike if it's close to the surface, but then it'll dive down and there's no way someone could throw a stone with enough speed to hit with any force

    for that matter, how the hell you do stone an Ox without pissing it off and getting gorged/trampled yourself?

  29. Ben Rosenthal

    you yanks still allow...

    primitive organised animal baiting?

    and is it a bigger or smaller draw then the dancing bear or pig faced boy?

  30. Anonymous Coward


    If two swallows are flying south in the same direction, each carrying a coconut....In order to maintain airspeed velocity...

    Bottom Line: These people that think things like this never held a KILLER whale captive. And, since when did they become the great interpreters of the book....please.

  31. Anonymous Coward


    ...always there to put the 'mental' into 'fundamental'.

  32. Graham Bartlett

    @The god-botherers

    So if the Old Testament rule against putting animals to death is really only a guideline after all, how about the other Old Testament rules? Like maybe the ones about gays, treatment of women, and suchlike.

  33. The Indomitable Gall

    Kill! Kill! Kill!

    After killing two humans, there's no way SeaWorld can claim keeping it is safe.

    They have to kill it now, as it's not like there's any vast body of salt water they can release it in to where it will be far away from human beings....

  34. Paul Smith


    Does this guy call himself a Christian or not? If he claims to believe in and follow the teachings of Christ, then "turn the other cheek" superceeds "eye for an eye". Or is that only when it suits them.

    Mines the one with Religous Intolerance on the back.

    1. easyk

      It's Bibles not Bible

      New Testament and Old Testament

      New Testament - happy god; turn other cheek; faith alone can save you(by some interpretatoins); etc

      Old Testament - angry god; eye for eye; gods unbending law; genocide of any civilizatoin that dare oppose god's chosen people.

      1. John Angelico

        Troll alert!

        ...Very definitely

  35. Anonymous Coward

    As the mighty Warren Ellis put it...

    "KILLER whales. Not Cuddle Whales. Not Soft Whales. They’re called KILLER whales. How does this point escape people? "

  36. adnim

    Wild animal...

    kills two humans. Not entirely unexpected, considering the animal my have been stressed in such an unnatural environment. I am sure if this whale was aware of the ten commandments he would have acted differently.

    I think he needs a bigger place to live, preferably the ocean if he is able to survive out there.

  37. This post has been deleted by its author

  38. Anonymous Coward

    No obvious answer

    To release it is to sentence it to a slow death by starvation, but primarily dehydration. It was captured young and will never be able to feed itself nor join a wild pod if released. And if it tried to find some humans to feed it, and got pissed off with them when they turned out not to have a bucket of fish handy, well, that's not going to turn out well, is it?

    Having it put down, in the US, would be likely to cause a bigger outcry from the animal rights lobby than actually letting it kill someone again.

    Clearly this should be enough to prompt a ban on capturing wild animals, and on making wild animals perform.

    The only solution I can think of is to shut down the performances forever and turn the park area into a larger exhibit to let the current animals live out their lives.

    But yes, I think Seaworld should be culpable for this death.

  39. Geoff Mackenzie

    Words of wisdom

    I just can't get over the fact that back in the stupid ages someone decided that was divinely inspired knowledge: "if your ox kills someone, throw stones at it until it's dead."

    Cheers God, nice one, insightful stuff. Any more rules to live by?

  40. Sarah Davis
    Thumb Up

    A Brilliant Idea !!

    I think this idea is utterly brilliant, and completely foolproof, providing it is carried out by the religious entusiasts who suggested it. They should be allowed to take a bag of rocks each and then all of them should jump in the pool (without breathing apperatus - it's expensive and could get damaged) with the 'killer' killer and throw their rocks with all their might - it's just such a fantastic concept! What could go wrong?

    In fact i think it's such an amazing idea, i think they should have monthly tryouts. Round up a bunch of religious. Tie a sack of rock to their wastes, and have them jump in the pool to stone the whale.

    I'm sure that god (if she exists) will arrange for their succes, unless she thinks they're a bunch of ..., in which case she could have the whale smite them.

    I'm sure animal lovers and the anti-religious can see the providence in this plan. Lets get it green lighted a.s.a.p.

  41. Remy Redert


    It's not impossible to stone the Orca to death, even if it's on the bottom of the pool. All you need to do is starting throwing your stones from low earth orbit. They will then impacts with sufficient speed to cause serious damage to anything nearby.

    Do note, you may need some fairly big rocks for this, but since you're throwing them in micro gravity, throwing shouldn't be a problem.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      If you throw the stones when in low Earth orbit, they will just be in low Earth orbit with you.

      Sure, it will gradually get lower in its orbit (well, its perigee will) as the slight atmospheric drag will slowly bring it down, like a lost tool bag, and if it does manage to make it through the atmosphere not entirely ablated it would require huge luck to land anywhere near the ficinity of said whale.

  42. Anonymous Coward

    nothing to see here

    someone spends a few weeks digging thru a conservative/faith site, finds something that fits their prejudice, and tries to make big headlines from it.

    In other news, there was a shooting in Oakland. And somewhere a Chinese guy scammed someone.

    Won't even go into how many young men of a single religious belief are sent with explosives on their back into crowded schoolyards and markets as far away from military and police targets as they can get....

    I wonder if i can submit the racist and tasteless comments from HuffPo and DKOS and get a whole bit of "look how stupid they are" responses?

  43. bubbalouise

    free tilly

    amusing about the bible people who think animals are designed for their abuse.the bible was written by humans to keep other humans frightened and enslaved..there is no big daddy in the clouds with a big deep voice. Keeping whales and dolphins in teacups for profit is cruel. Tilly was taken from the wild twenty years ago and carted around to unnatural places for the amusement of idiots. FREE TILLY.... Those who tell you he can't survive ..that they are sooooo concerned that he can't survive in the wild...are full of poo or have a financial interest in continuing animal abuse. it's quite simple really..good boy Tilly..FREE THEM ALL. Did you know that the Sea world trainers who just LOOOOOVE the animals..beat tilly bloody with huge crowbars to get him to release the so-called trainer's totally , obviously dead body? Did you want to see that video? too real for you?

  44. John 98

    Seriously though

    You can hardly blame the whale, which is a wild animal and may well have been driven insane cooped up in a goldfish bowl, but the company has a few questions to answer when so many people get killed on its site.

  45. John 98

    You cant eat the whale - taint kosher

    Bible bashers (of either kind) should kindly note whales aint kosher so perhaps the best answer is to set it free and then sue the company - IMHO they deserve it.

    And wearing my theological hat - tough on the ox but it encourages the owner to keep dangerous stock under control and if you ignore complaints you just might (maximum penalty) end up dying with your victim. Would sure make drink drivers think. Sense or superstition?

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Aha!!--but what if....

    the Tillikum was merely trying to re-enact the Book of Jonah!

    I'd say that instead of being killed, perhaps the whale should be canonized.

    More seriously, releasing a "domesticated" killer whale will only end up with the whale starving. Its best to just phase out the capture of killer whales and let the current captives age gracefully in their current environments. Dolphins are perhaps not such a big deal, because they are much smaller and you can conceivably capture an existing social group and keep them together in captivity.

  47. Richard Gomer
    Dead Vulture

    But what about the shellfish?

    Do killer whales eat shrimp? 'cus that's also an abomination according to the old testament. At least killer whales don't wear polyester-blend clothing!

  48. ElReg!comments!Pierre

    Aha! But wait, if...

    ... SeaWorld had put the whale to death the first time they would probably have been paint-bombed and boycotted into oblivion by PETA...


    Low orbit won't cut it, and it's too complicated anyway.

    Just use lodestone in a railgun.

  49. Big-nosed Pengie

    Mmmm. Whale

    Give the whale to Japan to make into school lunches.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The clue is in the name....

    It's a "Killer" whale.......duh

    So essentially what is being said is that the whale should be put to death in order to appease the god-botherers imaginary friend? Personally I'd rather get rid of the god-botherers as I'm pretty sure it'd make the world a better place.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Killer Whale Kills

    and in other news, "Water wet, fire hot" expert tells court.

    1. J-Wick


      Fire is indeed hot!

  52. mulder

    animals wich atack put to dead?

    How manny laws are there that if a dog bites a person it has to be put to death?

    So why not for larger animals?

  53. lukewarmdog

    "It's in the name"

    No it's not really. It's name is Tilly and it's an Orcinus orca. I could call my hamster a killer hamster but wouldn't make it so. Even if it did kill someone it wouldn't make the genus killers.

    If the whales were known as killers of humans before they captured it, locked it in a small tank and forced it to perform tricks then the blame couldn't be really placed on the animal now could it?

  54. David Kesterson

    Just let him swim

    He's a big boy - turn him loose. He can swim.

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