Thursday, February 25, 2010

40 Days of Lent: Day Nine

Neko Case, Modern Day Nostradamus

I saw the below article online this morning:

Whale drags trainer off platform in fatal attack

By MIKE SCHNEIDER, Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. – A veteran SeaWorld trainer was rubbing a killer whale from a poolside platform when the 12,000-pound creature reached up, grabbed her ponytail in its mouth and dragged her underwater. Despite workers rushing to help, the trainer was killed.

Horrified visitors who had stuck around after a noontime show watched the animal charge through the pool with the trainer in its jaws. Workers used nets as an alarm sounded, but it was too late. Dawn Brancheau had drowned. It marked the third time the animal had been involved in a human death.

The whale, named Tilikum, apparently grabbed Brancheau by her long ponytail, according to the head of animal training at all SeaWorld parks, Chuck Tompkins. He told ABC's "Good Morning America" that her ponytail swung out in front of the whale.

"That's when the trainer next to him (Tilikum) said that he grabbed the hair, pulled her under water. And of course, held her under water," Tompkins said...

[A witness] said he heard that during an earlier show the whale was not responding to directions. Others who attended the earlier show said the whale was behaving like an ornery child.

No, the whale was behaving like what it was: a wild animal. While reading the story, all I could think of was Neko Case's remarkably prescient song People Got A Lotta Nerve, released in 2008:

You know they call them "killer" whales?!
But you seem surprised when it pinned you down
To the bottom of the tank
Where you can't turn around
It took half your leg and both your lungs
"When I craved I ate hearts of sharks, I know you know it!"

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