When killer whale Tilikum killed his trainer, Dawn Brancheau, two and a half years ago, David Kirby started work on a book, “Death at SeaWorld.” He wanted to explore the world of orcas and to understand why these enormous, magnificent apex predators, who have never been known to kill a human in the wild, become so enraged in captivity that they have killed and injured many trainers and others at places like SeaWorld.
Why, too, do so many of the orcas themselves die young in captivity – from crashing into each other, from infections, even from mosquito bites.
The book reads like a whodunit, and yesterday Kirby, who is currently on book tour, was at the Barnes & Noble store at Emory University in Atlanta. He talked about his experiences visiting orcas in the wild and in captivity, and the stories of the people who are working to protect them in the wild and bring an end to keeping them in captivity.
This is a 45-minute video, introduced by Dr. Lori Marino, who is also our science advisor here at Earth in Transition.