Free Tilly – und alle Zirkustiere

MELBOURNE – Im vergangenen Monat schnappte ein Wal im Sea World Freizeitpark in Florida die Trainerin Dawn Brancheau, zog sie unter Wasser und schleuderte sie herum. Rettungskräfte konnten Dawn Brancheau nur noch tot bergen.

Der Tod der Trainerin ist eine Tragödie und man kann ihrer Familie nichts anderes als Mitgefühl entgegenbringen. Doch der Vorfall wirft weitreichendere Fragen auf: Handelte es sich um einen gezielten Angriff? Hat der Wal, ein Orca namens Tilikum mit dem Spitznamen Tilly, stressbedingt gehandelt, weil er in einem sterilen Betonbecken in Gefangenschaft gehalten wird? War er es leid vor einem vergnügungswilligem Publikum auftreten zu müssen? Ist es richtig so große Tiere auf so engem Raum zu halten?

Tilly war vorher schon in zwei Todesfälle verwickelt. Bei einem Vorfall war ein Trainer ins Becken gestürzt und wurde von Tilly und zwei anderen Walen ertränkt. Bei einem weiteren Zwischenfall war ein Mann, der sich offenbar nachts, nachdem Sea World geschlossen war, Zugang auf das Gelände verschafft hatte, tot in Tillys Becken aufgefunden worden. Eine Autopsie hat ergeben, dass er eine Bisswunde hatte. Einer von Tillys Nachkommen, der an einen Freizeitpark in Spanien verkauft wurde, hat ebenfalls einen Trainer getötet, genau wie Orcas in anderen Parks.

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