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Unfortunate Pelican Eaten By Killer Whale at Sea World Show


A pelican made an unfortunate rest stop in the killer whale tank at Sea World just as the Shamu "Believe" show was underway on Friday. The pelican was quickly pulled underwater by one whale who began tearing it apart and sharing it with the two other whales.

The trainers then tried to distract the whales and herd them into another part of the tank so they could retrieve the various bloodied pelican parts from the water (below), all to a perky Disney soundtrack.

They may be in captivity, but they're still wild animals.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...


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  1. They shouldn't be in captivity to begin with, but that's just my soapbox. I feel bad for the pelican's bad luck, but that's nature, isn't it? The fact that the orca shared the kill tells you even in the tank, they have quite the pod mentality.

    Posted by: Jay | Feb 23, 2009 1:39:39 PM

  2. It's what they do. As I tell my students, "Life is not a Disney cartoon."

    Posted by: KJ | Feb 23, 2009 1:41:53 PM

  3. Birds aint too smart, are they?

    They didn't have any nets with long handles to pick up the pelican pieces? This didn't make any kinda' sense.

    Well, poultry first, human meat next.

    Posted by: Derrick from PHilly | Feb 23, 2009 1:46:18 PM

  4. Why do I find this so hysterical? We take wild animals and put them into captivity, try to smear a veneer of "humanity" on them and then parade them in front of families and kids. And then, nature just does an end-run around our intentions and shows kids what nature really looks like. And it ain't Shamu.

    Posted by: David | Feb 23, 2009 1:47:53 PM

  5. What did one Orca say to the other?

    "Hmmm, tastes like chicken ..."

    Actually, the Orcas were just tired of over-priced, badly made Theme Park food and wanted something healthy and fresh for a change, so they ordered take out.

    The pelican was simply dropping off a delivery and became the main course.

    Just sayin'

    Posted by: SmartAss | Feb 23, 2009 1:48:48 PM

  6. Ahhh, there's noting like revealing to children the wonder of nature.

    Posted by: Marc | Feb 23, 2009 1:50:23 PM

  7. This might be a good time to mention something that happens very often when idiotic people "swim with the dolphins"....the dolphins will get big ole' boners over women and girls and wrap that sucker around them like an arm and pull their ass underwater to fuck em. cute.

    Posted by: paul c | Feb 23, 2009 2:02:24 PM

  8. Uhm

    Pelicans (and seals) are the 2 top natural prey of Orcas.

    Oh well for the poor pelican but nature is nature. The orcas were true to their geneticaly hard wired selves

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Feb 23, 2009 2:03:48 PM

  9. "...the dolphins will get big ole' boners over women and girls and wrap that sucker around them like an arm and pull their ass underwater to fuck em."

    Actually, PAUL C, the only person I ever heard tell of that happening to was a man--a human man. But there was no penetration...guess dolphins believe in safe sex.

    Posted by: Derrick from PHilly | Feb 23, 2009 2:11:09 PM

  10. They shouldn't be in captivity to begin with.
    Orcas are magnificent creatures. The First Nations here on Vancouver Island believe that some Orcas house the spirits of departed heroes.
    They belong in the ocean, not aquariums.

    Posted by: Lars | Feb 23, 2009 2:20:16 PM

  11. This happens all the time @ Sea World. The reason why they were sharing was because they are Mother, brother, and sister. That's Kasatka, Kalia & Nikai (What the trainers call them when they aren't calling them all Shamu). I don't see what the big deal is, and I wouldn't really call their existence as captivity because that would mean these whales were "captured" which isn't true at all! Both Kalia and Nikai were both born in that pool in the video.

    Posted by: Dan | Feb 23, 2009 2:28:44 PM

  12. The last shot looks like the trainers are giving the whales a "stern talking to."

    Posted by: Ray S. | Feb 23, 2009 2:29:11 PM

  13. Ahhhh the "circle of life". And how nice that the killer whale shared with his friends!

    Posted by: Jeremy | Feb 23, 2009 2:44:16 PM

  14. The stupid thing is that they kept the insipid music rolling. They should have faded the music out and gone into marine biologist mode and explained the behaviors being exhibited.

    According to YouTube, this video is a year old, from Feb. 20. 2008. Here's the link and it's in Hi Def, as well:

    This reminds me of a video I saw of an experienced marine researcher out on a small boat observing a pod of Orcas. He noticed them bumping up against a whale and commented that he had never observed Orcas playing with a whale like that in the wild. It was only when he noticed the spreading blood slick on the surface of the water that he correctly concluded that the killer whales were eating the whale, stripping off hunks of flesh. To his credit, he admitted that even with his years of experience with marine mammals, he had been blinded by the whole "Shamu" anthropomorphism.

    Posted by: homogenius | Feb 23, 2009 2:54:52 PM

  15. I like how the crowd almost cheered like it was part of the show.

    Posted by: D.R.H. | Feb 23, 2009 3:01:30 PM

  16. I like to think of it as karma... Anyone remember the YouTube video of a pelican eating a pigeon in London's Hyde Park a year or so ago??? ;-)

    Posted by: John S. Hall | Feb 23, 2009 4:39:59 PM

  17. wow those poor whales. And I feel a bit guilty for making my dog "shake."

    Posted by: Tom A | Feb 23, 2009 5:00:44 PM

  18. That's crazy

    Posted by: Sassi | Feb 23, 2009 5:12:53 PM

  19. Okay, a few things concerning the comments:

    * Sea World is NOT owned by Disney, they are owned by Anheuser-Busch. They are in no way related to Disney.

    * Anheuser-Busch was the first theme park to introduce healthy foods at the parks, and their parks have several sit-down restaurants. These aren't carnivals, you know...

    *Lastly, the company is one of the largest conservation organizations in the world. Their Busch Gardens park in Tampa is one of the largest zoos in the world, and their animals are very well taken care of by experts.

    Just thought I would balance out some of the Sea World bashing going on...

    Posted by: Mike | Feb 23, 2009 5:36:30 PM

  20. YUM Fresh pelican!

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Feb 23, 2009 6:26:01 PM

  21. I'm wishing that pelican had been Don Wildmon, Tony Perkins, or Sally Kern. The orcas might not eat them though, they probably taste like burnt toast.

    Posted by: KJ | Feb 23, 2009 7:27:26 PM

  22. I worked at Sea World as a summer job when I was in high school. The 'Shamus', as Dan said, ate ducks whenever they stopped to rest in their pool. Oh well. Animals eat animals.

    Worse, birds would fly into fans used to cool park visitors. If they weren't shredded in a mess of blood and feathers, they'd be mutilated. Lot's of one-winged and one-legged ducks roaming around.

    Posted by: Jeff | Feb 23, 2009 7:43:44 PM

  23. It's because they don't feed the whales for 12 hours before the show, they keep them hungry so that they will be more inclined to do tricks for food.

    Posted by: Tim | Feb 23, 2009 10:19:01 PM

  24. Well to 'balance out some of the Seaworld cheerleading' by Mike, I have to tell you that Seaworld is a total shithole. Worst vacation ever. I'm not some greenpeace nutter who thinks we should shut down all the zoos and set the animals freeeeeeee, but to take a highly intelligent mammal that lives in the fucking OCEAN and then shove it into a hundred foot concrete kiddie pool to make it do tricks for the rest of its life is bullshit. its a shame it was only a bird that thing ate. highly amusing nonetheless!

    Posted by: Blake | Feb 23, 2009 10:42:02 PM

  25. whats with the gay music, would of sounded better with the kids screaming and the animals handlers with their whistles try to control these animals

    Posted by: jeff | Feb 23, 2009 11:22:38 PM

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