Wired: You believe that attacks on trainers, such as Tillikum on Dawn Brancheau and Keto on Alex Martinez and other incidents that havent received so much attention, or didnt end in death are the animals acting out their stress.
Ventre: Yes. They dont attack humans in the wild. Ive personally kayaked and been in many boats alongside them. They ignore humans in the wild. They dont hurt people. What weve seen in these injuries to people is a direct byproduct of the stress associated with captivity.
Wired: Is there a way to make captivity ethical and safe for killer whales?
Ventre: No. Its just a function of their size. All killer whales in the wild are essentially athletes. Their home is their pod. When you extract them from the ocean, where they swim 100 miles a day, and drop them into a fishtank, youre taking away their ability to exercise. Youre taking away their food choices. Most of them are living in northern altitudes, up in Oregon or British Columbia or Alaska or the Arctic, and youre asking them to live in Florida. Theyre breaking their teeth and eating carrion.