By now you've no doubt heard about the tragedy at SeaWorld, and people are wondering why Tilikum would do something do such a thing to his own trainer.
Consider this: Tilikum was kidnapped, separated from his family, has no real friends, no meaningful sex besides coerced mating, and is confined to a tank the size of a kiddie pool.
If any sort of entities did the same thing to you, you might eventually try to kill your captors too. As Captain Pike told the Talosians, humans prefer death to captivity. Orcas, being even more sensitive and intelligent than humans, clearly feel the same way.
Amazingly, some are calling for Tilikum to be put down and destroyed. We say Tilikum was acting in self-defense.
Thankfully, SeaWorld, is announcing that Tilikum will not be killed, but of course, they're merely saying that because they don't wish to gut their golden calf or kill their cash cow.
Raymond Graham, writing in the Times Colonist, says it best:
The death of Dawn Brancheau is tragic -- but not more so than the last 28 years of slow death that Tillikum has experienced and the similar experiences of other highly intelligent creatures.