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Pretty_Lilly's avatar

Would you intervene with the course of nature if you witnessed an animal to animal attack?

Asked by Pretty_Lilly (4655points) April 13th, 2010

Last Sunday,off the coast of Washington near Puget Sound,a roving pack of killer whales attacked an adult gray whale.If you would have been there and witnessed the occurrence and could have intervened in any sort of way to stop the attack,would you have done so or would you just let nature take it’s course ! If so would you have stayed and watched as I heard such attacks can be quite gruesome to witness.
*by intervene,I mean blow an air horn/make very loud noise or if you’re in a big enough boat to ram the killer whales or block them from reaching the gray whale!

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41 Answers

Sophief's avatar

I hope I never witness such things. I have seen cats fight and I do go over and stop them. I hate anything with cruelty to animals, even animal on animal. I hate watching wildlife programmes when the bloody cameraman to does nothing when they are killing each other, but as people say, that’s nature.

ragingloli's avatar

No I would not have intervened.
Unlike human animals, non-human animals generally do not kill other animals for fun, but for food. Who am I to interfere with their dinner?

Blackberry's avatar

I don’t really know to be honest, I’m leaning more towards not interferring though. The reason I say this is because large cats are owning gazelles elsewhere so it doesn’t matter anyways, it’s nature.

tinyfaery's avatar

I have hosed cats to stop them from fighting. But interfere with whales? Uhh…no.

rahm_sahriv's avatar

Nature is nature, in the case you mentioned I would not intervene.

If it was a dog attack, such as someone’s pet being attacked by another pet, yes.

JeffVader's avatar

Ummmmm, in all honesty I think it would depend on the animals involved. I certainly wouldn’t intervene in the attack you describe. However, I would for most land mammals, & the odd bird, like Geese or Swans… or Mallards.

john65pennington's avatar

Every heard of a feeding frenzy? this is the same situation with the whales, except there is a lot more weight involved. to be honest, would could you do? blowing a horn means nothing to a huge whale. and, since i would value my own life on the ocean, i would simply turn my boat around and head the other direction. this is how mother nature keeps the animal population in check. we may not like it. but, thats the way it is.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I wouldn’t be able to watch, that’s for sure. I also don’t think nature is ‘just nature’ these days – we, as humans, affect how nature takes course sometimes because of our effects on it.

gurnblansten's avatar

If you start breaking up fights between whales, where do you draw the line? Tell all the lions and tigers to turn vegan? Next you’ll try pulling the troops out of Iraq! It’s a slippery slope!

wilma's avatar

I couldn’t watch the carnage, but I know it happens and will continue, as it must.
As for pets and other small animals near me yes, I would interfere if I was able. Such as cat fights, dog fights, bunnies being attacked by cats, baby birds being tormented by Blue Jays etc.

beautifulbobby193's avatar

One must allow these creatures to feed. This is uninterupted nature. Two pets fighting is a different story as they are not wild animals and behave differently once domesticated. The cameraman should never interfere.

rahm_sahriv's avatar

@Simone De Beauvoir Humans have no right to intervene when a wild animal is seeking its meal against another wild animal.

Who exactly are we to ‘affect how nature takes its course’ when it comes to wildlife. I think we have done and continue to do enough damage already.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@rahm_sahriv I agree with you. Notice I didn’t say I would intervene. My point was to point out another matter entirely.

Pretty_Lilly's avatar

@john65pennington You would be surprised of what you can do with an air horn,,,Yes if you blow it 5 feet above the water it would have no affect at all but if you submerge it partly in the water it definitely has affect on the marine life (remember sounds travels faster in water than air)
Also a heavy duty cattle prod zapped in the water will scare away anything within a mile,whether it is a whale,killer whale or a shark !
I believe both are illegal though !

earthduzt's avatar

No I would not intervene, Orcas have to eat also. It’s a whale eat whale place out there. Let nature take it’s course it’s all natural no matter how gruesome it seems to be.

Trillian's avatar

Who am I to interfere with mother nature? I don’t think I’m qualified. If another cat or a dog attacked my cat, I’d step in, but in the wild? Orcas have to eat. They’re predators. The whale could have been old, sick in some way, or not. But I don’t have the right to tell a hungry Orca to find something else to eat because witnessing up close something that occurs everyday is too bloody and gory for my tastes.

iphigeneia's avatar

With wild animals I would let them be. I’d actually rather sit by and watch them fight, it’s fascinating. Domesticated animals I would try to stop. Partly because they’re probably someone’s pet, and partly because they’re probably annoying the neighbours.

ucme's avatar

Err no of course not.As has already been established this is merely nature taking it’s course.The notion that it’s cruel to the prey so anyone may intervene is fundamentally flawed.Denying the predator it’s meal would be an act of cruelty in any such case.Leave well alone I say.

DarkScribe's avatar

Wouldn’t my intervention also be a part of the course of nature?

Just like any animal, I would be following my natural instinct. If my instinct is to protect a weaker species, surely that is not “unnatural”?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@DarkScribe Not a bad point – those lines have always been blurred.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

It human vanity that intervenes in this situation. Nature is a savage place that doesn’t jive with our comfortable of civiliation.

Our attempts to impose our will on the wild usually don’t work out so well. What if the killer whales die because they didn’t feed on the grey whale?

earthduzt's avatar

@DarkScribe we are animals yes, but we are animals with reasoning and able to make decisions, manipulate and change our environment. We do not act purely on instict alone like the whales and lesser mamalia do. So really our natural instict would be to make a decision and know that it is mother nature taking it’s course and not to intervene

DarkScribe's avatar

@earthduzt So really our natural instict would be to make a decision and know that it is mother nature taking it’s course and not to intervene

No, not “our” natural instinct – yours possibly. My instinct IS to protect smaller and more helpless creatures, and no amount of “reason” on my part obviates that part of my nature. Reason does not always agree – as we see everyday on Fluther and elsewhere. When I was younger (pre-teen) in the lambing season I would shoot crows every day to stop them picking the eyes out of newborn lambs. I got a shotgun for my tenth birthday and when on my uncle’s farm I would be given a box of shells every morning to go and shoot crows. I got to be a very good shot – crows are hard to hit – they dodge. In those days that was legal – nowadays crows are a protected species. I will still shoot them in some circumstances regardless of the “Green” biased laws.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@earthduzt The why doesn’t our ‘reasoning’ make us stop before people like this get to make any decisions?

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

A human trying to break up a fight between whales: oh that’s cute.

Does the human have a cape and a vulnerability to kryptonite too?

earthduzt's avatar

@DarkScribe well a blue whale is not smaller than an Orca. If you saw a python going after a mouse it would be your instict to stop that python from eating? I guess the python would then die of starvation. Protecting your herd from crows or wolves are different, that is your property esentially, whales are wild animals and need to eat. They don’t just kill it for fun, well I’m sure orcas being intelligent creatures have fun doing it but they will eat it. We can decipher whether or not we should intervene in such matters, my instict tells me..“oh the orcas must be hungry”...of course I would feel sorry for the blue whale, but all animals need to eat, so at that point I would just let nature take its course. I wouldn’t shoot a lion if it attacks a zebra that is not in my instict at all. If I had a bunch of chickens and saw a wolf in the hen house attacking the chickens eating my “bread and butter” to protect my property.

DarkScribe's avatar

@earthduzt If you saw a python going after a mouse it would be your instict to stop that python from eating?

Only if it was being greedy and taking a meal from one of my other Pythons. (I keep them as pets – though they are not confined the come and go as they please.) Most of the Pythons here eat rats or possums, not mice. If I see one heading for a possum I’ll often shoo the possum away. The Pythons have plenty of (to me) more suitable wildlife on hand.

What we are talking about here is MY nature and my responses based on that nature – not whether I am wrong or right – that will not be changed regardless of how many disagreeing opinions are expressed to me. I am not alone, many people have similar responses to mine.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

I wouldn’t intervene – I’m not sure what purpose that would serve – it’s one life or another either way, it’d just be less gruesome at that moment so maybe I wouldn’t have to witness it. I could probably witness it from the standpoint of “This is nature, and nature interests me.” But it would be difficult and not something I would seek out.

Trillian's avatar

@DarkScribe What is your definition of “more suitable”? Would you like someone to arbitrarily take food away from you that they felt was not as suitable as something else? Just sayin’.

earthduzt's avatar

@DarkScribe then I would hate for you to be around if I were that Orca…kill me, scare me, threaten me just because I wanted to get some food because I’m hungry.

DarkScribe's avatar

@Trillian Would you like someone to arbitrarily take food away from you that they felt was not as suitable as something else?

That would want to be a very BIG someone.

If the snake needed food to survive I would not interfere – as it is they have abundant wildlife and so I will try to protect the wildlife that I like and am friendly with. Such as possums that we handfeed. Regardless – this is how I am and how I respond – it isn’t about to change. We all have preferences – would you treat a cockroach with the same consideration as a hungry puppy? Do you deliberately feed vermin?

tragiclikebowie's avatar

I would not intervene mostly because I don’t think I’d know what to do and because Orcas can be pretty ruthless and who knows if they would attack/ram my boat (and potentially try to eat me). In general though, it is my nature to protect/save animals. My mom and I have brought home many an injured wild animal during my childhood to try to nurse it back to health, usually unsuccessful due to wounds or illness. However in other situations, I would intervene, especially if humans are involved (including bugs).

earthduzt's avatar

@tragiclikebowie that is ok, intervening with an animal that has been hit by a car or fell out of a tree is understandable and definately if humans are involved (such as clubbing seals or something) but we are talking about animals that need to eat. If everyone intervened everytime an orca wanted to eat then we wouldn’t have orcas, lions, tigers, polar bears, hyenas, cheetahs…or any other top predator for that matter

DarkScribe's avatar

@earthduzt then I would hate for you to be around if I were that Orca…

Why? I have not said or implied that I would interfere with the whales. I cannot offer them an alternative in the way of food and I like whales – all species.

I have however interfered between sharks and dolphins. Dolphins like boats – sharks don’t. I like Dolphins, and I have no time for sharks. We are talking about the course of nature, and my nature, with regard to who and what I favour or dislike and the way that I instinctively respond is as much a part of nature as any other animal’s instincts.

wilma's avatar

@ragingloli you said “Unlike human animals, non-human animals generally do not kill other animals for fun, but for food.”
I know you said “generally” and that may be true, but not always.
I have seen my well fed cat kill purely for sport. She always loved a challenge and would go to the town dump to hunt. She would bring back an unusually large rat and play with the still alive creature. Tossing it in the air and catching it again. When she was finished with her play she would kill it, then deposit it at my feet as if showing off her trophy. ( or perhaps she thought I needed to eat better) She was a very small but proud Kitty and liked showing off a bit. :-)

earthduzt's avatar

@DarkScribe I understand that, but the original question was interfering with the orca attacking the blue whale. Not which animals we would save or protect over another one. We all have our favorites and of course most of us would protect our favorites. This question though was regarding the interference of a whale killing another whale for food.

Berserker's avatar

No way. First of all, it’s not my role to fuck with nature more than I already do, and second, I don’t know much about animals, but I do know that, usually, what they do is necessary.

Which brings me to number three; if I decide to intervene a pack of killer whales from getting their dinner by blowing a horn or making loud noises and manage to freak em out, they might attack my boat, or worse, what if I freak out the Gray whale; which, being attacked, is already freaked to hell?
I could get myself hurt, nice one.

And ram a pack of fucking killer whales with my boat? Get in their way? Fuck that.

No, let nature takes its course.

DarkScribe's avatar

@earthduzt but the original question was interfering with the orca attacking the blue whale. Not which animals we would save or protect over another one.

We don’t always post only in response to the original question. Haven’t you noticed that? They are called “threads” – one person says something, and another person might respond either to the OP or a later post. As you have made several posts in this thread in response to me and not to the OP, I think that you must already realise this.

PacificToast's avatar

@Symbeline XD Perfectly said. We mess with nature too much already, why bother? God made it that way.

mattbrowne's avatar

You mean stop the leopard before it kills the antelope? And feed it cat food? What makes killing pigs in a slaughterhouse more ethical than killing antelopes in nature? Or should we turn leopards into vegetarians offering it protein-rich soy beans?

Killer whales or leopards doesn’t matter. They’ve got a right to hunt.

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