I’ve always said that anything with teeth, claws, size, barbs, spines, or appendages can hurt you. Yesterday, the media went into some perspectives regarding animal attacks. Here is an article with video from the Today Show on why animals attack. They also showed a spoof video of an orca anchoring the show.
“True to their wild nature” is something I have said but also recent research has found that captive animals also suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. In early works I discovered that animals with unstable backgrounds, inconsistency in handling, and other similar contributing factors were more inclined to be fearful or aggressive. Recent research is now correlating that theory.
Elephant research has correlated instability to something akin to post traumatic stress syndrome. (Which http://www.arkanimals.com will publish in an article in January.) More and more wild animals are being born in captivity and do not fall into this category, however there are still many wild caught animals who witnessed the slaughter of their kin and other such human activities.
Obviously, the answers are not so simple and determining just what the cause was for the attack on Ken Peters, the orca trainer has not been released. Minor altercations with animals occur and trainers must always be in top form physically and mentally to deal with wild animal charges.