The problem is, most of his supposed stuff "if you believe all that"… no one with working brain cells do. Really. If you had no real training experience, new to the world of clicker training, new to positive training, unaware that positive training does NOT mean you can ignore a dogs genetic/innate instincts nor that you only reward and no sort of punishment is ever involved <gasp>in training by positive trainers, then this article might be some eye opener. Well no, it wouldn't. It would lead you to think that GW is some guru and other trainers idiots that actually believe the crap he wrote. I for one am sorry you posted it... I really respect a lot of his work and writings, but this one, not so much.
It isn't that his comments are not true... of course animals don't perform perfection! Clicker or any training does not produce robots. The living organism has quirks, off days, days they want to not do it right. Of course an Orca or any wild animal may kill someone. The idiots who "tame" lions etc and think they are now domesticated often get a wake up call and those who KNOW they are playing with fire know they are on borrowed time til something happens (Siefried and Roy).
But others he makes are ridiculous and insulting to others. To pretend that real trainers/experts equate training with any animal knowing their action is WRONG and not simply what the trainer doesn't want it is anthropomorphic. And I doubt the sea world spokesman who uttered such nonsense >”It’s a natural behavior that occurs in the wild. We couldn’t have known this might happen.”< is an expert. We won't go into my feelings on folks who sell their soul to work with places like that and most zoos. But that outrageous comment is NO indicative of regular positive trainers, for crying out loud. Understanding the instincts of the animal you are working with is a very BIG part of training.
So for me, it simply was a muddled bash on something that doesn't exist in real trainers (ie they think positive reinforcement can do it ALL including overcome instincts, or that negative reinforcement alone can overcome unwanted behaviors). Most real trainers recognize that some behaviors require more than a clicker.
And most people aren't really stupid enough to be shocked at the trainer/orca incident. What idiots say to try to avoid a lawsuit isn't the same as what people think. And his list of those comments had me shaking my head. Now I am off to see if Wilkes has lost favor in general because that article sure turned me off him.</gasp>