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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
The Fate of SeaWorld's Killer Whale?; American Family Doctor: Endangered Species; White House Social Secretary Steps Down
Aired February 26, 2010 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
SANJAY GUPTA, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. I'm Sanjay Gupta, in for Anderson Cooper tonight.
"Up Close": exclusive new details about what happened after the killer whale grabbed the trainer. Also, new questions, including these: Did the trainer make a fatal mistake? And what should happen to the whale? We will ask those questions to animal expert Jack Hanna.
Also tonight, a truly endangered species: the American family doctor -- why fewer doctors are going into general practice, why health care reform may help, and why, as I found today, it may also make the problem worse. Our "Broken Government" report.
And, later, saving Haiti -- a mother's love for her son. You will see what she went through to find him. He was always just out of reach until the reunion you will also see tonight.
First up, though, "Broken Government": family doctors and your health.
Now, full disclosure. I'm not a family doctor. I'm a specialist, a neurosurgeon. I love my work, and it turns out that I'm not alone. Ask a medical school graduate, and she will tell you, she's going into a specialty, neurosurgery, radiology, dermatology, anything, it seems, but general practice. That's the problem.
Tonight, we will look at the reasons why and what health care reform promises to do about it. It's complicated. But I think you will agree, it's not brain surgery.
GUPTA (voice-over): They are part of American lore, the country family doctor, primary physician, making house calls, fixing whatever's broken. That version of the primary care doctor has long since faded away.
(on camera): And the thing is, the modern-day version may also be close behind, which makes the woman you're about to meet, Nakato, an even more rare breed.
Nakato, how you doing?
DR. NAKATO KIBUYAGA, MOREHOUSE SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: Hi, Dr. Gupta. Nice to meet you.
GUPTA: Nice to meet you.
Now, part of the reason I wanted to come meet you was because you're going into primary care.
GUPTA: And I guess there's fewer and fewer of you. Why -- why aren't more of your colleagues choosing this as a profession?
KIBUYAGA: Well, I think there are several reasons. One of the main reasons is that the prestige, the spotlight is just not on family medicine physicians. We don't have the same reputation like some of the other doctors do in the sub-specialties.
GUPTA (voice-over): Over the next decade, the American Academy of Family Physicians predicts a 40,000 primary care doctor shortage. And that's before any reform of the health care system that could introduce tens of millions of new patients into that system.
(on camera): Which is going to make finding doctors to fill rooms like this even harder.
You know, it's been 17 years since I finished medical school. And, over that time, the number of medical students choosing primary care has slipped by more than 50 percent. And if you want more of a scale of reference, at the nation's largest medical school, the University of Illinois, they graduated 314 medical students last year. Only 20 chose primary care.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People who have insurance can't find a doctor, so, suddenly, we're going to give insurance or give access to health care to a whole bunch of people who haven't had it, without increasing the number of physicians. It's going to be a problem.
GUPTA (voice-over): So, why such a dramatic decrease?
(on camera): How much of this is about money, just compensation?
KIBUYAGA: I think that's a major reason why a lot of medical students aren't choosing family medicine. The potential for financial gain is just not the same as those other fields.
GUPTA: Do you have any idea, what is the average salary of a -- of a primary care physician in this country?
KIBUYAGA: Well, here in Atlanta -- it differs depending on what area of the country you're in, but, here in Atlanta, maybe around $150,000, you're starting off.
GUPTA (voice-over): And that's just slightly lower than the national average of $173,000 a year.
Specialists do make more. Cardiologists, they average $419,000. Oncologists average $335,000. Residents like Nakato are hopeful they will stay afloat.
But, according to a Physicians Foundation survey which questioned almost 12,000 doctors, found half of them are looking to cut their patient load and/or close their clinics because of low reimbursement from insurance companies and the cost of malpractice insurance skyrocketing.
(on camera): All the reasons you have stated as to why people don't go into primary care, you still did.
GUPTA: Why's that?
KIBUYAGA: Well, as a medical student, I realized that I had a very strong interest in pediatrics and O.B. And I just couldn't decide. And family medicine was the perfect fit for me, because I -- I knew that I could practice both.
GUPTA: And Nakato also told me she loves being a primary care doctor. The question, of course, how to get more doctors like her.
Now, in the current bill, there are incentives for primary care physicians, including loan forgiveness programs, and also possible increased reimbursement rates for primary care physicians as well.
There's also this. A new study in "The Journal of the American Medical Association" show doctors cutting their work hours, creating even greater shortages. Some are citing lower pay for services. Other complain of the growing hassle of dealing with insurance company bureaucrats.
Well, we want to really dig into this, some perspective now. We're joined by Boyce Watkins -- he's a finance professor at Syracuse University -- and also a primary care doctor, Vance Harris.
First of all, thanks for joining us.
BOYCE WATKINS, PROFESSOR OF FINANCE, SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY: Thank you for having me.
DR. VANCE HARRIS, PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN: You bet.
GUPTA: Dr. Harris, you know, you made a remarkable comment. You said, given the current situation, being a primary care physician is the least rewarding career you could possibly imagine. It's quite a blunt comment. What got you to this point?
HARRIS: You know, it is a comment that's just -- I think it's alarming when you hear that from someone who has been really excited about being a primary care doctor for the last 20 years.
Insurance companies, drug companies, government regulations, decreasing reimbursement has really had us on thin ice for probably a decade. This weekend, the ice broke through. And this is the weekend where I think things come crashing in.
The latest survey on Sermo showed 26 percent of doctors have either close their office or plan on closing their offices in the next few months. And I think we will see tens of thousands of doctors leave medicine.
And the reason is...
GUPTA: You're talking about primary care physician or you're talking about all doctors here?
HARRIS: I think we're talking primarily primary care, but I think it's hitting people in all -- all different aspects of medicine. When they can't pay their overhead, they're leaving.
And, Professor Watkins, when you hear a comment like that, what -- or who are the primary culprits in this? What's causing this?
WATKINS: Well, I think the important question to ask for the American people is, where's the money? It's not as if the health care industry is short of cash.
We spend more money on health care in the United States than the entire GDP of India, which has a billion people, by the way. The pharmaceutical industry is the third most profitable industry in America. The insurance industry is number nine on the list. Humana made $25 billion in 2008.
So, there's plenty of money going around. But I think that what's missing is that you don't have across-the-board accountability when it comes to what we need to do to provide incentives for primary care physicians.
WATKINS: We know how important they are. We know that they're the first line of defense, and we know that they need resources. But everyone sort of has their stake in a highly dysfunctional health care system, and nobody wants to pay that costs. But, at some point...
GUPTA: A system that people -- right, and a system that people are talking about undergoing some sort of reform now.
Dr. Harris, is the reform that you're hearing about going to be enough to remedy some of the things that you're talking about?
HARRIS: No, I think that that's a good question, in the sense that we have a sickness care system. I don't think we have a health care system.
And our entire system is focused on sickness and illness, not on health.
HARRIS: And if you look what we could do with the funds that we have, if we were to put those kinds of resources into helping people become healthy and reduce the amount of illness and the amount of sickness, it would go a long way toward solving a lot of the problem.
There was a study, what, about a week ago that showed a 40 percent reduction in cancer rates if we would eat a little less, exercise a little more, quit smoking, and drink a little less.
And we spend a lot of money each year on cancer. The problem is, no one is championing the cause of health reform in the sense of health care. All we really have are whole industries that are based on sickness care. Unfortunately that's what we have.
HARRIS: And, unfortunately, that's what we have.
GUPTA: It's very much like we're in fireman mode all the time, putting out these fires.
But, Professor Watkins, when you look at everything that's going on, can the administration right now address this shortage of primary care physicians? You heard the numbers, 40,000 potentially short within the next few years. I have heard over 100,000 short in a couple of decades.
WATKINS: Yes. What has to happen is, there has to be a courageous commitment to reallocating resources within that industry.
We know that the money's there. Everyone wants to pretend that they don't have it. But if you go into a house where there's -- there's plenty of food and there are overweight kids in the house, and one of the kids is starving to death, then you pretty much look at the overweight kids and says, who's eating all the food?
And, in this industry, we know that the money's there. And I don't think that the government has the resources to fill that gap. And we have to realize that, by the year 2030, 20 percent of the American population will be over the age of 65. That means that we're going to have an increased demand for these primary care physicians and the inability to provide that care.
Our GDP is going to drop. Our national productivity drops when our -- when the number of young of people drops.
WATKINS: So, at the end of the day, if we don't find a way to fix this problem, we're going to be in serious trouble.
GUPTA: They talk about loan forgiveness programs. They talk about potentially increasing reimbursements. Maybe some of those things will work -- obviously, a lot more to discuss in the future.
Boyce Watkins, Dr. Vance Harris, thanks so much.
WATKINS: Thank you.
HARRIS: Thank you.
GUPTA: All right.
And there's much more at AC360.com about this particular issue and, more importantly, how it affects you directly. That's where you're going to find a state-by-state map that shows where the shortages of primary care doctors are the worst. Let us know what you think about that.
Also, the live chat is up and running at AC360.com. You can also send questions and comments on Twitter to me at SanjayGuptaCNN.
Up next, though: The woman who was supposed to keep these two out of the White House is now leaving the White House herself. Was the crasher scandal to blame? Or might it have been something else? We have got details ahead.
And, later, does something happen on this amateur video that provides any clues as to why a SeaWorld trainer died? Could she have made a fatally wrong move? And what's going to happen to that killer whale as well?
That and more -- when 360 continues.
GUPTA: Tonight, a high-profile White House staffer is stepping down.
Social Secretary Desiree Rogers is going to resign next month. That announcement comes just three months after an uninvited couple, Salahis, crashed a White House state dinner. At the time, some accused the White House of protecting Rogers from testifying about the security breach, allowing the Secret Service instead to take the heat.
Senior White House correspondent Ed Henry joins us now with the "Raw Politics."
I got to tell you, Ed, I was at that state dinner. I actually saw the Salahis. I didn't know that they were not invited at the time. We know now it was a huge embarrassment, obviously, for the White House.
You have been there. How much of a contributing factor do you think that, what we're looking at now, was in Rogers stepping down?
ED HENRY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, I -- you know, Sanjay, it's interesting.
Today, Robert Gibbs, the spokesman, at one point, in talking about Desiree Rogers, said, you know, she opened the gates to the White House to a lot of people who had not been there before. And I sort of a did a double-take.
In fairness, he was referring to the fact that she lot a lot of poor, underprivileged people into the White House for social occasions, beyond just the Salahi incident. And her friends say she should be applauded by that.
But, by using that language about opening up the gates, it comes to mind the fact that the Salahis did get into that state dinner, a huge embarrassment. And everybody around the White House today was, no, on, it wasn't really a factor.
But, in fact, we were told when that story broke that the president, himself, was personally upset by that, called Desiree Rogers in, and made clear he was unhappy. And that's really out of character for him.
When you talk to the president's senior aides, what they say, he's sort of more like the disappointed parent. He doesn't dress you down. He just sort of -- sort of closes his eyes, makes a face in a meeting that makes clear to you he's not happy. But he doesn't usually dress people down.
HENRY: That shows this White House knew it was a huge embarrassment.
But, in fairness, there were other factors as well.
GUPTA: And let's talk about some of those others factors. It seems like Desiree Rogers had a higher profile than other social secretaries of the past. How was that taken among her colleagues? I mean, did that raise eyebrows?
HENRY: Absolutely. There were Democrats close to this White House that, for months, even before the Salahi incident, that were telling me and others that they felt like it was an embarrassment to the White House that, almost every time they picked up, you know, the gossip pages in New York, they would see Desiree Rogers at some fashion show. They would pick up a glossy magazine, see here in a photo shoot.
And they felt that she was losing sight of the fact that she was not the principal, that she was representing the president and the first lady, that she maybe shouldn't have been so out front.
And, you know, tonight, though, I will point out that Desiree Rogers spoke to my colleague Suzanne Malveaux and was saying that these -- the speculation out there that maybe she had fallen out of favor with Valerie Jarrett and other people inside of the White House because of some of these types of incidents was nonsense, and that, you know, she really feels that she set up the White House Social Secretary Office, put on hundreds of events.
Let's face it, it's a very tough job in terms of the volume of people coming through.
HENRY: You're not going to do it perfectly every time. And she feels like, you know, that she did the job well, and she is just moving on now.
GUPTA: All right, Ed Henry, interesting. Obviously, we're going to keep on top of this.
In fact, we're going to dig deeper now with Laura Schwartz, former special assistant to President Clinton. She's joining us from Chicago.
Hey. Good evening, Laura.
LAURA SCHWARTZ, FORMER SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: Hey, Sanjay.
GUPTA: How you doing?
You know, you were in a role like this. And I was curious to -- I wanted to have you on the show to talk simply just about some of your first impressions. I mean, do you think Desiree's resignation, was that something that surprised you?
SCHWARTZ: No. I was really expecting it any time now.
It's been 14 months since they came into office. There's been a little while since November, when the India state dinner was. I really think -- I mean, this is just me talking here. I really think, here, after the event happened, she then got relegated to the gates, wearing her I.D. badge, checking people in, like she should.
But, again, back to what Ed was saying about those glossy magazines and Fashion Week in New York and things, I don't think that that was the job anymore that she really wanted it to be.
GUPTA: Well, so, do you -- I mean, at the bottom -- at the end of the day, do you think that she was asked to leave, essentially? I mean, she resigned, but was she asked to leave? Or do you really think it was because her job became more menial than -- than she would have liked?
SCHWARTZ: You know, she came into that job as one of the best friends of the Obamas.
SCHWARTZ: And I think it's really difficult to separate friendship. Like, you would hear her on "Entertainment Tonight" and "Extra" referring to, "Michelle would like this," and "Barack would like that." But they are the president and first lady. So, I don't think that she really had that separation between friend and staffer. So, I think it was a really big hit for her personally.
But I have got to tell you, Sanjay, if they had handled this better, I don't think it would be a fireable offense to say, whoa, we screwed up. This is never going to happen again. We have reevaluated the issues in the Social Office, and we're moving forward.
But, instead, when this happened, they sort of threw the Secret Service under the bus for a while.
SCHWARTZ: And that makes it a lot harder to recover from.
GUPTA: Were you surprised -- Ed Henry just talked about the fact that President Obama, himself, essentially gave a dressing-down to Desiree Rogers.
GUPTA: Were you surprised by that? And did something like that ever happen to you when you worked for the Clintons?
SCHWARTZ: No, luckily not.
But I don't think it was not warranted. I mean, when you think about it, here, we had the first state dinner of this administration, India. They talked about great issues about the economy and the world backdrop between India and the United States.
SCHWARTZ: There were a lot great issues that day. But what were we talking about? The gate-crashers. How happy do you think the country of India was with that?
SCHWARTZ: So, it deserved a dressing down, and it should never happen again.
GUPTA: It's a very disciplined White House. And President Obama likes to speak of teachable moments, as you know.
GUPTA: Was there -- was there one here?
SCHWARTZ: I think there was: own up to the mistake and move forward.
The claiming of executive privilege for the reason she can't go and testify or answer questions really is -- that is not the moment to use that executive privilege card. So, I think that they learned a lot from this, as Desiree did. And now we will see what's next.
GUPTA: All right. Laura Schwartz, thanks so much.
Stay warm in Chicago, by the way.
SCHWARTZ: Oh, it's great.
GUPTA: Good to see you.
GUPTA: All right.
Up next: It is snowing. Have you heard? Easy for me to say from the balmy South here, but it is bad. We know that. We will show you how bad, where, and why it isn't over yet.
And, later, what happened to just moments after a SeaWorld visitor captured this video? Did the killer whale's trainer make a fatal mistake? And what should happen to that whale? Jack Hanna is going to join us.
GUPTA: Coming up, we get some new details tonight on the killer whale attack that left a SeaWorld trainer dead. Is it possible the victim made a fatal mistake that led to that attack?
First, though, some other important stories that we're following along.
Brianna Keilar joins us with a 360 bulletin -- Brianna.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Sanjay.
Well, snow, it continues to pound the Northeast tonight in the third major storm of the month. It's dumped more than two feet of snow in some areas, forcing the cancellation of roughly 1,000 flights in New York airports alone.
Also in New York, Governor David Paterson today announced he will not run for a full term in office. The governor dropped his campaign after reports that state police interfered in a top aide's domestic violence dispute. Paterson has asked New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to investigate. Meantime, he spoke to the press today, denying any wrongdoing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. DAVID PATERSON (D), NEW YORK: I have never abused my office, not now, not ever. And I believe that, when the facts are reviewed, the truth will prevail.
(END VIDEO CLIP) KEILAR: Word today that President Obama called former Vice President Dick Cheney to wish him a speedy recovery. The White House said the president called Mr. Cheney Wednesday after his release from the hospital. The former V.P. suffered a mild heart attack Monday, his fifth in 32 years.
And a Hong Kong jeweler smashed world records today, paying a whopping $35.3 million for a rough diamond. At 507 karats, the diamond is one of the 20 biggest high-quality gems in the world, Sanjay.
GUPTA: And I wonder if my wife's watching right now.
KEILAR: No, hopefully not.
GUPTA: Brianna, did...
GUPTA: You just got married. Maybe your husband's watching. I don't know.
KEILAR: Yes, right.
KEILAR: I'm going to go home and: Hello? Hello?
GUPTA: Gosh, we have nothing to say about that.
GUPTA: Brianna, stick with us here. I have got our "Beat 360" winners. This is our daily challenge to viewers, a chance to show up our staffers by coming up with a better caption for the photo we post on our blog every day.
Tonight's photo: Three men walk their dogs in Central Park in the middle of today's massive snowstorm. Lucky dogs.
Our staff winner is Tracey, her caption -- with all respect to Frank Zappa -- "Watch out where the doggies go, and don't you eat that yellow snow."
GUPTA: Not bad. Not bad.
GUPTA: Our viewer winner is Kevin from Atlanta.
His caption is: "Woof Blizzard here, reporting live. Snow slowly turning yellow, one puddle at a time."
KEILAR: That's very clever. I really like that one. I have to say, I think this -- I think Kevin's wins out overall, very cute.
GUPTA: You think so?
KEILAR: And I'm sure Wolf will be pleased, yes.
GUPTA: Let's send him a T-shirt, for sure, then.
GUPTA: All right.
We have got some serious stuff, though, when we come back. Jack Hanna joins us to talk about what this killer whale did to a trainer and what the trainer might have done that sealed her fate.
Then, later: a mother who simply would not give up until she found her son. We were there for that reunion. You get to see it for yourself -- when 360 continues.
GUPTA: We have got some new developments today out of SeaWorld in Orlando, where a 12,000-pound killer whale named Tilikum fatally attacked a trainer.
Officials there said shows featuring the whales are going to resume tomorrow. And the head of SeaWorld praised Tilikum, calling him a wonderful animal that won't be punished.
Also, one former trainer speaking out, saying the victim apparently made a deadly error in judgment.
"Up Close" tonight, here's Randi Kaye.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You're looking at video of SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau. A tourist taped this. It was just moments before the 12,000-pound killer whale, called Tilikum, took the veteran trainer into his mouth and dove under water.
Brancheau sways from side to side. He follows. She splashes him with buckets of water and feeds him fish, a reward for playing along. Then, suddenly, his behavior seemed to change.
The wife of the tourist who took this video described what happened on NBC.
SUE CONNELL, WITNESSED SEAWORLD ATTACK: He grabbed her by the head, and, in a very hard thrust, she went down. And I screamed, and she screamed. And then I started yelling to the other trainer, because he wasn't looking. I said: "He just took her down. He took her down."
KAYE: Earlier reports suggested the whale had grabbed Brancheau's waist. But, today, SeaWorld set the record straight.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our best analysis at this point is, he grabbed her ponytail.
KAYE: Look closely at this video. You can see Brancheau's long ponytail swinging back and forth. But it may not have looked attractive to the six-ton killer whale until she got closer.
The man who trained her says, she made a fatal mistake.
THAD LACINAK, FORMER HEAD TRAINER, SEAWORLD: I think she made a mistake by putting her -- and allowing herself to be that close to his mouth and laying down. That's a -- a pretty vulnerable position to be in with an animal like him. So, I think -- I think, even if Dawn was sitting here with me right now, she would tell you that that was a mistake that she made.
KAYE (on camera): Remember, Tilikum had killed before. In 1991, he and other two other whales dragged a trainer who had fallen into the pool under water at a park in British Columbia.
Thad Lacinak says that's why SeaWorld was more cautious with him. Trainers were not allowed to swim with Tilikum.
LACINAK: He's not used to people being in the water. He -- he was laying there, looking at her. She was rubbing him down. And, all of a sudden, the ponytail was there.
KAYE (voice-over): On this video, you can see what he's talking about. Brancheau is on a shelf that slides out into the pool, laying in about four inches of water, right next to the 22-foot-long orca.
LACINAK: The ponytail drifted there. He probably grabbed it, and -- and pulled her in, and then went, whoa, I have got her in the water.
KAYE (on camera): Lacinak, who has worked with whales for more than three decades, says he's convinced, at least in the beginning, that Tilikum had no idea he was doing anything wrong or hurting his trainer. He says Brancheau, understandably, panicked, and that trauma only got the killer whale even more excited.
(voice-over): The medical examiner says Dawn Brancheau likely died from multiple traumatic injuries and drowning. LACINAK: I constantly remind trainers, never get comfortable, totally comfortable, with the animals.
KAYE: He says there's a reason these whales are called killer whales. And what they may think is a game can be fatal.
Randi Kaye, CNN, Washington.
GUPTA: And Seaworld's decision to basically defend Tilikum is drawing plenty of fire. And then there is the bigger picture, the debate over whether these enormous predators should be kept in tanks performing for audiences in the first place.
Plenty to talk about, and with me now, Jack Hanna, director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo, who supports keeping whales in captivity. Jack has a long-standing relationship with Seaworld; is on its conservation board, as well. Also with us, Russ Rector. He's the founder of the Dolphin Freedom Foundation. He believes whales belong in the ocean.
Let's get right to it. Jack, some of the details just coming in now are terrifying. A source at Seaworld telling us that Tilikum drove -- dove deep under water after seizing the ponytail -- his trainer's ponytail. It took staffers 40 minutes to retrieve her body. What does that mean to you? Does that tell you any more about what happened?
JACK HANNA, DIRECTOR EMERITUS, COLUMBUS ZOO: Yes, Sanjay. If you look at the first interview I did two hours after the incident on Wednesday, you'll see that I said, not knowing the details, that maybe human error was involved. Not knowing anything, just knowing of 42 years of working with animals.
This wasn't, by the way, an attack by any means. The whale saw the hair, something different, took the hair and then took Dawn, who was a very good friend -- I'm still not over that -- down and obviously what happened, happened.
As far as the whales at Seaworld, they're socially, mentally, physically beautifully cared for. Or hey wouldn't be breeding, they wouldn't be eating and they sure wouldn't be living there.
And obviously, I support it for many, many reasons. It's not just education. It's the fact that 80 percent plus killer whales at Seaworld are born at Seaworld. This speaks very highly of their breeding programs.
GUPTA: Russ, I want you to look at some of the video I think we have, as well. You used to train dolphins, and orcas are a type of dolphin. Many of us have seen video of orcas in the wild throwing and playing with their prey. Is this what you think -- you can see the video right there I think, Russ. Is this what you think was happening here? Or do you think something else? Do you think he just snapped? RUSS RECTOR, DOLPHIN FREEDOM FOUNDATION: No. No, this was an attack. This animal has killed twice before. He knows how to kill. He attacked; he killed her. He took her down to the windows under water and displayed her body to the people that were below eating dinner.
Then it took 40 minutes to get him -- get her away from him. They had to take him over to the med pool, which has a false bottom, lift him out of the water, and pry her out of his mouth. Because she was a trophy. That's why. That was an attack. Happy animals -- happy animals don't kill trainers.
GUPTA: It's hard -- it's hard to talk about what has happened here in that context, certainly. But Jack, what about what Russ is saying? Let me ask you the question this way. Can all animals be put into captivity? I mean, Tilikum had been involved at least in three killings before. Was he possibly not right, Tilikum?
HANNA: Well, again, I don't know what Russ's -- I know what Russ's background is, by the way. But the question of an attack, have you ever seen a killer whale attack, Sanjay? While we've been in the wild, when a killer whale attacks, especially go up on the land 10 or 15 feet to get a big old 400 pound sea lion, it's like a bomb going off. That's an attack.
If this was an attack, he sure wouldn't be grabbing her hair, taking her down. And I just don't get into detail like he wants to get into detail. The woman who's a friend is gone, all right? That's not an attack whatsoever by a killer whale. And he should know that if he knows a lot about whales and has studied them in the wild or at least been with them in the wild like I have. That wasn't an attack whatever.
GUPTA: Russ, I mean, so -- I think it's appropriate to not get into some of these details, but go ahead. What were you going to say to Jack?
RECTOR: I was going to say, first of all, that there are no documented attacks on people by orcas in the wild. Only in captivity.
Now, yes, I've seen them attack how they hunt. You're -- blaming Dawn for this, Jack, is like blaming a rape victim for being raped.
HANNA: Did I say I blamed Dawn? Did I say I blamed Dawn? No one -- Seaworld hasn't come out yet with a statement. I said from the very start if you worked with animals...
RECTOR: Yes, they did.
HANNA: ... if you worked with animals for 42 years like I have, I'm just saying that a lot of accidents happen in our business, including with me, my good friend Steve Irwin. A lot of time it's human error.
I don't know what the protocol is at Seaworld. All I know is what I saw. GUPTA: Let me put it to you this way. Was there a mistake made in any way here? And if so, what is to be learned? What is to be learned? What is to be changed in the future?
HANNA: Well, obviously what's learned is, the mistake is long hair, if anything, I guess. From what I saw from the video I studied this afternoon. And obviously, Seaworld will make those changes.
But after two million plus interactions with these whales for 46 years, this is the first incident and death they've had. That's terrible they've had one death. But I think much more good has come out of it.
Dawn, if she were alive today, would want her work to continue and Seaworld's work to continue. I know that for a fact. Twenty-two million people at Seaworld would say that and 180 million people that went to our zoos and aquariums would say that.
GUPTA: And to be fair, there are a lot of people who never make it into the wild, who never get a chance to see some of the animals there. This may be their only opportunity.
Of course, she did have long hair for some time. And it's tough to sort of look at some of that video, still, of her, just in the moments before this happened.
HANNA: Real quickly, she had that long hair, because she was growing that hair, which she going to cut in several weeks for the cancer -- for cancer. She was growing that hair for kids with cancer. Can you imagine that?
How she, her parents, how I feel and other people feel is beyond comprehension. That's why I'm sure she won't -- next week they'll come out with a lot of this stuff. Right now they're trying to let the family and all of us recover, and then we can tell everybody every detail of what happened.
GUPTA: And we know that the...
RECTOR: Jack, let me ask you a question.
GUPTA: OK, Russ, real quick. We'll let Jack take this. Go ahead.
RECTOR: Jack, how many kills does this animal get? He's up -- he's killed three people. Does he get four, five, six?
HANNA: You know something, Russ? I can't argue that. I know what the incident was up north. But the second kill, as you know very well, the man -- you've been in the business -- jumped over the fence, went in there at nighttime, dove down because he wanted to be with the killer whale. and obviously, it was Tilly.
The point is, as you well know, that that can't be Seaworld's fault or the whale's fault. And you know that very well. The first one I don't know about, Russ. This one we all know about. So with that said, you know, I can't see putting the whale out back in the wild. And you know this as well as I do. The animal would not even live two...
RECTOR: He's not going to go back to the wild.
HANNA: Exactly right. I'm saying...
RECTOR: He shouldn't go back to the wild.
GUPTA: And to be clear, Seaworld has issued a statement saying the animal will not go back to the wild. Will stay at Seaworld.
RECTOR: I know that.
GUPTA: OK. So just clarification for our audience. The first two events, one as you mentioned and the second one, I think there were actually three whales involved.
Again, I'm not sure we're going to get absolute clarification or a conclusion here. But obviously, lots to think about. Jack Hanna, Russ Rector, many thanks to you both.
You can join the live chat, as well, happening now at AC360.com. Send your questions and comments as well to Twitter: @SanjayGuptaCNN.
Still ahead, though, the power of a mother's love. What it took to find her small son after the earthquake in Haiti and what that amazing reunion must have been like.
Plus, an athlete, a really good athlete and a scholar. A Rhodes scholar. Myron Rolle has a shot of being at the top of the NFL draft after spending the last year at Oxford University. He's an amazing guy. We have his amazing journey. That's just ahead.
GUPTA: Let's go to Haiti tonight to find an incredible story of hope, strength and determination, about a mother and her child. They were separated by the earthquake. In the weeks after, mother searched for son. She never stopped looking; she never gave up. And this week the two were reunited, and Gary Tuchman was there.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Eclane Noel survived the earthquake, but she's been looking for her 2-year-old son for weeks.
ECLANE NOEL, MOTHER (through translator): He's a very kind boy. Even if we don't have enough to eat, we do it together. We stick together. TUCHMAN: Eclane's home was destroyed. The rubble has already been cleared. Both her legs were injured. Her son, Kervins, though, was more seriously hurt and taken away by military helicopter for treatment. The problem is, no one took the toddler's name when they flew him away. Kervins disappeared.
(on camera) For more than a week, Eclane hobbled on her crutches on the streets of Port-au-Prince, took taxis, desperately looking for her son, going to different hospitals and having no luck whatsoever, until she got here. This is the entrance to the country's largest AIDS clinic. And it just so happens this is where her son was brought.
(voice-over) And where he was for only a while. Eclane met Dr. Vanessa Rouzier here. Though the doctor never knew the boy's name, she remembered him.
DR. VANESSA ROUZIER, PEDIATRICIAN: I met him on the 23rd after he'd had his leg amputated, because he has a severe leg injury that was infected. He hadn't had care for over a week.
TUCHMAN: It broke Dr. Rouzier's heart when she had to tell Eclane her boy had been moved a week earlier. He had been flown to the USS Comfort for treatment.
ROUZIER: And then the red tape starts, basically.
TUCHMAN: Dr. Rouzier flew to the U.S. ship, looking for Kervins. Once again he was gone. He'd been transferred to a hospital in northern Haiti, six hours away from his mom. But at least they'd be together again, right? Wrong. The red tape.
The earthquake destroyed all Eclane's personal papers. She had no legal proof Kervins was her son.
ROUZIER: Everybody starts to panic that, well, they want to do things the right way. How can we prove that, you know, these people that are claiming to be parents are really parents?
TUCHMAN: Finally, after almost three weeks in that hospital, they were reunited. The International Red Cross and the government of Haiti had concluded Eclane and Kervins were, indeed, mother and son.
This was the moment his mother had been dreaming about. It had been five weeks since she'd seen her 2-year-old. The International Red Cross says the delay was necessary.
(on camera) You don't think that it was wrong that it took so long?
JESSICA BARRY, INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS: On the contrary, I think it was right that all the procedures were followed and that now there is a happy ending.
TUCHMAN: How do you feel right now having your son back?
NOEL (through translator): I'm ecstatic. I'm so happy I don't know what to say.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): And then it was time to go home. They returned to a tiny tent in the middle of one of the poorest slums in Port-au-Prince. The conditions for everyone here are anything but good. But at least Kervins is with his mom.
GUPTA: She just took her face and just rubbed it against the little boy's cheek. The 2-year-old boy is so cute. Tough to see him back in that tent, I'm sure, Gary, for you and for a lot of people. What is his prognosis?
TUCHMAN: The prognosis is very good. Kervins' in excellent care in those two hospitals and the USS Comfort. But you saw that little tent. I mean, that tent where they're living is the size of a toy for a lot of children, a toy tent. And the sanitation is abysmal. Their bathroom is a port-a-potty. Their shower is buckets over their head.
That wonderful doctor, Dr. Vanessa Rouzier, she's a pediatrician, and she pledges she will take good care of little Kervins.
GUPTA: Well, that's good to hear, for sure.
I've been down there and saw the same sort of things, Gary, that you did. You know, you do stories like this, but keeping in mind, of course, there are probably lots of others like them. Are there other injured children separated from their parents that you know of?
TUCHMAN: The International Committee of the Red Cross says they have dozens of children right now separated from their parents. The children are too young to talk, so they can't say who their parents are. And they think that a lot of those children may have parents alive somewhere in this country, and they're trying to match them up.
GUPTA: All right. Gary, be safe down there. We hope to see you again soon.
There's much more on this story, as well, at AC360.com, where producer Ishmail Estrada (ph) has written a compelling behind-the- scenes account of what you just witnessed.
Now, a new chapter next, in one of the most inspiring stories we've ever shown. He traded a bright NFL future for Oxford University. Now this Rhodes scholar is ready to play, but as you'll see, he's got much bigger plans than that.
Also Tiger's latest setback. Which brand is dumping him now? The answer when 360 continues.
GUPTA: The scouting combine is under way. As football fans know, it's a chance for pro scouts to check out physical skills of top college football applicants before the NFL draft. One of this year's standouts is attempting something that's never been done before. Myron Rolle, he hopes to be picked near the top of the NFL draft, despite skipping a year of football to study as a Rhodes scholar at Oxford University. He plans eventually to become a surgeon.
Rolle's journey launches our "In America" series, inspirational stories about people whose lives often go unnoticed.
Here's Soledad O'Brien.
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Myron Rolle is on the fast track to having it all.
MYRON ROLLE, FOOTBALL PLAYER/RHODES SCHOLAR: How are you doing?
O'BRIEN: A gifted athlete, he was all but assured enormous fame and even bigger money. Then something happened.
(on camera) You quit basically.
ROLLE: I did. I did. I don't like saying that word.
O'BRIEN (voice-over): from the moment he first touched a football Myron Rolle was a star.
ROLLE: I was pretty good at it. I was bigger than all the kids, so I had some success.
O'BRIEN: In high school ESPN ranked Myron the No. 1 senior football player in the country. Eighty-three colleges made him an offer.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Myron Rolle!
O'BRIEN: Myron chose Florida State University, a prime launching pad for the pros. Myron played safety. His future, a shoo-in first- round pick in the NFL draft last year. Millions of dollars to follow. But that's when he basically quit, when he put it all at risk.
(on camera) So why did you leave? Why did you quit football?
ROLLE: I left football because the Rhodes scholarship was too great to pass up. It was either now or never.
O'BRIEN (voice-over): He won a prestigious Rhodes scholarship, the chance to earn a master's degree in medical anthropology at Oxford University in England. Myron moved to England and watched the NFL draft from the sidelines.
ROLLE: It hurt. It really did. It pained me. Like, inside deep I said, you know, "I could be out there right now making millions of dollars. That could be my name being called." But when I went to Oxford, I said, "This is the right choice." O'BRIEN: He's not done with his studies. He has more to do at Oxford. But now nearly a year later, with that certainty of his, Myron Rolle came back.
ROLLE: How are you doing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome home.
ROLLE: Thank you. Thank you.
O'BRIEN: Sports super agent Lee Steinberg represents Myron.
LEE STEINBERG, MYRON'S AGENT: We have to expose him to the teams in a way that will make them fall in love with him. We want him as top of the first round draft pick.
O'BRIEN: First round. The difference between first round and say, third: millions. Myron Rolle has big dreams for using those millions. After a few years in the pros, he wants to go to med school to become a neurosurgeon.
TOM SHAW, TRAINER: Nice, good.
O'BRIEN: He's got to get back to England to finish his degree. But today he's in Orlando.
SHAW: Push now, push, push, push.
O'BRIEN: Renowned trainer, Tom Shaw, pushing him hard.
SHAW: Pop it.
You can't make mistakes in the first round draft choice. That's how general managers get fired. So you've got to make sure this kid is everything that you expect him to be.
ROLLE: This is (UNINTELLIGIBLE) for me, right here.
O'BRIEN: Make no mistake. Here, no one cares about Oxford. This is business. High-stakes football. Is this guy as good as he was a year ago?
For all of his journey, Myron's had family helping clear the way.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I remember something when we were younger I said -- I told Myron I was like, yes, I always got your back.
ROLLE: Eighty-eight pounds.
O'BRIEN: His older brother, McKinley, followed him to Florida state and then on to Oxford.
And now game on. Myron played well in the Senior Bowl last month. The NFL draft is weeks away. It's pressure.
ROLLE: Sometimes it's overwhelming. Sometime you have to take a step back.
O'BRIEN (on camera): Lots of people have stopped you say, you are the future of black America. Is that a compliment or is it terrifying?
ROLLE: You know, it's a compliment, but it's definitely more pressure, like, hey, we're counting on you.
O'BRIEN (voice-over): So many people counting on him.
ROLLE: You know what "R.S." stands for? Rhodes scholar.
O'BRIEN: For "In America," Soledad O'Brien, CNN, Orlando.
GUPTA: Got to tell you, very few athletes have the drive or the grades or the guts to do what Myron Rolle is doing.
We've been highlighting achievements and contributions of role models and leaders like Myron Rolle all February as part of Black History Month as a way to reflect on past triumphs, by looking to the future with the men and women who are making their own history.
So Myron, good luck in the NFL, and I hope to one day proudly welcome you to the world of neurosurgery, as well. Good luck to you.
Another bombshell now in the Tiger Woods story. We're going to tell you about that, next.
Also, how the Canadian women celebrated their hockey win. We're going to give you a clue. Bottoms up. And the price they're paying for it now. Stay with us.
GUPTA: Just ahead a record amount of snow has now fallen in New York's Central Park. We sent the AC360 crew to investigate. In fact, it's "The Shot" tonight. First, though, let's get caught up on some important stories. Brianna Keilar joins us with the "360 News & Business Bulletin" -- Brianna.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Sanjay, Tiger Woods loses another endorsement deal. He'll no longer be doing commercials like this one for PepsiCo's Gatorade. The company has cut ties with the golfer. It's the third major sponsor to drop him.
Kidnapping victim Jaycee Dugard has taken the first step toward filing a lawsuit against the state of California. You'll recall she was kidnapped as a child by convicted sex offender Phillip Garrido, who held her prisoner for 18 years. His parole agents failed to spot Dugard living in his backyard. Dugard filed a claim against the Department of Corrections to preserve her right to sue.
And Hockey Canada apologized today for its women's hockey team's on-ice celebration of its gold medal. They partied with beer, champagne, even cigars. Now, fans had left the arena. International Olympic Committee said it's looking into the incident, Sanjay.
GUPTA: The cigars, huh? Quite a sight. I imagine the fans would have stuck around just to see that.
KEILAR: Yes. Well, apparently the problem is there was some media there, right? Always the problem.
GUPTA: Media always is the problem. IOC, we'll see what they have to say about this.
Brianna, stick around for tonight's "Shot." We've got an AC360 snow day, if you will. More than 35 inches of the white stuff fell in New York in February. As you know, that's a new monthly record for the city. Also gave us an excuse to send the crew out to Central Park for their own special weather report. Brianna, take a look at this.
CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It's pushing these arms of snow almost hurricane-like arms.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, Chad Myers in Atlanta. This is Frank Romano in New York.
MYERS: Snow continues. It continues for LaGuardia. I love showing you this map.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have all of these great magic walls and monitors.
MYERS: I have to draw it for you. OK, here. So you can kind of see.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would understand if, you know, this was August, but it's winter in New York. We got snow.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Somebody want to give me a hand here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just salting here. Salting. Please be careful. Everyone, please be careful.
GUPTA: Well, that's the end of our "360" weather report. We have some unfinished business. Let's get to it. Good night.
GUPTA: Very nice, guys. Very nice.
KEILAR: That was a nice "Shot."
GUPTA: I think that was the most fun they've had in a while.
KEILAR: I think so. You've got to love a snow day in news. They are few and far between.
GUPTA: That's right. Schools were actually off today, I heard. Just a few times over the last six years. Four times over the last six years or something?
KEILAR: Yes. And of course, we know nothing about it, right? We've got nothing in D.C. It's amazing. But we've had our share for sure.
GUPTA: And we're in the balmy south, as well.
Brianna, great to work with you.
KEILAR: As well with you.
GUPTA: Coming up at the top of the hour, why you might be having trouble finding a family doctor. Stay with us.