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SeaWorld trainer killed by a 12,000 pound whale

Posted on Wednesday, February 24th, 2010 at 11:24 pm by

CBS News, Orlando, FL. A killer whale attacked and killed a trainer in a tragic accident at the Orlando SeaWorld show. Witnesses say that the whale leaped out of the water and dragged the trainer under, then continued to thrash her body violently. Dawn Brancheau, a 40 year old trainer was one of SeaWorld’s most experienced trainers. Another witness stated that the whale “took off really fast in the tank, and then he came back, shot up in the air, grabbed the trainer by the waist and started thrashing around, and one of her shoes flew off.”

Tilikum, a nearly 30 year old 12,000 pound bull Orca, was the largest male at SeaWorld. You may remember that the same killer whale was involved at another death at a SeaWorld in July of 1999. This previous case consisted of a man who stayed inside the Orlando SeaWorld after hours, proceeded to jump into the whale’s tank, and was consequently killed.

Controversy is stirring about the idea of euthanasia. A longtime critic of SeaWorld, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, protested that the park should “stop confining oceangoing mammals to an area that to them is like the size of a bathtub”. The organization went on to say that “it’s not surprising when these huge, smart animals lash out.”

Our thought go out to the family, friends and co-workers of Dawn Brancheau.

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One Response to “SeaWorld trainer killed by a 12,000 pound whale”

  1. Felicia says:

    This infuriates me. What’s going to happen to the Orca? “this whale doesn’t usually have swimmers in its tank because of its size and strength.” Seriously??? What about the fact that it has attacked people before. This is Sea World’s fault, not the Orca’s fault.

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