Tilikum Orca Back In SeaWorld Show
November 18, 2011 by staff
SeaWorld restricted trainers from entering the water with killer whales after one of the orca’s grabbed veteran trainer Dawn Brancheau by her ponytail, pulled her into the pool and drowned her.
Prosecutors said SeaWorld should have seen it coming.
Two months before Brancheau’s death, a killer whale killed a trainer at a water park in the Canary Islands.
The whale was on loan from SeaWorld.
SeaWorld trainers were told about the incident and stayed out of the water for two days, but no new regulations were issued.
One SeaWorld employee testified that trainers at Loro Parque made mistakes that wouldn’t happen at SeaWorld.
The prosecution implied the incident didn’t garner enough media attention for SeaWorld to effectively react.
SeaWorld Orlando’s Curator of Animal Training Kelly Flaherty-Clark didn’t like the implication.
“We don’t make decisions based on whether something gets media coverage,” Clark said. “It’s for the safety of our trainers. Nothing like this has ever happened at SeaWorld. This rocked us to our very core. That’s why we’re doing a complete review.”
Since the incident, trainers have not been allowed back in the water with killer whales.
However, Clark said trainers are slowly making progress in getting physical with them again.
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