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#391131 - 25th Feb 2010 11:58am SeaWorld whale kills trainer as audience watches
StuyMac Offline

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Registered: 24th Nov 2003
Posts: 12002
Loc: Wirralshire
Originally Posted By: Telegraph
A killer whale at SeaWorld Orlando, in Florida, fatally attacked a trainer on Wednesday as horrified visitors looked on.

Witnesses said the 30-year-old, 12,300-pound bull orca named Tilikum, or Tilly for short, suddenly jumped out of the 35-foot-deep tank, grabbed Dawn Brancheau, 40, around the waist and "thrashed her all around".

"He was thrashing her around pretty good," Victoria Biniak, a guest at the park, told the local WKMG-TV. "It was violent."

But Jim Solomons, a spokesman for the Orange County sheriff's office, said the worker apparently slipped and fell into the tank, where she was attacked by the killer whale just before the start of a public performance.

Paramedics rushed to the Shamu Stadium at the theme park, but they were not able to revive the worker.



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#391132 - 25th Feb 2010 12:05pm Re: SeaWorld whale kills trainer as audience watches [Re: StuyMac]
bert1 Offline

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Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7850
Loc: tranmere
If it wasn't a captive and being used as a circus act for entertainment. it wouldn't have happened. Sorry for the girl but this is what happens when you think you can tame wild beasts and the like.
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#391138 - 25th Feb 2010 12:09pm Re: SeaWorld whale kills trainer as audience watches [Re: bert1]
StuyMac Offline

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Registered: 24th Nov 2003
Posts: 12002
Loc: Wirralshire
The article confuses me slightly - one part says the Whale jumped out of the tank, and one part says she slipped think

Did the Whale make a consious decision to jump from the tank? Did the whale die if it actually jumped out of the tank think

...somethings are not clear....
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#391141 - 25th Feb 2010 12:14pm Re: SeaWorld whale kills trainer as audience watches [Re: StuyMac]
bert1 Offline

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Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7850
Loc: tranmere
From SKY

Tom Bonnett, Sky News Online

A killer whale has dragged a trainer to her death during a public performance at the SeaWorld amusement park in Florida.


Dawn had 16 years of training experience.


Dawn Brancheau, 40, was giving a lecture in front of hundreds of people after a display at the Shamu Stadium in Orlando when the whale is said to have pulled her in.

"She was rubbing the killer whale's head, and (it) grabbed her and pulled her in," said Chuck Tompkins, Corporate Curator of Zoological Operations at SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment.

Media reports have said the whale grabbed her by the waist, thrashed her about and pulled her underwater in front of an audience of visitors.

Seconds after the incident, sirens went off and SeaWorld employees rushed in to evacuate the audience.



It was not immediately clear if Dawn fell or was pulled into the tank.


"We don't know what was going through the killer whale's head. It just got done doing a wonderful session with Dawn... his behaviour was great... that's the reason that she was rubbing his head," Mr Tompkins said.

"We don't have any other specifics yet. This is a terrible, terrible situation that's happened, it's a tragedy.

"Our greatest sympathy goes out to her family."

Dan Brown, president of SeaWorld Orlando, confirmed Ms Brancheau had drowned.

He said she had been one of the park's most experienced trainers, having worked there for 16 years.

The Orlando Sentinel said the whale has killed before.

Tillikum, known as 'Tilly', was blamed for the drowning of one of his trainers in 1991 while he was performing at Sealand of the Pacific in Victoria, British Columbia, the newspaper said.

He was then sold to SeaWorld in 1992 and in 1999 was involved in another death when authorities discovered the body of a naked man lying across his back.

Authorities said the man, who had either sneaked into SeaWorld after it had shut or hidden until past closing time, probably drowned after suffering hypothermia in the water.

A former SeaWorld employee told the Sentinel Tillikum is usually kept apart from the other whales and trainers are not allowed to get into the water with him because of his past.
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#391147 - 25th Feb 2010 12:26pm Re: SeaWorld whale kills trainer as audience watches [Re: bert1]
StuyMac Offline

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Registered: 24th Nov 2003
Posts: 12002
Loc: Wirralshire
Originally Posted By: bert1
"We don't know what was going through the killer whale's head.... "


...a large caliber bullet after something like this I would imagine think
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#391150 - 25th Feb 2010 12:28pm Re: SeaWorld whale kills trainer as audience watches [Re: StuyMac]
bert1 Offline

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Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7850
Loc: tranmere
No, just set it free and let it live how its suppose to.
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#391152 - 25th Feb 2010 12:29pm Re: SeaWorld whale kills trainer as audience watches [Re: bert1]
StuyMac Offline

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Registered: 24th Nov 2003
Posts: 12002
Loc: Wirralshire
I guess that depends how long it has been in captivity, and if it has the skills to fend for itself think
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#391157 - 25th Feb 2010 12:36pm Re: SeaWorld whale kills trainer as audience watches [Re: StuyMac]
bert1 Offline

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Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7850
Loc: tranmere
Wouldn't be a problem, the biggest cue of women i ever seen was at the cinema, when it had in big letters outside, Free Willy.
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#391160 - 25th Feb 2010 12:41pm Re: SeaWorld whale kills trainer as audience watches [Re: bert1]
StuyMac Offline

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Registered: 24th Nov 2003
Posts: 12002
Loc: Wirralshire
raftl
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#391164 - 25th Feb 2010 12:48pm Re: SeaWorld whale kills trainer as audience watches [Re: StuyMac]
Rickie_Robbo Offline

Smartchild

Registered: 2nd Nov 2009
Posts: 461
Loc: Birkenhead
here's one thats happened before.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Af67qv5Dzg
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#391165 - 25th Feb 2010 12:56pm Re: SeaWorld whale kills trainer as audience watches [Re: Rickie_Robbo]
StuyMac Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 24th Nov 2003
Posts: 12002
Loc: Wirralshire
...it doesnt appear to be that uncommon either....

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#391166 - 25th Feb 2010 12:57pm Re: SeaWorld whale kills trainer as audience watches [Re: Rickie_Robbo]
bert1 Offline

Wiki Veteran

Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7850
Loc: tranmere
That music makes you do things like that, Oh, we're going to need a bigger boat. raftl
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#391229 - 25th Feb 2010 3:02pm Re: SeaWorld whale kills trainer as audience watches [Re: ]
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#391242 - 25th Feb 2010 3:57pm Re: SeaWorld whale kills trainer as audience watches [Re: ]
nickynocky Offline
Newbeee

Registered: 18th Aug 2009
Posts: 45
Loc: nocky
Humans millions Whales two. R.I.P

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#391273 - 25th Feb 2010 4:41pm Re: SeaWorld whale kills trainer as audience watches [Re: nickynocky]
diggingdeeper Offline

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Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 9675
Loc: Birkenhead
Seen Dawn loads of times, great loss.

They are very careful with their use of words, there have been more accidents but not when a Whale has turned aggressive. One in specific was a male trainer doing a jump with one of the whales and ended up underneath it as it landed, it was reported as fatal but I have not seen an official statement.

Seaworld also introduced new rules about what the trainers were allowed to do after a trainer got crushed between a whale and the barrier, this didn't detract from the spectacular performance they give but just a matter of adjusting the routines when close to the edge.

Despite the large number of people who believe the whales should be freed, I consider the whales enjoy themselves and are stimulated more than when they are in the wild.

Although it is basically Seaworld's own words - These are big intelligent creatures - if they don't want to do something they won't, our training enables the whales to do things they want to do and enjoy. A trainer and a whale have a relationship that is built up over years, a lot of what goes on is on the whales terms not the trainers.

Having watched the whales during shows, training and relaxation time, I am thoroughly convinced the whales are in good hands. When whales are born they have shut the shows down to enable the mother, friend and Baby to use the big show pool (combined to the two immediate pools behind) as Baby whales have some special needs, specifically it must keep swimming, it is the mother and friend's job to "bully" the Baby to keep swimming non-stop 24/7.
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