Killer whale drowns trainer
This is not the first time the whale has killed a trainer, officials say
After a temporary closure, shows have resumed at SeaWorld in Orlando, San Diego and San Antonio following the death of a trainer who was drowned Feb. 24 by an orca at the Orlando park.
The 30-year-old bull killer whale, known as Tilikum, is not performing, however. Officials are taking a closer look at the park’s procedures and investigating what may have caused the whale to attack its veteran trainer, Dawn Brancheau. The 40-year-old woman had been rubbing the whale from a nearby platform when the creature grabbed her long braided hair and dragged her underwater, causing her to drown in front of numerous onlookers, according to The Associated Press.
This is not the first time Tilikum has been involved with human deaths. The whale, which is believed to be the largest orca in captivity, was involved with two previous deaths, one of which involved a Canadian trainer who also was dragged underwater by Tilikum and two other whales in 1991.
Some visitors reported that the whale appeared agitated throughout the day of the recent tragedy. However, park officials have disputed those claims, said Chuck Tompkins, the person in charge of training at all SeaWorld parks.