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General Discussions Discuss Trainer Killed at Seaworld in the Community Center forums; Taken from the Sun Website A SEAWORLD trainer shaken to death by a killer whale was targeted because of her long swinging PONYTAIL, experts said today. Terrifying video footage has ...
  1. #1
    RuddyWDW's Avatar
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    Trainer Killed at Seaworld

    Taken from the Sun Website



    A SEAWORLD trainer shaken to death by a killer whale was targeted because of her long swinging PONYTAIL, experts said today.

    Terrifying video footage has emerged of Dawn Brancheau, 40, giving the animal a "massage" just SECONDS before it grabbed her by the hair at the famous Florida attraction.
    Witnesses told how the FIVE TON whale leapt from the water, snatched veteran trainer Dawn and "thrashed her all around" in its mouth before dragging her underwater.

    Emergency services raced to the scene as the audience was evacuated and the park closed in Orlando.
    Chuck Tompkins, curator of zoological operations at SeaWorld, said: "What we have found out is that Dawn Brancheau had just finished up a very good session with this animal.
    "She was interacting with him, petting him on the nose



    Dawn had very long hair in a ponytail. That ponytail had swung in front of him.
    "He grabbed her by the hair and pulled her underwater and held her underwater."
    Following the tragedy yesterday afternoon, officials have decided that the whale, called Tilikum, will NOT be put down.
    Instead, the male, who has sired 18 others and is regarded as a valuable commodity, will remain at the popular theme park.
    Whale campaigners have blamed SeaWorld for Dawn's death.
    They say it is evidence the huge marine mammals can be a serious danger to humans when kept in captivity.
    But other experts insist that safety risks are worth taking in order to learn more about the fascinating species.
    And today Brancheau's sister spoke out saying Dawn LOVED whales and wouldn't want anything to happen to her killer.




    Diane Gross said: "She loved the whales like her children, she loved all of them.
    "They all had personalities, good days and bad days."
    Dawn had been feeding killer whales after a live show at SeaWorld's Shamu Stadium. About 50 audience members had stayed behind to watch.
    All SeaWorld's whales carry the name Shamu at its parks across the US. Witnesses said the attack was carried out by a whale which also had the name Tillikum.
    The animal a 22ft-long male Orca was regarded as too temperamental to swim with the trainers. And it later emerged that the beast, nicknamed Telly, had killed before.
    Witness Eldon Skaggs, 72, said Dawn was on a platform beside the whale and was massaging it. Then the Orca "pulled her under and started swimming around with her".
    Another man told how the whale "charged" at Dawn as she stood at the side of the pool. Gary Biniak said: "He apparently was upset. He pulled the trainer into the water and was thrashing around.

    "He dragged her underneath the water and wouldn't let her come up. The force by which the woman was pulled into the water her shoes were pulled off, it was terrible."
    Mr Biniak added: "Generally they don't allow any of the trainers to swim with this particular whale because he's so large and has a different temperament."
    Another witness said: "The trainer was explaining different things about the whale, then walked away.
    "Then Telly took off really fast in the tank and shot up in the air, grabbed the trainer by the waist and started thrashing her around. It was violent."
    Tillikum, aged 30, is the largest killer whale in captivity.
    Park manager Dan Brown said Dawn was one of SeaWorld Orlando's most experienced trainers.
    He promised a full investigation into the tragedy, adding: "Nothing is more important than the safety of our employees, guests and the animals entrusted to our care. We have never, in the history of our parks, experienced an incident like this."
    Dawn had worked at SeaWorld for more than 15 years, after deciding it was her dream job when she visited the tourist attraction as a nine-year-old. She had spoken about the dangers of her job, saying: "You can't put yourself in the water unless you trust them and they trust you."
    Tillikum was a star of the Believe show at SeaWorld.





    It was one of three killer whales blamed for the death of a 20-year-old trainer in Canada in 1991 after she fell into their tank. Tillikum was moved to SeaWorld Orlando in 1992. A naked man was found lying dead on Tillikum's back in 1999 after trying to swim in its tank after-hours.
    Killer whales have bitten and attacked SeaWorld trainers on at least four other occasions. Two months ago a whale drowned a trainer at a Spanish zoo.
    SeaWorld in San Diego suspended its whale shows following the tragedy. SeaWorld is one of Orlando's biggest attractions, drawing millions of visitors each year.
    *** shame golfer Tiger Woods' children were recently taken to see the show there by his wife Elin's sister.


    Awful, Awful news and my thoughts go out to her friends and family.

    The Sun is a little bit of a trashy paper though to be honest and i'd take parts of the article with a pinch of salt, it says the whale has killed 2 others before. With a little research the trainer killed in 1992 was in an enclosure where there were two other female pregnant killer whales so it was likely protecting them. The male found dead on the back of the whale a few years later was some brainless idiot who decided to go swimming with the whale hours after the park closed and was found to have died of hypothermia.

    Like I say terrible news but I feel the press have gone OTT with some of the claims about the whale.


    Ruddy

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    Re: Trainer Killed at Seaworld

    That particular whale has killed three people now. One in Canada, they called it intentional; one who snuck into it's enclosure (I call that stupid), and now this one. They said the whale was acting cranky and disobedient before the show. HMMM< reckon it just did not feel good and lacked the verbal skills to communicate that so it was acting out?

    I think they should release this one and let it be a whale again. If that can be safely done.
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    Re: Trainer Killed at Seaworld

    She was from Indiana, and I believe born in Illinois. Her funeral has been all over the news today here. Sad. I admire her families strength.
    Some people are like Slinkies.

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    Re: Trainer Killed at Seaworld

    Some people are like Slinkies.

    They aren't really good for anything,
    but they still bring a smile to my face when I push them down a flight of stairs.

    Friends are Gods way of apologizing to us for our families.

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    Re: Trainer Killed at Seaworld

    What would be the likely consequence if, God-forbid, it happened again?


    "I really hope that people won't cherry-pick my quotes in the future
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    Re: Trainer Killed at Seaworld

    My thoughts too. This particular whale just doesn't seem to be tame enough to be part-of-the-show.

    I also find it disrespectful to the family who was gracious in her untimely death. I think this is why so many families sue, it isn't for the money, it is for the principle.

    I'm sure that is why the Mom sued over her sons death on the monorail.
    She pushed it so this wouldn't happen to someone else child.
    Some people are like Slinkies.

    They aren't really good for anything,
    but they still bring a smile to my face when I push them down a flight of stairs.

    Friends are Gods way of apologizing to us for our families.

  7. #7
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    Re: Trainer Killed at Seaworld

    Were Seaworld not being taken to court over this incident last December? How or why are they putting that whale back into shows when it clearly has some sort of issues with doing tricks and what not. I thought they had decided to isolate that whale after it's third killer (Although I saw the video clips around and I know it's a terrible tradegy but I still think the whale thought he was playing. she was dancing in front of him and her hair was flopping from side to side when we went to discovery cove they told us not to have anything dangling cos the dolphins would think it was something to play with and pull it so maybe the whale thought her hair was something to play with.)


    Also just watched the vids on youtube he's only beign used for the splashy bits.
    Last edited by petals3485; 04-01-2011 at 11:01 PM.


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    Re: Trainer Killed at Seaworld

    Quote Originally Posted by petals3485 View Post
    Were Seaworld not being taken to court over this incident last December? How or why are they putting that whale back into shows when it clearly has some sort of issues with doing tricks and what not. I thought they had decided to isolate that whale after it's third killer (Although I saw the video clips around and I know it's a terrible tradegy but I still think the whale thought he was playing. she was dancing in front of him and her hair was flopping from side to side when we went to discovery cove they told us not to have anything dangling cos the dolphins would think it was something to play with and pull it so maybe the whale thought her hair was something to play with.)


    Also just watched the vids on youtube he's only beign used for the splashy bits.
    But how long before they expand his role in less than a year they already put him back in the show.
    Some people are like Slinkies.

    They aren't really good for anything,
    but they still bring a smile to my face when I push them down a flight of stairs.

    Friends are Gods way of apologizing to us for our families.

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    Re: Trainer Killed at Seaworld

    Why hasn't this mammal been put out to "pasture" by now?
    Do they just not want to admit that some wild creatures don't want to be/can't be "trained"?
    How arrogant, if so. And, if so, it's obvious that the humans in this mammal's charge won't even allow themselves to be "trained" to that fact.
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    Re: Trainer Killed at Seaworld

    I don't think they can release him though cos he's proven to be dangerous to humans so he might harm another animal or something I dunno... If you look at the videos from the first day he was back in the show though on you tube in the first show he seemed to do everything he was meant to but the second show he kinda skipped some bits and swam around. I really think they should stop using the poor frustrated whale like that and stick to the little ones for the show.


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    Re: Trainer Killed at Seaworld

    This little critter just seems to have a mind of his own, does what he wants when he wants. I just don't have a good feeling about this.
    Some people are like Slinkies.

    They aren't really good for anything,
    but they still bring a smile to my face when I push them down a flight of stairs.

    Friends are Gods way of apologizing to us for our families.

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