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Thread: Orca kills trainer at Sea World in Orlando while guests watch

  1. #46
    Elite Member bellini's Avatar
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    if your ox kills a second time, "the ox shall be stoned, and its owner also shall be put to death."
    Seaworld executives get in line.

  2. #47
    Elite Member Moongirl's Avatar
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    Default Trainer's autopsy has been released

    Autopsy: SeaWorld trainer died from drowning, traumatic injuries
    By the CNN Wire Staff

    STORY HIGHLIGHTS
    -NEW: Whale's aggressive nature prevented rescuers from immediately reaching trainer
    -Autopsy: Dawn Brancheau suffered fractures to jawbone, ribs and a cervical vertebra
    -Brancheau was working with a whale at SeaWorld when whale pulled her underwater
    -Whale had been linked to two other deaths since 1991

    Orlando, Florida (CNN) -- An autopsy report released Wednesday confirmed that a SeaWorld trainer killed after a 12,000-pound killer whale pulled her underwater died of drowning and traumatic injuries to her body, including her spine, ribs and head.

    Dawn Brancheau, 40, was working with a whale named Tilikum in knee-deep water at SeaWorld in Orlando on February 24 when the animal grabbed her by the ponytail and pulled her underwater in front of shocked onlookers at the park's Shamu Stadium.

    The autopsy report by the Orange County, Florida, medical examiner's office says Brancheau's spinal cord was severed, and she sustained fractures to her jawbone, ribs and to a cervical vertebra, in addition to the drowning.

    Rescuers were not immediately able to reach Brancheau because of the "whale's aggressive nature," the county sheriff's office said. SeaWorld staff members recovered Brancheau after Tilikum was coaxed into a smaller pool and lifted out of the water by a large platform on the bottom of the smaller tank, authorities said.

    A source at SeaWorld told CNN in February that after seizing her, the whale dove deep underwater. Brancheau's body was recovered about 40 minutes later.

    Tilikum has been linked to two other deaths. He and two other whales were involved in the drowning of a trainer at a Victoria, British Columbia, marine park in 1991. The trainer fell into the whale tank at the Sea Land Marine Park Victoria and was dragged underwater as park visitors watched.

    In 1999, Tilikum was blamed for the death of a 27-year-old man whose body was found floating in a tank at SeaWorld, the apparent victim of a whale's "horseplay," authorities said then. The Orange County Sheriff's Office said the man apparently hid in the park until after it closed, then climbed into the tank.

    Because of Tilikum's history, as well as his size, trainers did not get into the water with him and specific procedures were in place for working with him, SeaWorld officials have said.

    Two days after Brancheau's death, the head of SeaWorld said Tilikum "is a wonderful animal" and "will remain an active and contributing member of the team despite what happened."

    "He's a very special animal that requires special handling," said Jim Achison, president of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. "Obviously, the procedures that we've had in place are something we're revisiting at this point."

    Tilikum's size and weight -- 12,000 pounds, compared with 6,000 to 9,000 pounds for the facility's other killer whales -- were one reason separate procedures were in place for him at the Orlando facility.

    Find this article at:
    Autopsy: SeaWorld trainer died from drowning, traumatic injuries - CNN.com

  3. #48
    Elite Member NVash's Avatar
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    Ive heard of people wanting to stone this whale. Im wondering how they intend to do that.

  4. #49
    Super Moderator twitchy2.0's Avatar
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    The biggest spliff you ever saw.

    "The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge."

    -- Stephen Hawking

  5. #50
    Elite Member Jezi's Avatar
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    Orcas should not be kept in tanks anyway.

    It's tragic that this woman (and other people) died, but they know they're working with large dangerous animals and there's always a risk.

  6. #51
    Elite Member rollo's Avatar
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    I am surprised they are keeping the whale for "horseplay" though. Perhaps it will be an even bigger draw.

  7. #52
    Elite Member NVash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jezi View Post
    Orcas should not be kept in tanks anyway.

    It's tragic that this woman (and other people) died, but they know they're working with large dangerous animals and there's always a risk.
    Thing is, didnt they got against the rules? Im not really familiar with it, but this lady had a ponytail, wasnt that against policy? Probably so mess like this doesnt happen. And then the other guy who was dragged on the bottom of the tank floor, didnt he swim with the whale when thats also against rules? Come on, its bad enough you got the animal in the tank. Now you have people breaking rules you put in place for their safety and youre going to kill the animal for it?

    Thats like someone going out into the jungle with raw steaks hanging from them and getting brutally murdered by animals, then their family calling for the animals deaths. The person knew they were wrong when they did it.

  8. #53
    Elite Member Moongirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NVash View Post
    Thing is, didnt they got against the rules? Im not really familiar with it, but this lady had a ponytail, wasnt that against policy? Probably so mess like this doesnt happen. And then the other guy who was dragged on the bottom of the tank floor, didnt he swim with the whale when thats also against rules? Come on, its bad enough you got the animal in the tank. Now you have people breaking rules you put in place for their safety and youre going to kill the animal for it?

    Thats like someone going out into the jungle with raw steaks hanging from them and getting brutally murdered by animals, then their family calling for the animals deaths. The person knew they were wrong when they did it.
    From what I heard in the days after this happened, loose hair was against policy, having it in a ponytail was the policy; they were considering changing the policy to hair in a bun now. I heard on one of the morning shows today that the orca pulled the ponytail with such force that it ripped the scalp off the skull...

  9. #54
    Elite Member cupcake's Avatar
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    All the girls had their hair in buns. I actually like the show better now. The trainers are out of the water, on the side and doing commands. No contact. It was beautiful and an awesome tribute to Dawn
    My grace is sufficient for you, for my my strength is made perfect in weakness...I love you dad!
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  10. #55
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    Here's the real reason they dont want to let Tillikum go...apparantly he's the most successful breeding 'stud' they have. Because it's this one's tendancies we want passed down, right?

  11. #56
    Elite Member rollo's Avatar
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    Yep, commercial considerations are keeping him going to fund the lawsuit.

  12. #57
    Elite Member NVash's Avatar
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    Are people suing for the fact that seeing that must have traumatized their children?

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    Elite Member NoNoRehab's Avatar
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    This is a total necro, but I just read this fascinating article in Outside magazine after seeing it linked as one of the Best Magazine Features of 2010. The Killer in the Pool. It details Tilikum's history, SeaWorld, the history of orcas in captivity, and the trainer's death. The entire article is way too long to copy-paste here, but the closing paragraphs made me teary:

    Whether or not Tilikum ever performs again, he's still SeaWorld's most prolific breeder. He's sired 13 viable calves, with two more on the way this summer. Most likely, he will finish his life as he's mostly lived it, in a marine park. He's nearly 30, and only one male in captivity, who is still alive, is known to have lived past that age.

    Three thousand miles away, [marine biologist] Balcomb often sees a pod of killer whales easing their way through the wilderness of water that is his Haro Strait backyard. They swim with purpose and coordination, huffing spumes of mist into the salty, spruce-scented air. The group is known as L Pod, and one, a big male designated L78, was born just a few years after Tilikum. Balcomb has been tracking L78 for more than two decades. He knows that his mother—born around 1960—and his brother are always close by. He knows that L78 ranges as far south as California with his pod, in search of salmon.

    L78's dorsal fin stands proud and straight as a knife, with none of Tilikum's marine-park flop. He hunts when he's hungry, mates with the females who offer themselves, and whistles to the extended family that is always nearby. He cares nothing for humans and is all but oblivious to their presence when they paddle out in kayaks to marvel as he swims. He knows nothing of the life of Tilikum or the artificial world humans have manufactured for him. But Tilikum, before 26 years in marine parks, once knew L78's life, once knew what it was like to swim the ocean alongside his mother and family. And perhaps, just perhaps, that also helps explain why Dawn Brancheau died.
    "Don't trust nobody, and 'nobody' meaning Jay Leno in particular." -Chris Rock

  14. #59
    Elite Member KrisNine's Avatar
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    Geez, that is so sad

  15. #60
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    I agree with everyone...they are wild animals and not show attractions.

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