A SeaWorld Orlando trainer died on Wednesday after being “thrashed” by one of the park’s 12,300-pound killer whales.
The accident occurred in front of a shocked audience who were waiting for the start of a public performance, the Telegraph reported.
According to witnesses, the 30-year-old bull orca named Tilikum, nicknamed Tilly, suddenly jumped out of the tank and grabbed the 40-year-old female trainer Dawn Brancheau around the waist.
“He was thrashing her around pretty good," Victoria Biniak, a guest at the park, told the local WKMG-TV. "It was violent."
However an Orange County sheriff spokesman Jim Solomons told reporters that Brancheau had slipped and fell into the 35-foot-deep tank where Tilly then attacked her.
While paramedics immediately rushed to the park’s Shamu Stadium to help, they were unable to revive Brancheau. Guests were then evacuated and the park was closed.
SeaWorld Orlando President Dan Brown said an investigation into how one of the park’s most experienced animal trainers was killed was underway.Since the death, the SeaWorld in San Diego, California has suspended all its killer whale shows.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: J.L