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SeaWorld Trainer Killed by Killer Whale

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CNN: A killer whale killed a trainer Wednesday afternoon at SeaWorld's Shamu Stadium in Orlando, Florida, a spokesman for the Orange County Fire Department said.

sea world killer whale
The woman, 40, was in the whale holding area about 2 p.m. when "she apparently slipped or fell into the tank and was fatally injured by one of the whales," the spokesman said.

The spokesman, John Mulhall, said the trainer was pronounced dead at the scene.

The incident did not occur during a performance, said a spokeswoman for SeaWorld, who added that more information was to be released soon.

Victoria Biniak told CNN affiliate WKMG that she saw the deadly incident from a viewing area.

"The trainer was explaining different things about the whale, and then the trainer that was down there walked away from the window. Then [the whale] took off really fast in the tank, and he came back, shot up in the air, grabbed the trainer by the waist and started thrashing [her] around," Biniak said.

Guest David Dalton told CNN affiliate WFTV, "All of the sudden, out of nowhere, two of the bigger whales just kind of flipped out, going as fast as they could in the water."

Biniak told WKMG that the whale, named Tillikum, or Telly for short, does not typically have a trainer in its tank because it is too large.

SeaWorld uses "Shamu" as a stage name for any of the male or female orcas in its shows.

Tillikum is a nearly 30-year-old, 12,300-pound bull orca.

CNN affiliate News 13 reported other incidents involving the animal.

In July 5, 1999, a man hid and then jumped into the tank with Tillikum after the park closed. He was found dead the next morning.

"We do not consider this a safe animal for our own trainers to interact with in the water," Seaworld Vice President Vic Abbey said that year. "He has had a history before coming to SeaWorld Orlando."

On February 21, 1991, 20-year-old Keltie Byrene slipped and fell into the Tillikum whale pool. She was dragged across the pool and repeatedly submerged. Other trainers attempted to rescue her, but she drowned.

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11 comments so far | Post a comment now
Squdman February 24, 2010, 5:43 PM

And the first word in killer whale is what?

Anonymous February 25, 2010, 5:11 AM

if this whale has killed 3 people, it probably shouldn’t be at seaworld. maybe release it back into the wild. it shouldn’t be anywhere peoploe are INCASE someone slips and falls or gets too close.

Anonymous February 25, 2010, 5:49 AM

Well, that just means that Japan has found another reason to kill off all the whales. They are dangerous to humans that do not live in the water!

Nobrebib February 25, 2010, 6:32 AM

а все таки: спасибо!! а82ч

Pusect February 25, 2010, 8:57 AM

и всё эе: отлично! а82ч

Pusect February 25, 2010, 3:06 PM

в конце концов: бесподобно… а82ч

Pusect February 25, 2010, 4:02 PM

в итоге: шикарно.. а82ч

Charles Esley February 25, 2010, 4:29 PM

The Key Word here is KILLER!

Teen Lesbian Forced March 3, 2010, 10:54 PM

hmm… really like this !

Debbie March 12, 2010, 2:20 AM

Maybe they shouldn’t have locked up a wilde and free animal in a small basin for the rest of his life to start with.

It’s just sad that humans still lock wild pets up, and think that is normal.

Rapidshare Download September 21, 2010, 9:01 PM

Keep up the good work !!

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