SeaWorld Killer Whale Killed Two Other People
February 25, 2010
(ChattahBox)—SeaWorld apparently knew that Tillikum, the killer whale that dragged trainer Dawn Brancheau to her death on Wednesday was violent. The 12,000-pound orca nicknamed “Tilly” had killed two people before. And the SeaWorld staff considered Tilly dangerous, restricting many of the park’s animal trainers from working with the orca with a “killer” reputation.
Audience members at the park yesterday, were horrified, when the ornery orca grabbed trainer Dawn Brancheau by the waist from a poolside platform and pulled her underwater. The whale thrashed the trainer in its jaws, until she drowned.
Before coming to SeaWorld, Tillikum along with two female killer whales, drowned trainer Keltie Byrne in 1991 at a British Columbia park and in 1999, Tilikum killed a man who had sneaked into the SeaWorld tank after the park closed, to swim with the whales.
Additionally, Tillikum had been acting strangely before Wednesday’s fatal attack, by refusing to follow directions. But the park’s curator for animal behavior, Chuck Tompkins dismissed those claims, saying “There wasn’t anything to indicate to us that there was a problem.” “We were very careful with how we worked with him,” Tompkins told CBS’ “The Early Show” Thursday.
And SeaWorld is pushing back against reports that the whale snatched trainer Dawn Brancheau in its jaws. The Orlando park claims that the trainer fell into the water and deny there was foul play involved on the part of the whale.
Can you say lawsuit?
Tillikum the killer whale is now sequestered in a separate tank, as its fate is decided.
Source: CBS News