Killer whale Shamu kills trainer at SeaWorld

Posted 12:33 AM by crkota in Labels: ,
ORLANDO, FL - A trainer at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida, was killed by a killer whale Wednesday afternoon, according to authorities.

The orca whale grabbed the trainer by the waist while she was talking about the whale, according to a witness. Another report had the trainer slipping or falling into the whale's tank.

Emergency personnel pronounced the trainer dead at the scene. Her name has not been released.

The whale is Tilikum, a 12,300-pound bull orca.

The attack occurred in the park's Shamu Stadium. The killer whale show has been indefinitely suspended and part of the park has been closed because of the attack.

Previous incident

According to The Associated Press, Wednesday's incident was not the first time the nearly 30-year-old Tilikum has been linked to an attack.

In July 1999, the body of a naked man was found scratched, bruised and draped over 5-ton Tilikum. Daniel Dukes, 27, reportedly made his way past security at SeaWorld, remaining in the park after it had closed. Wearing only his underwear, Dukes either jumped, fell or was pulled into the frigid water of Tilikum's huge tank.

An autopsy determined Dukes died of hypothermia in the 50-degree water. But the report also found it appeared Tilikum bit the man and tore off his swimming trunks, likely believing he was a toy to play with.

An investigation into what may have prompted Wednesday's incident was beginning.

Has the Cetacean Uprising of 2010 begun? With Shamu killing a trainer at SeaWorld this afternoon, we have to ask: was this merely an act of workplace violence, or was the whale a terrorist who was angry about being forced to pay his taxes even though he isn’t even a human? Or was Shamu talking to a Yemeni cleric on the Internet who convinced him that this was a good way to go to heaven as an Islamist martyr?

All joking aside, an Orca or killer whale killed an unnamed trainer at SeaWorld in Florida today, and all live killer whale shows have been suspended, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Of course, Shamu is not just one whale – it can be any number of male or female whales kept by the park.

And, it’s not the first time the trainers have had problems with ‘Shamu.’ Here is a video from the show Maximum Exposure that shows a whale wigging out during a training session:

The Orlando Sentinel described today’s attack in this manner:

"Park guest Victoria Biniak told Local 6 that the trainer was a veteran of SeaWorld and had just finished explaining to the audience what they would see during the performance.

At that point, Biniak said, the whale came up from the water and grabbed the woman.

The whale “took off really fast in the tank, and then he came back, shot up in the air, grabbed the trainer by the waist and started thrashing around, and one of her shoes flew off.”

I guess it’s necessary to remind everyone that killer whales are called ‘killers’ for a reason. They’re meat eaters, and it’s hard to know when they’re having a bad day. A pity for this trainer, and all the people watching the show, that this was one of them.

Also, can someone make sure the orcas are having a good day the next time Halle Berry decides to hang out with her close, personal friend Shamu, as she does in the picture below?

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