SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

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Re: SeaWorld Orlando Discussion Thread

Postby cfc » Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:28 am

^"Your honor, we move for a mistrial and a new jury. It is improosible for my client, an alleged 'killer' whale, to receive a fair hearing before a jury of seals. Their bias against my client's species is obvious!"
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Re: SeaWorld Orlando Discussion Thread

Postby BrownStreak » Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:51 am

alilstronger wrote:I can not say I agree or disagree with these shows the involve animals. What I will say is when an animal has had a past with attacks or violence they should not be used in these shows. They can still get the tender love and care they deserve behind the scenes where they are not being made to perform. Now some animals love the attention be it dolphins, seals, dogs, cats, any animal and for them animals I do not mind the shows.

This goes to show that these animals still have animal instincts and they will act on them when they feel the need to.


Killer Whales are technically in the Dolphin family, not the Whale family. In the past 10 or pages I have read I didn't see this mentioned anywhere, but like 10 - 15 years ago another Sea World trainer was killed by an Orca (Killer Whale) and it turned out later that the trainer was somehow abusing the animals (sexually or physically, I don't remember which). There was a big uproar then about the shows being ended and what not and it eventually died down and things continued...obviously since no one has mentioned it in this thread.

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Re: SeaWorld Orlando Discussion Thread

Postby jedimaster1227 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:17 pm

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/tourism/os-seaworld-orlando-shamu-injury-20100224,0,6076530.story

Orange County Sheriff's Office investigators said today that SeaWorld Orlando trainer Dawn Brancheau died from "multiple traumatic injuries and drowning" after a killer whale pulled her underwater by her long pony tail near the theme park's Shamu Stadium. Investigators released a statement shortly after an official at SeaWorld Orlando said that the killer whale, Tilikum, is being evaluated and that the theme park will keep the animal.

Brancheau, 40, on Wednesday was "interacting" with the killer whale in knee-deep water "when the animal grabbed her by the hair, said to be in a long pony tail, and pulled her underwater," the Orange County Sheriff's Office said a statement. "Rescuers were not able to immediately jump in and render assistance" to Brancheau due to Tilikum's "aggressive nature."

The Orange-Osceola Medical Examiner's Office conducted the autopsy this morning and concluded Brancheau died of traumatic injuries, but details about those injuries were not released. Toxicology screenings will be conducted which will delay the final findings for several weeks, according to a spokeswoman for the Medical Examiner's office.

The orca that killed veteran trainer Brancheau has been linked to two previous deaths since 1991.

Investigators said SeaWorld staffers recovered her after Tilikum "was coaxed into a smaller pool and lifted out of the water by a large scale/platform that lay on the bottom of the smaller tank," the statement said. "While this incident remains the subject of an ongoing death investigation there are no signs of foul play. All evidence and witness statements indicate that the death was a tragic accident," the statement added. Investigators said rescue workers originally thought Brancheau had "slipped or fell into the orca's pool but, after witness statements were taken and reviewed by homicide investigators, it became apparent that the whale had, in fact, pulled Brancheau into the pool and was the cause of her fatal injuries," the statement said.

Killer whale to stay put

Chuck Tompkins, the corporate curator in charge of animal behavior for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, said that he expects SeaWorld to be taking care of the orca for a long time. He added that he does not think the animal could survive in the wild. "I think it's unfair to do that to an animal," he said, adding that SeaWorld employees also continue to mourn Brancheau, their longtime coworker and friend. "This has been extremely difficult for us. . . . Every animal loved working with Dawn," said Tompkins.

The fatal killer whale attack of SeaWorld Orlando trainer Dawn Brancheau continued to make international news this morning. Much of the debate on morning news shows centered on what to do with Tilikum.

Earlier today, Jack Hanna, a well-known animal expert with ties to Central Florida, spoke on national television about the tragedy, saying animal experts such as Brancheau are aware of the risks, as well as the benefits, of working with live animals. "The only thing I can compare it to is when the astronauts went to the space station and that tragic thing happened coming back," Hanna said, referring to the 2003 disintegration of the Columbia space shuttle that killed seven astronauts. "Why did we do that? We did that to learn more about space and how that will help us."

Tourists react to death

This morning, as tourists returned to the park, an announcement was made on the speaker system, apologizing that The Shamu Show would be closed today. Nothing was said about the death.

"It's scary," SeaWorld Orlando visitor April D'Agostino said this morning. "But they know what's at risk when they get in the tank with those whales." D'Agostino heard the news about the trainer's death on television, as did the Malkins from Asheville, N.C. "I'm sensing that the mood today is a little more somber," Heidi Malkin said while visiting the park. Although Malkin and her husband, Dave, heard about Wednesday's accident on television, it didn't prevent them from visiting SeaWorld Orlando. "We wondered how the park would be different today," Dave Malkin added. About six television news trucks, most representing local stations, were outside the park before its 9 a.m. opening, but there was otherwise little evidence that anything at the park had changed.

Tourist Dennis Diego, 30, of Sao Paolo, Brazil, said he wasn't immediately aware about what happened, even though he was at the park Wednesday and saw helicopters flying overhead. He found out about the attack after he and his wife, Vanessa, 29, returned to their hotel. The Diegos had seen the same show where the accident happened earlier in the day, but it had not been the best performance. "Not everything went right," said Dennis Diego. "The girl said the whales were not in the mood for it."

As the park opened today, cars streamed into the parking lot. At the entrance to SeaWorld, a sign informed guests that The Shamu Show would remain closed.

In his television appearance, Hanna, director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio, said that holding animals in captivity not only conserves the creatures, but it also helps educate people. "Why do we have whales, as well as elephants and other animals? We have it to educate folks," he said. "It's the last chance we have to save these animals."

SeaWorld said that 12,000-pound Tilikum pulled Brancheau, a 40-year-old veteran animal trainer, into the orca's tank about 2 p.m. "Dawn was a beautiful person," Hanna said on CNN. "I did several shows with her . . . with Tilly, even in the background -- that type of thing.'' he said. "I could tell you now she would want her work to continue." Hanna said the previous death linked to Tilikum was a different situation.

In 1999, park officials found the naked body of Daniel Dukes lying across Tilikum's back at SeaWorld Orlando. Dukes apparently had sneaked into SeaWorld after hours to swim with the animals. "That's like going over the fence at the NASCAR race," Hanna said. "You can't blame SeaWorld for that."

SeaWorld acquired Tilikum after another fatal incident. In 1991, Tilikum and two female killer whales dragged trainer Keltie Byrne underwater, drowning her in front of spectators at Sealand of the Pacific, a defunct aquarium in Victoria, British Columbia.

SeaWorld San Diego cancels show

Also Thursday, SeaWorld San Diego, a sister park to SeaWorld Orlando, canceled its Shamu show for the second consecutive day in response to the death here. San Diego park officials had not yet determined whether Friday's show would be canceled. But the park has worked to improve safety after several incidents over the last three decades in which trainers were injured, officials said.

In 1971, an employee suffered puncture wounds when a killer whale tossed her, according to Times reports. The most recent San Diego attack occurred in 2006 when a 33-year-old trainer was hospitalized after a killer whale dragged him to the bottom of the Shamu pool during a show.

"We're terribly saddened by the loss of the member of our SeaWorld family, it doesn't matter what park," SeaWorld San Diego spokesman David Koontz said Wednesday.
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Re: SeaWorld Orlando Discussion Thread

Postby ajinaz » Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:22 pm

From what I have heard, the whale WAS still performing but not with trainers in the water. They were in the stadium tank and the show had ended. As the trainer was rubbing the whale down as a form of praise, her long ponytail swung by the whale and it grabbed her by the ponytail and dragged her under. The public did see it but the stadium was almost empty.
I'm guessing that the whale thought her ponytail was actually a treat that was being presented for training.
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Re: SeaWorld Orlando Discussion Thread

Postby jarmor » Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:29 pm

So should her pony tail start to get the blame???

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Re: SeaWorld Orlando Discussion Thread

Postby jedimaster1227 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:54 pm

http://www.seaworldparksblog.com/explore/blog/statement-family-dawn-brancheau

The family of Dawn Brancheau has asked SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment to send this message on their behalf requesting respect for their space and privacy at this difficult time.
****

You have all heard what an amazing trainer Dawn Brancheau was and it is true - she was the best. It came naturally to her. Being a trainer was a life-long dream that she achieved. She loved her job, and she loved her animals.

For her husband, family and friends, Dawn was so much more. She was a compassionate and loving person who lived life to the fullest. She touched so many lives. Those who knew and loved her have suffered a tremendous loss, one so unexpected that it is extremely difficult to even process or comprehend at this time. Our family sincerely appreciates everyone’s prayers and compassionate thoughts for Dawn, her husband and family.

While we understand that this tragic event is capturing headlines across the country, at this time, our family needs space and privacy to absorb our loss. We sincerely hope that the media will honor and respect this request.

Funeral and memorial arrangements are pending.

Thank you.
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Re: SeaWorld Orlando Discussion Thread

Postby jedimaster1227 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 1:01 pm

http://www.seaworldparksblog.com/explore/blog/seaworld-updates

Tilikum Update

We have received several requests to clarify our previous statement on Tilikum. SeaWorld took on the care of Tilikum 18 years ago, and we will continue to care for the animal's social and psychological stimulation, care and nutrition as we always have. As part of the investigation of yesterday's incident, we are reviewing protocols regarding the proximity of our trainers to Tilikum, and will make any amendments necessary.
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Re: SeaWorld Orlando Discussion Thread

Postby DenDen » Thu Feb 25, 2010 1:06 pm

Don't these animal play with "toys", ie. a buoy attatched to a rope? The whale probably thought her ponytail was the end of a toy.

Also, what happened to the accounts of her being grabbed by the waist and thrashed?
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Re: SeaWorld Orlando Discussion Thread

Postby Steelinwood » Thu Feb 25, 2010 1:16 pm

Maybe they'll start making trainers putting their hair in buns? :omg:
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Re: SeaWorld Orlando Discussion Thread

Postby disneyland255 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 1:24 pm

"Many people are asking about the future care of Tilikum, the whale involved in the incident," the blog post said. "We have every intention of continuing to interact with this animal, though the procedures for working with him will change."


"We recognized he was different," said Chuck Tompkins, head of animal training at all SeaWorld parks. He said no decision has been made yet about what will happen to Tilikum, such as transferring him to another facility.


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35566392/ns/us_news-environment/page/2/

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