| 7 years ago||
Feb 24 - Whale k!lls Trainer At Sea World Exhibit
ORLANDO - A SeaWorld trainer was k!lled Wednesday when an orca pulled her into the water as she was talking to visitors.
The same orca, or k!ller whale, has been tied to two earlier deaths in 1991 and 1999, according to the Humane Society of the United States, which has campaigned to keep marine mammals out of theme parks.
Orange County Fire Rescue spokesman John Mulhall said paramedics were called to the Shamu Stadium at the theme park resort where they found a worker who could not be revived.
WKMG-TV reported that a witness, Victoria Biniak, said she saw the incident from a viewing area where the orca, or k!ller whale, is housed.
"The trainer was explaining different things about the whale ... and then the trainer that was down there walked away from the window ... and then Telly (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.
The theme park was closed shortly after the incident.
WKMG reported Biniak as saying that the k!ller whale — a 30-year-old, 12,300-pound male orca that also is called Tillikum — does not typically have a trainer in its tank because it is too large.
In 1991, the orca, "along with two female (killer) whales, drowned a young part-time trainer named Keltie Byrne at Sealand of the Pacific in Canada," the Humane Society stated.
The orcas "weren't trying to k!ll Byrne, but Tillikum and his orca companions didn't know that humans can't hold their breath as long as whales," Humane Society scientist Naomi Rose said in a report on the group's Web site.
Tillikum was later shipped to SeaWorld of Orlando, the Humane Society noted, and in 1999, "a man who had apparently stayed in the park after closing hours jumped into Tillikum's tank ... He was found dead the next morning, nekkid and draped across the whale. The man's swim trunks were found in the water, and his body was scraped up, a sign that Tillikum had dragged him around the bottom and sides of the tank."
Killer whales, or orcas, are not actually whales but the largest member of the dolphin family. The name k!ller whale comes from them being observed as sometimes k!lling whales for food.
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Orca pulls SeaWorld trainer to her death - Life- msnbc.com
RIP. Orcas are way smarter than people think...