Fatal Killer Whale Attack at SeaWorld

– -In a horrific attack today witnessed by audiences,  an employee at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida has died after being attacked by a killer whale.   The employee, a trainer, had just finished explaining to the audience the show that they were about to see when the veteran trainer apparently slipped and fell into the water.   The whale then suddenly came up from the water, grabbed the trainer around the waist, and according to a park guest, “thrashed her all around” to the point that the trainer’s shoe fell off.

Paramedics were summoned to the Shamu Stadium at the theme park just this Wednesday afternoon where they found the trainer who could not be revived.  The death is characterized as a drowning.  Guests were evacuated, and the park was closed.  The bull whale involved, Tilikum, is the largest Orca in captivity, weighing about 12,000 pounds.

The fatal attack was not the first time that a killer whale at a SeaWorld park has turned on a trainer, with a trainer attacked in November of 2006 but escaping with a broken foot…

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3 Comments on “Fatal Killer Whale Attack at SeaWorld”

  1. carycomic Says:

    I’ve heard two other fatal attacks, in earlier years, were also the work of Tillicum! But, the question being asked, in one form or another, is: were these attacks unprovoked?

    If not, I can think of only two possibilities. 1) That the trainer’s fall triggered some genetic memory, or instinct, connected to how wild orcas hunt for seals (i.e., occasionally knocking them off relatively small ice floes into the sea).

    2) Tillicum might actually have been trying to help the trainer! There was an incident, sometime during the 1960’s, where an attractive female reporter (this is not sexism; that book I own–KILLERS OF THE SEA–shows a b/w photo of the bikini-clad newswoman just moments before the incident) fell off the back of the trained orca she was riding. It immediately grasped her by one of her legs and started dragging her around the tank!!

    Fortunately, the young woman was fished out of there, in the nick of time. It was later hypothesized that the orca was trying to aid and support her like one of its own pod.

    • vulpesffb Says:

      Yet another theory is that the whale was simply “playing” with his trainer…they don’t understand human fragility, or the fact that humans can’t hold their breath as long as they can!

  2. carycomic Says:

    Apologetic correction: I just re-read that book. The Sixties’ incident happened at Sea World-San Diego. The young woman in question was Annette Eckis, who actually worked there as a secretary (a.k.a. “administrative assistant”). And, the orca in question was the legendary Shamu, himself!


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