Written by PETA
On day two of SeaWorld's appeal
of the penalty leveled by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration
(OSHA), senior trainer Lynne Schaber testified
that trainers who work with orcas receive special instruction on Tilikum and a "Tilly
in which they're informed of Tilikum's involvement with two previous deaths and
that if they enter the water with him, they may not survive. Despite these
Dawn Brancheau, who was killed by Tilikum last year—were approved to work in close
proximity with this angry orca and physically touch him at the water's edge.
Schaber and Chuck Tompkins, SeaWorld's corporate
curator for zoological operations for all SeaWorld parks, also testified that
there are no specific steps for trainers to follow to respond to a
life-threatening situation in the water and that their lives are ultimately up
to their own "best judgment call." Tompkins admitted that the park
does not even re-evaluate its protocols after an injury or death because it
deems the injuries that occur "a result of human error" and insisted
that revising safety protocols is unnecessary.
Finally, the government began
at length about SeaWorld's corporate incident log, which contains reports of more than 100 incidents of orca aggression
at its parks, often resulting in injuries to humans and causing one death by extensive
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
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