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SeaWorld Death an Accident?

Written by PETA | April 29, 2010

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office has just released a 43-page investigative report into the death of Dawn Brancheau and is declaring her death an accident.

Dawn’s death was no accident, and the Orange County Sheriff’s report is entirely unsupportable on its face. Consider that a SeaWorld trainer who was acting as a “spotter” for Brancheau told investigators that Tilikum “has been deemed to have tendencies that make him unsafe,” and yet Brancheau was allowed to “[lie] on her stomach, face to face with Tilikum … in three to four inches of water” at the side of the pool on a concrete slab, from which she was pulled into the water by the huge 12,000-pound orca.

The trainer also admitted that “no one ever goes in the pool with Tilikum because of his past history,” yet video footage of Brancheau that was posted on the Web site of the NBC affiliate in Orlando and shot by a visitor to the park just minutes before her death clearly shows Brancheau in the water with Tilikum.

SeaWorld executives have long known that these animals pose a risk of death and injury, but they go for the money, exactly as mine owners who won’t risk a drop in profits by stopping to fix massive problems that put humans in harm’s way do.

Another spotter confirmed that on the day of Brancheau’s death, Tilikum was “possessive,” and the assistant curator of animal training admitted to investigators that “Tilikum’s past history is that when he obtains a person, he does not let them go.”

Despite knowing about the extreme danger posed by Tilikum and the fact that he had killed twice before, SeaWorld goes beyond ignoring the problem, understating the risks and paying money to trainers to risk their lives.

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Commenting is closed.
  • Caddie says:

    I don’t feel sorry for her – the real victim is Tilly!

  • catherine melvin says:

    Boycott the place. Hit them where it hurts them the pocket…money’s the only thing these people understand!

  • monica villanueva says:

    What Sea World and Zoos and all of those pleaces where they have animals “in cages” is antinautarl cruel appalling and the very frustration about this is that if an animal who ahs been mistrated abusedforced to do cheap tricks etc gets stressed and kills a human then that innocent cerature is put to death. HUMAN BEINGS ARE THE MORE STUPID CREATION EVER BORN!. We dont understand we dont want to see the cruel reality before our eyes! WE HAVE DOOMED THE DESTINY OF ANIMALS…I HOPE FROM MY HEART THAT OUR EXISTANCE ENDS SOON….BECAUSE HUMAN BEINGS WE GIVE TO NATURE NOTHING BUT PROBLSMA AND DESTRUCTION!

  • burke chaplin says:

    it’s all about the money the animals make and NOTHING but cruelty for the animals themselves…they were born in the wild leave them there…..SHAME

  • chander kumar soni says:

    byecott it byecott it byecott it

  • Carol Campos says:

    boycott seaworld!!!!

  • Man says:

    John J. You’re a fool. You can justify the cruelty towards these captive animals and the repercussions of their captivity by any means you want. Get a heart or better yet maybe you can test your theory? next time you go to one of these shows Gasp maybe you can jump in the water in your everyday clothes. Best of luck to you.

  • Ralph says:

    Look just post this up I demand you post it up because people need logic not fallacy. Tilly I would not be mistaken mistook the trainer for a seal thanks to those skintight body suits that they wear. As someone who Gasp actually GOES to these places I can tell you the trainers look like seals and have worried about this for years because whales are indeed wild. I have little doubt she reacted on instinct kill the “seal” for food or play there is fact whales have done this and the trainer who was stupid to be in the pool to begin with died because of it.

  • John J says:

    Of course it was an accident. The whale did not premediate this.

  • Kathleen Cain says:

    Don’t forget the children that $eaworld is putting at risk at each and every show. They are operating under the guise of entertainment and encouraging children to “Believe” and “Dream” of jumping into a tub with an aggravated killer whale. Their marketing representatives know exactly what they are doing. Sickening.

  • Kathleen says:


  • Rachael Bush says:

    The employees should not even be in the water or near a dangerous animal. She was clearly warned about the once innocent but dangerous animals background.I believe that her death was her own fault. He had killed twice before and and 3 too many. he should have been set free or released to a costal sea pen. if people didn’t use animals for entertainment or for a pretty penny none of this would have happened.

  • Kelley says:

    Members of the House of Reps. were also discussing Sea World this past weekthey were talking about the possible need to ban sea mammals from being used at amusement parks. Rep. Grayson D FL called Sea World a shining star. A great place for the public to learn about these animals. Sea World is also a large employer in his district I suppose.

  • Toby Saunders says:

    The death was homocide… premeditated for maybe a minute. Maybe it was premediated for a week. I know how people lie in business for the sake of the business firsthand and know it does no good to debate the evidence with a liar unless you want to be a ‘sucker’. The best thing in such a case is to respectfully call the individual consciouslydishonest… I believe SeaWorld executives are likely lying for the business they MUST know orcas are smart enough to kill out of vengeance… they’re protecting the public image that orcas are just ‘too simpleminded to know anything’.

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    Seaworld in California is having hosting a Mariachi festival this weekend. Local PETA protestors should mob the place with signs to boycott Seaworld printed in both Spanish and English.

  • Carl says:

    If people would like to know what other hotel entertainment etc businesses that Blackstone owns in addition to SeaWorld they can find it here httpen.wikipedia.orgwikiBlackstoneGroup

  • Carl says:

    If Stephen A. Schwarzman the cofounder and CEO of Blackstone Group who owns SeaWorld had any dignity as a human being he would be accepting responsibility for the failures of Blackstone to protect the victim’s life. They KNEW there was a death imminent. It’s on record. They were warned. Instead Stephen A. Schwarzman chose the low road and hired expensive lawyers to SUPPRESS EVIDENCE and further victimize the victim. Stephen A. Schwarzman comes from Lehman Brothers. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. We know what they did.

  • Aneliese says:

    I’m sure every death that will happen will be an “accident”. I just wonder how many more people will have to be killed before the “accidents” end.

  • Rachel Collins says:

    can’t we find some other way to entertain ourselves.. this is just poetic justice sad for the ego maniac trainer and for that poor Orca! set them free!

  • Carl says:

    Unfortunately large rich corporations like the Blackstone Group httpwww.blackstone.comcpsrdexchgbxcomhsfirmourpeople.htm which owns Sea World BUY “reports.” It looks like they got what they paid for. Big money can always hide the truth in a bureaucracy unless there’s a bureacrat with courage convictions and morals. It is up to the people to get the truth out there or animals are doomed to cruelty. Look at what the Feld family has gotten away with in some corrupt courts with regard to Ringling Brothers crimes. They have broken the laws of our nation! Their lobbyists like this httpwww.consumerdeception.comindex.asp do a lot of wheeling and dealing with the bureaucrats. Our tax dollars get used to help corporations commit crimes against animals. It’s the bad old corrupt days when it comes to animals. Maybe someday corporations will decide that to be honest is a better choice and to shun cruelty but we’re not there yet.

  • Mary Richardson says:

    I agree hardily. I have already let my husband know I will not go back to SeaWorld.