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Shocking Video of SeaWorld Attack

Written by PETA | July 26, 2012

The release of a video showing Kasatka, a wild-caught orca enslaved at SeaWorld, exploding in extreme frustration at trainer Ken Peters in front of visitors to the theme park is sending shockwaves of outrage and dismay through the media and the public over the appalling pressures of captivity on orcas and other wild marine mammals—and the danger to those who come into contact with them.


As David Kirby describes in his book Death at SeaWorld, when Kasatka heard her calf’s distress calls for her from another tank, she dragged Peters underwater repeatedly, shaking him about before the stunned audience. Eventually gaining his freedom, Peters required surgery for his injuries. But SeaWorld ignored the risks, permitting the perilous situations to continue.

This video footage was previously shown during the Secretary of Labor v. SeaWorld of Florida LLC trial, which resulted from the horrific death of SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau during a disturbingly similar episode involving another captive orca, Tilikum. Judge Ken Welsch, who called the video “chilling,” held SeaWorld liable for permitting hazardous interactions between humans and the huge, dangerously stressed animals.

What You Can Do

Please join PETA in asking The Blackstone Group—the company that owns SeaWorld—to release its animal captives into sanctuaries. And if you know people who are planning a trip to SeaWorld, encourage them to visit PETA’s new website,, to learn what kinds of cruelty their dollars would support.

Commenting is closed.
  • Gill says:

    … I also saw Tilikum perform at Sea Land two years before Keltie ‘s death. 🙁 :(. I would never watch a killer whale show again… But I was only 7 then!!!

  • Mimi says:

    I don’t understand how Seaworld can continue to keep animals like Orcas in their park. It’s obvious to anyone, even someone like me who knows nothing about orcas, that these poor animals are not happy or healthy. Why do all male orcas in captivity have collapsed dorsal fins? That’s not normal.
    And it is also beyond obvious that because these animals are unhappy, they are a danger to their trainers. I feel badly for this guy and every other trainer that has bad an issue with an orca they work with. I believe these trainers often do think they have a relationship with the animal that goes beyond working for food, and that they are doing everything they can to make their lives better. But after Tilikum being involved in the deaths of three people…. You would think Seaworld would get an idea that keeping them is a bad idea. As is breeding Tilikum, who has a history of aggression. Any breeder knows you breed for temperament as well. Not so at Seaworld. It’s sad for the orcas and for any future trainers that are injured or killed.

  • melissa says:

    Government needs to take action and release the whales all of them! If not seaworld must close down for good! Barbarians! We people need to stand together for the whales in captive and go on a strike till they are released, there are plenty grounds that higher authorities can take seaworld owner to court! To the owner…. You are mad! Heartless and clearly lost your brains! Repent of your evil sins now before its to late! Let’s all Gods whales not yours! Go free!

  • Karen Tow says:

    The last time I was at the Sea World in San Diego, where I live, was with the San Diego Blood Bank’s Gallon Club. It was close to closing and my friend and I wondered over by he Orca enclosures. I was really bothered by how small of an area it was. One of the trainers was there, and I mentioned how small the whales’ “bedrooms” seemed. The trainer said the Orcas had plenty of room, adding (I kid you not) “They feel more secure in their smaller enclosures.” Really?? These are mammals accustomed to swimming hundreds of miles each day. And a so-called “trainer” is saying they prefer the small enclosures?

  • momengle says:

    My husband and I visited SeaWorld last month. I desperately wish we hadn’t. I knew of Dawn’s death but we still wanted to visit SeaWorld anyway. I sorely wish we had not spent the money to see these live animals in captivity. What we were thinking?

  • Lyndsey says:

    This makes me so sad those poor animals. How can they think that keeping locked up is normal! Why should they have a human standing on them and making them perform they must be so scared. I am not surprised they attack it is not natural for them to be in those tanks it is inhuman, I can’t stand the fact that people go there for entertainment…if you want to see whales go see them in the wild were they are happier. Seaworld should be ashamed of itself.

  • kurisu7885 says:

    Seems like SeaWorld needs to do more, a LOT more to stop this. Far as I know they don’t get much in the way of enrichment in those parks, which is crucial in all animal care facilities to prevent this. At they very least treatment needs to improve.

  • Noelle says:

    This is why wild animals should be allowed to be wild. This “trainer” was almost killed by his “trainee”. Wild animals are WILD. This upsets me far MORE for the whale than the trainer. If she’d wanted to, she could’ve killed him in an instant. Warning, human beings, don’t push it.

  • ___ says:

    Are you insane?! How does a mother responding to her distressed baby deserve to be “humanly” euthanized?! I do feel bad for the trainer… it’s obvious that these trainers love their animal partner, so believe me I’m not obsessively one-sided.. but if this animal wanted to kill this man, she could have faster than anyone could notice… she was doing something extremely natural, something that any mother would do

  • Terri says:

    @Humane office…THEY ARE WILD ANIMALS. The wild is their home. We take a risk by going into their home(the ocean). If somebody barged into your house and tried to harm you and your family you would retaliate as well. The is nothing humane about using euthanasia on a wild creature for being just that! These animals are not meant to be in captivity!!

  • carol says:

    No animal deserves to be separated for life from its pod so that we can be entertained by their tricks. This animal certainly doesn’t need to be put to death because of what it did to its trainer who looked as if he did nothing but torment her! Shame on him and SeaWorld for having these beautiful animals in their small holding tanks! These are wild animals and in the wild would attack a sealion or penguin just as it played with the trainer so it would play with a sealion or penguin prior to eating it! Get real, you dont kill an animal for doing what it should be doing in the wild.

  • Maureen says:

    Well I am glad the whale made out well, I do not feel sorry for the trainer, the whale is only doing what comes naturally. He was lucky to be alive, the other 2 trainers that watched in horror, would have been able to jump in and save him had they not been so afraid of a WHALE. so it should go to say WHALES belong left in the wild with their calfs. and as far as Officers K comment, if the whale was never taken out of the wild this would not have happened. RELEASE THE WHALE back into it’s own home. The whale probably would never again attack, it would probably stay the hell away from HUMANS after the way she was treated last. I say PROBABLY because accidents happen all the time, humans look good to sharks, you do not hear too much on whale attacks. This whale should not be euthanized for what humans have done. Leave the wild in the wild!!!!

  • Sue Griffiths says:

    Please release these orcas and dolphins to a sanctuary and eventually return to the ocean and their families. This may be a stupid question, but why do you put the $ before the lives of these distressed animals?

  • ocean17 says:

    such a vicious attack. she was attempting to defend her baby which was in a nearby tank and sending distress calls.

  • Gina says:

    This trainer is lucky, the orca could have done so much worse to him. I think she was warning him. For me this shows how smart these animals really are, he was scared, badly. She respected the fact that he was her trainer and could just have easily killed him. We know now as humans that these animals are not meant to be in captivity it needs to stop.

  • Humane Officer K says:

    You talk about about releasing these animals back into the wild. The animals that prone to attack humans are dangerous to anyone that never did these animals harm. These animals that attack humans are released into the wild and already have a taste for attacking humans. Don’t think when they see a human don’t think they will sit back and think “Oh that human there didn’t harm me,…I’ll just leave them alone”. No, it’s an animal and humans all look the same,.. even a child. So, animals like this should never be released back into the wild. They are dangerous and should be humanly euthanized! Animal like this is a danger and should be put down and never released into the wild because it dangerous!

    • Sophie Nuttall says:

      Dear Officer, the ONLY thing this mother wants is to be reunited with her calf. If she is released, with her baby calf of course, they would go so far together that no human would ever be able to come into contact again with them. Vengeance isn’t an animal trait, it’s just a human one. Even if killer whales were capable of vengeance, due to their intelligence, they would not, ever dream of coming into contact with humans. THey would AVOID this at all costs for the very fear alone of being trapped again. Euthanasia is a very sensitive subject, which we could all debate upon for hours. If left in the wild, orcas haven’t ever attached humans. If set free, they would be relieved and FEAR humans, not come near them again. Thank you for your interest, but these things are quite complex.

    • Nala says:

      um…Orca whales belong in the OCEAN. They would be nowhere near human kind! They are acting out because they are trapped. I’m sure you would do the same if someone kept you locked up away from your freedom, children and family for the rest of your life.