SeaWorld Trainers Could Soon Swim With Killer Whales Again

February 24th, 2011 by Staff

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Trainers at SeaWorld could soon be back in the water with the killer whales.
Friday marks the one year anniversary of when trainer Dawn Brancheau was killed by Tilikum, a nearly 12,000 pound killer whale at SeaWorld Orlando.
Since that day, the popular killer whale shows at all of the SeaWorld theme parks have gone on but trainers have not been allowed in the water with the whales.
Thursday night WFTV found out the company might soon allow its trainers back in the water at its parks in Orlando, San Diego and San Antonio.
A SeaWorld spokesperson said by email there is no word when that will happen.
People were mixed about the decision. Marjorie Drake who was visiting Orlando said, “Why do people have to take risks to entertain us?”
“On a materialistic side, they bring a lot of people here to Orlando,” said resident Al Lahnichi.
If the trainers do get back in the water it will not happen until new security measures are in place.
The parks would install floors that could quickly rise out of the pools, but those pools are still in the research and development stage. Vehicles will also be nearby to distract the whales if they get out of hand.
Both trainers and whales are currently being retrained. Recently trainers went through seminars on whale aggression.
The whales are beginning a tactic called water desensitization which means as the whales swim around, they are distracted by various things.
If the trainers do swim with the whales again, Tilikum will not be allowed to do so.

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