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March 2nd, 2010
06:11 PM ET

Tragedy for two at SeaWorld

The late Dawn Brancheau trains Tillikum, a male orca at SeaWorld Orlando.

The late Dawn Brancheau trains Tillikum, a male orca at SeaWorld Orlando.

Naomi Rose, Ph.D.
The Humane Society of the United States

Tillikum, a captive male orca at SeaWorld Orlando, drowned Sea World trainer Dawn Brancheau on February 24. This is a tragedy, for Ms. Brancheau and her devastated family, to whom I and my organization offer our condolences. But it is also a tragedy for Tillikum.

He has now been involved in the deaths of three people. Before Ms. Brancheau, there was Keltie Byrne in 1991 and then Daniel Dukes in 1999. But Tillikum isn’t the only orca who has killed someone.

Keto, an orca born at SeaWorld, killed his trainer last year at Loro Parque, a marine attraction in the Canary Islands. And there have been dozens of injuries—some quite serious—resulting from captive orcas attacking their trainers or members of the public.

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