Posted On: February 25, 2010 by Steven J. Malman

SeaWorld Trainer Dies in Fatal Killer Whale Attack

A SeaWorld trainer died on Wednesday after a killer whale attacked her. The tragic work accident happened at SeaWorld’s Shamu Stadium in Orlando, Florida.

Dawn Brancheau, 40, was in the whale holding area lecturing hundreds of visitors about the display, when, according to one witness, Tillikum the whale approached the side of the tank, jumped up, and grabbed her by the waist.

Paula Gillespie, who was at the Dine with Shamu show with her daughter, told CNN that the killer whale pulled the trainer into the tank where she struggled during the attack. Another woman that also saw the show said the trainers were having a hard time getting the whales to perform.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals claims that the tragic work accident could have been prevented if only SeaWorld didn’t keep oceangoing mammals confined in spaces that are the “size of a bathtub.” The group says that considering that such smart animals are repeatedly called on to “perform silly tricks,” it is no wonder that they might lash out.

Brancheau died from drowning and multiple traumatic injuries. Her death isn’t the first accident involving a killer whale at SeaWorld. A trainer was hospitalized in 2006 after a whale grabbed him and held him under. In 1999, a 27-year-old man who climbed into the tank after the park had closed died in what was called “horseplay” involving Tillikum.

Chicago, Illinois Workers’ Compensation Benefits
If your loved one died in a Chicago work accident, you may be entitled to Illinois workers’ compensation death benefits. It is important that you file your claim right away.

SeaWorld trainer killed by killer whale, CNN, February 24, 2010

Autopsy says SeaWorld trainer died of drowning, traumatic injuries, USA Today, February 25, 2010

Related Web Resources:

Killer Whales, National Geographic

Our Chicago, Illinois workers’ compensation attorneys are dedicated to making sure that our clients receive all of their benefits even when an employer or insurer attempts to deny or delay.

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