Even after an OSHA fine, SeaWorld plans to restart shows with killer whales next month, almost a year to the day that a trainer was killed by one of the animals.
“Dine with Shamu” will restart Feb. 26 at SeaWorld San Antonio and in the spring at the company’s parks in Orlando and San Diego.
On Feb. 24, 2010, trainer Dawn Brancheau had just finished a show at SeaWorld Orlando with six-ton whale Tilikum when the animal grabbed her by the hair and pulled her into the water. Brancheau was killed.
OSHA issued a $75,000 fine against SeaWorld and recommended trainers never again be allowed unprotected contact with Tilikum. SeaWorld is still contesting that fine.
The investigation by OSHA showed SeaWorld trainers had an extensive history of unexpected and potentially dangerous incidents involving killer whales at its various locations, including the one in Orlando.
SeaWorld says there are no plans to use Tilikum in shows at this time, but that might change.
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