ORLANDO, Fla. — A female trainer was killed by a killer whale at SeaWorld’s Shamu stadium in Orlando, Florida on Wednesday, according to local reports.
Witness Victoria Biniak described the attack to local station WKMG, saying that the veteran trainer had just finished telling the audience about the show they were about to witness when the whale struck.
"The trainer was explaining different things about the whale..and then the trainer that was down there walked away from the window..and then Telly (the whale) took off really fast in the tank and he came back, shot up in the air, grabbed the trainer by the waist and started thrashing (her) around," Biniak told the station.
Biniak added that the attack was violent enough for the trainer’s shoe to fly off.
The Orlando Sentinel reported that Orange County Fire & Rescue responded at 2 p.m. local time to a report of a person who was not breathing.
Biniak told the station that the whale, named Tilikum, or Telly for short, does not typically have a trainer in its tank because it is too large.
WKMG reported that Tilikum is a nearly 30-year-old, 12,300-pound bull Orca.
Tilikum was previously involved in two fatal incidents. On February 21, 1991, the whale, then living at a location in British Columbia, Canada was involved in an incident that resulted in the death of 20-year-old female trainer Keltie Byrene.
Tilikum was moved to Orlando in 1992.
In 1999, a man who snuck into the park after closing time was found dead inside the whale’s tank.
Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/female_trainer_killed_at_seaworld_n1O6kDO1B2vS6GxUAntGFO#ixzz0gUqQ3OgW
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