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Robert Niles
Editor

SeaWorld trainer injured in accident at Shamu show

Published: November 30, 2006 at 11:25 AM

A 39-year-old trainer was hospitalized after a killer whale pinned him underwater twice during the final show at Shamu Stadium in SeaWorld San Diego last night.

A report is in the Accident Watch. Also, details are available from the AP.

Replies (4)

Erik Yates

Published: November 30, 2006 at 3:02 PM

There is a video report available, not of the attack, just the story. And in it a lady says "there should be a plan in place, if it comes between Shamu and the trainer, Shamu's gotta go".
Does anyone feel that way?
I think it was just an unfortunate accident that is possible when you work with animals. You are a trainer, and you know the risks. I think they should have tried to go on with the show and not worry about evacuating, just try and get that whale out of the area. Apologize to everyone and explain that these are the kinds of dangers when you're working with the oceans top predator, and of coure bring out the trainer and have him wave it off.
Franki Brock

Published: November 30, 2006 at 4:01 PM

I heard this on the news this morning and i was just like wow you automatically feel bad for the trainer. I also felt bad for the whale. as Erik said that is the chance that you take when you work with animals like this and it would be a shame to see him go.
Wilfredo Alvelo

Published: November 30, 2006 at 8:16 PM

An unfortunate incident, and one which does not happen too often. To say one must get rid of the whale in this case, is a bit premature. We have very little idea of the mental state of these animals. A variety of factors could have attributed to the cross-up at the show, such as a mis-read signal, crowd noise, etc. It is a risk, and perhaps if it happens again with the same whale, then there should be more thought given. For now, however, I feel we have to give the animal the benefit of the doubt and chalk this up to a fluke incident.
Larry Zimmerman

Published: December 1, 2006 at 1:59 PM

A trainer almost dying is a sad orcasion, indeed, and these flipperant comments leave me somewhat underwhalemed. All seriousness aside, this case is clearly black and white...I say if the whale breaks training again, it's time for a couple of tons of Shamu Sushi.
(Disclaimer: No indorsement of Japanese food is implied or intended. Marine mammals may contain high levels of heavy metals and/or neoprene; consult a qualified physician or marine biologist before eating marine mammals. The State of California has determined that eating, or being eaten by, marine mammals can be hazardous to your health. Please eat responsibly.)

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