California warns SeaWorld over whale trainer risk
Written by Robert Niles
The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health set up a battle with SeaWorld San Diego in a report released this week, warning that it is only a matter of time before one of the park's orcas kills a trainer.Tweet
The report was in response to an incident last year when a killer whale dragged a trainer under water.
The LA Times provides the details. The state lauded SeaWorld's training and declined to cite the park for any safety violations. But it noted an inherent risk in working with large, carnivorous animals.
SeaWorld ripped the state report, meeting with the state agency's district manager and asking him to withdraw the report.
"We have proven over 40 years that we are very safe," Mike Scarpuzzi, vice president of zoological operations at SeaWorld San Diego and a former whale trainer, told the LA Times.
"The emergency procedures worked," he said to the paper. "We have a whale and a trainer, and both are alive. That's a successful end."
Update: Just got this from Busch corporate:
I saw your post on the California thing. We had a call with Cal OSHA today and they have agreed to rescind the informational memorandum (the document on which Tony Perry's [LA Times] story is based) as well as rewrite the 13,000-word narrative summary. From the release that we expect to issue today:
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