PHOTOS. Here are again pictures of the Shamu which killed Sea World trainer Dawn Brancheau. A Shamu Killer Whale “Tilikum” killed Sea World trainer Dawn Brancheau as yet another in a list of deaths associated with this particular killer whale since 1991.
Tilikum was often referred to as Telly or Tilly.
Reports remain conflicting as to when the attack happened Wednesday with most reports stating it happened before a live show began.
Yet some park visitors saw the attack in progress. They became later witnesses for local news. Among them included Victoria Biniak who told WKMG-TV “He was thrashing her around pretty good. It was violent”.
By the point at which Biniak describes the situation, some contend that Dawn was already dead having been drowned. Visitors were evacuated promptly, the Orlando park closed.
One report in the Telegraph adds today “A former contractor with SeaWorld told the Sentinel that Tillikum is typically kept isolated from SeaWorld’s other killer whales and that trainers were not allowed to get in the water with him because of his history. “
The question remains – what exactly was Tilikum’s past?
The story begins in 1991. Tilikum then was owned by Sealand of the Pacific (British Columbia). It was there Tilikum and two female whales, in front of spectators, dragged trainer Keltie Byrne below the water surface drowning her.
The following year, Tilikum was bought by SeaWorld for breeding in Orlando. But by July 1999, he was involved in another alleged incident in which a “body of a man who had apparently sneaked into SeaWorld after hours to swim with the whales was found draped dead across his back” reports the Orlando Sentinel.
That same report found the man Daniel Dukes to have died of hypothermia but was bitten and declothed by Tilikun.
In 2006 Dawn told the Orlando Sentinel her job was dangerous: “You can’t put yourself in the water unless you trust them and they trust you.”
For continuing coverage of Dawn Brancheau’s death on LALATE click here: http://news.lalate.com/category/animals.