Thursday, March 01, 2007

No Touch Orca

Report: 'only a matter of time' before whale kills a trainer - Los Angeles Times

From the Article:

SAN DIEGO -- Although SeaWorld Adventure Park has done a good job of preparing its trainers to work with killer whales, it is "only a matter of time" before a whale kills one, state investigators have concluded after examining a November incident in which a trainer was dragged under water and nearly drowned.

"The trainers recognize this risk and train not for 'if' an attack will happen but 'when,' " says a report by the state Department of Industrial Relations' Division of Occupational Safety and Health.

But the report also warned that SeaWorld should be ready to use lethal force against a killer whale if it endangers a trainer by becoming "out of control and not responding to other available control measures."

"They (the whales) are a danger to humans by virtue of their size alone," the report concludes. "Second, they are a carnivore. They are armed with an impressive arsenal of teeth, capable of tearing bone and flesh."

The whales are also smart and capable of "cunning and forethought."

["And probably more than half mad from their captivity here"-Cap'n]

SeaWorld has seven killer whales; during the height of the summer tourist season there are often six to seven shows a day at Shamu Stadium.

See also:
The Memory Hole > A Whale Bleeds to Death at Sea World
(gross pic)

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