Wednesday 9 April 2014

Seaworld Orca and Trainer 'Incidents' prior to Blackfish

 Incidents have occurred between the Seaworld orcas and their trainers since captivity began. The majority of incidents can be backed up if research is done correctly, many of them done from Seaworld's own animal profiles.

Although some of the incidents say bumped, fluked etc and it may seem like nothing, remember these are huge animals and these actions were directed at trainers, the majority of those types of incidents have also been taken from the Seaworld Animal Profiles who deemed them warranted to be permanently mentioned.

Those animal profiles are linked to each incident where available so you can check out what Seaworld themselves too.

San Diego     first incident    1971 - 2010 duration of  39 years  have had    48 incidents
San Antonio  first incident    1989 - 2010 duration of  21 years  have had    10 incidents
Orlando        first incident    1989 - 2010 duration of 21 years   have had     11 incidents 2 resulting in death
Loro Parque first incident     2007- 2010  duration of 3 years    have had       4 incidents 1 resulting in death
                                                                                                                  73 incidents in total
                                   plus 14 incidents cited in court cases in 1987            87 incidents

These are the ones that have been documents, many haven't.

20/4/1971     Shamu   SD  PR Secretary Annette Eckis, wearing a bikini, slid off the back of an orca she was riding for a publicity stunt. 5-year-old female Shamu seized her leg and swam around the tank refusing to release the screaming woman until familiar divers entered the pool. Eckis suffered lacerations and puncture wounds.

22/05/1978   Winston  SD 8-year-old male Winston attacked trainer Greg Williams, who was treated at a hospital for several small puncture wounds. Winston took the trainer's legs in his mouth during a training session. News link - once again 'he was playing'

23/02/1984   Kandu V  SD  7-year-old female Kandu 5 took trainer Joanne Hay in her mouth and pinned her against a wall during a performance.

12/08/1984   unknown  SD  Two killer whales grabbed the legs of trainer Bud Krames and pinned him against a glass retaining wall during a performance. Krames suffers bruises.

11/02/1984   Kandu V  SD  7-year-old female Kandu 5 briefly grabbed the legs of trainer Georgia Jones during a Shamu show but released the trainer unhurt. The 4,500-pound killer whale took Jones’ legs in her mouth, but didn’t bite down.

16/11/1986   Kandu V SD  9-year-old female Kandu 5 pressed her snout against trainer Mark Beeler and held him against a wall for a few seconds during a performance before several hundred spectators.

In November 1987  SD  things opened up at Seaworld San Diego, newspapers reported on at least 14 incidents that hadn't been documented.  On November 21, 1987, Orky the mature five-ton male came crashing down on 26-year old John Sillick during a show in San Diego. At the time Sillick was riding on the back of a female orca. It was a crushing blow. Sillick almost died. He had severe fractures to both his hips, his pelvis, ribs and legs. After six operations in fourteen months, according to Sillick's lawyer, he was "reconstructed" with some three pounds (1.4 kg) of pins, plates and screws, including a permanent plate inserted in his pelvis and all his thoracic vertebrae permanently fused. He can walk today but his activity is limited.
After Sillick's injury, changes were finally made at Sea World. Sea World's owner, Harcourt Brace jovanovich (HBJ), the book publisher, stepped in with chairman William jovanovich calling the shots. The trainers were told to stop riding the whales, to stay out of the water with them, and to go back to the old training methods. Chief trainer Butcher was dismissed along with long-time zoological director and veterinarian Lanny H. Cornell and Sea World San Diego president Jan Schultz.

Various reasons are given for the accidents, but none can be fully explained. Some could have been simple miscalculations on the part of the whales, or missed signs. There might also have been poor signals from inexperienced trainers. The Orky incident with John Sillick did not surprise trainers who knew Orky, his history and his recent circumstances. Captured in April 1968, Orky had grown up with Corky at Marineland of the Pacific near Los Angeles, California. Soon after becoming mature, in 1978, he pinned trainer Jill Stratton on the bottom of the pool, nearly drowning her. "After that," said long-time Marineland head-trainer Tim Desmond, "we didn't regularly do water work with him because we didn't feel it was safe." On January 20-21, 1987, three weeks after Sea World owner HBJ bought Marineland, and promised not to move the orcas, Orky and Corky were trucked to San Diego, to join several other orcas. The new situation new breeding age females and much breeding activity - altered the social interactions of all the whales. But probably more important, Orky was being asked to perform according to the Sea World method with several trainers in the water. For Orky it had all happened almost overnight. Some Sea World trainers contend management was in too big a hurry to break in Orky. Did Orky have trouble making the transition? It is difficult to determine, but Robert K. Gault, Jr., then Sea World's president, admitted to the New York Times that they may have over-emphasized the importance of the entertainment, adding: "We did not have enough experienced trainers."

When Butcher had brought in his new methods and tried to standardize training in all four parks, he alienated several veteran trainers. In one year, about 35 trainers departed, according to Bud Krames, a senior trainer who left because he didn't agree with the system. New trainers had to be hired. Three of the five trainers in San Diego had three months or less experience working with orcas. Sillick, a veteran by comparison, had less than two years. In the year following the accidents, some of the injured trainers began to blame Sea World for not warning them about the "dangerous propensities of killer whales" as one lawsuit put it. Jonathan Smith's lawyer charged that Sea World and HBJ "negligently and carelessly owned, maintained, trained, inspected, controlled, supervised, located, transported and placed" the orcas, thereby exposing Smith to serious injury. Sillick and Weber also filed lawsuits. All three were later settled out of court with gag orders imposed. Following the terms of their deals with Sea World, the lawyers have refused to reveal any more than the basic details of their clients' cases. This means that no one can know any findings behind these cases; no one can learn or benefit from the thousands of pages of prepared evidence.

Way back then there were incidents causing the same concerns as today. 

After Butcher left, Sea World revamped the training programme. Under new chief trainer Michael Scarpuzzi, they returned to a simple, consistent approach of rewarding each behaviour. Instead of going into the water, trainers began directing the whales from the deck with hand or underwater acoustic signals. But less than half a year later, they were back in the water. This time the animals were being taught to focus their attention on the main trainer on stage, ignoring trainers in the water. All of it was conveniently just in time to celebrate Sea World's 25th anniversary with a new orca show. The show must go on! Only time will tell if the current training programme proves safer than those of the past.

Only time will tell if the training programmes prove safer was said back in 1987. Well we know the answer to that question. NO IT HASNT as we shall see 

03/04/1987 Kandu V /Keanu  SD
A six-ton orca suddenly grabbed trainer Jonathan Smith, 21, in its teeth, dove to the bottom of the tank, then carried him bleeding to the surface and spat him out. Smith gallantly waved to the crowd - which he attributed to his training as a Sea World performer - when a second orca slammed into him. He continued to pretend he was unhurt as the whales repeatedly dragged him 32 ft to the bottom of the pool. Smith was cut all around his torso, had a ruptured kidney and a six-inch laceration of his liver, yet he managed to escape and get out of the pool. Later reports indicate that the whales involved had been 10-year-old female Kenau and 9-year-old female Kandu 5.
A suit filed in March by ex-trainer Jonathan Smith is pending in Superior Court. Smith alleged that injuries inflicted by two of the whales during a show last year were caused by the negligence of the company.He sued Seaworld.  His suit says officials concealed the "dangerous propensities of killer whales" from him and assured him that it was safe for him to participate in the shows, even though he had no formal training.

15/06/1987 Kandu V SD  Trainer Joanne Webber, 29, suffered a fractured neck when 9-year-old female Kandu 5 landed on top of her and pushed her to the bottom of the pool during a practice session. Webber had five years experience working with orcas.She sued Seaworld in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in San Diego Superior Court that Sea World and its parent company, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, knew that the whales were "ferocious and dangerous" and were "likely to attack and injure human beings," but induced her to enter the pool by telling her the whales were "safe" and "gentle."
Webber's injuries were aggravated by Sea World personnel who delayed treatment, insisting that her wetsuit be removed at the park so that it would not be damaged by medical personnel who would try to remove it at the hospital, the lawsuit says.
Webber, who returned to a job at Sea World after her health improved, went back on medical leave last week after Sea World officials requested that she either take an office job at the park or go back in the water with the whales, according to Paula Tupper, an associate in the law firm of Patrick R. Frega.
Her injuries included fractures of the first cervical vertebra, contusions of the skull and scalp, and bruises to the left arm and shoulder. After a year, two cracks in a vertebra in Webber's neck still have not healed completely, and she has lost 50% of the side-to-side motion in her neck, Tupper said.
'In Great Pain'
Webber was able to free herself and get out of the pool after the whale attack, Tupper said. Park personnel then allowed her to walk about 50 feet from the pool to an enclosure, where she was told to remove her wetsuit, Tupper said.
"In great pain" and unable to comply, the lawsuit says, she was "stripped of (the) wetsuit by Sea World personnel." Tupper added that Webber was told to dress and walk about 200 yards to a waiting ambulance.

The lawsuit also names 35 unidentified defendants and asks for unspecified damages.
The defendants "well knew that killer whales had a dangerous propensity for attacking, ramming, dragging and smashing persons located in the pool," but concealed those facts, the lawsuit says.
They also knew that the whales were "capable of uncontrollable erratic behavior, aggression, and attack," but nevertheless placed a newly acquired and "known dangerous" male whale in proximity to female killer whales, thus increasing "the likelihood of erratic behavior and attack," the suit alleges.
Webber never would have gotten into the tanks if she had known the facts, the suit contends.

28/09/1987   SD  Trainer Mark McHugh was bitten on the hand while feeding an orca between shows.

As you see above all 3 cases were settled out of court with gagging orders incorporated  Following the terms of their deals with Sea World, the lawyers have refused to reveal any more than the basic details of their clients' cases. This means that no one can know any findings behind these cases; no one can learn or benefit from the thousands of pages of prepared evidence.

30/09/1987   SD While working with one orca during a performance trainer Chris Barlow, 24, was being rammed in the stomach by another orca. Barlow was hospitalized with minor injuries.

Trainer were taken out of the water.

08/04/1989 Kasatka  SA  12-year-old female Kasatka mouthed a trainer's leg. SW Animal Profile

30/09/1989 Kasatka SA  12-year-old female Kasatka mouthed a trainer's feet. Sw Animal profile 

29/10/1989 Katina   SO  13 year old Katina mouthed a trainers waist. SW Animal Profile 

21/04/1990 Orkid  SD  1-year-old female Orkid bumped a trainer's head. SW Animal Profile

08/07/1990 Kasatka SD 14-year-old female Kasatka mouthed a trainer's thigh. SW Animal Profile

28/07/1990 Corky 2 SD 24-year-old female Corky 2 pushed the mid-section of a trainer. SW Animal Profile

31/07/1991 Kasatka SD 14-year-old female Kasatka grabbed a trainer's foot (termed "jaw popped on foot" in Injury Report) and fluked a trainer's back SW Animal Profile 

02/04/1992 Katina SO 15-year-old female Katina bumped a trainer's hip. SW Animal Profile

11/10/1992 Kasatka SD  14-year-old female Kasatka mouthed a trainer's foot. SW Animal Profile

1992          Kayla  SD  3-year-old female Kayla pushed a trainer back toward pool during training. SW Animal Profile

25/04/1993 Kasatka SD mouthed feet and legs during hydro SW Animal Profile

15.07/1993 Kasatka SD 16-year-old female Kasatka mouthed a trainer's feet and legs, grabbed a knee and dunked the trainer, grabbed a foot and dunked the trainer. SW Animal Profile

03/08/1993 Katina SO 17-year-old female Katina bumped a trainer's body. SW Animal Profile

24/02.1994 Katina SO 18-year-old female Katina bumped a trainer's hand. SW Animal Profile

30/06/1994 Corky 2 SD 28-year-old female Corky 2 pushed a trainer. SW Animal Profile

23/10/1994 Orkid SD 6-year-old female Orkid bumped a trainer's thigh. SW Animal Profile 

 16.11.1994 Taku    this incident was unreported but filmed 

09/02/1995 Katina SO 19-year-old female Katina pushed a trainer. SW Animal Profile

30/07/1995 Takara  SD 4-year-old female Takara swam over a surfaced trainer. SW Animal Profile

25/01/1996 Orkid  SD  7-year-old female Orkid opened her mouth at a trainer and mouthed a trainer's thigh. SW Animal Profile

02/09/1996 Orkid SD  7-year-old female Orkid bumped a trainer's thigh, bumped a trainer's body and fluked a trainer. SW Animal Profile

03/07/1996 Orkid SD 7-year-old female Orkid pushed a trainer. SW Animal Profile

20/07/1996 Kayla SA 7-year-old female Kayla split to slide out during the show after a non-bridged behaviour. At that time, a guest tried to touch her and she thrashed her head from side to side with her mouth open. No injury occurred. SW Animal Profile

22/11/1996 Orkid SD 8-year-old female Orkid head popped a trainer's arm. SW Animal Profile

03/10/1997  SD 20 year old Ulises came out at a trainer SW Animal Profile

15/11/1997 Orkid  SD 9-year-old female Orkid bumped a trainer's hip. SW Animal Profile

23/06/1998 Orkid SD pushed a kayak with a trainer inside around SW Animal Profile

16/07/1998 Orkid SD 9-year-old female Orkid was performing a hydro-hop behaviour during a night show. The trainer accidentally hit her tail flukes with his hand upon his re-entry and she responded by hitting him in the stomach with her head. She responded to a stage call calmly. SW Animal Profile

09/03/1999 Takara SD 7 year old Takara came out at a trainer. SW Animal Profile

12/06/1999 Kasatka SD After her calf Takara split to a back pool during a show, 23-year-old Kasatka, the dominant female in the park, began to fast swim around the perimeter, grabbed trainer Kenneth Peters' leg and attempted to throw him out of the pool at SeaWorld San Diego. Peters was pulled out of the pool by another trainer. SW Animal Profile

05/07/1999 Tilikum SO Daniel P Dukes Seaworld said died o Hypothermia and his animal profile states Tilikums involvement not known, the autopsy report shows pre and post mortem injuries and complete avulsion of testes.

16/08/1999 Kayla SA   10-year-old female Kayla became aggressive with a trainer during a waterwork sequence in the show after several behaviours without reinforcement, in combination with social problems between Kayla and adult female Winnie. SW Animal Profile

2000      Corky  SD Prevents trainer from exiting pool by rostrum blocking SW Animal Profile

2000      Ikiaka  SO Young male Ikaika has a history of aggression, often of a sexual nature, which began with an attempt to breed a young calf at SeaWorld shortly before his transfer to Canada. SeaWorld's veterinarians then sedated Ikaika twice daily with Valium to "try to mellow him out." "We've already seen some of the precursors (of a human attack) up there, meaning he's grabbed boots, he's grabbed targets, he's grabbed an arm before," Chuck Tompkins, a senior executive at SeaWorld and head animal trainer, said in an affidavit. Those are signs Ikaika is testing his environment and seeing what he can do, Tompkins told the court. "And if you're not aware of all the little things that killer whales do, you can get somebody really, really hurt," Tompkins said in his affidavit. "I've got grave concerns on the safety of the staff and inevitably the safety of the animal because of the lack of change. News report on the court case with Marineland

2000's  Tuar SO  While a trainer was retrieving an article from the back of the mouth, young male Tuar clamped down on the trainer's arm and held tight for several moments. SW Animal Profile

2000's Tuar SO  Young male Tuar was involved in one swim over a surfaced trainer during waterwork with another young male, Tekoa. He did respond to a recall after two attempts. SW Animal Profile

2000's Tuar SO Since his move to Texas in April 2004, young male Tuar has opened his mouth towards trainers on a few occasions while in the water with him. This behaviour seems to present itself when sequences are predictable, and has been during solo waterwork only. SW Animal Profile

2002 Ulises SD 25-year-old male Ulises was doing a waterwork session in "A" pool. His trainer was on his back and wanted him to move closer to the acrylic by giving him the cue to "steer" him in a directional way. Ulises did not know this behaviour. Instead, he took this as a finger roll, the trainer fell off and Ulises began to go on a descent. He ignored the trainer on the porch trying to receive him and turned around to go back towards his trainer in the water. He turned ventral and scooped her up, and then started to become erect. She was able to get off at the porch and reinforce him. He was calm. SW Animal Profile

31/07/2002 Orkid SD 13-year-old female Orkid was given the opportunity to rehearse pulling a trainer into the water by her bootie (sic!). After placing a foot in Orkid's mouth several times Orkid pulled the trainer in the water and pulled the bootie off. SW Animal Profile 

07/08/2002 Orkid/Splash  SD  A female SeaWorld trainer was hospitalized and recovering from a broken arm after an incident at Shamu Stadium on Wednesday. The 28-year-old Tamaree was doing poolside training with 12-year-old male Splash and 13-year-old female Orkid. "She was playing with the whales, talking to them," said SeaWorld spokeswoman Darla Davis. "The next thing we know, as it appears from the video, she was pulled into the water." The park has its own video from a pool camera, and it also reviewed a video taken by a visitor who was recording his children nearby. Park officials said the trainer swam out of the water on her own. She was taken to a local hospital, where a pin was put in her arm. Doctors also are monitoring scrapes for possible infection. SW Animal Profile

2003 Kayla SA  14-year-old female Kayla had refused multiple separations prior to the show opening. She proceeded to perform abnormally high bows on a fast swim cue, came back and received an LRS(* see below), performed another set of bows on the fast swim. She was then asked for a line up, tactile was applied and she lined up with a slight lean. As the trainer backed over the wall, she then came out of the line up towards him with her mouth open. No contact was made. She then performed a head bobbing behaviour and split to the front pool. After several minutes staff attempted control and they were able to separate her to the back pool to continue the show. SW Animal Profile

01/08/2003 Kyuquot  SA  During a portion of the show, 16-year-old male Kyuquot refused to let a trainer exit the pool. He did not become aggressive, but refused callback tones and slaps, and would not allow the trainer to leave the pool. The trainer was able to get close enough to the glass to pull himself out very quickly, and Kyuquot then proceeded to fast swim around the pool, followed by sliding out at stage. SW Animal Profile

17/05/2004 Orkid SD  15-year-old female Orkid bumped a trainer's thigh. SW Animal Profile

27/07/2004 Kyuquot  SA  12-year-old male Kyuquot repeatedly slammed trainer Steve Aibel underwater during a show. Aibel, who was uninjured, had trained Kyuquot for 10 years. Kyuquot refused a rocket hop during a show, then repeated it well. However, Kyuquot then refused to allow the trainer to exit the pool. He then proceeded to swim over the trainer, blocking any exit from the pool for two to three minutes. He refused several callback attempts, including tones, hand slaps, and attempts at control by trainers in various positions around the pool. Once the trainer was close to the middle of the pool, Kyuquot then calmed down, finally drifting close to the stage, where the trainer was able to quickly exit. During the whole incident, Kyuquot never once opened his mouth on the trainer. SW Animal Profile

22/08/2004 Ulises  SD  27-year-old male Ulises was doing a Scuba session with his trainer in "A" pool (a spotter Scuba diver was also at the bottom), when he looped around, became erect, and then swam on top of his trainer. He ignored a hand slap and tone before responding to a second tone. SW Animal Profile

Summer 2004 Kayla SA  During a night show, 15-year-old female Kayla had performed the first two songs of the show acceptably, and then did two ventral squirt bow cues. She responded well to both LRS  that occurred, and then received a primary reinforcement for the second LRS. She was then asked for a fluke splash to the back, and then asked to separate to the back pool. During the separation attempt, she lunged at her trainer, although no contact occurred. After several minutes, she separated into the back pool, allowing the show to continue. SW Animal Profile

18/10/2004 Kasatka SD  A trainer was attempting to Scuba dive in "E" pool with 28-year-old female Kasatka and her 3-year-old male calf Nakai. The trainer did not have approval to swim with fins. He may have brushed her with his fins and she became aggressive, mouthing fins and Scuba gear. She eventually responded to a hand slap stage call. SW Animal Profile

01/04/2005 Taku SO A SeaWorld Orlando trainer is expected to return to work soon after being injured by an "overly excited" killer whale, a theme-park spokeswoman said Sunday. 11-year-old male Taku, one of nine at the park that go by the stage name Shamu, swam rapidly past the trainer and circled back, bumping him repeatedly during the Shamu Adventure show at 12:30 p.m. Friday, spokeswoman Becca Bides said. "The trainer maintained control of the animal," Bides said, and the show continued uninterrupted. The trainer, supervisor Sam Davis, was taken to Sand Lake Hospital for unspecified minor injuries and released the same day, she said.
Additional eyewitness account: "The trainer and Taku were about to slide on the slide out at the end of the show when Taku completely stopped and started "bumping" the trainer. The trainer was male and he finally swam out of the tank. I knew something was wrong because non of the whale except Kalina wanted to perform. Then they finally got Taku out to splash people at the end of the show, when this incident took place
."  Killer whale jolts trainer, Orlando Sentinel, April 4, 2005.

 14/04/2005 Orkid SD During a two whale - one trainer interaction, 16-year-old female Orkid initially responded to a stage call but quickly reached back and pulled a trainer by her ankle to the bottom of "A" pool. Orkid responded to the call back tone. Seaworld Animal Profile

06/05/2005 Orkid SD   16-year-old female Orkid grabbed a trainer's foot and dunked the trainer. Seaworld Animal Profile

2006  Corky 2 SD   After a good playtime session including waterwork in "A" pool, while sitting at stage with a few trainers next to her, 40-year-old female Corky 2 began to mouth a trainer's ponytail. She corrected quickly once asked by a trainer on stage to sit "heads up". Seaworld Animal Profile

Oct 2006 Kayla SA  After performing a sequence in the show, 17-year-old female Kayla was in the stage slide out with her trainer receiving secondary reinforcement. As the trainer attempted to point her back in the water, Kayla lunged at thim with her mouth open, contacting him and throwing him several feet. She immediately came back to control, separated to the back pool perfectly, and was very good behaviourally the rest of the day.  Seaworld Animal Profile

Nov 2006 Kayla SA  After performing a med pool separation well, 17-year-old female Kayla was receiving various secondary reinforcers while the gate closed when she pulled away from the wall. She was asked to come back to control, which she did. After a whistle bridge, the trainer went to feed her. Kayla lunged at her, knocking a bucket off the wall. No injury occurred. Seaworld Animal Profile

15/11/2006  Orkid SD  A SeaWorld trainer was injured, when 18-year-old female Orkid grabbed senior trainer Brian Rokeach by the leg, pulled him to the bottom of the pool and held him under water for about 26 seconds. Orkid released Rokeach after Peters repeatedly slapped the water, the signal for the animals to return to the front of the Shamu Stadium stage. Rokeach suffered a torn ankle ligament but was not hospitalized. In response to the incident, SeaWorld increased to five the number of trainers who must be available during live performances and other times when trainers are in the water with the whales. Seaworld Animal Profile

29/11/2006 Kasatka SD  30-year-old female Kasatka attacked Kenneth Peters, SeaWorld San Diego's most experienced trainer, during a show at Shamu Stadium. Kasatka grabbed the trainer's foot and dove to the bottom of the 36-foot tank. They surfaced less than a minute later, but she ignored other trainers' signals to draw her to the side. The orca dove a second time with the trainer for about a minute. Peters only escaped after other trainers worked a large safety net between the two. He suffered puncture wounds and a broken left foot. That's the second reported attack by Kasatka on Peters. Seaworld Animal Profile

06/04/2007 Tuar SA  7-year-old male Tuar opened and closed his mouth around a trainer's leg after a dive in prior to the ballet sequence of the show  Seaworld Animal Profile

10/04/2007 Orkid SD  18-year-old female Orkid was doing an Artificial Insemination session. She had been a bit vocal but was asked for the roll over behaviour for an ultrasound. The trainer then asked Orkid to perform a slide-out behaviour. She refused this behaviour and then swiped her head making contact with the trainer which resulted in the trainer falling over the wall. She did perform the slide-out behaviour after this. The 35-year-old trainer was taken to a hospital for examination and was found to have suffered minor injuries after the bump from the 5,900-pound whale. Seaworld Animal Profile

06/10/2007 Tekoa LP  A trainer at the Loro Parque theme park on Tenerife is in hospital after she was injured this weekend during a training session with 6-year-old male Tekoa at the centre in Puerto de la Cruz. The Canarias 7 newspaper says the incident happened at the pre-show warm up on Saturday, when the orca crashed into the trainer, injuring her right lung and breaking her forearm in two places. She was rescued by two colleagues after the marine mammal dragged her down to the bottom of the pool. The trainer is now said to be stable after surgery on Saturday. Later it becomes know that the injured trainer is 29-year-old biologist Claudia Vollhardt from Germany, who has worked at the park since 2003. OME News write that it was a male orca that hit the trainer and dragged her down after the impact. Then that same animal grabbed the trainer by the arm and brought her back up to the surface.  OME News Spain

Jan 2008 Takara SO 16-year-old female Takara hit a trainer with her tail fluke, who was smacked off the slide-out. Seaworld Animal Profile

18/03/2008 Kasatka SD  32-year-old female Kasatka came out at a trainer. Seaworld Animal Profile

10/09/2010 Kasatka SD 32 year old Kasatka came out at a trainer  Seaworld Animal Profile

Spring 2009 Skyla LP  In the spring of 2009, during a public show, 5-year-old female Skyla started pushing her trainer around the pool and up against the pool wall. Shortly thereafter, special protocols (limits on water work and a mandate that only senior trainers work with her) that had been standard practice for Tekoa after the incident in 2007 were enacted for Skyla as well. Outside magazine

Sept 2009  Keto LP  Incident with Brian Rokeach and Keto. Outside Magazine

24/12/2009 Keto LP  KETO KILLS ALEX MARTINEZ A Loro Parque trainer has been killed by one of the whales during a training session. The trainer was 29-year-old Alexis Martínez, and the accident occurred at 10.30 am this morning during the first training session for the Christmas Special planned for the New Year. The other 7 trainers were also present in the training session. As far as can be determined right now, Alexis was hit by 14-year-old male killer whale Keto, and his death was caused by drowning because he was under the water unconscious for several minutes before he could be rescued. The autopsy report on Martínez was telling and states bluntly that his was a "violent death." It describes multiple cuts and bruises, the collapse of both lungs, fractures of the ribs and sternum, a lacerated liver, severely damaged vital organs, and puncture marks "consistent with the teeth of an orca." It concludes that the immediate cause of death was fluid in the lungs (i.e., drowning) but that the fundamental cause was "mechanical asphyxiation due to compression and crushing of the thoracic abdomen with injuries to the vital organs." In other words, at some point Keto probably slammed into Martínez with such force that he caved in his chest. Outside Magazine

2010 Orkid SD  21-year-old female Orkid has been sliding out in various slide-out areas on her free time which has resulted in possibly dangerous scenarios for guests at the Dine with Shamu area. Changes are (were?) being made to the areas to help decrease the frequency of this behaviour in areas where person might be injured  Seaworld Animal Profile 

24/02/2010 Tilikum SO  A veteran animal trainer whose dream was to work at SeaWorld Florida was killed Wednesday when one of the show's killer whales dragged her underwater. SeaWorld said that 29-year-old male Tilikum pulled Dawn Brancheau, 40, into the orca's tank about 2pm. Witnesses told that the animal suddenly grabbed Brancheau by the upper arm, tossed her around in his mouth and pulled her beneath the water as dozens of tourists looked on in horror. The autopsy report shows multiple injuries including a complete avulsion ( an avulsion is an injury in which a body structure is forcibly detached from its normal point of insertion by either trauma or surgery) of the left upper extremity with associated fracture of the proximal left humerus. 

Just to establish fact as I know Seaworld has stated it is a lie -  the autopsy report does indeed state Dawn Brancheau's left arm was separated from her body as in the picture above. .  You can see from Tilikums Animal Profile it just states, grabbed pony tail, pulled in water, held trainer underwater, carry tow trainer.  For Keltie Byrne it says be advised Tilikum was involved in an accidental drowning and for Daniel Dukes it says drowning no specific behaviour noted. As you can see from the records, autopsy reports etc, above this is hardly giving the trainers a full view of what happened and what danger they could be in, other than telling them Tilikum had his own protocol, it doesn't tell them why. 

It also states during times of frustration due to social stress in the environment, Tilikum has demonstrated aggressive behaviour by mouthing the stage, vocalisations, deep fast swimming, tightening body posture, banging gates, and sometimes lunging towards control trainers.  It also says occasionally he has displayed possessive behaviour of objects and whales in his environment.

This is the show prior to Ms Brancheau's death which shows social stress in the environment. One orca rammed up out of the water and control lost so much the trainers left the stage 

The report on the incident states
Finally—now holding Brancheau by her arm—he was guided onto the medical lift. The floor was quickly raised. Even now, Tilikum refused to give her up. Trainers were forced to pry his jaws open. When they pulled Brancheau free, part of her arm came off in his mouth. ( I suspect this is where the paramedic on Blackfish got his information from so he wasn't actually lying).  The paramedics went to work, attaching a defibrillator, but it was obvious she was gone. A sheet was pulled over her body. Tilikum, who'd been involved in two marine-park deaths in the past, had killed her.

It was this article that Gabriella Cowperthwaite wanted to investigate and in doing so Blackfish was born. 

There are probably more videos on you tube if you choose to look for them. These incidents are documented although the early ones are in newspaper archives,  the majority are documented by Seaworld themselves.  These incidents are all before the movie Blackfish was created, and I hope it gives you some insight into one of the reasons people protest Seaworld regardless of the movie Seaworld like to keep your attention on.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Good info, many thank you to the author. It is incomprehensible to me now, but in general, the particular usefulness and importance is overpowering. Thanks again and good luck!
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  3. Now do some math on the data: 46% of SeaWorld's orcas, since the beginning, have 1 or more incidents.
    The average number of incidents for all these orcas is 3.74.
    The average number of incidents for the 4 orcas SeaWorld bought from SeaLand is 2.50 [includes Tilikum]
    If you include all Tilikum's descendants with incidents as well as these four, the average is 2.09

    Now look at another group of 4 orcas with a common background [Kasatka, Kandu 5, Katina, Kotar]. The average number of incidents for these 4 is 6.50.
    If you include all of their descendants with incidents as well, the average is 5.46.

    So the SeaLand orcas as a group have a lower average number of incidents than all SeaWorld orcas with incidents as a whole.
    The other group all arrived at SeaWorld San Diego after being captured in 1977 and 1978. They trained together and spent time in the dolphin petting pool. They turned really aggressive around 3 years after moving on to full time performing.