A trainer at the Sea World Orlando location just finished explaining to the audience what they were about to see at the beginning of a Shamu show when the killer whale grabbed her and killed her in front of the audience. From The Orlando Sentinel:
Park guest Victoria Biniak told Local 6 that the trainer was a veteran of SeaWorld and had just finished explaining to the audience what they would see during the performance.
At that point, Biniak said, the whale came up from the water and grabbed the woman.
“He was thrashing her around pretty good. It was violent,'” Biniak told Local 6.
The whale “took off really fast in the tank, and then he came back, shot up in the air, grabbed the trainer by the waist and started thrashing around, and one of her shoes flew off.”
She said sirens went off and everyone was forced to leave the stadium.
Guests were evacuated from the area, and the whale show was cancelled. The park is not shut down.
Orange County Fire Rescue personnel arrived on scene within five minutes of receiving a 911 call for an unknown medical condition just prior to 2 p.m., a spokesman said. The woman was dead when rescue officials arrived.
Apparently this particular version of Shamu was named Tillikum and he is suspected of the drowning death of another one of his trainers in 1991. I’m no killer whale expert, but I would assume you would approach killer whales used in shows (interacting with tourists and bite-sized people) with a one-strike policy. On the other hand…this has got to go down as the most realistic killer whale show in Sea World history.