Marion Loverde, the mother of SeaWorld whale trainer Dawn Brancheau, exclusively told RadarOnline.com on Thursday that her daughter would not want Tilikum the killer whale to be “put down”.
The 40-year old trainer -- whose dream was to work at SeaWorld’s Shamu Stadium - died when 12,000 lbs Tilikium pulled her into the orca’s tank on Wednesday afternoon, drowning her as horrified visitors looked on.
Meanwhile, RadarOnline.com has obtained video of Brancheau performing with Tilikium back in 2008 at SeaWorld.
Speaking from her home in Schererville, Indiana, Loverde exclusively told Radar Online.com: “We are absolutely devastated but it was a tragic accident – my daughter died doing what she loved working with whales.
“They play safe at SeaWorld and it will be up to the other trainer’s discretion if the whale is retired from performing or what they want to do with it in the future.
“My daughter would not have wanted the whale to have been put-down – she was very happy working with her whales and was a wonderful person.
“My family are all still in a state of shock, and her husband is absolutely devastated. They lived for one another, Dawn’s death is a tragic loss.”