EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Whale Advocate Blames Sea World For Trainer's Death

Feb. 24 2010, Published 10:47 a.m. ET

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“What we’re looking at is negligence,” Captain Paul Watson told in an exclusive interview about the death of a female trainer at Sea World in Orlando.

The Canadian Whale Rights Advocate says both Sea World and Sealand of the Pacific in Victoria, British Columbia are to blame. Police say the famous orca killed 40 year old Dawn Brancheau at Sea World when she slipped and fell into his pool, but a witness said the whale actually grabbed her and shook her.

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Sea World has shut down their parks in Orlando and San Diego.

The 30 year old whale, whose name is Tilikum, is the largest whale in captivity, and is responsible for two previous deaths.

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“They didn’t seem to learn any lessons from the incidents,” Captain Paul told from a satellite phone in the middle of the Antartic where he is on a whaling mission, “they knew it was capable of killing a human being.”

Sealand in Canada closed in 1991 after Tilikum and two other whales killed a part time trainer. Shortly thereafter he was sold to Sea World.

Watson, who met the whale in Canada, says he is surprised that more incidents don’t happen because the mammals are housed in tiny tanks and they are capable of tremendous strength. Tilikum weighs 12,300 pounds.

He says there are only two choices: either destroy the whale or send him back into the wild.

His suggestion: “Put it back where they got it from: the waters of Victoria, British Columbia.”


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