SeaWorld Says Dawn Brancheau Was One of Their Best Killer Whale Trainers

Posted on February 25, 2010

SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau was killed by a killer whale at SeaWorld in Orlando yesterday. Dawn's sister says Dawn was doing what she loved and living a dream that began when she was just nine. A video shot Wednesday showed Dawn playing with Tilikum - the whale that killed her - moments before the incident occurred.

Tilikum is linked to the deaths of two other people. Richard Ellis, a marine conservationist with the American Museum of Natural History, believes the killer whale's actions at SeaWorld Orlando were intentional.

A SeaWorld official says he doesn't know what the animal was thinking. He says they do know Tilikum pulled Dawn underwater by her pony tail. He describes Dawn Brancheau as highly skilled and one of the best killer whale trainers. Take a look:

More from Science Space & Robots