Should Seaworld Trainers Be Allowed To Swim With Killer Whales?

Seaworld is in court to fight against restrictions imposed that bars trainers from working too closely to Killer Whales. The theme park believes that trainers swimming with the orcas is educational and integral to the care of the species. [contextly_sidebar id=”e90d46a6dfd1c4eaa9508e3320346f2c”]

Former Seaworld Killer Whale trainer Dawn Brancheau was publicly killed in a 2010 incident at the theme park, prompting a federal labor judge to ban trainers performers from training with the animals. The whale yanked her from a platform into the pool, dragged her into the water, and thrashed her around until she died.

Seaworld has been battling the restrictions in court for three years. They believe that the Labor Department judge went too far in banning “close contact” with the whales.

The Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration performed an investigation into Brancheau’s death and cited SeaWorld for “willfully” violating federal safety laws that require a workplace to be free from “recognized hazards.” The judge reduced the citation from “willful” to “serious” and instituted a fine of $7,000. The judge found that the, “emotions inspired by the grandeur of humans interacting with killer whales” did not justify the risk trainers take.

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