SeaWorld President Jim Atchison spoke Friday (Feb. 26) to a live streaming audience about trainer Dawn Brancheau, Tilikum and the tragedy of the 12,000 lb.whale causing Dawn’s death on Feb. 22.
“It’s important that I again stress that we provide the highest standard of care and no animal is ever subject to punishment in any form. Tilikum is no exception,” said Atchison.
]]>In short, Tilikum will not be killed. Nor will he be set free. He will continue to be a part of Sea World Orlando. Gosh, that’s gotta be good news for Tilikum, who is confined and isolated in a way that would be similar to putting a human in a bathtub for two decades, according to CNN Opinion.
Shows will resume tomorrow, with the marquee “Believe” back on stage. No trainers will enter the water during “Believe” or any other show at the present time. In-water interactions between whales and trainers will resume after a “completed review and new policies” are made.
A fund in memory of Brancheau has been set up. The Dawn Brancheau Memorial Charitable Foundation is being created jointly by Sea World and Brancheau’s family.
Atchison read a statement from Brancheau’s family:
You have all heard what an amazing trainer Dawn Brancheau was and it is true, she was the best. It came naturally to her. Being a trainer was a lifelong dream that she achieved. She loved her job and her animals. To her husband, family and friends she was so much more. She was a compassionate and loving person who lived life to the fullest. She touched so many lives .Those who knew and loved her have suffered a tremendous loss. One so unexpected that it is extremely difficult to process and comprehend at this time. Our families sincerely appreciates everyone’s prayers and compassionate thoughts for Dawn her husband and her family. While we understand that this tragic event is capturing headlines across the country, at this time our family needs space and privacy to absorb our loss. We sincerely hope that the media will honor and respect this request. The family has made funeral arrangements to be held Sunday and Monday in Chicago. The family’s preparing a memorial service to be held in Orlando at a later date. Thank you.
How do you feel about the ending to the tragedy? Should the Killer Whale be set free? Or destroyed?
Photo: Associated Press