The Daily Grind Video

<p>SeaWorld Trainer Dies in Killer Whale Attack; Third Kill By ‘Tillikum’ the WhaleKiller Whale attacks trainer at Sea World SeaWorld in San Diego suspended its killer whale show after a trainer was killed Wednesday at its Florida park in front of a horrified audience. Spokesman David Koontz could not say when the daily show would resume. It was not immediately clear if the killer whale show, one of SeaWorld’s biggest draws, would also be suspended at the park’s San Antonio location, which was closed until the weekend. On Wednesday, a killer whale attacked a SeaWorld Orlando trainer who slipped or fell in its tank. The trainer drowned in front of the audience, who were quickly hustled out of the stadium. The park was immediately closed. The 40-year-old veteran trainer was one of the park’s most experienced. It was not clear how she died. It was not the first attack on whale trainers at SeaWorld parks. In November 2006, a trainer was bitten and held underwater several times by a killer whale during a show in the San Diego park. The trainer, Kenneth Peters, escaped with a broken foot that required surgery. In San Diego, the show features a movie about an awestruck boy who grows up to become a trainer, followed by a live show in front of hundreds of audience members. Multiple black-and-white killer whales circle a large pool and do tricks at the command of several trainers. In the 2006 incident, Kasatka, a 30-year-old 2&frac12;-ton orca, dragged Peters underwater twice, holding him there for less than a minute each time during the show finale at Shamu Stadium. At the time, marine mammal experts said the whale might have been put out by a spat with another whale, grumpy because of the weather or just irritable from a stomachache. The orca was supposed to leap out of the water so Peters could dive off her nose. Instead, as several hundred spectators watched, Kasatka grabbed Peters’ foot in her mouth and dragged him toward the bottom of the 36-foot-deep tank. Peters tried to calm the animal by stroking her back, but she grabbed him and plunged again. The whale finally released him and Peters was able to surface and swim away. Peters has 16 years of experience as a trainer, including 12 years in Shamu Stadium. Killer whales are predators that were originally called whale-killers because they occasionally eat other whales and dolphins. Park officials said a different orca went under with a trainer’s foot in its mouth two or three weeks before Peters was hurt but obeyed commands to release the trainer and return to the side of the tank, and the trainer was not injured. The most serious attack at SeaWorld came in 1987, when a whale leaped onto a trainer as he rode a second whale during a stunt before a full house. The trainer was hospitalized with a broken pelvis, ribs and upper leg. Kasatka made headlines in 2001 when she became the first killer whale to successfully give birth in captivity after being artificially inseminated. In 2000, a SeaWorld San Diego employee was injured in a pool during an exercise after getting entangled in a net with a dolphin. The female employee was hospitalized for three fractures and torn ligaments in her right arm.</p>