Killer Whale Tilikum Returns To SeaWorld
Tilikum, the killer whale that killed a trainer in front of a live audience last year, was put back into the performance arena at SeaWorld today. INSIDE EDITION was on the scene.
Tili the killer whale is back at SeaWorld and his return to performing is causing concern.
Tilikum, the six-ton beast that dragged a trainer to her death at SeaWorld Orlando a year ago, performed again today for the first time since the tragedy.
Last February, trainer Dawn Brancheau drowned after Tilikum seized her ponytail in his mouth and thrashed her around in the water like a rag doll.
It was the third fatality involving Tilikum.
SeaWorld now has extra safeguards—jagged rocks stand between the whale and the nearby staff, and barriers are set out before the performance.
SeaWorld says staff is forbidden from entering the water with the whale.
But the killer whale's return to the SeaWorld show has some critics furious.
INSIDE EDITION spoke to Russ Rector, a former marine animal trainer.
"This is a very dangerous animal and SeaWorld is making a very dangerous and bad decision," Rector told INSIDE EDITION's Les Trent.
"Is it possible Tilikum has been rehabilitated?" Trent asked.
"No, absolutely not. Tilikum is broken, he has been damaged by captivity to the point to where he is like a dog that has been kept in a cage for too long and has turned vicious," Rector replied.
SeaWorld is challenging a federal citation it received for safety violations in the wake of Brancheau's death.
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