Former Boss: Mistake Prompted SeaWorld Killer Whale Attack

Killer whale trainer Dawn Brancheau committed a breach of protocol before she was dragged to her death by Tillikum, SeaWorld‘s popular orca. Thad Lacinak, Brancheau’s former boss, made the statement in an interview with ABC’s Good Morning America following the tragic accident in Florida’s SeaWorld.

Lacinak said Brancheau was lying too close to the killer whale when the animal pulled the trainer down by her ponytail, which drifted near the orca’s mouth. Lacinak pointed out that Brancheau should have been standing while she was interacting with the animal. The killer whale snatched the trainer by her ponytail and dragged underwater to drown in front of many terrified onlookers.

Meanwhile, SeaWorld officials said there is no plan to release or euthanize the killer whale. Spokesman Leigh Andrus said the next step for SeaWorld is to review its safety protocols and ensure that these are strictly followed to avoid similar incidents in the future.