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Whale that killed trainer returns to SeaWorld show

Mar 30, 2011 11:34:00 AM - thestate.com
The killer whale that drowned a trainer at Orlando's SeaWorld facility last year is slated to perform for the first time since the death.

SeaWorld officials say Tilikum will participate in the park's "Believe" show beginning Wednesday morning.

Tilikum drowned 40-year-old Dawn Brancheau, a University of South Carolina graduate, on Feb. 24, 2010, and has not participated in a show since then, while park officials are spending millions making safety upgrades.

Plans to get trainers back in the water with the whales progressed earlier this month despite findings last summer by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration that accused SeaWorld of recklessly putting trainers in danger.

SeaWorld Animal Training Curator Kelly Flaherty Clark says they feel it's an important part of Tilikum's physical, social and mental enrichment to perform again.