Whale That Killed SeaWorld Trainer Returns to Show

Wednesday, Mar 30, 2011  |  Updated 9:00 AM PDT
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Cousteau Laments Orlando SeaWorld Tragedy

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ORLANDO - FEBRUARY 24: The sign at the entrance to SeaWorld February 24, 2010 in Orlando, Florida. A female trainer who presumably slipped and fell in to a holding tank was fatally injured after she was attacked by an orca. This is the third human death associated with the killer whale, according to the Humane Society of the United States.

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SeaWorld Officials Try to Figure Out What Went Wrong

Jennifer Bjorklund's followup on the whale trainer death

Cousteau Laments Orlando SeaWorld Tragedy

Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of Jacques and president of the Ocean Futures Society, discusses with NBCLA's Patrick Healythe death of the orca trainer, his observations on killer whales, and the negative effects on them of being held captive in tanks.
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The killer whale that drowned a trainer at Orlando's SeaWorld 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 on Feb. 24, 2010, and has not participated in a show since then. Park officials are spending millions making safety upgrades.

The park is still working on plans to get trainers back in the water with the whales. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration last summer accused SeaWorld of recklessly putting trainers in danger. The company is fighting OSHA's citations and $75,000 fine.

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.

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