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A killer whale’s history of harming people was known among SeaWorld employees when the whale killed a trainer in Orlando two months ago, according to a police report released Wednesday.
whale named Tilikum dragged trainer Dawn Brancheau
The whale named Tilikum dragged trainer Dawn Brancheau underwater Feb. 24, thrashing her body with such force that her hair and scalp had to be retrieved separately from the bottom of a pool after other SeaWorld employees recovered her body.
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The incident in Orlando marked the third time Tilikum had been involved in a human death. Tilikum was one of three orcas blamed for killing a trainer in 1991 after the woman lost her balance and fell in the pool at Sealand of the Pacific near Victoria, British Columbia.
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Tilikum also was also involved in a 1999 death, when the body of a man who had sneaked by SeaWorld Orlando security was found draped over him.
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Tilikum’s past history is that when he obtains a person, he does not let them go,” are the words one detective used to paraphrase part of an interview with Laura Surovik, an assistant curator of animal training at Sea World.