has been adjourned until November, but on Friday, Dr. David Duffus—who had
served as the foreperson of the coroner’s inquest into the death of trainer
Keltie Byrne after she was pulled into the water and drowned by Tilikum
and two other orcas in 1991—again took the stand.
Dr. Duffus testified that no method of training can control orca behavior and that
current safety measures aren’t effective. “Twenty years later, a lot has been done,
yet I’m reading the same outcome,”
he said. Dr. Duffus added that given his knowledge of orcas and the incidents
involving the animals in captivity, there was “no way on Earth” that he
would place himself in immediate contact with Tilikum, nor would he get close
to any other orca because of his “great deal of respect for the
fundamental nature of large predators.”

The final witness called before the hearing was adjourned
until mid-November was Les Grove, area director of the Tampa office of the
Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), which conducted the investigation
into Dawn Brancheau’s death and issued the citation at issue in this case.
Asked why SeaWorld was cited for a “willful” violation—which entails
an employer’s “plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee
safety and health”—Grove mentioned the “Tilly Talk,”
the 100-plus incidents
that have occurred at SeaWorld parks, interviews with management, and training
manuals that show the company was aware that working in close contact with orcas
was risky.
During the investigation, he added, “It became obvious Tilikum wasn’t the
only problem.”

We’ll give you further updates when the appeal resumes in
November, but for the orcas, the other dolphins,
and the people endangered by SeaWorld’s indifference, there’s no time to lose—tell SeaWorld today
that the place for these amazing animals is in a sanctuary, not doing stupid
tricks for tourists.

Minette Layne | cc by 2.0

Written by Jeff Mackey

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Article source: PETA Files

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