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SeaWorld San Diego cancels Shamu show for second day in row

February 25, 2010 |  9:52 am

SeaWorld San Diego canceled its Shamu show Thursday for the second consecutive day after a trainer at its sister theme park in Florida was fatally attacked by a killer whale.

San Diego park officials had not yet determined whether Friday's show would be canceled. But the park has worked to improve safety after several incidents over the last three decades in which trainers were injured, officials said.

In 1971, an employee suffered puncture wounds when a killer whale tossed her, according to Times reports. The most recent San Diego attack occurred in 2006 when a 33-year-old trainer was hospitalized after a killer whale dragged him to the bottom of the Shamu pool during a show.

That incident was eerily similar to the Wednesday attack at SeaWorld in Orlando, when a killer whale thrashed trainer Dawn Brancheau around underwater as dozens of horrified tourists watched. Brancheau, 40, was finishing a session with Tilikum, a 12,000-pound killer whale, after a midday show when it grabbed her by the upper arm, disappeared underwater with her and swam to the other side of tank, flailing her around.

"We're terribly saddened by the loss of the member of our SeaWorld family, it doesn't matter what park," SeaWorld San Diego spokesman David Koontz said Wednesday.

-- Amina Khan

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