Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

SeaWorld San Diego closes Shamu show after deadly whale incident in Orlando

February 24, 2010 |  2:35 pm

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/photos/uncategorized/2008/04/28/dolphins_at_sea_world.jpgSeaWorld in San Diego has canceled its Shamu whale show at least for Wednesday after an Orlando SeaWorld employee was killed in an encounter with a whale at that theme park.

"We're terribly saddened by the loss of the member of our SeaWorld family, it doesn't matter what park," said SeaWorld San Diego spokesman David Koontz. "We have canceled our afternoon Shamu show here today."

Koontz said park officials had yet to make a decision about to whether to cancel Thursday's show.

Orlando SeaWorld officials are not revealing the identity of the victim, although a local TV station is reporting that a female employee was killed after she was grabbed by one of the theme park's whales at the start of a public show. Park guest Victoria Biniak told the station that the trainer was a veteran of SeaWorld and had just finished explaining to the audience the show they were about to see.

At that point, Biniak said, the whale came up from the water and grabbed the woman.

"He was thrashing her around pretty good. It was violent," Biniak said.

Read more on the story from the Orlando Sentinel.

-- Amina Khan

Photo: Dolphins at SeaWorld San Diego. Credit: EPA