High Stakes Battle Between Sea World and the US Government

Sea World challenges the ban prohibiting humans from getting in tank with whales.
1:28 | 11/12/13

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Transcript for High Stakes Battle Between Sea World and the US Government
We want to tell you next tonight about a drama under way in a courtroom. Center stage, seaworld, orlando. The question of human trainers and killer whales and what is safe after that trainer died. Abc's david wright has the story. Reporter: Since the days of shamu, the bond between killer whales and their trainers have been the star attraction at sea world. Dazzling families with acrobatic feats and delicate interactions. But in 2010, the federal government banned trainers from getting in the tank after sea world veteran dawn brancheau was dragged to her death in florida. Today, sea world asked a federal court to lift the ban. Sea world argues that having its trainers swim with killer whales is fumtsal to its business. They say banning it would be like imposing speed limits at nascar races. Making their case in court: Lawyer eugene scalla, son of the supreme court justice. It's as if the federal government came in and told the nfl that close contact on the football field would have to end. Reporter: The government's lawyer argued that seaworld has a duty to keep the performers safe. The hazard is the risk of trainers getting bitten and grabbed by working very close to them. Reporter: Seaworld insists it takes extraordinary measures to minimize any risk. Now shamu's legacy is in the hands of a court. David wright, abc news, seaworld, san diego.

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