Tatiana; Travis; Now, Tilikum, the Killer Whale

By David Schoetz

Feb 24, 2010 5:56pm

UPDATED: First it was Tatiana, the tiger. Then, Travis, the chimp. Now, Tilikum, the killer whale. Details are streaming in, but we'll have a report about the killer whale attack today that left SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau, pictured above with a different animal, dead in Orlando before a stunned and horrified crowd. Recent high-profile animal attacks include the fatal tiger escape at the San Francisco Zoo on Christmas Day 2007; and the chimpaneze, Travis, who mauled his owner's friend to within an inch of her life in Connecticut a year ago. Embedded below is the rather alarming segment we did the night the 9-1-1 calls were released describing the chimp attack. An investigation is under way, but already, it's clear that Tilikum, a 12,000-pound sea beast known affectionately as "Telly," has a violent past. The killer whale was blamed for the death of a trainer in 1991 at Sealand of the Pacific in British Columbia, and involved in a bizarre incident in 1999 after being sold to SeaWorld when a man slipped into the animal's area after hours and was found dead in the morning in the tank. And we're hearing there may be more to come. Will update with details as they come and embed in the morning.

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