SeaWorld Killer Whale Attack Footage Released & We Can't Look Away (VIDEO)

killer whale kasatkaSix years ago spectators at SeaWorld witnessed the unthinkable: A 5,000-pound killer whale named Kasatka grabbed a trainer by the foot and dragged him underwater, nearly drowning him. The trainer, Ken Peters, escaped -- only to be dragged underwater again. He escaped again and made it to safety.

For the first time since that incident, we can now watch it, too. The killer whale attack video has just been released to the public. And just like the spectators, even though we know it's terrible, we can't help watching anyway.


This wasn't the only animal attack at SeaWorld, either. Tilikum, a 11,000-pound killer whale, has fatally attacked trainers three times. The last time was in 2010 when it pulled trainer Dawn Brancheau under water, leading to her death. Tilikum went on hiatus -- but shockingly enough the whale returned to performing at SeaWorld in March 2011. That's right, after killing three people, the whale is still performing. I can't help wondering -- is this the real draw?

David Kirby, author of the new book Death at SeaWorld, thinks Kasatka was actually trying to tell Peters something. "I think she was trying to tell him, 'Hey, I got to go take care of my kid ... she's calling for me, and I don't want to perform.'" But wouldn't a veteran trainer pick up on his performer's needs? Maybe not. Who knows?

Peters is back at work today. And SeaWorld claims they didn't know killer whales could be fatally dangerous. But there's a reason why they're called killer whales! I mean, they're also known as orcas. And they don't usually attack humans. But something about that performance environment is dangerous for animals and trainers alike. And I suspect that's what keeps visitors flocking to these shows.

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Do you think we should continue training animals like orcas to perform for live audiences?


Image via ABC News

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