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Humane Society Condemns SeaWorld for Shamu Attack

The killer whale at SeaWorld who bit her trainer is still performing at Shamu Stadium. But human handlers are staying out of the water while SeaWorld investigates the incident. Meanwhile the Humane Society of the United States is criticizing the park for keeping whales in captivity. KPBS Radio’s Andrew Phelps has details.

SeaWorld spokesman David Koontz says Kasatka was merely trying to communicate something was wrong when she bit her trainer’s foot and then pulled him to the bottom of the tank. Koontz says the 5,000-pound whale could have destroyed her trainer if she were really attacking him. But the trainer suffered only a broken bone. Koontz says trainers build positive, long-term relationships with the whales. But the Humane Society in Washington D.C. sees it differently.
Rose: There is no record of a wild killer whale – a wild orca – ever attacking a human being.
Humane Society biologist Naomi Rose.
Rose: The only reason that animal will ever be in a position to kill a human being is because that animal is in captivity.
The Humane Society’s position is that virtually all animals should live in the wild. At SeaWorld, the killer whale shows go on. For KPBS, I’m Andrew Phelps.

Editor's Note: The Humane Society of the United States has no affiliation with the local San Diego Humane Society or other local humane societies focusing on pet adoptions.

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