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SeaWorld Appeals Ruling Barring Trainers In Water

An orca whale at SeaWorld in July 2011.
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Above: An orca whale at SeaWorld in July 2011.

SeaWorld is seeking to overturn a ruling by a federal commission that prevents its trainers from joining killer whales in the water during shows.

U-T San Diego reports ( that SeaWorld filed an appeal earlier this month in Washington, D.C., to have the ruling reconsidered. In July, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission turned down the park's request to review a previous ruling that said trainers be physically separated from killer whales during performances.

Animal trainers have not been in the water with the orcas since the death of SeaWorld Orlando trainer Dawn Brancheau in February 2010. SeaWorld said its goal is to eventually resume in-water interaction between trainer and killer whale.

Federal officials have fined SeaWorld and issued three safety violations.

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