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SeaWorld appeal: Amusement park loses appeal to be in water with killer whales

SeaWorld Killer Whales
SeaWorld Killer Whales
Photo by Handout/Getty Images

SeaWorld has lost their appeal to try and be back in the water with the killer whales. On Friday, CNN shared the news that after trying to convince OSHA that it was okay for the trainers to be back in the water with these animals they were turned down. This all started when a 12,000-pound killer whale named Tilikum brought trainer Dawn Brancheau into the water and killed her four years ago. At this time, they do not have the trainers in the water with him the way that Dawn was when she died.

Her shocking death made the OSHA say that the trainers could not be in the water with the killer whales unless they had some kind of barrier between them. SeaWorld wants to make things the way they used to be but it doesn't look like they are going to win this fight. The death of Dawn was enough to bring out a lot of negative publicity about this park.

They spoke out saying, "Following the tragic death of Dawn Brancheau in 2010, we voluntarily deployed several new safety measures, including removing trainers from the water during shows. In so noting in its opinion, the court acknowledged that there will still be human interactions and performances with killer whales and, according to the court, the decision simply requires that we continue with increased safety measures during our shows."

Huffington Post shared that SeaWorld was fined $75,000 after Dawn's death but the fine was then later reduced to $12,000. The vote at the appeal hearing was between 3 judges and it was a 2-1 vote. They were able to convince at least one judge that they are right. If they do decide to appeal, then they are going to have to convince more than one this time.

At this time, it doesn't look like SeaWorld is ever going to be able to have trainers in the water again with the killer whales. The OSHA feels like it is a safety issue. They will probably continue to fight it though and see if they can change the mind of the OSHA. So far they have not confirmed that they plan to appeal the decision.