It would seem that the hunt is on to find video footage of the SeaWorld Orlando trainer Dawn Brancheau being attacked and killed by one of her charges. Several of the hottest trending topics on Google appear to be searches for the video of the trainer being killed and, as macabre as it might seem, there just might exist actual footage of the killer whale attack at Shamu Stadium on Wednesday following the â€œDine With Shamuâ€ show.
WFTV in Orlando currently has posted two home videos, one that ends prior to the attack and another that is currently unavailable but the title of which suggests it is actual footage of the trainer being attacked and killed. Whether or not there is actual footage of the attack, home video or otherwise, remains to be seen, so to speak.
The footage of the video that is readily available shows Dawn Brancheau dancing and playing with Shamu (in this particular case, â€œShamuâ€ was Tilikum, a 30-year-old, 5-ton killer whale). The home video was purportedly shot by a New Hampshire couple just before Dawn Brancheau was pulled off the holding tankâ€™s ledge and into the water by her long pony tail. (Some reports maintain she was pulled in by her arm.) Eyewitnesses say the killer whale circled the tank and came back, grabbing the trainer in its massive jaws, then shook her like a rag dollÂ andÂ went underwater with her. The trainer was pulled from the water minutes later, after SeaWorld workers rushed to her aid with nets, an alarm sounding in the background.Â ButÂ it wasÂ too late for the veteran trainer.
The entire incident occurred in front of numerous spectators who had stayed after the â€œDine With Shamuâ€ show to watch the trainers interact with the killer whales. Tilikum, the creature that killed Brancheau, was not part of the regular show. He had been placed in isolation, even from other killer whales, after an incident in 1999 where a man climbed into his holding tank for an unauthorized swim after hours and was found dead the next day, apparently drowned.
The trainerâ€™s death is the third death since 1991 associated with that particular killer whale. Sea World officials are still attempting to determine what caused the killer whale to attack the trainer.Â They also have as yet determined the fate of Tilikum — whether or not he should be “put down.”
The official autopsy report notes that Dawn Brancheauâ€™s body exhibited traumatic injuries but the cause of death was drowning.
The Sea World trainer killed video â€“ at least the video that shows Dawn Brancheau moments before her death — can be found at WFTV.com.