What do you think about Sea World's decision put the whale that killed his trainer back in the show?
SeaWorld's killer whale, Tilikum, will return to performing at the theme park today 13 months after killing trainer Dawn Brancheau.
In a statement, executives from SeaWorld defended Tilikum's reentry into the performing world saying it "is an important component of his physical, social and mental enrichment."
Tilikum has been connected to the death of three humans. The last death was on Feb. 24, 2010 when Tilikum used his girth to snatch trainer Dawn Brancheau's ponytail, pull her underwater and shake her violently until she died.
The death was caught on tape and watched by horrified spectators.
In 1991, trainer Keltie Lee Byrne fell into a tank holding Tilikum and two other whales at Sealand of the Pacific in Victoria, Canada. A homicide inquest found that the whales had prevented Byrne from climbing out of the tank and ruled her death an accident.
After Tilikum was transferred to SeaWorld in Orlando, Tilikum was again connected to the death of a person in 1999.
The body of Daniel Dukes, 27, was found naked and draped across the giant whale's body in July 1999. Dukes reportedly got past security at SeaWorld, remaining in the park after it had closed. Wearing only his underwear, Dukes jumped, fell or was pulled into the frigid water of Tilikum's huge tank.
Tilikum had been brought to SeaWorld mostly to mate and trainers like Brancheau were not allowed in the water with him, but did interact with him on the pool ledge.
The 40-year-old trainer was at ease with the killer whale and had just petted him on the nose. However, in a scene that horrified SeaWorld visitors, Tilikum pulled her into the pool and began swinging her around in its mouth.
SeaWorld officials had always said Tilikum would be back after Brancheau's death, despite protests by experts and activists.
"He's the big finish and it worries me that the show is more important than his well being or trainer safety," said Naomi Rose from the Humane Society of America.
Federal officials aren't as worried about the largest killer whale in captivity, but more about his human trainers.
In August, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration said that Seaworld showed indifference or intentional disregard for employee safety by exposing workers to drowning hazards when they interact with killer whales.