Video Shows Trainer in Water, Playing With Whale

She's seen smiling, in up to her shoulders
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2010 4:25 PM CST
Video Shows Trainer in Water, Playing With Whale
Whale trainer Dawn Brancheau in a 2005 file photo.   (AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Julie Fletcher)

A tourist's video shows SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau playing in the water with the whale moments before the fatal attack. In the nearly 7-minute video posted by Orlando station WESH-TV, a smiling Brancheau is seen in the water up to her shoulders, right by the whale, at about the 6:40 mark. Prior to that, she had been feeding him fish and dousing him with water following a show. See the video here. (It cuts off before the whale grabs her.)

The video conflicts with earlier accounts by officials that she slipped in or that the whale jumped up and pulled her into the water, notes the Daily News. It also goes against the notion that trainers never entered the water with that particular whale because of its history of aggression.
(More Dawn Brancheau stories.)

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