Training protocols on display at SeaWorld hearing

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — Testimony from SeaWorld’s head of animal training is set to resume at a hearing to determine if the park must pay fines a federal agency assessed it following the death of a trainer.

An administrative law judge will hear more witnesses Wednesday as SeaWorld appeals three citations it received from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration following the death of trainer Dawn Brancheau (bran-CHOH’) last year.

She was pulled underwater by an orca whale and drowned.

Training curator Charles Tompkins is being asked questions about SeaWorld’s safety protocols by OHSA attorneys.

OHSA says its citations should apply to performances, but SeaWorld contends there is little difference between how trainers interact with the whales in and out of shows.

A ruling against SeaWorld could force park officials to change their protocols.

Source: Associated Press