As SeaWorld announces an end to its killer whale shows in San Diego, here is an overview of its recent troubled history, following trainer deaths, a critical documentary and social media action
24 February 2010
SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau dies during a training session with Tilikum, the largest orca held at SeaWorld Orlando. Brancheau drowns after Tilikum pulls her underwater by her ponytail, in front of horrified visitors.
30 July 2010
Outside Magazine publishes an investigation by reporter Tim Zimmermann into Brancheau’s death. Entitled The Killer in the Pool, the article details the psychological effect of keeping orcas in captivity – and the risk this poses to trainers.