Killer Whale Yanked Trainer Into Tank By Her Ponytail

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The details of Dawn Brancheau’s horrifying death by a killer whale at SeaWorld Wednesday continue to develop: The 40-year-old trainer with 16 years of experience was knee deep in water when the whale pulled her under by her long ponytail, authorities say.”Rescuers were not able to immediately jump in and render assistance to Brancheau due to the whale’s aggressive nature,” says a report released Thursday by the Orange County Florida Sheriff’s Department. “She was recovered from the whale by SeaWorld staff members after the animal was coaxed into a smaller pool and lifted out of the water by a large scale/platform.”

Brancheau’s cause of death was “most likely” multiple traumatic injuries and drowning, the report says, citing autopsy results.In the first detailed official account of Wednesday’s attack at the Orlando theme park in front of dozens of horrified visitors, the report says “there are no signs of foul play” and “all evidence and witness statements indicate that the death was a tragic accident.”
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