SeaWorld Resumes Killer Whale Show

Killer whales at Sea World cavorted in front of audiences Saturday, without trainers in the pool, as orca shows resumed after a three-day hiatus following the death of a trainer in Orlando.

Sea World cancelled all its killer whale shows after trainer Dawn Brancheau, 40, was dragged underwater by an orca named Tilikum during a show at the Orlando Sea World on Wednesday.

Parks in Orlando, San Diego and San Antonio reopened the ""Shamu" shows Saturday with trainers standing at the edge of the pools. Dave Koontz, a public affairs official in San Diego, said Saturday that he did not know how long such"dry shows" would continue before trainers are allowed back in the water with the orcas.

"It's not unusual for us to have dry shows after an incident," Koontz said. "The whales perform a number of behaviors they would regularly perform."

Koontz said the audience at today's 12:15 p.m. killer whale show expressed support for the trainers, and the show went off without incident.

A handful of animal rights protestors stood outside the park, on Sea World Drive, for a short time. Activists maintain that orcas are unhappy in captivity and should not be made to perform stunts.

Water park supporters say they preserve, protect and breed endangered species while educating and entertaining humans about wildlife.

In 2006, Ken Peters, a trainer at SeaWorld San Diego, was attacked by a killer whale during a show, suffering injuries when an orca named Kasatka grabbed his foot and twice took him to the bottom of a 36-foot-deep tank.

A killer whale also attacked a woman at SeaWorld San Diego in 1971.