Lower Fine for Whale Trainer's Death

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- A judge has reduced SeaWorld Orlando's $75,000 fine to $12,000 for the death of a trainer by a killer whale in 2010.
The Associated Press on Wednesday obtained Judge Ken Welsch's order changing the most serious citation SeaWorld faced from "willful" to "serious" in his decision.
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration had issued SeaWorld two citations totaling $75,000 in the death of Dawn Brancheau. A killer whale named Tilikum grabbed her and dragged underwater violently as horrified guests watched.
During a hearing last year, SeaWorld officials argued the safety citations were unfounded and their protocol for protecting trainers was sound.
But OSHA argued that trainers should have some kind of physical barrier when working with whales.


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