SeaWorld killer whale ‘tries to drown trainer’ in front of horrified audience
This is the unbelievable moment a SeaWorld trainer survived being dragged underwater by a 5,000lb killer whale in front of a horrified audience.
Ken Peters was pulled beneath the surface by Kasatka, who was said to be distressed after her calf called out to her in the middle of one of the shows at the San Diego branch of the marine park.
He is seen going to give Kasatka a kiss on the side of the enclosure, and he was then supposed to dive into the water before before she lifted him out on her nose.
But after going into the water and briefly resurfacing it was clear something had gone wrong.
Peters begins to struggle in pain as Kasatka had bitten his foot, getting a deadly grip on the SeaWorld worker.
Horrific footage of the 2006 incident showed the giant mammal pull Peters under twice, each time for just under a minute.
The trainer managed to hold his breath and survive, escaping with just a broken foot and puncture wounds from her knife-like teeth.
He managed to escape after calming the distressed whale down, and later testified at a federal hearing that he thought the risk of working with the huge animals was “acceptable”.
He said: “I could get killed in a car accident today, but I still get in a car,” he said.
“Even when I was down at the bottom of the pool, I thought she’d let me go.”
Peters also defended the park in the wake of the death of Dawn Brancheau, who was killed by killer whale Tilikum in the Orlando park in 2010.
Kasatka was put down in 2017 at the age of 41.
Her former trainer, John Hargrove, left the marine park in 2012, and has since become a whistleblower and was a key part in the award-winning documentary Blackfish.
He claims Kasatka’s death was caused by bacterial infections, and the immune systems of the whales are impaired due to being given antibiotics for years so they can live in the tiny pools.
He told the Mail on Sunday : “They claim captive orcas help educate people, and for years I bought into it. But Kasatka lived in misery, in barbaric and horrific conditions, and died in agony.
“She lived out her days in a house of horrors – and I was complicit in selling the lie to the public.”
He added: “In the wild, these magnificent creatures live to 80, 100 years old.
“I have to speak out because if it stops just one person paying to go to a park where orcas are tortured to perform circus tricks, then Kasatka’s death won’t have been in vain.”