Shamu, the star orca who made Seaworld what it is today, has decided that he is not going to work for mackerel anymore. No, he's decided that a raise in the minimum wage is in order. From now on, he eats trainers!
SAN DIEGO – A trainer at SeaWorld Adventure Park remained hospitalized Thursday after a killer whale grabbed him and twice held him underwater during a show, officials said.
The trainer was in fair condition at the University of California, San Diego, Medical Center, nursing supervisor Denise Thompson said. Ken Peters, 39, was "resting comfortably," SeaWorld San Diego spokesman Dave Koontz said.
Koontz did not know the extent of Peters' injuries and the hospital declined to release details.
Peters was hurt around 5 p.m. Wednesday during the final show of the day at Shamu Stadium, a 36-foot-deep tank.
The show's finale called for a female orca named Kasatka to shoot out of the water so Peters could dive off her nose. The whale is about 17 feet long and weighs well over 5,000 pounds.
As several hundred spectators watched, the whale and trainer plunged underwater, where Kasatka grabbed Peters by the foot and held him for less than a minute before surfacing, Koontz said.
"The trainer was being pinned by the whale at the bottom of the pool," Karen Ingrande told KGTV-TV.
When they came up, Peters tried to calm the animal by rubbing and stroking its back but it grabbed him and plunged down again for about another minute.
The crowd "began to realize there was not something right and the whale was down again under the water. Again they were splashing the water to try to get the whale to come to the surface," Ingrande said.
WC Fields famously refused to work with children or animals.
UPDATE: Visitors coming over from Tim Blair's site will enjoy this post a lot. To the best of my knowledge, Paco has never left a comment here unless it was under another handle, but he has sent a number of people over from Tim's site. Thanks, Paco.