#SeaWorld Trainer Death Theory Debunked as a Ponytail Tale

Despite SeaWorld's claims of Dawn’s ponytail “floating” into Tilikum’s mouth, this still from the Connell family video would indicate that her hair remained high and dry just seconds before the take-down.

By The Orca Project

The media has it all wrong. But they have it exactly as SeaWorld wants the world to Believe. A little more than two weeks ago, Tilikum’s return to performing at the Orlando theme park rehashed the events that led to death of killer whale trainer Dawn Brancheau some 13 months prior. Through their recounting of that tragic day, virtually every news outlet, press release, and article written about her death portrayed the attack and initial take-down of Dawn as a “ponytail grab” and subsequent drowning.

They couldn’t be more wrong. The preponderance of evidence indicates that Dawn was not pulled in by her ponytail but instead was dragged into the water by her arm. As we know from the brutal details of her death this was much more than a simple drowning. But why does it matter that the media continues to roll with SeaWorld’s “ponytail theory”? And why does SeaWorld want to portray this as the start of the events that led to her death?

First we’ll have to take a look at what SeaWorld (SW) initially wanted the public to believe. Hoping to quickly put the story to rest (as well as the facts), SW convinced the Orange County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) to report that a trainer had “slipped or fell” into the pool and died of drowning. Although witnesses did not indicate that she slipped or fell, OCSO Spokesman Jim Solomons emerged from a meeting with SW officials and made that proclamation before a global audience in the initial press conference below: Read More . . .