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A SeaWorld trainer suffered horrifying injuries when she was dragged under by two enormous killer whales, with harrowing video footage now showing the attack.

Tamarie Tollison, 28, had been sitting on the edge of the orca tank with her foot dangling in the water when she was pulled in by two of the ocean beasts, Orkid and Splash, as horrified witnesses watched on.

Tollison was whipped around in the water and let out "blood-curdling screams", crying out "somebody help me" as she tried to cling to the railing of the tank at San Diego SeaWorld, it was recounted in the film Blackfish.

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"At this point Tamarie knows she’s in trouble," said fellow former trainer John Hargrove, who also recently accused SeaWorld of creating hybrid 'Jurassic World'-type orcas in a cruel breeding programme the company has since denied.

“She’s under the water, Splash and Orkid both have her, she’s totally out of view, no other trainer knows that this is happening.

“People start to scream. You hear Tamarie just scream out ‘somebody help me’ and the way she screamed it was just blood curdling.

"She knew she was going to die.”

The trainer, however, fortunately survived the attack after another trainer Robin Sheets made the "brilliant decision" to take the chain of the gate of a pool holding another orca, Kasatka, who was more dominant than Orkid, causing the attacking whale to let the trainer go.

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Tollison's arm was left in a "u-shape" from a compound fracture and was described as "very lucky to be alive, that's for sure".

SeaWorld has reportedly changed its policies since the 2002 attack, and trainers are no longer allowed to swim with the aptly-named killer whales, and insist the animals are not aggressive due to the daily "positive reinforcement" they receive.

Hargrove's damaging claims that the park was creating hybrid orcas made headlines last week.

The former trainer compared the park to the movie Jurassic World, telling The Sun: "That is exactly what we did at SeaWorld.

"The main takeaway with creating a hybrid orca is that you truly have no idea what you've created because they don't exist in nature. So all things are possible."

A spokesperson said: "There is nothing new in these claims. The wild characterizations from this former employee – who has not worked at SeaWorld in any capacity for 10 years – are designed to get clicks, not communicate facts or science.

"The fact is SeaWorld is independently accredited, reviewed, and certified by both federal wildlife agencies and independent third party experts to uphold the highest standards of animal care.

"Much of what the world knows about killer whales today is because of what has been learned through nearly 60 years of care and study of orcas in accredited zoological facilities such as SeaWorld.

"That knowledge and expertise continues to directly benefit the understanding of the health and conservation of wild orca populations. SeaWorld ended its killer whale breeding program in March 2016."


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  • Animals
  • SeaWorld

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