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SeaWorld trainer yelled ‘my neck’s broken’ after being body slammed by most dangerous orca

SeaWorld trainer yelled ‘my neck’s broken’ after being body slammed by most dangerous orca

The 1987 incident brings the issue of keeping sea animals in captivity into question once more

Earlier this month, shocking footage emerged showing the moment killer whales appeared to attack each other at SeaWorld, with the incident sparking fresh talks about the issues with marine park attractions.

One such event that is doing the rounds relates to an incident in 1987 whereby a SeaWorld worker was left with a broken neck after suffering an attack from Kandu V, an orca with a violent reputation.

Keeping orcas in captivity has long been criticised by animal rights groups.
Stephen Searle/Alamy Stock Photo

Former trainer at the San Diego park, Joanne Webber, was said to have screamed 'my neck is broken' after the 6,000 pound killer whale landed on her and dragged her to the bottom of a 40-foot deep pool.

Webber's neck was fractured by the attack, and a year later in June 1988 she filed a lawsuit against SeaWorld and its parent company Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

At the time, the Los Angeles Times reported that the companies were accused of knowing the orcas were 'dangerous' and 'likely to attack and injure human beings', but that they had convinced her to get into the water by claiming they were 'safe' and 'gentle'.

The suit also alleged that staff members aggravated Webber's injuries by urging her to remove her wetsuit at the park so that it wouldn't be damaged when taken off by medical workers, thereby delaying her treatment.

Just a few months prior to the incident, former SeaWorld trainer Jonathan Smith was similarly attacked by Kandu V before another orca named Kenau joined in on the violent outburst in front of a horrified audience.

Jonathan Smith was similarly attacked by Kandu V.

The LA Times reported that the two-and-a-half minute attack ended in Smith being hospitalised for nine days, with injuries including bruised kidneys and ribs and a cut on his liver.

He later sued the companies just as Webber did, accusing SeaWorld of negligence and that officials had hidden the 'dangerous propensities of killer whales'.

As reported by The Sun, both Webber and Smith's cases were settled out of court with gag orders, meaning a significant amount of the prepared evidence could never come to light.

What makes these cases all the more tragic is that after spending much of her life in captivity, Kandu V suffered a gruesome death.

In August 1989, while performing in a 'Shamu Show', she turned on another female orca named Corky II.

Kandu V met a grisly end.
The Orca Project

As the crowd watched on from the stands, Kandu rammed into Corky with her mouth wide open, breaking her own jaw and severing a major artery in her nasal passages.

A horrific image released by the Ocean Preservation Society and The Orca Project appears to show the aftermath of the attack as blood pours out from Kandu's blowhole.

Experts have long criticised water parks for keeping killer whales in captivity as it can lead to aggression.

In 2016, SeaWorld announced that it would stop captivity breeding of orcas as well as phase out entertainment shows in which the whales perform tricks and dances in favour of educational demonstrations.

However, fresh criticism has emerged amid the recent San Diego SeaWorld incident, which unfolded just days after another orca at the park died following an infection.

SeaWorld visitors were shocked to sea orcas fighting.

PETA's executive vice president Tracy Reiman said: "In two days, one orca has died and another has been attacked by other frustrated, closely confined orcas, resulting in a serious injury.

"And young children were witnesses to the carnage."

LADbible has contacted SeaWorld for a comment.

Featured Image Credit: SeaWorld

Topics: US News, Animals