EXPIRED: 02/24/10 – Dawn Brancheau, 40, knew she wanted to work with killer whales from the moment she saw her first Shamu show when she was just 10 years old.

It was her dream job and she would have died to be a whale trainer.

Well as fate would have it…without warning, the killer whale Tilikum dragged her into his tank after a show and she drowned.

Brancheau, the youngest of 6 kids, left a SeaWorld 30 years ago and ended up studying psychology and animal behavior at the University of South Carolina. She then worked with dolphins at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey for two years before getting hired at SeaWorld.

She started in the Sea Lion & Otter Stadium in February 1994 before graduating to the killer-whale tank two years later.

“You can’t put yourself in the water unless you trust them and they trust you,” Brancheau once said in an interview.

You gotta hope Tilikum was simply playing and wasn’t intending any harm, but you never know….

Best to leave these beasts at sea where they wanna be.



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