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Crime & Courts

OSHA: SeaWorld Has Incomplete Whale Behavior Files

SeaWorld Death

In this 2005 photo, Dawn Brancheau, a whale trainer at SeaWorld Adventure Park, poses while performing. Brancheau was killed in an accident with a killer whale at the SeaWorld Shamu Stadium Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 24, 2010. (AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Julie Fletcher)

Government attorneys say SeaWorld Orlando has incomplete records about aggressive whale behavior.

An attorney for the federal job safety agency on Wednesday questioned SeaWorld's head of training on the third day of a weeklong hearing. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is defending its decision to issue SeaWorld three citations and a $75,000 fine after a trainer's death.

SeaWorld records describe 100 incidents of aggressive behavior, but OSHA attorney John Black says they are incomplete. He noted that trainer Dawn Brancheau's February 2010 death was missing from the records. She was pulled underwater by a male orca, Tilikum, and drowned.

Tompkins says the death was not included in the log because a report was not complete.

A ruling against SeaWorld could force it to change how trainers interact with whales.

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