Killer whales are the largest dolphins that swim the ocean (Click here for more Killer Whale facts).Yes, they swim in the ocean. The tragic death of Dawn Brancheau reminds us of the dangers of mistaking a wild animal for an animal that can perform in captivity.
Many people were shocked on Wednesday, February 24th when Tilikum, the largest orca in SeaWorld, allegedly pulled Brancheau down into the tank. According to MSNBC, the whale violently jerked her throughout the tank as she lost consciousness and drowned. The question is: Is this what happened? One wonders how SeaWorld’s public relations team assessed this situation.
Many people believe that SeaWorld’s response to the crisis was too late, and when they did respond they weren’t telling the whole truth. In the public relations world one must remember, TRUTH IS ALWAYS KEY. Primarily, SeaWorld informed the public about the trainer falling into the tank; however, this wasn’t true information as many witnesses claimed. When SeaWorld corrected the information given to the public, they restored many relationships they carried with their patrons in the past. What the company’s next step should be is to follow up with their patrons about their park, as well as their safety procedures with the whales. These actions will guarantee a safe and family friendly environment, an atmosphere desired by SeaWorld’s target audience. Remember: Honesty is policy.
How do you think SeaWorld is handling this situation?
-Briana DeLuca Junior PR major