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Tilikum The Whale Returns To SeaWorld Show For First Time Since Killing Trainer Dawn Brancheau

Tilikum The Whale Seaworld

By KYLE HIGHTOWER   03/30/11 07:14 AM ET   AP

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The killer whale that drowned a trainer at Orlando's SeaWorld facility last year is slated to perform for the first time since the death.

SeaWorld officials say Tilikum will participate in the park's "Believe" show beginning Wednesday morning.

Tilikum drowned 40-year-old Dawn Brancheau on Feb. 24, 2010, and has not participated in a show since then, while park officials are spending millions making safety upgrades.

Plans to get trainers back in the water with the whales progressed earlier this month despite findings last summer by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration that accused SeaWorld of recklessly putting trainers in danger.

SeaWorld Animal Training Curator Kelly Flaherty Clark says they feel it's an important part of Tilikum's physical, social and mental enrichment to be back in the water.

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Filed by Travis Donovan  |