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SeaWorld trainer screamed for help as she was dragged under by two killer whales

SeaWorld trainer screamed for help as she was dragged under by two killer whales

The trainer was dragged underwater by two killer whales while screaming for help

Terrifying footage shows the moment a SeaWorld trainer was dragged underwater by two orcas while screaming for help.

Tamarie Tollison, who was 28 at the time of the 2002 incident, was seen dangling her legs in the water, before being ripped under the water's surface by giant killer whales, Orkid and Splash.

The incident was captured on the camera of a guest at SeaWorld - which has seen multiple incidents of orcas attacking trainers.

The trainer begged for help and gave a 'blood curdling scream' as her co-workers looked on in horror at the San Diego tourist attraction.

Recalling the scary experience, former trainer John Hargrove, said: “She’s under the water, Splash and Orkid both have her, she’s totally out of view, no other trainer knows that this is happening.

“People start to scream. You hear Tamarie just scream out ‘somebody help me’ and the way she screamed it was just blood curdling.

"She knew she was going to die.”

Luckily, Tamarie Tollison survived the vicious attack after the quick thinking of co-worker Robin Sheets, who decided to let out the more dominant orca from his enclosure, which led to the two orcas letting go of her ravaged body.

The reason behind the orcas' aggression was apparently put down to it being in 'solitary confinement', which allegedly caused the sea creatures to suffer from 'physical and psychological damage'.

The trainer was dragged underwater by the two whales.

In the documentary, Hargrove claimed: "Physical and psychological damage endured by human prisoners in solitary confinement is well documented. Orcas at amusement parks such as SeaWorld suffer the same fate.

"I can tell you from my 14 years of experience that I personally witnessed the orcas – as well as other dolphins and marine animals – suffer the same physical and psychological trauma.

"Imagine spending your entire life trapped in a small enclosure."

"That is exactly what we did at SeaWorld," he continued. "The main takeaway with creating a hybrid orca is that you truly have no idea what you've created because they don't exist in nature. So all things are possible."

The orcas where eventually distracted by the dominant orca being released.
Magnolia Pictures

In response to the claims, a SeaWorld spokesperson said at the time: "There is nothing new in these claims. The wild characterizations from this former employee – who has not worked at SeaWorld in any capacity for 10 years – are designed to get clicks, not communicate facts or science.

"The fact is SeaWorld is independently accredited, reviewed, and certified by both federal wildlife agencies and independent third party experts to uphold the highest standards of animal care.

"Much of what the world knows about killer whales today is because of what has been learned through nearly 60 years of care and study of orcas in accredited zoological facilities such as SeaWorld.

"That knowledge and expertise continues to directly benefit the understanding of the health and conservation of wild orca populations. SeaWorld ended its killer whale breeding program in March 2016."

Featured Image Credit: Mongolia pictures

Topics: Animals, Animal Cruelty