Update: During today’s Sea World briefing, a spokesman said the park will resume whale shows, but trainers won’t get in the water.
In response to the media’s tireless coverage of the death of Sea World trainer Dawn Brancheau, the 40-year-old’s family has issued a statement to Florida TV’s News 13. “Being a trainer was a life-long dream that [Dawn] achieved. She loved her job, and she loved her animals…. While we understand that this tragic event is capturing headlines across the country, at this time, our family needs space and privacy to absorb our loss,” her family wrote. Brancheau drowned Wednesday afternoon after being pulled into the tank at Shamu Stadium by a 12,000-pound whale named Tilikum. According to the Orlando Sentinel, about two dozen spectators witnessed the attack, after which Brancheau was pronounced dead at the scene.
SeaWorld will hold a briefing on Brancheau’s death at 1 p.m. It will stream live on CNN.