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The Curious Case of Daniel Dukes


Today’s post by Voice of the Orcas includes horrifying testimony from former animal care handler Cynthia Payne. Payne heartbreakingly describes stories surrounding Gudrun, Nyar and Gwen.

What stirred things even further was a comment posted by another former employee, KJ. KJ describes more details about the night that Daniel Dukes, Tilikum’s second victim, was found dead on Tilikum’s back. According to his comment, KJ says that there was a calf at the park during that time. When there is a calf, there should be a minimum of FOUR night-watch trainers.

According to Sam Berg, another former trainer, the night watch trainers job is to take respirations on every animal twice an hour for 5 minutes. This protocol begs to question where the night watch trainer was on this fateful night. It is rather suspicious that with four people in the area, nobody knows the details surrounding Duke's death.

Those who were present at the time of Dawn’s death in 2010 stated that they could hear and see commotion from A pool, the opposite side of Shamu Stadium. It is hard to believe that anyone in the area could have missed what happened, much less all four. SeaWorld has also maintained that there is no video surveillance that showed what happened, yet there is a camera on the Sky Tower. The security guard is also known to stop by the area every few hours.

Many have wondered how Dukes got into the pool. Did he jump? Was he pulled in? SeaWorld simply reports that Dukes drowned, but there are so many questions left unanswered. His body was dismembered, genitals removed, yet it is unknown if that happen before or after his death.

It has been easy for SeaWorld to once again blame the victim here, especially since he is not here to defend himself.

We might never have the answers, but it does make you wonder.

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