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Sea World and Conflict Resolution March 12, 2010

Posted by Chris Yates in PRCA 4335.


Killer Controversy?

     An unfortunate tragedy such as the death of an employee presents many challenges for an organization. Family members have to be consoled and the public informed that a mistake was made. Such a sensitive matter needs to be dealt addressed quickly. Sea World is dealing with such issues after one of their trainers, Dawn Brancheau, was killed in front of park guests during a routine performance with the whales. At a press conference shortly after the incident, a spokesperson for Sea World expressed sympathy for the victim’s family and ensured that current safety measures will be re-evaluated.  The Daily Telegraph  has a good video of the press conference and information on the park reopening.

     This is a difficult time for Sea World, as they are also faced with the pressing need to reopen the Florida park. The press conference shows how they are applying conflict resolution theory to their situation. There are more groups that need to be addressed other than Brancheau’s family. Sea World has to assure animal right’s activists that there will be no retaliation against the whale involved. They also have to appease those who protest the whale’s captivity in the first place. The spokesperson seemed to address both of these groups in the press conference, but it will be a lingering problem for a while.


1. lowoodward - April 20, 2010

OMG! I saw an interview of a lady who was visiting the park the day of the accident and saw it happen (of course, before it was removed by YouTube) and it seemed like another trainer signaled the whale to chomp her up for lunch! Well, those are my words, but you see what I mean. Another site (brain fart- can’t remember at the sec) said that apparently the :”other” trainer’s ponytail in the wind, looked like a hand waving to the whale, which caused it to freak out. Either way, I already had a phobia of whales, and don’t think I will ever make it to Sea World….haha!

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