Reflecting on the tragedy I went back and looked at a story WDCS reported on in 2007. It was from a LA Times article.
The full piece is available via the link above, but the synopsis is 'a report in which state investigators concluded that it is 'just a matter of time' before a captive orca at Sea World’s Adventure park killed a trainer', has been withdrawn by the agency that issued it after two days of talks with Sea World officials. In rescinding the report, state department staff claimed that they did not have the expertise required to investigate the matter fully and promised to review their own record of events.
The report, by the state Department of Industrial Relations' Division of Occupational Safety and Health was released following the attack on a
trainer by a killer whale at Sea World Adventure Park in San Diego last November.
During a show on Wednesday 29th November  at Sea World’s San Diego theme park, a 30-year-old orca known as Kasatka, a 7,000-pound, 17-foot-long female, grabbed a trainer’s foot and pulled him underwater twice, before letting go so he could escape from the pool and be taken to hospital for treatment. The incident happened towards the end of the show during a routine which was supposed to include Kasatka and the trainer diving under water to emerge with the trainer jumping off her nose.
The report also stated that the animals prove deadly to their human trainers by virtue of their size alone, and that as carnivores, are armed with teeth that could tear “flesh and bone”. It was recommended that Sea World staff be prepared to use lethal force to prevent the loss of human life by one of the captive orcas, a recommendation that has
been withdrawn following the repeal.'
So should someone now be asking why was the report withdrawn and who now should shoulder the responsibility for what someone once described as an incident that was going to happen but it was 'just a matter of time'?
You can see CNN investigation on this issue, including our HSUS colleague Dr. Naomi Rose
And some more thoughts on the whole issue from our colleague Sue Rocca