Killer whale "Tilikum" (back) appears during its performance in its show "Believe" at SeaWorld on March 30, 2011 in Orlando. "Tilikum" returned to performing publicly on March 30 for the first time since the six-ton whale killed trainer 40-year-old trainer Dawn Brancheau at the marine park on Feb. 24, 2010, after Sea World Parks & Entertainment president Jim Atchinson signed off on the decision.
A federal appellate court in Washington is hearing arguments on whether citations issued to SeaWorld Orlando should be upheld following the death of a trainer.
Three judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia are listening to arguments Tuesday.
SeaWorld is contesting two citations issued by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration following the death of trainer Dawn Brancheau.
She was killed in February 2010 when a six-ton killer whale named Tilikum pulled her into a pool.
An administrative judge last year upheld the citations but downgraded them from willful to serious.
SeaWorld is arguing that the job safety agency overreached with its citations.
One of the attorneys representing the marine park before the appellate court is the son of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.