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ORCA trainer Alexis Martinez was already fearing for his safety when he climbed into a pool with the 6,600lb killer whale Keto.

He had confided in his girlfriend "something could happen at any time" - and his fears came true on Christmas Eve, 2004.

3Trainer Alexis Martinez, 29, was killed by 6,000lb killer whale Keto in 2009 3The animal lover's chest was crushed by the orca during a training session

Martinez was an experienced trainer, having worked with the animals for three years at Loro Parque in Tenerife.

He was described as "handsome, generous, and funny" by his partner Estefanía Luis Rodriguez.

And the trainer, 29, felt all was not well at the exhibit he worked at, Orca Ocean.

He had told his girlfriend the killer whales were becoming disobedient, disruptive and aggressive.

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And he was right - as just weeks later, Alexis was horrifically killed by an orca during a training session.

His life came to a gruesome end following a brutal attack by Keto - which was dismissed as an "unfortunate accident".

Despite his skill, years of experience and intuition in dealing with the enormous creatures, he was no match for the beast.

The grim autopsy report revealed he his organs had been ripped apart and his chest was crushed before the orca then "played" with his body in the tank.

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Alexis had started his career in 2004 when he bagged a job at Loro Parque in Tenerife - one of only two parks in Europe to house killer whales.

Two years later, the park loaned four orcas from SeaWorld who were quickly thrust into a training regime for performances.

Accomplished trainer Alexis was instrumental in leading the marine mammals in rehearsals for an upcoming festive show.

He had been caring for a 6,600lb male, named Keto, who had been flown over from the US after being born into captivity - never experiencing life in the open ocean.

During a morning session on December 24, according to a corporate incident report, Keto "appeared in a good mood".

Alexis joined the orca in the pool while another trainer, Brian Rokeach, positioned himself on the stage, while several other members of staff mulled around.

The 29-year-old is said to have attempted to perform a stand-on spy hop, where he balances on the killer whale's rostrum as it rises up and out of the water.

TRAINING TRAGEDY

But he took a tumble as Keto leaned to one side, before trying the stunt again - when he again fell into the water.

The trainer responded with a reinforcing scenario, giving a neutral reaction and withholding the reward, according to the report.

The 14-year-old killer whale was then rewarded with two handfuls of fish after he obeyed the commands of another trainer.

A hopeful Alexis then opted to attempt a haul-down into stage haul-out - meaning he would ride the orca down into the pool and up onto the stage.

However, Keto had dived too deep into the 12-metre pool - forcing his trainer to abandon the move in the depths of the water.

After the pair surfaced, the orca "appeared to position himself between Alexis and the stage".

The 29-year-old then waited for the animal to calm and requested a stage call via underwater tone.

The animal in question moved towards him and hit him and violently played with his body.

Rafael SanchezOrca Ocean

His colleague Brian suggested that Keto did not appear "committed to remaining under control" and looked "a little big-eyed".

The fellow trainer then instructed Alexis to swim slowly to another pool while he gave the killer whale a hand target.

Yet as Ket noticed his mentor was on the move, the three ton orca made a beeline for him - ignoring Brian.

The killer whale then hurtled towards Alexis, forcing him underneath the water with his huge beak for several minutes.

Orca Ocean assistant supervisor Rafael Sanchez, in his testimony to investigators, said: "The animal in question moved towards him and hit him and violently played with his body."

Frantic trainers desperately tried to call Keto to the surface, signalling him by slapping the water and banging a bucket.

After around 30 seconds had passed, the killer whale finally obeyed and discarded Alexis' lifeless body at the bottom of the pool.

'VIOLENT' DEATH

But the ordeal was not over yet - as Keto took a quick breath and returned to inspect his victim, before bringing him to the surface with his beak.

Other Loro Parque employees eventually managed to direct the gigantic orca into another pool, before retrieving his trainer's body.

The 29-year-old had blood streaming from his nose and mouth while his colleagues hopelessly tried to revive him.

An autopsy report later found that Keto had slammed into Alexis with such force that it caused his chest to cave in.

It concluded that although the immediate cause of death was drowning, Alexis' death had been "violent".

The report describes multiple cuts and bruises, the collapse of both lungs, fractured ribs and sternum, a lacerated liver, severely damaged vital organs, and puncture marks "consistent with the teeth of an orca".

SeaWorld temporarily suspended waterwork in all of its parks following his death, as did Loro Parque.

HORROR DEATH

But Alexis' employers initially characterised the death as an "accident", insisting his pummelled body showed no signs of violence.

They claimed he "was knocked by the orca in an unexpected reaction of the animal" while Keto was "shifting his position."

Keto had in fact caused catastrophic internal bleeding.

In a cruel twist of fate, it later emerged Alexis had documented his concerns over the killer whales in his diary.

He wrote how Keto had displayed "controlling" behaviour with the three orcas - Tekoa, a male, and females, Kohana and Skyla - he had arrived from SeaWorld with.

Other investigations later revealed the killer orca had rammed Tekeoa on one occasion, leaving him bleeding.

On another, Keto had taken a chunk out of Kohana's dorsal fin.

Alexis has told his girlfriend he was exhausted due to the stress of working with the orcas and the pressure of the upcoming Christmas show, reported journalist Tim Zimmermann.

"My job is especially risky, and I really need to be well rested and ready," Alexis told his girlfriend Estefanía.

"With everything that is going on, something could happen at any time."

Alexis' family have said they feel like they were "lied to" over his death - with Estefanía claiming she was at first told he was "fine" when contacted by the park, even though they knew he was already dead.

The park has however defended their handling of his, death and insisted an incorrect information shared can "fairly be attributed to the nature of an emergency response".

3Alexis with Dawn Brancheau - who was killed by an orca just two months later at SeaWorld

Just two months after his horror death, devoted killer whale trainer Dawn Brancheau was dragged into the water by an orca during a post-show routine.

Dawn and Alexis known each other from her time at Loro Parque.

She bent over the tank's edge to rub Tilikum when his behavior suddenly changed and he pulled her into the water by her ponytail.

Harrowing scenes saw Dawn shaken and thrown about as terrified guests were frantically ushered out by staff.

According to reports, the 40-year-old was scalped and had her arm bitten off during the attack.

Dawn's shocking death made headlines around the world, calling into question how ethical keeping whales in captivity is - with much speculation focused on Tilikum's treatment and life.

Many experts and former trainers believe Tilikum turned serial killer purely as a result of his traumatic time in captivity, with the landmark 2013 documentary Blackfish shining a light on longstanding concerns.

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Tilikum died in 2017 after facing serious health issues, including a persistent and complicated bacterial lung infection.

His death came just a year after SeaWorld announced they were ending their breeding program following years of campaigners railing against them.

News Source: the-sun.com

Tags: seaworld told his girlfriend the killer whale into the water the killer whales the killer whale just two months autopsy report to the surface was killed from seaworld according martinez in captivity the water alexis on the move was already the trainer the trainer the orca his trainer

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What does your body language REALLY say? Expert reveals the intentions behind common hand gestures

A body language expert has decoded the top hand gestures being used in the UK, including some dubbed the 'double tumbleweed', 'politician's steeple' and 'the deceiver' - used to express a range of emotions, including shock, happiness and even cockiness.

Former prison psychologist Darren Stanton took a deeper look at the signals, as a new study by handwash brand INEOS Hygienics revealed that more than 14 million Britons now communicate more with their hands than they did pre-pandemic.

Examples include waving your palms out as you think out loud, bringing your fingers together to express an air of authority and rubbing your chin as you dwell on judgement.

'Technology has driven an interesting shift in physical behaviour - where people have definitely become more animated due to the pandemic,' Darren told FEMAIL. 'Public speaking ignites fear amongst so many of us, and the rise of video calls has forced us to perform at the centre of attention - whether we like it or not.'

A behaviour expert explained that we make a conscious effort to appear more animated with colleagues on Zoom (Stock image used)

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The behavioural expert also said that, 'psychologically we're all on stage more', which can create more stress, and allows us to use our hands as a way of diverting attention.

'There is a correlation between the degree of animation that someone shows with their hands and their body and their level of confidence,' he added.

'For example, weather presenters can be very animated with their arms and bodies, which is directly linked to levels of confidence and the need to convey information clearly and concisely.'

Darren also explained that we also make a conscious effort to appear more animated with colleagues on Zoom.

Here, Darren dug deeper into what the varieties of our gestures could mean.

DOUBLE TUMBLEWEED

Darren explained this gesture shows there was no pre-planned dialogue, with the speaker likely trying to make sense of what they're saying in real-time, as they talk

Action: Hands out in front of the body, fingers spread out, left wrist rolls anti-clockwise, right wrist rolls clockwise.

Darren explained this gesture shows there was no pre-planned dialogue, with the speaker likely trying to make sense of what they're saying in real-time, as they talk.

'The Double Tumbleweed shows you can't get the words out at the same speed you are thinking,' he explained. 'The rolling hands show a bit of a delay in what the person is thinking about.'

The expert added that the gesture may resonate more with women, who are 'seen to be more open about their feelings and are in touch with kinesthetics'.

The more staggered the 'tumbleweed', the more stalled the thought process is likely to be, Darren added. 

He continued: 'People who use the Double Tumbleweed talk at the rate they're working things out in their head for themselves.'

'Or perhaps it's a difficult topic that they're trying to get advice on. It might even be a difficult subject they are trying to navigate as they are talking.'

THE DECEIVER

The fact that the person is keeping their palms down suggests they're keeping a secret, the expert explained 

Action: Arms out straight in front, on the desk, palms down - usually seen in business meetings. 

This is a deceptive gesture because you're not opening your palms, the expert said. 

The fact that the person is keeping their palms down suggests they're keeping a secret.

'You are reading the room and are about to drop a bombshell that someone or everyone won't like,' Darren added. 'Perhaps you're going to shoot someone or something down in flames.

'You could be about to say something that you are keeping very guarded, like playing poker and keeping your cards close to your chest.'

THE CHIN RUB

Darren branded this gesture as one of judgement as the person considers what they've been told

Action: Thumb cradling the 'V' of the chin with a pointer finger on the face at a 20-degree angle, pointing to the temple.

Darren branded this gesture as one of judgement as the person considers what they've been told.

It's a physical reaction to your configuring how you're feeling about something as you take all the information in.  

'In a sales pitch or if someone is pitching an idea to you, you are running pictures through your mind of how that would look in real terms,' he said.

POLITICIAN'S STEEPLE

There are two main elements to this. The speaker is likely exercising authority if the hands are together; but in creative environments, this can also mean evaluation

Action: Middle fingertips of each hand touching together - with thumbs also touching to form a triangle shape with both hands.

'This is an authoritative position,' Darren said. 'Not that the person thinks they're better than you, but it just shows they believe themselves to be an authority on the topic they're discussing.'

There are two main elements to this. The speaker is likely exercising authority if the hands are together; but in creative environments, this can also mean evaluation. 

'Tapping whilst using the politician's steeple means they're considering what's being said.

'They're essentially thinking whether there is any merit to it,' he explained. 'People who work in Sales use this when they're talking to people, as they are processing a lot of information as they speak.'

SINGLE TUMBLEWEED

The expert also revealed that someone talking and moving one hand may not be 'wholeheartedly confident with what they're saying'

Action: One hand held out in front of body with wrist rolling in a circle.

This gesture is a literal embodiment of 'get a move on', Darren said.

'Sometimes people do it subconsciously,' he added. 'A lot of the time, people aren't even aware of what they're doing with their hands.'

The expert also revealed that someone talking and moving one hand may not be 'wholeheartedly confident with what they're saying' - and could also be a sign they're 'being insincere because it's not congruent'.

'If I'm quite stoic, and I'm not moving my hands at the same rate at which I am speaking to you verbally - that's a red flag,' Darren said. 'There's something which is not quite right.

'If I'm speaking to you quickly, but my hand isn't moving in time, or is moving quite slowly, there is an incongruity there. The hands will always move in proportion.' 

However, if the gesture is happening while someone else is speaking - it means they're eagerly awaiting their turn. 

'Essentially, they've already decided what they're going to say in response to you,' he explained.

FANNING TEARS

Darren said that even though this gesture may at times appear false, it is a very real way of showing empathy and emotion 

Action: Hands in front of cheeks, with fingers flapping back and forth.

'There are no tears here, but that doesn't mean this is a false gesture,' Darren remarked. 'It's real and is a way of showing emotion.'

This movement could signal 'I'm happy for you', or 'I'm overwhelmed for you.'

'This is generally a more female gesture,' he explained. 'And one which shows empathy in emotionally-charged situations.'

DRAMA

While this gesture is often mistaken for meaning 'Oh my Gosh!' - it's actually a combination of both fear and surprise

Action: Fingers of both hands spread out, thumbs touching under the chin, other fingers spread out on either cheek, little fingers touching lips.

While this gesture is often mistaken for meaning 'Oh my Gosh!' - it's actually a combination of both fear and surprise, and is usually accompanied by the micro expression which is where the cheek muscles tense up.

Darren likened it to 'the type of grimace which the popular cartoon character Wallace does in the Aardman films'.

'When we talk about micro expressions, which show you what a person is really feeling, surprise lasts less than one fifth of a second,' he added.

'So, when someone is told some news and they put their hands to their face for around two seconds or longer, the likelihood is that they already knew what you've told them!'

The expert said people who put hands to their face immediately - in a show of 'flash surprise' - are likely 'over-egging the pudding' and knew what was coming beforehand.

I'M ON YOUR SIDE

The movement is likely to be part of a subconscious move to get the other person to understand that the speaker being honest

Action: Four fingers of each hand touching dead centre of chest with middle fingers an inch apart, thumbs in the air.

This gesture can be a show of authority (if hands are together), or, if the chest is being tapped, a sign of self-assurance. 

The movement means 'I'm being sincere' and 'were together on this', in a subconscious move to get the other person to understand that they're being honest.  

'People aren't being deceptive when they use this gesture,' Darren added.

FOLDING ARMS

While, traditionally, anything across the chest was thought to be defensive, the behaviour expert said that more recent studied suggest that it's simply comfortable 

Action: Arms interlocked in front of chest. Hands resting on opposite bicep.

While, traditionally, anything across the chest was thought to be defensive, the behaviour expert said that more recent studied suggest that 'it's actually just a comfortable posture'.

'Certainly though, if someone sits back in the chair a little bit and locks their fingers together, then that's showing disinterest,' he continued. 

'But if you've got someone in a meeting who is quite pro-active in what they're saying, and they lean back and fold their arms, they're merely getting themselves into a comfortable posture.'

However, someone turning away their body and shifting their position is more likely to mean disinterest.  

SAY WHAT?

Darren says that this is our go-to gesture for times of surrender - even when we're doing it jokingly

Action: Arms stretched out at 45-degree angle form the body, palms facing the sky, fingers spread out.

'This is saying "hands up" and again has an open palms gesture,' Darren outlined. 'It's almost like the police saying "Freeze", for example. The first thing people would do would be to do that.'

He said this is our go-to gesture for times of surrender - even when you're doing it jokingly.

He added: 'This is what people do. For example, if you're walking out of the supermarket and the alarm goes off, you place your hands up and out like this. It's saying - What!?'

CHURCHGOER

This action - depending on whether your mouth is being covered up or not - could means different things

Action: Similar to the look of someone praying with hands held together tightly in front of lower face with forefingers touching the bottom lip.

This action - depending on whether your mouth is being covered up or not - could means different things.

Darren said: 'If you are listening with your hands in this position, you are considering very carefully what the other person is saying.

'If someone is talking with their hands further up by their face, they're not very trustworthy as they're blocking the mouth up. It's disingenuous doing this.'

HANDS ON HEAD

Known universally to be a position in times of duress, hands on the head are likely to signal worry and panic

Action: Both hands placed on the top of the head with fingers locked together, commonly seen from Footballers.

Known universally to be a position in times of duress, hands on the head are likely to signal worry and panic.  

According to Darren, this is a physical embodiment of the disbelief that you're in a given situation - and is also self-reassurance when in a difficult position.

'Hands on the head is a stress position,' he added. 'It's why the police ask people to do that when they arrest someone.'

HANDS BEHIND HEAD

Darren said that this gesture suggests 'complete arrogance' and implies that the person feels entirely comfortable and unguarded

Action: Fingers locked with hands fully behind the back of the head.

'This is complete arrogance,' Darren remarked. 'As in, "I'm the king of the castle".'

He explained: 'Psychologically, we want to guard our torso because it's where our vital organs are.

'So, if you are in this position, you are comfortable that you're not going to be attacked verbally or physically. This is a very cocky position indeed.'

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