Published: Feb 24, 2011 2:31 AM EST
Updated: Feb 23, 2011 11:31 PM EST

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment officials say trainers will soon be back in the water with killer whales for the first time since a trainer's death last year.

SeaWorld told the Orlando Sentinel on Wednesday that trainers at its three U.S. marine parks will begin limited water work with whales within the next few months. The interactions will be restricted initially to small medical pools equipped with false-bottom floors that can be lifted out of the water.

Trainers have not been allowed in the water with whales since last February, when trainer Dawn Brancheau was dragged into the water and killed by a six-ton orca named Tilikum.

The company says it also plans to spend tens of millions of dollars on safety upgrades at its Orlando, San Diego and San Antonio parks.

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