"Shortly before her escape," Marineland staff later wrote, "she was seen to lie on the surface and emit a number of loud eructations through the pursed blow-hole, after which the animal was observed to lie on her back in the water and smack her flukes upon the surface with great force."
Two subsequent attempts also failed, as "the animal appeared to anticipate the intentions of the men and evaded the net, surfacing to breathe some 50 feet outside the encircled area."
A report on the incident published the following day in theLong Beach Independent Press Telegram describes the reaction of the rapt crowd that had gathered to watch the commotion.
"Not everybody ashore, however, was pulling for the crewmen as they drew the net tighter around the errant Wanda. When she broke out, cheers rose from thousands lining the banks. Every time a lookout on the bowsprit missed her snout with his lasso, or broke his line, she got cheers."
At one point, someone on the capture crew fell into the water while trying to tie a rope around the orca, eliciting "pandemonium" from the audience rooting for the animal to escape.