SeaWorld announces death of Tilikum
SeaWorld today announced the sad news that the orca, Tilikum, whose story was featured in the award-winning 2013 documentary Blackfish, has died at its Orlando marine park.
A cause of death has not been issued but concerns were first raised about the orca’s health last year when he was diagnosed as suffering from a life-threatening bacterial infection in his lungs.
Tilikum was a wild-caught orca taken from his family in Icelandic waters when he was just two years old and he’s spent the last 34 years confined. Read about his tragic life in captivity.
Rob Lott, WDC Policy manager said: “Tilikum’s passing was not unexpected but the news is still a shock. The true and only legacy from his sad, tragic existence is that a much wider audience now appreciates and understands that these noble creatures deserve better. Orcas are just too big, too smart and too mobile to ever thrive in a tank and so moves to develop a sea-pen sanctuary to retire all captive orcas is the only logical conclusion to this whole, sorry affair.”
We are heartbroken to hear this terrible news, but we CAN continue making progress to end the cruel practice of captivity once and for all. You can help as well…
- Watch Blackfish, learn about his story and share it. We can make sure Tilikum’s death is not in vain.
- To see whales, choose responsible whale watching over captivity.
- Help WDC end the capture and confinement of whales and dolphins by donating or adopting today.
- More on the fate of captive orcas.