The whale that killed three people at SeaWorld has now died. Tilikum killed trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010. In 2013, she appeared in the documentary “Blackfish” from CNN.
On January 6, in the morning, the whale passed away. Staff and trainers alongside veterinarians were by Tilikum’s side as he gave his last breath.
Last March, the staff said that he might die, he was 35 years old then. SeaWorld also announced that the whale will no longer stay there. They announced that Tilikum will be the last mammal held there.
Joel Manby, president and CEO of SeaWorld, said Tilikum will always have a special place in the staff’s hearts, as well in the fans’ hearts. “My heart goes out to our team who cared for him like family”, continued Manby.
“Blackfish” gave an inside look of how killer whales are treated in places like this on. After learning about his death, they posted a tweet :“Heartbreaking news. SeaWorld has announced the passing of Tilikum #RIPTilikum #Blackfish”.
The movie shows disturbing footage of whales like this held in captivity. SeaWorld called the documentary misleading and “emotionally manipulative”.
PETA also weighed on Tilikum’s death, saying: “R.I.P. Tilikum Dead after three decades of misery.”
For the past 25 years, Tilikum was housed at SeaWorld. He nearly reached the age killer whales usually die at.
When the necropsy will be done, the real cause of death will be revealed. It is strongly believed that he died of lung infection after being treated for months. This bacteria usually comes from water or soil from natural habitats.