Tilikum, the killer whale that was the inspiration behind the film Blackfish after killing his trainer at SeaWorld, has died on the 6 of January. The killer whale was the centre of the documentary Blackfish, which criticised SeaWorld for its treatment of Tilikum.
Now lets look as some ecperts of the official statement for Sea World and disect them..
Sea World Said… Like all older animals, Tilikum had faced some very serious health issues. While today is a difficult day for the SeaWorld family, it’s important to remember that Tilikum lived a long and enriching life while at SeaWorld . Tilikum was near the high-end of the average life expectancy for male killer whales according to an independent scientific review.
So lets dissect these comments. Sea World referrers to Tilikum as an older animal and states he lived a long and enriching life. What is bothering about these statements is the Tilikum was only 36 years old. Now if you think that this is the average life span of a killer whale which Sea World would have you believing you have been mislead. coincidentally earlier this week it was reported that the oldest killer whale in the wild also died this week. Her name was Granny and she unlike Tilikum did die of old age. So what age was she you might ask? An estimate age of 105!! So Tilikum was actually in the prime of his life and should have been 64 years away from death. So clearly SeaWorld’s independent scientific review which of course SeaWorld financed is clearly a lie.
Over Tilikum’s course of 21 years at SeaWorld, he was confined to a tank containing 0.0001 percent of the quantity of water that he would traverse in a single day in nature. This would be the same as a human, you and me spending your whole life living in a bathtub. Just take a minute to imagine that. Living in such small quarters for your entire life had serious health implications for Tilikum and mental implications driving the whale to be aggressive, self harming and suicidal.
I could go in to very specific details on how Tilikum treatment in captivity by SeaWorld lead to his early death but as there is a documentary detailing this and Tilikum’s tragic life I could not recommend enough for you to watch it as soon as possible.
What is really bothering about Tilikum’s death is that it could have been avoided and that SeaWorld still have Killer Whales in captivity all around the world the are suffering the same slow death.
But this can be avoided..
It has been proven that killer whales do not have to end their lives in captivity. Springer, an orca that put back into the wild after she was found orphaned in 2002, is thriving in the wild and has even been spotted with her first baby. Finding Springer with her baby is the ultimate sign that Killer Whales can be reintroduction into the wild successfully.
But unfortunatly Sea World will never reintroduce these animals back to the wild as they are their main attraction and make the organisation too much money to let them free. So these animals still in capitity will be subjected to the same slow deaths as Tilikum.
What do you think? Should SeaWorld release the Killer Whales they still have in Captivty in to the wild?