Seaworld Orlando released a statement Tuesday explaining its killer whale Tilikum is suffering from major health issues. You might remember the name Tilikum from a few years ago. The orca made international headlines in 2010 when he killed trainer Dawn Brancheau and became the focus of the 2013 documentary Blackfish. The controversial film suggested his captivity made him lash out at Brancheau and unintentionally drown his longtime caretaker.
Tilikum has been at Seaworld for 23 years and is estimated to be around 35 years old.
According to the theme park, Tilikum has a serious bacterial lung infection that’s continuing to worsen. This news will certainly resurrect the debate about Seaworld and calls for the company to end keeping killer whales in captivity.
What do you think? Should Seaworld return its whales to the oceans? I posed this question on Anchor and here are a few of the comments.