Tilikum—the orca who was the subject of Blackfish, a documentary about SeaWorld—is dead following decades of loneliness, stress, and confinement at marine parks.
When Tilikum (aka “Tilly”) was just 2 years old, people abducted him from his family in the open waters off Iceland and forced him to live in cramped enclosures for the remainder of his life. He was unable to swim away, travel the oceans, hear or see his family, or do anything that was important to him.
His human captors tried to look better by calling Tilikum part of their “family,” but family doesn’t kidnap its members from their mothers, keep them in a barren enclosure for life, and force them to do tricks for money.
Since SeaWorld can no longer capture orcas from the wild, workers collected his sperm to make more orca performers—and more money—through artificial insemination. His children were brought into a miserable life that no one would ever willingly choose.
The constant stress of confinement drove Tilikum to kill three humans—including trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010—and to chew on the concrete and the bars of his prison, which wore down his teeth to nubs. It is no surprise that he suffered from mental illness under such conditions and, finally, died of an incurable physical illness.
Tilikum died in his concrete prison cell, but humans actually took his life away the day they stole him from the ocean over 30 years ago.
Eleven of Tilikum’s children died prematurely before him without ever seeing the ocean, and 10 more of his children continue to suffer in cramped tanks. PETA is calling on SeaWorld to do the right thing by moving the remaining orcas it holds captive to coastal sanctuaries, where they could enjoy a more natural life.
What You Can Do Help your friends and family understand that no orca—not now, not ever—should be living in tiny, barren tanks and forced to perform tricks while watching their children endure the same captive fates.
In memory of Tilikum, post a memorial picture from your bathtub on your Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr. Get more information and share your memorial for Tilly with us here.
Tilikum—the ‘star’ of Blackfish, the damning documentary about SeaWorld’s miserable practice of ripping orca babies from their ocean families and then breeding them in captivity—is dead following decades of exploitation in the marine-mammal abusement industry. Tilikum died without ever again knowing freedom, along with 11 of his children who died prematurely before him and leaving 10 more who will continue to suffer in tiny concrete tanks. PETA is calling on SeaWorld to do the right thing and move the remaining orcas to coastal sanctuaries, where they could enjoy a more natural life, and on caring people to shun facilities that enslave animals for our “entertainment.”
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Filed under: CAMPAIGNS - Global Animal Welfare Issues, GENERAL NEWS - International / National / Regional, GLOBAL PETITIONS - Anything Animal, GLOBAL PETITIONS - Anything Animal, Anywhere !, PHOTOGRAPHS - **WARNING** (Animal Suffering), The "Serbian Animals Voice (SAV) ALLIANCE |