JAN 06, 2017 10:28 AM PST

Tilikum, the SeaWorld Orca that Killed Trainer and Appeared in 'Blackfish' Documentary, Dies

An infamous killer whale named Tilikum that was exclusive to the many shows at SeaWorld of Orlando, Florida and was well-known for having killed its trainer in 2010, as well as appearing in a documentary entitled ‘Blackfish,’ has reportedly passed away on Friday.

Tilikum, the orca that passed away, has been featured in numerous shows at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida.

Image Credit: Milan Boers/Flickr

There has been no official cause of death released to the public just yet, but Tilikum had been battling a severe bacterial lung infection for months, which is believed to have been one of the leading reasons why the 36-year-old orca met its maker.

Veterinarians and other animal experts had been tending to the infection over the course of its existence with various types of treatments with no avail.

Tilikum had a bad reputation for dragging orca trainer Dawn Brancheau under water and holding her there to drown during a live performance in front of an audience in 2010. While many probably still remember the tragic day that this happened, it was unpredictable and unheard of. 

The Blackfish documentary is said to have argued that keeping orcas in captivity increased their hostility against humans, and that orcas should be freed. While the freedom of all captive orcas continues to be a pain point for SeaWorld and the animal activists who stand up against SeaWorld, orcas continue to be the face of the attraction's brand.

SeaWorld has already announced plans to pull the plug on orca shows in California, but this park is unrelated to the one in Orlando, which is where Tilikum has died and where other orcas remain.

SeaWorld still has 22 orcas in captivity at its three facilities in Orlando, Florida, all of which are said to be acting completely normal despite the loss of Tilikum. Orca shows are expected to continue, as all of these orcas are still healthy and behaving naturally.

Without a doubt, many SeaWorld-goers enjoyed Tilikum, and the orca will be missed by anyone who went to see the whale in person.

“Tilikum had, and will continue to have, a special place in the hearts of the SeaWorld family, as well as the millions of people all over the world that he inspired,” said President & CEO of SeaWorld Joel Manby. “My heart goes out to our team who cared for him like family.”

Source: SeaWorld via Fox News

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
AUG 28, 2018
Earth & The Environment
AUG 28, 2018
African savannas are emitting three times the CO2 than thought
The Miombo woodlands extend over 2.5 million square kilometers across Africa, passing through Angola, Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique. This ecosystem provi...
SEP 11, 2018
Plants & Animals
SEP 11, 2018
21 'New to Science' Parasitoid Wasps Described in Study
Those who observe nature for a living are bound to happen upon captivating discoveries. For a team of North American researchers, that apparently meant ide...
SEP 12, 2018
Health & Medicine
SEP 12, 2018
Can This Exotic Fruit Prevent Obesity?
Not a week goes by that there isn’t a new superfood or some exotic fruit or spice that can curb your appetite, burn fat while you sleep, and boost en...
OCT 14, 2018
Plants & Animals
OCT 14, 2018
Here's How Hurricanes Impact Marine Wildlife
We’re not the only ones impacted by the hazards of powerful hurricanes; so too are the vast hierarchies of marine wildlife that reside in the ocean....
OCT 22, 2018
Plants & Animals
OCT 22, 2018
Gough Island Seabird Populations Are Being Threatened by Oversized Mice
According to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), a bevy of different seabirds native to Gough Island now face the imminent threat of exti...
NOV 12, 2018
Plants & Animals
NOV 12, 2018
Steaks Aren't the Only Things We Get From Cows
It’s no secret that cows are routinely slaughtered for beef, but what if we told you that only about 60% of the cow gets harvested for food? Fret not...
Loading Comments...