This one makes me sad!
The most famous whale in the world, Tilikum, has died.
Who is Tilikum and why is he famous? He was the subject of the documentary Blackfish which started the protests towards SeaWorld and their breeding program. 7 years ago, Tilikum killed a SeaWorld trainer when he held her underwater until she drowned. Before that, he was implicated in the death of a man who was found dead in his tank.
SeaWorld has spoken out about the death of this famous orca.
The SeaWorld family is deeply saddened to announce that one of its most well-known orcas, Tilikum, has passed away. Tilikum passed away early this morning, January 6, surrounded by the trainers, care staff and veterinarians that provided him around-the-clock world-class care.
Like all older animals, Tilikum had faced some very serious health issues. While the official cause of death will not be determined until the necropsy is completed, the SeaWorld veterinarians were treating a persistent and complicated bacterial lung infection. The suspected bacteria is part of a group of bacteria that is found in water and soil both in wild habitats and zoological settings.
Tilikum was not born at or collected by SeaWorld. He came to us from Sealand of the Pacific in Canada. SeaWorld has not collected a whale from the wild in nearly 40 years, and this past March we announced the end of the orca breeding program effectively making the whales currently at SeaWorld the last generation of orcas under human care.
This was the trainer for Blackfish.