Tilikum, the Seaworld Orca has died. Seaworld said that Tilikum was declining in health and had a possible bacterial infection. He died at 36 years old.
Tilikum the whale came to international attention when he dragged a trainer underwater to her death in 2010. He went on two kill two other people.
In the wild it is rare for Orcas to attack humans, let alone kill them. However, in the wild since the 1970s, there has been a series of Orca attacks on humans.
Orcas attacking humans in captivity is down to the mental and emotional stress that these animals go through. Even former Seaworld trainers have admitted that the animals attack because of the stress the animals go through.
This is what a former Seaworld trainer said about Orca attacks:
“Killer whales don’t attack humans in the wild,” said Ventre. “What we’ve seen in these injuries to people is a direct byproduct of the stress associated with captivity.”
The stress inflicted on Orcas from humans comes down to two sources, forced entertainment and captivity.
It's unnatural for a whale to do tricks alongside a human. These are tricks that a whale would not normally participate in the wild. Further to that, it has been reported that Seaworld forces their Whales to perform tricks by denying the animals food. One former Seaworld trainer put it as:
"Food deprivation was a tool often used when I was a trainer. The concept is straightforward: Reduce the number of calories a whale gets over a period of time and that animal becomes increasingly food motivated. Animals are generally more likely to cooperate with trainers when they are hungry. Food deprivation is a normal component of the training environment, at least while I was a trainer." - John Jett, former SeaWorld trainer and Blackfish cast member
Tilikum was taken captive in Iceland in 1983. Like most Orcas, he was an animal taken from captivity, enslaved, and forced to perform.
If you want to see how Seaworld takes it's animals from the wild then you should watch Blackfish the documentary.
What is the documentary Blackfish about?
Some of you may not have seen Blackfish, and will be wondering 'What is the documentry Blackfish about?' The documentary Blackfish highlights the cruelty that Orcas face at Seaworld. It shows how they are captured from the wild. How they are treated. How they endured emotional stress. And how they pose a danger to people - because of the stress they endure.
Here is the Blackfish trailer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLOeH-Oq_1Y