Why Tilikum, SeaWorld's Killer Orca, Was Infamous
The killer whale that drowned three people inspired a movement to end captivity. He died in Orlando on Friday.
The largest, best known—and most notorious—orca held in captivity by SeaWorld died on Friday in Orlando after a long battle with illness, including a drug-resistant bacterial lung infection. The immediate cause of death is not yet known.
SeaWorld announced that Tilikum, who was thought to be 36 years old, died early in the morning surrounded by trainers and veterinarians.
As Blackfish co-writer Tim Zimmermann recently wrote for National Geographic, "His life has changed how we view SeaWorld and the marine park industry, and changed our moral calculus regarding the confinement and display of intelligent, free-ranging species."
Tilikum was caught off of Iceland in 1983 when he was two years old. He spent the rest of his life in captivity, with