By now you should all know the name Tilikum.
Tilikum is the beautiful big orca who has been a resident at SeaWorld, Orlando for the past 24 years. He is the star of the brilliant shows that you have indulged in with awe, whilst thinking how incredibly lucky those killer whale handlers are to work with such a gentle but giant creature.
But the brutal truth is, Tilikum was captured from the Icelandic waters when he was two years old, he has been squashed into a concrete box of confinement whilst awaiting the four shows a day to the oblivious audience, and as a result, he is now dying.
Recent medical reports have told us that Tilikum has a bacterial infection in his lungs which is resistant to antibiotics, therefore meaning that efforts to treat Tilikum have failed due to decades of antibiotics and medication that he has been fed over the numerous years he has been in captivity.
Since the reports of Tilikum’s condition, SeaWorld released a PR video in which it has blamed the orca’s prior home, Sealand of the Pacific, for his famously damaged teeth which is what the hundreds of doses of antibiotics have been treating. However, photographic evidence has since come to light from ex-trainers disproving SeaWorld’s statements of blame.
Tilikum also has open bore holes in his mouth which can lead to fish particles and other debris getting into his jaw before entering the blood stream causing infections, which can spread to his vital organs. The result is that now Tilikum has an infection in his lungs and is resistant to the powerful medication that SeaWorld is giving him.
It is thought that he will eventually suffocate, after violently thrashing around in a last attempt to get oxygen into his lungs, ending his confined life on a stretcher at SeaWorld.
On a more positive note, on Thursday SeaWorld announced that they were ending their orca breeding programmes, due to so much pressure from people like us who are fighting for justice of captive animals worldwide. This is a huge step in the right direction, and hopefully just the beginning…
I strongly advise you all to watch the documentary ‘Blackfish’ (currently on Netflix) in which many ex-trainers have come forward and revealed the truth of their training and has helped the world become aware of the traversty of SeaWorld.