WDC is saddened to hear the news that the health of Tilikum, the dark star of the 2013 documentary Blackfish, is deteriorating. SeaWorld reports that he has been lethargic for several weeks and is apparently suffering from a life-threatening bacterial infection in his lungs which they refer to as “chronic and progressive”.
(Image of Tilikum “performing”/copyright P. Wigmore)
Despite WDC’s developing work to create sanctuaries for captive whales and dolphins, as well as Munchkin Founder Steve Dunn’s offer to support moving Tilikum to an ocean sanctuary where he could live out the remainder of his life, it appears that Tilikum will perish in captivity. Tilikum is a wild-caught, Icelandic orca taken from his family when he was just two years old and has spent the last 33 years confined.
We are heartbroken to learn of Tilikum’s fate, and although there is little we can do for Tilikum at this moment, we CAN continue making progress to end the cruel practice of captivity once and for all. You can help as well…