by SAVANNAH GARZA
SeaWorld’s infamous killer whale, Tilikum, one of the stars in the 2013 documentary Blackfish, the story of killer whales in captivity, has passed away after thirty-six years of life. During Tilikum’s life at SeaWorld, he was responsible for killing three of his trainers, including Keltie Byrne, Daniel P. Durkes, and Dawn Brancheau. Tilikum became famous for Dawn Brancheau’s death in 2010. Blackfish tells the story about Tilikum’s life of captivity, and features the death of Dawn Brancheau; however, workers and the entrepreneurs at SeaWorld take no responsibility for this horrific attack. The whale was captured when he was three, and Tilikum lived a horrible, abusive life while in captivity for those remaining thirty-three years.
After Dawn’s death Tilikum was isolated for a year away from the other whales, and did not perform in the shows. The killer whales at SeaWorld are caught in the wild and taken away from their families and homes, where they are placed in captivity with abusive orcas in the breeding facilities. Many people think it is an amazing opportunity to go to SeaWorld and see all of the different shows when really there is a sad, horrific story behind these killer whales. Killer Whales are beautiful creatures of the sea and deserve to be free and treated right while in captivity.
Tilikum will always be remembered by the public as a violent orca that killed Dawn Brancheau, when really they have no idea how he was treated in captivity. Tilikum was abused in captivity, which caused the beginning of his anger issues and violent behavior. He passed away from poor health and old age. SeaWorld has finally realized that keeping orcas in captivity is inhumane, and they have now cancelled the shows.