Tilikum, from Blackfish, Passes Away at SeaWorld

Tilikum, from Blackfish, Passes Away at SeaWorld

Tikilium, the killer whale that was at the centre of a controversial documentary on the treatment of orcas in captivity has died at the age of 36.

In a statement, the theme park said on its website the following: ‘Tikilum passed away in the early hours of January 6 surrounded by the trainers, staff and veterinarians that provided around the clock world class care’

According to FOX 35 WOFL TV, the remaining orcas in the tank are swimming around in a distressed manner. SeaWorld has already phased out killer whales in their California park, and have no plans to introduce new killer whales to the park in Orlando.

Tikilum first came to SeaWorld in 1992 from SeaLand of the Pacific, a shut down Canadian park. In the 1990s, two deaths were attributed to the killer whale, both of which were put down to trespassing and incorrect training techniques.

In 2010, Tikilum killed his trainer Dawn Bacherau. The inquiry ruled that there was nothing that could’ve been done to prevent the death and all appropriate actions had been taken.

In 2013, a CNN produced documentary, centred around Tikilum called Blackfish alleged that SeaWorld’s training techniques not only amounted to animal cruelty but was also responsible for the death of Miss Bacherau. The park continues to deny that this is the case.

In a tweet, PETA (People for the Ethical treatment of Animals) wrote RIP Tikilum, Dead after three decades of misery.


Report adapted from CNN, FOX 35 WOFL TV, ABC WFTV Channel 9 News and the Associated Press. Live stream via WESH 2 News which is the Orlando affiliate of NBC.

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