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Over thirty Years and 3 Deaths: Tilikum’s Tragic Story

Meet Tilikum, the biggest killer whale in captivity, advisement twelve,500 pounds and measure over twenty two feet long.

Tilikum, the killer whale linked to three human deaths, has died
Tilikum was captured close to Iceland in Nov of 1983, over thirty years past. At solely two years previous, once he was roughly thirteen feet long, he was torn removed from his family and ocean home.

Tilikum, the killer whale linked to three human deaths, has died
This image shows Tilikum lined with lanolin, associate oil extracted from sheep’s wool. it's applied to orcas’ whole bodies to organize them for a protracted transport while not water.
After his capture, he was unbroken in an exceedingly cement holding tank for near a year at Hafnarfjörður Marine menagerie, close to Reykjavík, Iceland, as he hoped-for transfer to a marine park. control captive against his can, all he may do was swim in tiny circles and float without aim at the surface of the water, distant from the expansive ocean during which he had swum 100 miles every day aboard his relations.

Finally, he was transferred to the summation Sealand of the Pacific in British Columbia, Canada, and compelled to decision his barren 100-foot-by-50-foot pool—just thirty five feet deep—his unhappy new “home.”

Food was withheld from him as a coaching technique, and he often endured painful attacks by 2 dominant feminine orcas, Haida and Nootka. He was forced to perform each hour on the hour, eight times every day, seven days every week. The constant stress and exhaustion gave him abdomen ulcers.

When the park closed its doors at the tip of every day, the 3 incompatible orcas were crammed into a little spherical metal-sided module for over fourteen hours till the park reopened ensuing morning.
On February twenty one, 1991, Sealand trainer Keltie Byrne fell into the pool containing all 3 orcas. She was force to very cheap of the enclosure by Tilikum, tossed around among the 3 orcas, and ultimately sunken . It took Sealand workers 2 hours to recover her body from the orcas. She was the primary of 3 individuals to own been killed owing to Tilikum’s stress, frustration, and confinement.

Shortly when the death of Keltie, Sealand closed its doors permanently and place Tilikum up available like he were nothing over a artifact.

When SeaWorld detected that a twelve,000-lb. bull, the biggest killer whale in captivity, was on the market, it quickly purchased him for its breeding program apparently giving very little thought to his name for killing and aggression. Tilikum’s sperm cell was accustomed build up a set of orcas, and now, fifty four p.c of SeaWorld’s orcas have his genes.

Over the course of twenty one years at SeaWorld, wherever he's confined to a tank containing zero.0001 p.c of the number of water that he would traverse in an exceedingly single day in nature, Tilikum has been concerned in multiple incidents of aggression. the strain of captivity drives Tilikum to exhibit abnormal repetitive behavior, together with chew on metal gates and therefore the concrete sides of his tank—so abundant so the foremost of his teeth ar utterly worn down.

the strain of captivity additionally causes Tilikum to exhibit aggression toward humans, that has value 2 a lot of lives—those of Daniel P. Dukes in 1999 and Dawn Brancheau in 2010. Tilikum scalped and dismembered Dawn further as breaking bones throughout her body before drowning her.

Following Dawn’s tragic death, Tilikum was unbroken in an exceedingly small enclosure that restricted his ability to swim, communicate with different orcas, and act with humans even more. He was rumored to own been floating listlessly within the water for hours at a time, a behavior ne'er seen in wild orcas.

After a year in isolation, Tilikum was came back to acting. SeaWorld is appealing its citation for violating a federal geographical point safety law meant to shield employees from recognized severe hazards and asking that the govt enable humans to swim with orcas despite the danger.

Tilikum isn't the sole killer whale UN agency has become aggressive as a results of all the strain that the whales ar forced to endure within the tiny tanks at SeaWorld. The park’s own records contain 600 pages of incident reports documenting dangerous and out of the blue killer whale behavior with trainers, consisting of over one hundred incidents during which killer whales bit, rammed, lunged at, pulled, pinned, and swam sharply with SeaWorld trainers, several of that diode to human injuries, together with a near-death encounter toughened by trainer Ken Peters.

Aggression toward humans and among orcas is almost non-existent in nature, however the constant stress of living in incompatible social groupings within minuscule tanks at SeaWorld causes them to round, motility a danger each to different whales and to workers alike.
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