captive killer whale

Reminder that a wild Orca called Granny died this week (well most likely she’s missing presumed dead) at the grand old age of 105. Tilikum died at 35. Captivity kills.


Tuar and Kyuquot performing a double bow during the Killer Whales: Up Close show at SeaWorld Texas on 3/17/17. (Tuar front, Ky back)

Kyuquot is easily identifiable by his immense size in comparison to his younger tankmate, Tuar. Kyuquot is a 25-year-old bull orca and nearly the largest killer whale in SeaWorld’s collection at more than twenty-two feet long and weighing over four tons.

Pictures by wild-orca


Nord is like frecking huge already. How he gonna fit on that slide-out fully grown?!


Tuar (and a peek of Kyuquot) during the 11:00 Killer Whales: Up Close performance on 3/17/17. 

Tuar is easily identifiable by the small “hook” at the top of his saddle patch as well as the jagged outline of the white marking on his flank. He is a 17-year-old bull orca living at SeaWorld San Antonio, a.k.a. SeaWorld Texas. 

Pictures by wild-orca


“One of the issues that orca face is that they are such remarkable animals, and because of that people want to see them up close and personal…so there are other people who want to make a profit from that. They capture the orca from the wild, and they rip them out of their families and they dump them into these concrete tanks and make them perform tricks. People pay to go and see that, they’re brainwashed into thinking that this is a really good thing to see and a good thing to do, it’s “family entertainment”, and they  just don’t seem to realize how much these animals suffer.” - Dr. Ingrid N. Visser
Tilikum: SeaWorld killer whale from Blackfish documentary dies

“The orca, which suffered a bacterial lung infection, had been kept for 25 years by SeaWorld, an American theme park company. ”

Tilikum’s tragic life story, as featured in the documentary Blackfish, inspired millions to change their attitudes regarding the ethics and dangers of keeping marine mammals in captivity. His legacy continues to change business models at public aquariums and marine parks, and personal mindsets alike.

It’s a shame he went out like this; a once gentle and regal animal driven to violent psychosis in his abuse, and wasting away from chronic illness and sustained isolation from other whales and trainers.

Rest easy, big guy. I’m still fighting for you.