“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.
When I was 10, I went to SeaWorld. I loved everything about it. So beautiful and magical. And the animals were phenomenal. But one animal in particular caught my attention .. Tilikum. The giant who splashed everyone. I loved him. And a certain trainer who asked me if I had any questions but I was too shy to respond. She was so nice and considerate. She said her name was Dawn and she’d hope to see me there again soon. They both held a very special place in my heart after I returned home.
A mere two months after the trip, I heard on the TV that there was a accident in the SeaWorld I visited. And when I heard the names “Tilikum” and “Dawn” .. I was heartbroken. February 24th, 2010. Tilikum pulled Dawn down by the hair or the leg, depending on which story you believe, down to the bottom of the tank and drowned her. My role model was killed by the very animal I wanted to work with when I grew up. I was distraught.
6 years later, I’m a 17 year old animal rights activist. Who openly detests captivity and fights for all animals freedom. But I admit, I hold one animal at a higher regard than the others .. Tilikum. The 32 year old giant still lives in SawWorld. After killing 3 people in his lifetime. They haven’t once considered the possibility that he’s too mentally unstable to work with anymore and refuse to put him in a seaside rehabilitation center because he is the best breeder and the most successful Orca in captivity. Everyone wants to see the poor murderer. My goal in life is to contribute my heart and soul into the release of Tilikum from his concrete prison. And to keep Dawn Bradcheau’s name alive.
The reason I posted this is to spread awareness. Dawn’s death didn’t deserve to be lied about by the very company who was supposed to protect her and keep her alive in the first place. And Tilikum wasn’t supposed to be captured at the age of 2, watch his mother die, and be shipped from cage to cage to preform for scraps. All of it is sick and twisted. Agree with me or not. It’s sick.