No, we cannot free Tilikum. He can be retired to an ocean pen at best, and as sad as I am to have to accept this, even that is likely not going to happen.
Tilikum’s teeth are worn down to the jawline, he has holes in them, he’s up there in years, and he has been and is in poor health. All of these reasons make him a poor candidate for release, and as much as I’d love to see that big guy swimming along his maybe living long lost mother in the wild, it’s not a practical agenda to push.
Practical agendas are to push for the rehab and release of Lolita, Morgan, and Kshamenk, the 3 best candidates for release from captivity. Another practical agenda is to push for breeding to be stopped in captivity, as well as for current animals to live out the rest of their lives in the most comfortable conditions possible.
Tilikum deserves the attention he’s getting, but the idea of freeing him is just not going to happen, and it’s not going to help him either. Even in blackfish they state that the old sick whales should be retired (like Tilly) rather than released, so I don’t understand this.