History of Tilikum – the orca whale that killed the trainer

Tilikum was the largest marine mammal to live in captivity . He was one of the stars of the SeaWorldpark show in Orlando, United States. Surely you have heard of this orca since she was the great protagonist of the documentary Blackfish.

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There were several accidents over the years that involved Tilikum, one of them being so serious that Tilikum ended up killing his coach .

But Tilikum’s life is not just about the moments of fame and concerts that made him a celebrity, nor the tragic accident he staged. If you would like to know more about the life of Tilikum – the orca that killed the trainer , read this article that YourCatCareguide wrote especially for you.

You might also be interested in: History of Balto the Werewolf Who Became a Hero

Orca – Habitat

Before we tell you the whole story of Tilikum it is important to talk a little about these animals, how they are, how they behave, what they need, etc.

The killer whales , also known as killer whales, are considered one of the largest predatorsaround the ocean. In fact, the orca is not from the whale family but from the dolphins! It has no natural predators (except humans). Killer whales are the whales easier to identify: they are huge (8.5 meters atinem females and males 9.8 meters), typical black and white in color and have a head cone shape, large pectoral fins and a very large dorsal fin and high .

What does the orca eat?

The orca’s feeding is very diverse. Its large size (can weigh up to 9 tons) requires large amounts of food intake. Here are some of the animals she likes best:

  • molluscs
  • sharks
  • seals
  • turtles
  • whales

Yes, you read well, they can eat up whale. In fact, its name of killer whale in English began by being whale killer ( whale killer ). Exceptions in their diet are dolphins, manatees, and humans ( to date there are no reports of killer whales attacking humans without being captive ).

Where does the orca live?

Orcas live in very icy waters , such as in Alaska, Canada, Antarctica, etc. They often make long journeys , sometimes over 2,000 kilometers , and live in groups with a large number of members (it is normal for there to be 40 animals of the same species in a single group).

Tilikum – the true story

Tilikum, which means “friend” was captured in 1983 on the Icelandic coast, when he was around 2 years old. This orca, along with two other orcas, was sent immediately to a water park in Canada, the Sealand of the Pacific . He became the main star of the park and shared the tank with two females, Nootka IV and Haida II.

Although orcas are very sociable animals, the lives of these animals have not always been full of harmony. Tilikum was frequently assaulted by her mates and was eventually transferred to an even smaller tank to be separated from the females. In spite of this, in 1991 he had his first cub with the Haida II.

In 1999 Tilikum began to be trained for artificial insemination and, throughout his life, Tilikum was the father of 21 puppies .

Tilikum mata treinadora Keltie Byrne

The first accident with Tilikum occurred in 1991. Keltie Byrne was a 20-year-old trainer who slipped and fell in the tank where Tilikum was and the other two orcas. Tilikum grabbed the coach and submerged her several times, which ended up causing the trainer’s death .

Tilikum transferred to SeaWorld

After this accident, in 1992, the orcas were transferred to SeaWorld in Orlando and the Sealand of the Pacific closed its doors forever. Despite this aggressive behavior, Tilikum continued to be trained and to be the star of the show.

It was already at SeaWorld that an accident occurred that has yet to be explained. A 27-year-old man, Daniel Dukes , was found dead in the Tilikum tank . As far as we know, Daniel will have entered SeaWorld after the closing time but no one knows how he got to the tank. He ended up drowning and had bite marks on his body that still do not know if they were performed before or after.

Even after this attack, Tilikum continued to be one of the park’s main stars.

Dawn Brancheau

It was in February 2010 that Tilikum made his third and final mortal victim , Dawn Brancheau . Described as one of SeaWorld’s best killer whale coaches , she had nearly 20 years of experience . According to witnesses, Tilikum pulled the trainer to the bottom of the tank. The trainer was found dead with multiple cuts and fractures and without an arm that was swallowed by the killer whale.

This news has caused much controversy. Millions of people defended Tilikum for being a victim of the consequences of captivity and living in inappropriate conditions and little stimulating for their species, demanding the release of this poor orca. On the other hand, others were discussing his sacrifice . Despite all this controversy, Tilikum continued participating in several shows (with reinforced security measures).

Complaints against SeaWorld

In 2013 a CNN documentary was released, whose main character was Tilikum. In this documentary, BlackFish , several people (including former coaches) reported the ill-treatment suffered by the orcas and speculated that the unfortunate deaths were the consequence.

The way the killer whales were captured was also heavily criticized in the documentary. They were removed, still puppies, from their families by sailors who frightened and cornered the animals. The orca mummies screamed in despair to get their little ones back.

This year, 2017, SeaWorld announced the end of the shows with orcas in the current format, that is, with acrobatics. Instead, they will perform shows based on the behavior of the orcas themselves and focused on the conservation of the species. But pro-animal rights activists do not settle and continue to make numerous protests in order to end forever the shows involving killer whales.

Tilikum morreu

It was on January 6, 2017 that we had the sad news that Tilikum died. The largest orca that ever existed died at age 36 , which is within the average life expectancy of these captive animals. In a natural environment these animals can live for about 60 years, and can even reach 90 years.

It was also in the year 2017 that SeaWorld announced that it will not breed more killer whales in their park. The generation of orcas may be the last of the park and will continue to perform shows.

This was the story of Tilikum which, though more controversial, is no less sad than that of so many other orcas living in captivity . Despite being one of the best-known orcas, she was not the only one involved in such accidents. There are records of about 70 incidents with these animals in captivity, and some of them, unfortunately, have resulted in deaths.

If you liked this story and would like other animals, read the story of laika – the first living being to be launched in space , the story of Balto – the hero dog , the story of Hachiko, the faithful dog and the super- cat who saved a newborn in Russia .

If you want to see more items the description will be sent to you. If you want to read more similar articles , click here. History of Tilikum – the orca whale that killed the trainer , we recommend you to enter our Curiosities section of the animal world .

Emily Harris

Hi Guys, Girls, and Cats:-p I am Emily Harris, and you can see in above pic. She loves me I swear. I saved her from a dumpster a few weeks back.

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