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Why Tilikum should be the last orca to die in captivity

Tilikum, the captive orca held at SeaWorld, is very ill. SeaWorld reported in March 2016 that he is suffering from life-threatening bacterial infection in his lungs which they refer to as “chronic and progressive”.
Tilikum 'performing' at SeaWorld
Tilikum 'performing' at SeaWorld

WDC is saddened to hear this news.  We are also angry that a whale as magnificent as Tilikum, should have spent a mere 2 years in the wild, and 33 years of his life in a tank.

At least 150 orcas have been taken from their natural homes, to spend the rest of their lives in concrete tanks. 127 of these orcas are now dead.  We believe that, Tilikum will soon bring that toll to 128.

We cannot know what has caused this illness.  But we do know that captive whales and dolphins are vulnerable to many viruses and environmental pressures, they would not face in the wild.

There is also the matter of the 3 human deaths, Tilikum was involved, or implicated in.

No human has ever been killed by orca in the wild. Enough is enough.

Tilikum should be the last orca to die in captivity. No more should be taken from the wild; WDC has been instrumental in helping to achieve this.

Captive orcas should be assessed for release, or retired to a more natural life in a sanctuary.

Tilikum's life in captivity
Tilikum's life in captivity