There is an excellent new blog called “The Orca Project.” The author recently spent two days at SeaWorld Orlando observing Tilikum to try and see how isolated his life is in the aftermath of the Dawn Brancheau tragedy. The reality is predictably sad. Go over to “The Orca Project” to read the full report (and see pics and videos), but here is an excerpt:
As a person who has been monitoring the SeaWorld Orlando fan page of FaceBook over the past 6 months, what you are being told is happening with him, and what is actually happening are two very different stories. When you ask SeaWorld, “What are you doing with Tilikum?”, they give you the same answer. “He is still interacting and socializing continually with the other whales, he gets just as much interaction, play, stimulation from the trainers and is doing very well.” – then they post this blog for reference.
Here it says that “Tilikum is no exception”, however, he is an exception. He is now linked to 3 deaths and clearly has issues with a couple of the other females who do not blend well socially so, therefore, they are separated. Taima, who in June of 2010 died due to complications while trying to give birth for the 4th time in her short 20 years of life – was Tilikum’s “best friend”. The two were often together and now that she is gone, he really has no one like her.
Trua (a male orca) and Tilikum are friendly, however, in the 2 days I watched them – they were not put together one time. In fact, Tilikum was alone from 9 am on the morning when we arrived, until 7 pm the on the second day. After viewing Tili for nearly 10 hours – two days in a row – I witnessed him in total isolation from the others over the course of those 20 hours. The others were allowed to mingle with each other, however, Tilikum was not given that opportunity on those two days.
This photo–in which Tilikum floats alone in a position of crucifixion–says it all:
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