Lonely Life Of Tilikum

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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4 Responses to Lonely Life Of Tilikum

  1. Dolores206 says:

    He deserves to be free. Isolation is not the answer for a highly social animal like dolphins and Orcas. Orcas don’t rebel in the wild nor do they dismember and scalp trainers in the wild….Give him back his life as nature intended him to live. RIP Dawn and all trainers who have died at the hands of a BAD IDEA!

  2. JohnKielty says:

    That photo of Tilikum is incredibly powerful… more so given that he held that position for nearly 3-1/2 hours. Virtually motionless. “Napping” according to the SeaWorld staff. Suspended in a state of boredom is a more accurate description. And his days are not much more stimulating than that. A sad sight to witness as this incredible, enormous being, with so much potential, is reduced to languishing in solitude.

  3. OrcaLover says:

    I know Dawn loved her job working with these magnificent Animals everyday, but don’t these trainers have to be very well educated on Marine Mammals? Surely they are fully aware that the Animals they’re working with are NOT happy. Clearly Tilikum ISN’T happy with his situation. For SeaWorld staff to suggest that he’s “NAPPING” is seriously ridiculous, are they allowed to give out the wrong information to the general public when questioned? Anyone with a clue would know that Orcas and Dolphins “NAP” while in motion, they “NAP” in groups and continue to swim slowly at the waters surface. This picture does NOT display an Orca “NAPPING”!!
    I watched the multiple video footage posted on youtube for those 20 hours that Tilikum was being observed. He was clearly BORED!! I understand that trainers are now under different protocol when it comes to this Whale, but to leave him alone with no, or little interaction is disturbing to say the least. It appears that SeaWorld are going to keep telling us lies and have every intention of keeping their prize bull Orca male to use for breeding purposes. His quality of life is very grim, he is isolated from everyone and everything, the whole situation is very sad and it amazes me that in this day and age, in the western world, we as humans still continue to abuse animals for the sake of the almighty dollar.

  4. Vicki Sawyer says:

    What the hell is the matter with these people??? This poor animal, Tillicum, who is being forced to “perform” for stupid human beings is the same as a lion or a gorilla. These poor creatures are only alive to perform for us. When they act out as living creatures, they are punished and left alone or destroyed. Human Beings Suck!!!!

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