January 6th of this new year, cetacean star Tilikum passed away. Tilikum, an Icelandic orca was “working” for SeaWorld and was featured in the documentary “Blackfish” (Available on Netflix).
As the movement to free all cetaceans and mammals from marine theme parks was already in activists’ and marine biologists’ agenda, it took a bigger turn with the death of trainer Dawn Brancheau, other incidents and Tilikum’s isolation. I would like to add a point here and tell you all to watch carefully the video of that sad incident, which is shown in “Blackfish”… Analyze, watch carefully the signals, Tilikum’s response and action, then Dawn’s reaction… Orcas are not blood thirsty animals like some wants to show us. Tilikum got frustrated. Sad misunderstanding.
So, the movement was at his peak to free Tilikum and other captive orcas. Even though SeaWorld and pro-SeaWorld people said it was impossible and “cruel”, activists and scientists/biologists kept reminding them of Keiko and his successful release in the wild.
(But when we know that SeaWorld says it to be a normal for all of their Orcas to die around 20-30 something years old since it is their lifespan, we can assume they have no knowledge on Orcas whatsoever and therefore how wild animal releases are done. Wonder what they think of J2-Granny…)
Tilikum needed more than others to be released as fast as possible as he was now in isolation, not “working”, no interactions. So the logic move was to release him. But it was a total refusal from SeaWorld. SeaWorld was also very silent when the public asked for news about Tilikum’s health and mental state… until a couple days ago…
SeaWorld is now announcing their will be no more shows, which is a step in the right direction but seems to refuse to let go of any orcas.
Now the next whale to be in isolation, is Canada’s Marineland’s Kiska. The new Ontarian by-law that bans orca breeding/selling/buying is very good, but now Kiska is alone in a pool. Marineland is also shy on giving actual elaborate news on her physical and mental state, just saying she is fine and monitored. Kiska needs orca interaction, depression is the next logical ending to all this and can end up in a weaker immune system, to death… like Tilikum. I will not post on here the images or videos of depressed orcas self-injuring themselves, but feel free to make good research. And maybe read this: Death at SeaWorld.
Now Tilikum got his wings and can roam free, let’s just hope not in vain….