October 18, 2013
Tilikum is an orca, colloquially known as a killer whale. He has been living in captivity for most of his life, and he spent many years as one of Sea World's star performers. However, tragedy has changed all that. On three different occasions, Tilikum got someone killed. The deaths were accidental, but the whale is still considered to be a menace. One of the deaths happened to one of the park's top trainers in the midst of a show watched by hundreds of people. This got media attention, and it opened up a very frank conversation about whether wild creatures like Tilikum ought to be kept in captivity. Not only is it unfair to these creatures who need space, it is dangerous for their trainers.