The death of Tilikum, who became the icon of freeing captive orcas, brings a question as to what do conservationists/advocates do now that the orca is gone
Tilikum was a captive orca made famous by the documentary “Blackfish” died at the age of 33 in his Sea World pen in San Diego, California. His tragic story of being ripped from his mother and forced to live in a small enclosure where he only interacted with human trainers (in which he is responsible for killing two of them) grabbed the hearts of millions of people to the point where they stopped attending Sea World parks driving the price of Sea World’s stock down forcing the park to make drastic changes to their breeding program and their entertainment program.
Today, I discuss what advocates and conservationists should do after Tilikum’s death and how his death could save captive and wild orcas alike.
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Links Mentioned in this Episode:
- Tilikum, the most famous killer whale in the United States, died Friday after a year-long illness and quarter century of performances streaked with violence.
- SeaWorld in San Diego will host its last killer whale performance on Sunday, the culmination of its promise to phase out the decades-old show after criticism of its treatment of the captive marine mammals.
- Dr. Naomi’s Episode: The Science behind Blackfish
- Dr. Naomi’s Episode: Sea-Side Whale Sanctuaries
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