SeaWorld’s Most Famous Whale Is Dying Of A Bacterial Lung Infection, Reports Say

It’s not all fun and games at Seaworld these days. One of their prized orca whales, Tilikum, has been suffering from bacterial infections that could lead to his death. Beyond Tilikum’s ailing health, however, is the controversy surrounding the orca whales place at Seaworld.

Tilikum was the main feature in the 2013 film “Blackfish”. Filmmakers set out to expose Seaworld’s inhumane treatment of the animals in their care. Tilikum was taken from his family in 1983, when he was only 2 years old, and transferred to Seaworld. He has lived in captivity since then.

The harsh and unnatural environment in which he is kept has certainly had an effect on his mental and physical health. In addition to the infection–which is far more common in whales kept in captivity–Tilikum has also been at the center of three human deaths at the park. There are no incidences of wild orca attacks on humans.

He has also displayed unusual behavior, indicating unhealthy stress levels. He is often seen floating motionless for hours, an anomaly for these usually active creatures. And he has broken his teeth by chewing on the sides of his tank.

Despite his ailing health and the deaths of their employees, Seaworld has kept a tight rein on Tilikum. He is at the center of their artificial insemination program, and has fathered 21 of the park’s captive-born calves. Only half of the calves have survived.

Watch Tilikum’s heartbreaking story in the video below! What did you think? Leave us a comment, we’d love to hear from you!

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