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Blackfish star orca Tilikum: SeaWorld Orlando bids adieu to killer whale

Blackfish star orca Tilikum: SeaWorld Orlando bids adieu to killer whale”

Orlando Tilikum, an orca that killed a trainer at SeaWorld Orlando during a performance in 2010, has died.

SeaWorld said in a statement that the killer whale had a "persistent and complicated bacterial lung infection" before his death.

The 2010 death of SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau during a performance with Tilikum after a "Dine with Shamu" show shocked the public and changed the future of orcas at SeaWorld parks.

Soon after Tilikum was moved to SeaWorld in the USA state of Florida where, on July 6, 1999, he was linked to a second death.

The bull orca, estimated to be 36 years at his death, was captured in 1983 off Iceland and had a key role in SeaWorld's now-suspended breeding programme.

Tilikum became a household name back in 2013 thanks to the popularity of the controversial documentary Blackfish.

Hamilton said he predicted "Tilly" would kill other people following Byrne's death and that the group made recommendations in response to an inquest into the trainer's death, and also advised SeaWorld against putting people in the pool with the whale. In the '90s, he was implicated in two deaths: a trainer who drowned and a man who was found dead in his tank. "My heart goes out to all who have cared for him over the years and the countless individuals who have worked so hard to put an end to orca captivity".

SeaWorld Entertainment officials announced in March 2016 that the tourist attraction would end its orca breeding program and theatrical shows involving killer whales. He arrived at the park about 25 years ago. "You have to look at it from the perspective that if these animals weren't in captivity to begin with, would we have cared so much about them as we do now?"

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"I think the zoo industry as a whole has learned from SeaWorld", Ogle said. After the documentary played at the Sundance Film Festival and aired on CNN, several entertainers pulled out of planned SeaWorld performances and animal rights activists increased their demonstrations outside the parks.

Daniel Dukes, 27, hid in the park after closing and evaded security before climbing naked into the killer whale tank.

In that sense, Tilikum's tragic legacy has transformed into something more positive.

Wayne Pacelle of the US Humane Society said he was "caught up for decades in the old business model of captive orcas on display".

Twenty-two orcas remain at SeaWorld's parks in Orlando, San Antonio and San Diego.

"That human experience isn't likely to be replaced", Stafford said.

And the charity PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) said it was no wonder that the killer whale had succumbed to illness.

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