- SeaWorld, Inc.
- Blackstone Group
Don't let Tilikum's Death be in Vain - empty the tanks, SeaWorld
Tilikum was the catalyst behind our student organization for the freedom of cetaceans-- Blue Freedom. It was his plight that inspired us.
January 6, 2017 Tilikum died.
Maybe the softer term would be that he passed away or that he’s resting peacefully.
But the truth is he died.
He did not die a natural death with the ocean waves there to carry him to his final resting place.
He did not die in his native waters, surrounded by family members he might have spent 50+ years with.
He did not die in a sea pen with salt water and caretakers who tried to give him back the most freedom that they could.
Tilikum died in a tank.
He died in a barren, artificial environment having spent the majority of his life being used for profit so schoolchildren and tourists could get splashed by “Shamu”.
He died of a bacterial lung infection at 35 years old so Sea World could use him to build up their captive orca collection and breeding program.
He died in Orlando, Florida, so very far from Iceland, so very far from home.
I think of how many labels Tilikum carried throughout his life in captivity. The whale that killed trainers. Sea World’s most notorious orca. The whale behind Blackfish.
I think about how all those things were cries for help from a creature who did not belong in a tank. Did not belong in captivity. Did not belong anywhere, but the ocean.
Yet there he was. And there he died.
We believe that his death should NOT be in vain... that his death should be a loud, clear signal to us to keep fighting for all of the whales and dolphins that still suffer in captivity. There is still hope.
Educate, discuss, protest, don’t buy a ticket. Keep fighting for them.Do whatever is within your power to see things change.
Keep fighting for the future Tilikum should have had.
By signing this petition, you are saying NO--
No, Tilikum's death will not be for nothing.
No, we will not tolerate this outdated, cruel, and archaic industry any longer.
No, we will NOT stop fighting.
-The Blue Freedom Team
- SeaWorld, Inc.
- Blackstone Group
Our message is simple: keeping a 12,000+ pound Orca whale in a pool, (that is less than a fraction of 1% of his natural habitat,) is simply illogical.
“Extracting” an animal from his natural environment, where he would normally swim vast distances, dive to extreme depths and spend his entire life with his close knit family pod is simply unethical.
To use a living, breathing, self-aware and extremely intelligent sentient being as a sperm bank in a forced captive breeding program, and as a part-time splash-machine for the enjoyment of the paying public is, considered by many, simply appalling.
To claim that this is ocean conservation is simply inaccurate and grossly misleading.
This Orca’s name is Tilikum and he has been living in a cement pool since he was taken from his mother’s side in the ocean at the young age of approximately 2 years old. He was captured in November of 1982.
Unlike other cetaceans living in captivity, Tilikum’s interaction with the SeaWorld’s trainers and with the other whales kept there is very limited because of his proneness to aggression.
SeaWorld, however, despite Tilikum’s obvious aggression, has thus far refused to humanely release him to a seapen for rehab, and instead continues to use him as their primary stud in their “superior breeding program”, not knowing whether his aggression will be passed on to his many offspring. (56% of SeaWorld’s Orca whales carry Tilikum’s genes.)
I believe that 29 years of forced breeding, splashing audiences, and performing for SeaWorld’s profit is enough.
It’s time to end the archaic use of these beautiful cetaceans for entertainment and profit. It’s time to free Tilikum!
Katie Emmons started this petition with a single signature, and now has 235,313 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.