Tuesday, March 8, 2016

SeaWorld reports that Tilikum the orca is seriously ill

Posted By on Tue, Mar 8, 2016 at 1:32 PM

tilikum3.jpg
Today, SeaWorld announced that Tilikum, the orca whale that made headlines when he was involved in a deadly attack on SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010, is seriously ill and his condition is getting worse. Based on a video posted to SeaWorld's Facebook page today, it sounds like the disease affecting Tilikum, who was part of the focus of the 2013 documentary Blackfish, which took SeaWorld to task for (among other things) keeping orcas in captivity, will likely kill him. 

He has a respiratory condition that is "extremely difficult to treat," veterinarian Scott Gearhart says in the video, which we have embedded below. "He has a disease which is chronic and progressive and at some point might cause his death," Gearhart says. "We have not found a cure for this disease at this point."

Here's the post from SeaWorld that accompanied the announcement that the whale is in poor health: 

We are saddened to report that over the past few weeks, Tilikum's health has been deteriorating. Our teams are treating him with care and medication for what we believe is a bacterial infection in his lungs.

Since Tilikum became a part of SeaWorld’s family 23 years ago, he has received the best in marine mammal health care available for killer whales – including a focus on his physical health, mental engagement and social activity with other whales.

We are saddened to report that over the past few weeks, Tilikum's health has been deteriorating. Our teams are treating him with care and medication for what we believe is a bacterial infection in his lungs. Since Tilikum became a part of SeaWorld’s family 23 years ago, he has received the best in marine mammal health care available for killer whales – including a focus on his physical health, mental engagement and social activity with other whales. You can learn more about the care Tilikum is receiving by visiting our blog and watching the video of Tilikum and other whales below. http://bit.ly/1OYwH6z

Posted by SeaWorld on Tuesday, March 8, 2016





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