Tilikum (Tilly), a 22-foot, 12,000-pound killer whale, killed marine mammal trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010 after pulling her into his tank at SeaWorld Orlando. This is clearly a tragedy – but one for animals as well as humans.
This whale has spent 25 years in captivity. In the wild, killer whales like Tilikum travel around 150-200kms every day. In captivity, they live in pools barely big enough to hold them. The recent attack is a clear indication that he is suffering from frustration and from a severely deprived environment.
Animal Defenders International’s evidence that the use of wild animals such as this in captivity causes psychological suffering and extreme physical and mental effects is clear – whether the animal is in a pool that for them, is the size of a bathtub, or whether than animal is used in circuses, films or TV.