Free Tilikum

In: English and Literature

Submitted By kristinem
Words 1835
Pages 8
FREE TILLY
Chistine Medina

It happened late in February in 2010. Families with children of all ages were seated in Shamu Stadium waiting and watching for their star to give its world famous performance. His name was Tilikum and the 12,000-pound killer whale had performed the same routine with the same trainers many times before. However, on that day in February, something was different. News reports claimed that it was “trainer error’ that caused Tilikum to grab his trainer, Dawn Brancheau’s, ponytail and drag her into the water with him. It took the other trainers 45 minutes to extricate Brancheau’s body, which Tilikum held in his mouth and would not let go. All the trainers in Sea World, located in Orlando, Florida, as well as other locations throughout the United States, agreed that Tilikum was well behaved, easy to work with and always eager to please. So what exactly made Tilikum act so violently and take the life of his trainer? There is a reason that there have been no documented deaths of humans by killer whales in the wild – it is obvious that being forced to live and perform in captivity is the reason behind it.
It has been argued and scientifically proven that no human being has ever been killed by a killer whale, or orca, in the wild. On the other hand, there at least a dozen documented deaths due to killer whales throughout the world. The main reason this is said to be true is because killer whales, which can grow to be more than 30 feet long and weigh up to 6 tons, are not meant to be kept in tanks and modules that are 20 feet wide and 35 feet deep. These tight living confinements have been proven to cause certain psychoses in animals. (Allen & Flannery 2014) They are essentially giving up the whole ocean for a bathtub.
Since Brancheau’s death in 2010, Tilikum has been kept out of the spotlight and has lived a very lonely life. The 2013…...

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