blackfish (tilikum) and what actually happened

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tilikums life happened when a trainor at seaworld was working with him and one day he thought that she was going to play with her but instead tilikum pulled her in the pool on accident. please read
this and comment below.

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Submitted: July 31, 2018

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Submitted: July 31, 2018



 Blackfish (Tilikum)

To start, the story of Tilikum, a killer whale that has taken the lives of a lot of people, underscores problems within the sea-park industry.


Some people say to think that Tilikum killed a trainer because he felt like he needed to and wanted to, but that’s not true. The truth is that a performing killer whale killed several people while in CAPTIVITY.

On February 24, Brancheau was working the Dine with Shamu show, also featuring SeaWorld’s largest killer whale, a six-ton, 22-foot male aka (also known as) Tili (short for Tilikum). Families gathered around a huge glass windows for underwater viewing area. Another trainer shouted and were ready for Tilikum (that was the signal for Brancheau to get Tilikum to dive down and swim directly up to the glass for a custom photo op). But that day, instead of waiting for his cue and behaving the way decades of daily training in captivity had conditioned him to, Tilikum did something UNEXPECTED.

Jan Topoleski, 32, a trainer who was acting as safety spotter for Brancheau, told investigators that Tilikum took Brancheau’s drifting hair INTO HIS MOUTH. Brancheau tried to pull it free, but Tilikum yanked her into the pool. In an INSTANT, a classic tableau of a trainer BONDING WITH A MARINE ANIMAL became a life-threatening emergency.

Tilikum kept dragging Brancheau through the water, shaking her violently. Finally—now holding Brancheau by her arm—he was guided onto the medical lift. The floor was quickly raised. Even now, Tilikum refused to give her up. Trainers were forced to pry his jaws open. When they pulled Brancheau free, part of her arm came off his mouth. Brancheau’s colleagues carried her to the pool deck and cut her wetsuit away. She had no heartbeat. The paramedics went to work, attaching a defibrillator, but it was obvious she was gone. A sheet was pulled over her body. Tilikum, who had BEEN involved in two marine-park deaths in THE PAST, had killed her.

Dawn Brancheau's death was a tragedy for her family and for SeaWorld, which had never lost a trainer before. The news media went into full frenzy, chasing Brancheau's family and flying helicopters over Shamu Stadium. It was the most intense national killer whale mania since 1996, when Keiko, the star of Free Willy, was rescued from a shabby marine park in Mexico City in an attempt to return him to the sea. Killer whales have never been known to attack a human in the wild, and everyone wanted to know one thing: Why did Dawn Brancheau die?

KILLER WHALES have been starring at marine parks since 1965. There are 42 alive in parks around the world today—SeaWorld owns 26 of them—and over the years more than 130 have died in captivity. Until the 1960s, no one really thought about putting a killer whale in an aquarium, much less in a show. The public knew little about them beyond the fact that they sounded dangerous. (Killer whales, or orcas, are the largest members of the dolphin family.)

But Ted Griffin helped change all that. A young impresario who owned the Seattle Marine Aquarium, Griffin had long been obsessed with the idea of swimming with a killer whale. In June 1965, he got word of a 22-footer tangled in a fisherman's nets off Namu, British Columbia. Griffin bought the 8,000-pound animal for $8,000. He towed the orca, which he named Namu, 450 miles back to Seattle in a custom-made floating pen. Namu's family pod—20 to 25 orcas—followed most of the way. Griffin was surprised by how gentle and intelligent Namu was. Before long he was riding on the orca's back, and by September tens of thousands of people had come to see the spectacle of the man and his orca buddy. The story of their "friendship" was eventually chronicled in the pages of National Geographic and in the 1966 movie Namu, the Killer Whale. The orca entertainment industry was born.

Namu was often heard calling to other orcas from his pen in the sea, and he died within a year from an intestinal infection, probably brought on by a nearby sewage outflow. Griffin was devastated. But his partner at the aquarium, Don Goldsberry, was a blunt, hard-driving man who could see that there was still a business in killer whales. He and Griffin had already turned their energies to capturing orcas in the Puget Sound area and selling them to marine parks. Goldsberry first built a harpoon gun, firing it by accident through his garage door and denting his car. Eventually, he and Griffin settled on the technique of locating orca pods from the air, driving them into coves with boats and seal bombs (underwater explosives used by fishermen to keep seals away from their catch), and throwing a wall of net across their escape path. Goldsberry and Griffin would then choose the orcas they wanted and let the remaining ones go. They preferred adolescents, particularly the smaller females, which were easier to handle and transport.

In October 1965, Goldsberry and Griffin trapped 15 killer whales in Carr Inlet, near Tacoma. One died during the hunt. Another—a 14-foot female that weighed 2,000 pounds—was captured and named Shamu (for She-Namu). In December, a fast-growing marine park in San Diego, called SeaWorld, acquired Shamu and flew her to California. Goldsberry says he and Griffin were paid $70,000. It was the start of a billion-dollar franchise.

Over the next decade, around 300 killer whales were netted off the Pacific Northwest coast, and 51 were sold to marine parks across the globe, in Japan, Australia, the Netherlands, France, and elsewhere. Goldsberry, who became SeaWorld's lead "collector" until he retired in the late 1980s, caught 252 of them, sold 29, and inadvertently killed nine with his nets. (That’s why the killer whales become very violent, because US HUMANS HARM them and take them into captivity “Trying to help them” but instead WE HARM THEM.) In August 1970, concerned about backlash, Goldsberry weighted some dead orcas down with anchors and dumped them in deep water. When they were dragged up on a Whidbey Island beach by a trawling fisherman, the public started to understand the sometimes brutal reality of the "orca gold rush."

In March 1976, Goldsberry pushed his luck and the limits of public opinion. He sighted a group of killer whales in the waters just off Olympia, Washington's state capital. In full view of boaters—and just as the state legislature was meeting to consider creating a Puget Sound killer whale sanctuary—he used seal bombs and boats to chase six orcas into his nets at Budd Inlet. Ralph Munro, an aide to Governor Dan Evans, was out on a small sailboat that day and remembers the sight. "It was gruesome as they closed the net. You could hear the whales screaming," Munro recalls. "Goldsberry kept dropping explosives to drive the whales back into the net.

As Stephens had warned, bored killer whales look to make their own fun. If any unusual object ended up in the water, Haida, Nootka, and Tilikum would race for it and play keep-away with the trainers. Once the orcas took something, they were DETERMINED to hang on to it. Walters worried about what might happen if one of the trainers—who worked in RUBBER BOOTS on a painted fiberglass deck—fell into the pool.

What happened to Dawn Brancheau was an ACCIDENT and Tilikum did not mean to kill Dawn. Tilikum was just very happy and excited and thought Dawn was going to play with him. The story of Blackfish (Tilikum) was an accident. 

People like us as humans don’t realize/understand the sea creatures that we hold in CAPTIVITY at SEA PARKS around the world. We as humans need to know that what we’re doing to the killer whales/orcas is that we are HARMING them and that if we keep holding them in captivity then they’re going to keep killing us and/or others when we don’t know when. If we as humans want to keep the killer whales then we need to understand that they need a big, long, wide, and deep space for them to live in. They need to be where they are not alone in darkness where they get scared. And the baby whales shouldn’t be alone in a small caged up area, they need a big area just like all whales so they can at least feel like they are free and that they know that they’re not at/in danger to hurt us. Killer Whales should feel like they’re just at home where they’re free and able to communicate with they’re family instead of being separated till shows.

People who keep TRAPPING Killer Whales and bringing them into captivity are just making themselves look bad. Not just that they also are separating the orcas family especially the mothers and new born ones. While the whales are in captivity they feel like they’re all alone and like they have been separated from they’re pod/group, but not just that when whale starts to die it’s because it’s in captivity.

Killer Whales, when they’re in captivity they feel like they’re in a prison cell and broken when they’re not with they’re family.

If you just think about it for a second, think of it as a pet, or family member that is the whale and is separated and lost it’s family and feels like it is broken. Killer Whales are animals that like to be free not taken in for captivity, these animals like to be in a big huge area not a small area.

If you are reading this and you work in places like SeaWorld please help by making these wonderful species feel like home, by making the area they are in bigger and deeper and keep them together so they feel like they’re home. That’s all I’m asking of you. And if you have to do a fundraiser to help save these animals then by all means DO IT. Please, do it for they’re sake.


If you are reading this please comment and help save these animals. Thank you very much. And if you want to help please do a fundraiser to help these animals and keep them together as family. 

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