Regardless of what SeaWorld decides as Tilikum's long-term future, a conversation has started within the whale research and advocacy communities about what ought to be done with an orca linked to three human deaths.
Killer whale experts know the giant mammals to be highly intelligent and incredibly social beings. All of the authorities contacted by the Orlando Sentinel said they would rather see killer whales in their natural habitat — the earth's oceans — than in tanks at an Orlando theme park.
One suggested that building a tank the size of Rhode Island wouldn't be large enough for a six-ton male such as Tilikum, an animal capable of swimming 100 miles in a day
Re-introducing Tilikum to the wild would be costly, would include serious risks for the animal and would not guarantee his survival, they say.
Nonetheless, in the aftermath of veteran SeaWorld trainer Dawn Branche
|Liveleak on Facebook|