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Mushroom

Getting aHEAD of myself
Advisory Panel
Feb 12, 2011
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Oh no.

Orlando Sentinel said:
Tilikum, the killer whale that became infamous for battering and drowning a SeaWorld Orlando trainer, has an apparent lung infection that could kill him.

SeaWorld announced Tilikum's illness Tuesday on social media. The orca, estimated to be 35 years old, has become increasingly lethargic over the past few weeks.

"I wish I could say I was tremendously optimistic about Tilikum and his future, but he has a disease which is chronic and progressive and at some point might cause his death," veterinarian Scott Gearhart said on a video.

SeaWorld said the bacteria that has infected Tilikum is found in a variety of species including wild cetaceans. Trainers are giving him a variety of antibiotics and antifungal medications in his fish.

"What I know is that every day that I'm here and every day that these amazing veterinarians are here, he will receive the best care," said Kelly Flaherty Clark, SeaWorld's director of animal training.

The fact he is still eating is generally a good sign, said Naomi Rose, a marine mammal scientist with the Animal Welfare Institute.

Tilikum is in SeaWorld's medical pool. Asked if he was still performing, a SeaWorld spokeswoman pointed to the company's online video — in which animal care supervisor Daniel Richardville says, "if he's ready to go out and do a show and get people wet, I'm excited to do that with him."

SeaWorld did not answer questions Tuesday afternoon about whether Tilikum has lost weight or when he first became ill. He is SeaWorld's largest whale, a spokeswoman said in an email.

Animal advocates say that Tilikum's life is a sad example of why whales should not be kept in captivity.

"The sickness at SeaWorld is with its management, which has deliberately caused Tilikum — the subject of Blackfish, the damning documentary about SeaWorld — to suffer immensely by confining him to a small concrete tank for decades, causing him to succumb to mental illness that has resulted in aggression and now to some incurable illness," People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said in a statement.

Tilikum came to SeaWorld 23 years ago from the now-defunct Sealand of the Pacific in Victoria, British Columbia. SeaWorld acquired him to breed with female orcas. Tilikum has sired more than a dozen whales for SeaWorld. But he has also been a public relations problem for the park.

He has been involved with three human deaths. He was one of three whales that drowned a trainer at Sealand. In 1999, he was involved in a second incident when the naked body of a man who had apparently sneaked in after hours to swim with the whales was found draped dead across his back.

After Tilikum killed trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010, his life became the focus of the 2013 documentary "Blackfish." That movie suggested the stress of his captivity made him lash out and kill Brancheau. SeaWorld is still grappling with the fallout from that film: It has lost corporate sponsorships, attendance and revenue while spending more money on public relations and fending off lawsuits.

In the video released this week, SeaWorld animal care workers talked lovingly of Tilikum getting back rubs and playing with his favorite toys.

Richardville said Tilikum "has had some ups and downs healthwise." Those include what SeaWorld calls "chronic teeth issues."

Link
 
Apr 5, 2011
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Mixed feelings on this. He clearly shouldn't be suffering and it's gross that PETA is using his suffering to capitalize on their agenda. On the other hand, he is old and is a product from a darker time of animals in captivty. He could use some rest.
 

Mushroom

Getting aHEAD of myself
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Feb 12, 2011
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The Hessian said:
It seems to me that with all the trainer deaths he has been involved in that Karma has finally caught up with him.

I wouldn't exactly consider the slow, disease-ridden death of an animal who was involved with the death of one trainer to be karma. He didn't know any better. I don't think the universe is so cruel.
 

The Hessian

MSG. Co. E, Cherokee Regiment of Rifles.
Nov 30, 2015
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I don't like the fact he is dying the way he is either but your argument could also be applied to dogs who attack people and don't know better and yet they get put down all the time without any second chances or chance at rehabilitation.
 

The Hessian

MSG. Co. E, Cherokee Regiment of Rifles.
Nov 30, 2015
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Alright hold on let me make my point clear I said the fact that it is dying is Karma not the way its was dying Karma and in my opinion if anything has to die I'd prefer it to be nice and peaceful.
 
Apr 5, 2011
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The Hessian said:
Alright hold on let me make my point clear I said the fact that it is dying is Karma not the way its was dying Karma and in my opinion if anything has to die I'd prefer it to be nice and peaceful.

Go eat your own genitals.

The deaths related to the whale are a result of an alpha predator with prior abuse history simply snapping. It isn't human, it can't go to a therapist, it can't take some antidepressants, it is a wild fucking animal that acts like one. It shouldn't "deserve" to die for acting on what it's nature is.
 

The Hessian

MSG. Co. E, Cherokee Regiment of Rifles.
Nov 30, 2015
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I'm sorry if I offended anyone but I was attacked and nearly kid by my Grandma's dog as a kid and I still have scars of that event, hence my opinion on this whole thing.
 
Apr 5, 2011
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Clearly you are better than a wild animal simply wanting death for anything that slights you or anyone else.
 

Mushroom

Getting aHEAD of myself
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Feb 12, 2011
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Imagine what Tilikum will think when he looks back at this thread from whale heaven.

This isn't what needs to be said about a poor, sweet, mistreated orca who suffered a tough life of mistreatment. At least he is spending what are potentially his final days in the care of the trainers who love him.
 

Mushroom

Getting aHEAD of myself
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Feb 12, 2011
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Quite badly, unfortunately. Of course, none of that mistreatment occurred at SeaWorld.

But Tilikum is one of SeaWorld's few orcas who were captured from the wild (again, not by SeaWorld), meaning he really was victim of the oft-overplayed "ripped from his family" event.

He then moved to Sea Land, a poorly-run marine park in Canada, where he lived in an enclosure that really was only slightly larger than his body. He was constantly under attack by the other, aggressive orcas in the pool, and he was quickly alienated the bottom of the social rank. In a sense, Sea Land was everything PETA wants to make SeaWorld out to be.

The horrid conditions he endured during his days at Sea Land are said to have put an emotional scare on Tilikum, causing him to be unpredictable and unsure of how to act and restrain himself around humans.

In fact, some experts think that Tilikum was not attacking Dawn Brancheau when he killed her in 2010, but rather attempting to play with her. He grabbed her by her hair, not her arm or leg, and thrashed her around like a toy. This, again, shows how Tilikum simply did not, and does not, understand how to behave around humans, as he never grew up with proper exposure to them like his captive-bred neighbors.

I don't have the resources with me to provide links to my source material, but simply Googling "Tilikum" opens a treasure trove of information.

This is a very sad turn of events indeed. Hopefully Tilikum will be with Ms. Brancheau again someday.
 

Zimmy

Nessie is lonely.
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Sep 28, 2013
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The Hessian said:
how bad was he mistreated ?

Bad enough that he tried to defend himself.  

I'm sorry you were bitten.  The difference here is that you are a human with cognition and speech.  You can learn to adapt and understand why you were snapped out.  While the whale has cognition, all he knows is that the humans he trusts to help him, love him, and take care of him were hurting him.  You can not have a conversation with him and tell him, that it was just one or two jack holes, no he is forced, by survival instinct alone to generalize.

If you feel like you are being attacked now, consider what you wrote.  Go back and re-read it.  Perhaps you meant something else and did not articulate it well.  Consider being a bit more thoughtful in your writing in the future.
 
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