do you remember tilikum?
i think of him often.
i have even done another post on him and the orcas in the past.
but now . . .
tilikum is dying.
i am not surprised.
my only surprise is that his great heart has lasted this long.
he has been not only captive.
but a SOLITARY captive for years now.
and his species is one that lives in FAMILIES.
WITH EACH OTHER in every way.
in a solitary confinement tiny tank.
i am so sad that tears come unbidden
every time i think of him.
why should this matter to me so much you ask.
why should it matter so much to
because of what we are doing to them.
what we continue to do. . .
year after stupid changeless year.
and it COULD change for them.
if ENOUGH of us . . . of YOU . . .
change the way you spend your dollar.
and if ENOUGH of us spread the word about
they have no choice.
they have no voice.
other than ours.
whether a human
or an animal
they should have the right to live out their normal lives
in their natural habitat.
but most especially when the animal is highly intelligent
and an animal that lives in FAMILIES . . .
yes . . . the same family in which they’re born!
they NEVER leave! a fact i just learned.
some pods range in size from 10 to 50.
and the size depends on their location.
he has lived in solitary confinement for years now.
can you see him in the picture below . . .
full of pipes and stone and metal gates?
he’s peering at his fellow orcas in a tank
that is separate from his own.
he has lived like this for most of his
33 long years in captivity.
and now his life is ending.
he has a bacterial infection in his lungs.
they don’t know how he got it or how to treat it.
he drowned his trainer.
he didn’t harm her otherwise.
he just kept her under.
perhaps he didn’t even know she needed to breathe air.
he belongs in the ocean.
not a tank.
he is an orca.
even after his confinement for killing dawn . . .
he was still expected to perform.
just as all the others still are
in ‘ aquariums ‘
dear God in Heaven.
what gives us the right to treat animals this way?
we have no right to keep captive in tiny spaces these
to keep them from roaming FREE
in the HUGE oceans that are their real home.
to keep them captive
PURELY and ONLY
for our STUPID entertainment.
WHEN will we be CONTENT
to enjoy and ACCEPT the knowledge
that NATURE is not an INDUSTRY.
part of LIFE.
not a machine to do
TRICKS at our WHIM.
sea world has said it’s for research too.
and if you believe that malarkey about their
learning about them through their captivity . . .
then you are wrong.
take away your MONEY and THEIR PROFIT
and you would find out soon enough their real motive.
I BEG YOU.
spend your hard earned money
supporting these horrendous
that pretend to care about these animals.
they DO NOT.
they care about YOUR ALMIGHTY DOLLAR.
they had to be FORCED to stop capturing little orcas
from their families.
Tilikum is a special and transformative killer whale. He was netted off Iceland in 1983, at the age of two, and has lived in captivity for almost 33 years now, for the past 24 years at SeaWorld’s Orlando, Florida park. His life has changed how we view SeaWorld and the marine park industry, and changed our moral calculus regarding the confinement and display of intelligent, free-ranging species. (See “Can Captive Orcas Return to the Wild?“)
and this next picture is eery in its poignancy.
it has not been ‘photo shopped’
this is real.
you are looking into the eye of an orca
finally subdued and violently captured
to spend the rest of its life away from its family
and in a tank the size of a bath tub
compared to its natural home of the open sea.
i see nothing but despair.
like this one below.
when they’re not performing
they languish along the side.
no ocean to swim miles in.
now in the united states acquariums like sea world have been forbidden to
‘ capture ‘ them anymore.
and at least we can be thankful for that.
because most of them died from the trauma and terrible mishandling
before they even made it to the acquarium.
and many died shortly afterward.
so what did they give their lives for?
since that law was passed finally . . .
they now PROUDLY announce to the world that
they artificially BREED EACH ORCA in captivity.
as if that makes it all alright.
even THAT part of their lives is totally
tilikum was captured from the sea when he was
TWO years old.
he has spent the last 33 years in a pool for him
that would be like a
and the last many years he has been in an even
away from his fellow orcas.
he could see them through the bars.
they can say that it is an infection of his lungs.
i think tilikum has died of loneliness and a broken heart.
i will stop talking now.
just look at the pictures.
and let your own
speak to you
of what is
til soon old bean.