Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The story behind Tilikum the killer whale

By Martin Evans Published: 9:41AM GMT twenty-six February 2010

Tilikum during a show at Seaworld, Florida. Photo:

At twenty-two feet 6 inches prolonged and weighing in at 12,300 pounds he is the largest orca in captivity.

His measureless size, with pictures by his dorsal fins that are 6 and a half feet long, equates to he is some-more formidable to conduct than alternative orcas in captivity.

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Handlers are incompetent to float with Tilikum since of the ever benefaction risk of being dejected or drowned as he moves around his tank.

Following his constraint he was shipped to the Sealand of the Pacific open aquarium in British Columbia, Canada, where he lived with dual females Nootka IV and Haida II.

But Tilikum unsuccessful to down payment well with the span and would mostly be bullied and chased by them around their tank.

Despite the formidable family it was at Sealand of the Pacific where he sired his initial calf, a son with Haida II.

Kyuguot was innate on Dec twenty-four 1991 and was the initial of thirteen calves sired by Tilikum, creation him the majority successful tact torpedo whale in captivity.

A couple of months prior to the bieing born tragedy struck however, when a piece time orca tutor slipped and fell in to the pool following a show.

Despite efforts to rescue her, the 3 torpedo whales dragged and continually submerged the 20-year-old tyro until she drowned.

Sealand of the Pacific sealed down operations prior to long after the situation and in Jan 1992 Tilikum was sole to Seaworld Orlando.

He became a key piece in the park"s successful tact programme even being lerned to experience in the routine of synthetic insemination.

In 1999 Tilikum was again concerned in the genocide of an particular after the physique of a 27-year-old man was found floating in the pool.

The man had entered the play ground after it had sealed and had someway got in to the pool containing the orca.

Investigators detected he had been bitten by Tilikum, but it was never determined either this occurred prior to or after death, and it was ruled the man had died as a outcome of hypothermia and drowning.

As an Icelandic orca his diet consists especially of herring but torpedo whales are at the tip of the food sequence with no healthy predators and in the wild continually take a break on incomparable mammals together with sea lions, seals and walruses.

With torpedo whales expected to live in to their 60s, Tilikum stays a comparatively immature animal, but notwithstanding calls from conservationists it is doubtful he could ever be expelled behind in to the wild.

Having being prisoner when he was only dual he will not have learnt the skills to track scrupulously and is thus wholly contingent on humans.

The comfortless genocide of 40-year-old tutor Dawn Brancheau has once again reopened the discuss as to the ethics of keeping such large, smart and dangerous animals in captivity.


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