On January 6th, SeaWorld Orlando announced the death of Tilikum the orca, who died in captivity at their facility. A memorial gathering for his passing will be held at the Oak Bay Marina orca statue in Victoria, organized by the Animal Protection Party of Canada.
Tilikum had been held captive in Victoria for 12 years at the former Sealand of the Pacific in Oak Bay. While in captivity there he killed a trainer and was soon thereafter sold to SeaWorld in Orlando. At SeaWorld he would be blamed for the deaths of two more people. He was also the subject of the documentary Blackfish, exposing the physiological and psychological trauma caused to Tilikum from year in captivity.
Jordan Reichert of the Animal Protection Party said that while Tilikum’s life was marred by controversy, the memorial gathering will be to remember the individual and to stand in opposition of cetacean captivity.
“What I hope people take away from Tilikum’s passing is the significant trauma caused to him by captivity and that this same type of animal cruelty continues to take place in Canada, the U.S., and around the world. It is time for us to collectively empty the tanks and either return these intelligent, sentient beings back to the ocean or to sanctuaries as appropriate.”
Currently in Canada, Bill S-203, the Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act, is moving through parliament and is in committee, in the Senate. If passed, it would end captivity at facilities such as the Vancouver Aquarium and Marineland.
The public is invited to attend the memorial gathering and share their memories and stories of Tilikum. The event goes from 1-2pm, Sunday January 8th.
People can RSVP on the Facebook event page here.
For more information or comment please contact