My Thoughts on Sea World and Tilikum the Killer Whale

This isn’t my usual kind of post and I had a completely different one scheduled for today, but I couldn’t bring myself to post another beauty themed post when I heard about the news of Tilikum.

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Tilikum was a an orca kept at Sea World in Orlando. He was known for killing three people whilst at Sea World (the only deaths from Killer Whales have been when they are in captivity(. Tilikum was captured in Iceland in 1983 and has lived in captivity ever since. He was taken from his family when he was 2 years old along with two other orcas.Β Think about if Tilikum was a human for a moment. Imagine someone taking away your 2 year old or if you don’t have a child imagine them taking you away from your parents at 2 years old because they thought you could be trained to entertain people and make them a heck of a lot of money. Then whilst being trained you were kept with other people and when you made a mistake during training you or any of the other people would not get fed. Then at night you get locked up in a small metal box that doesn’t have enough room for you to all move around in. Imagine what the other people would do to you, they would get angry at you and potentially hurt you. This is what happened to Tilikum when he was sent to Sea Land in Canada. He was then transferred to Sea World in Orlando in 1992.

Β Tilikum was involved with the death of three people. I don’t want to go into details as that is not what this post is about, however like I said. As of 2013, there had been 4 deaths caused by Killer Whales, all 4 of which had been in captivity.

Sea World has reported heath issues with Tilikum in March 2016 and sadly he died yesterday (6th January 2017) in the morning. The cause of death is unknown at the moment.

I’m deeply saddened about Tilikum’s death, however I am overjoyed that he has escaped the horrible captivity of Sea World.

I also wanted to talk about my experience with Sea World. In 2011, I took my first trip stateside and we went to California and I was so excited. Whilst we were there we visited Sea World in San Diego. 14 year old me had never seen any thing like Sea World and didn’t really understand what happened behind the scenes at Sea World. Looking back now I wish that we hadn’t gone to Sea World after seeing this image.

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This image is an ariel view of the Sea World in San Diego. The yellow outline is the car park, the blue outline is where the orcas live. Seeing this image makes me feel sick. How can we do this to these beautiful creatures?!

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When I went to Sea World, I thought it was incredible what these animals could do and IΒ didn’t even think about where they lived. I just thought that it was an incredible show. Now I realise that this is not ok and that these glorious and stunning animals have been mistreated. I wish I hadn’t gone to Sea World as going encourages this behaviour and makes the people who get the big profits from this place think that this is acceptable behaviour. If any of the ‘big guys’ from Sea World are reading this (I highly doubt it, but you never know!), imagine you were trapped in a cage somewhere, whereas before you were able to roam freely without being trapped by glass.

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I am, however, ashamed to say that I did enjoy my time at Sea World and did think it was an incredible experience. It is amazing what animals can do, however, I think the methods used whether they are past or present are wrong.ciara-holiday-to-america-201-267

I was overjoyed when Sea World announced last year that this will be the last generation of Orcas at Sea World. It made me so happy that these beautiful creatures will finally be free from captivity and be able to swim freely again.

I encourage any of you NOT to go to Sea World. I believe what they do to these animals and the space that they keep them is just cruel and I believe that this is totally a form of animal cruelty.

Tilikum was heavily featured in the documentary Blackfish. It’s on Netflix and it is 100% worth the watch.

Tilikum is now swimming freely after 3 decades of being trapped.

What are your thoughts on Sea World?

~Ciara~

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