SeaWorld Ends Killer Whale Show In San Diego

For decades, San Diego's killer whale shows have been world famous for their flips, tricks and epic splashing at SeaWorld.

The final orca show comes just two days after Tilikum, the whale at the center of the 2013 "Blackfish" documentary, died at SeaWorld Orlando on Friday. Further outrage was sparked three years later when the documentary "Blackfish" highlighted the complicated nature of capturing, housing, training, and breeding the large, intelligent marine animals. Tilikum killed trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010.

With the death of Tilikum, SeaWorld now has a total of 22 orcas at its three facilities - in Orlando; San Antonio, Texas; and San Diego, California.

Last March, the staff said that he might die, he was 35 years old then.

The animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals tweeted a photo of Tilikum on Friday along with the message: "RIP Tilikum". Because of it, several entertainers pulled out of planned performances at SeaWorld parks and animal rights activists increased their demonstrations outside the parks.

More news: State Police: Escaped RI Inmate 'Probably' Suspect In Cambridge Bank Robbery

In response to a major revenue hit and continued negative press, Sea World announced months ago that they would be phasing out their captive killer whale program, the first step of which would be ending the killer whale shows as they now exist, and as they have existed since the 1960s.

Tilikum had been SeaWorld's most prolific male orca, siring 14 calves since his arrival at the park about 25 years ago. While at Sealand in 1992, Tilikum and two female orcas were responsible for the death of a part-time trainer who fell into their pool and was submerged by them.

"While today is a hard day for the SeaWorld family, it's important to remember that Tilikum lived a long and enriching life while at SeaWorld and inspired millions of people to care about this incredible species", SeaWorld said in a statement.

The film, which featured footage to depict Tilikum's "cruel treatment", made a strong case against keeping killer whales in captivity.

Hamilton credited Tilikum for raising awareness of the dangers of keeping whales in captivity after the orca attacked and killed trainer Dawn Brancheau at SeaWorld Orlando in 2010 during a live show before a horrified audience. A brief timeframe later, Tilikum was moved to SeaWorld in Florida a brief timeframe later, where in 1999, an exposed man who had evaded security and sneaked into SeaWorld around evening time was discovered dead the following morning hung over Tilikum in a reproducing tank. After learning about his death, they posted a tweet:"Heartbreaking news".

  • Alfonso Moody