The killer whale that was at the center of the documentary “Blackfish” has a life-threatening disease, according to SeaWorld.
The New York Times reports that caretakers involved with Tilikum, who has been in captivity since 1983, said the animal has a respiratory disease. The orca’s killing of a trainer at SeaWorld in Orlando was the focus of the documentary, which received wide release on CNN. Tilikum has reportedly been involved in the deaths of three people.
Tilikum is believed to be about 35 years old. His veterinarian, Dr. Scott Gearhart, says in a video about Tilikum’s condition that the bacteria found in the animal’s lungs are also found in marine animals in the wild. According to Gearhart, Tilikum’s life has been extended by the care he has been receiving at SeaWorld.
Here’s a video about Tilikum posted this week by SeaWorld …