TAMPA, Fla. Jan 6 Tilikum, the killer whale
featured in the documentary "Blackfish" that made the case
against keeping orcas in captivity died on Friday, SeaWorld
Thought to be about 36 years old, Tilikum also drew
international attention for dragging a SeaWorld trainer
underwater to her death during a 2010 show in Florida.
Tilikum had been experiencing declining health and receiving
treatment for a bacterial lung infection, the company said. In a
news release, it noting that Tilikum was near the high end of
the average life expectancy for male killer whales.
"Tilikum had, and will continue to have, a special place in
the hearts of the SeaWorld family, as well as the millions of
people all over the world that he inspired," SeaWorld President
and CEO Joel Manby said in a statement.
The orca was captured in 1983 around the age of 2.
SeaWorld cut jobs, lost promotional deals and faced
attendance drops after the 2013 documentary and protests by
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
(Reporting by Letitia Stein)