Tilikum, a bull orca, was part of the last generation of killer whales that will be housed at SeaWorld
The whale was fighting what's likely an incurable bacterial infection in his lungs
Tilikum, the killer whale involved in the deaths of three people, including SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010, has died, SeaWorld reported Friday.
Tilikum was at the center of the 2013 CNN documentary “Blackfish.”
“Tilikum passed away early this morning, January 6, surrounded by the trainers, care staff and veterinarians that provided him around-the-clock world-class care,” SeaWorld said on its website.
“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 in a statement. “My heart goes out to our team who cared for him like family.”
The company has come under fire for its treatment of killer whales since the 2013 CNN documentary.
A post on the Blackfish Twitter account said, “Heartbreaking news. SeaWorld has announced the passing of Tilikum #RIPTilikum #Blackfish”
The film gave a disturbing portrayal of the captivity of the killer whales in SeaWorld. The Orlando-based water park operator responded to the film by cal