On this day: Beloved SeaWorld whale Tilikum died after lung infection five years ago

ORLANDO, Fla. — Five years ago, SeaWorld whale Tilikum died after a lung infection.


Tilikum died Jan. 6, 2017, a Friday, surrounded by trainers, care staff and veterinarians, SeaWorld said.

Amusement park officials said he was being treated for “a persistent and complicated bacterial lung infection” before his death.

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“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. “My heart goes out to our team who cared for him like family.”

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Tilikum was estimated to be about 36 years old at the time of his death. He was brought to SeaWorld after Canada’s Sealand of the Pacific closed in 1992. He had been at the amusement park ever since.

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In 2010, Tilikum killed SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau when he grabbed her after a “Dine with Shamu” show and pulled her into the pool.

Tilikum was also involved in the deaths of two other people in the 1990s.

Read the original story here.

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Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.

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