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Killer Whale Will Remain At SeaWorld!

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We're glad because it was an accident and he's a wild animal!

Tilikum, the killer whale who was involved in the death of trainer Dawn Brancheau, will "remain an active contributing member of the team, despite what happened…No animal is ever subject to any punishment and Tilikum is no exception."

Dawn's family also released an official statement:

“You have all heard what an amazing trainer Dawn Brancheau was, and that is true.

She was the best. It came natural to her. Being a trainer was a lifelong dream that she achieved.

She loved her job and she loved her animals. For her husband, family and friends, Dawn was so much more—a compassionate and loving person who lived life to the fullest.

She touched so many lives. To those who loved her and suffered a tremendous loss, one so unexpected, it is extremely difficult to even process or comprehend at this time. Our family sincerely appreciates everyone’s prayers and compassion and thoughts for Dawn and her husband and family. While we understand that this tragic event is capturing headlines across the country, at this time our family needs space and privacy to absorb our loss. We sincerely hope that the media will honor this request.”

Our thoughts are still with her family as they grieve.

[Image via CBS.]

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94 comments to “Killer Whale Will Remain At SeaWorld!”

  1. 1

    Accident? What about the two other times this whale killed people? He should clearly be put back in the Ocean.

  2. 2

    What fucking parent in their right mind would take their kids to see the killer whale show after that snuff murder performance?

    If it were up to me Tilikum the whale would be mixed with mayo and served on crackers by now.

  3. 3

    I'm sorry for her family but that is why they call them KILLER whales!!

  4. 4

    This poor animal needs to be in the ocean and not locked inside a pool. He has already killed two trainers. The poor thing does not know how to say let me out, but actions speak louder than words.

  5. 5

    Your glad they're going to keep exploiting wild animals for money? FUCK SEAWORLD!!!

  6. 6

    wrong !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    free the whale NOW !

  7. 7

    This is the 3rd person to be killed! I'm not saying they should punish the whale but for god's sake get it away from people!

  8. 8

    I love the part where Sea World blames her and her ponytail! Except…Shamu has done this before! Multiple times! Geez, they will never get a dollar out of me. It's bad enough these animals are kept there, but to turn around and put the blame on the trainer and continue to house the animal as though nothing unusual happened is REALLY IRRESPONSIBLE!

  9. 9

    If you want to see a great documentary on Killer Whales watch 'Killers in Eden'. its on pbs.org

  10. 10

    btw, how did they GET this animal in the first place? Does someone go out to see and capture them?
    its not like they can apply for a job at Seaworld.
    seems cruel to me to capture them and leave them in a little tank all their lives. no wonder they flip out. i would too

  11. 11

    If they put him back in the ocean - he is too domesticated to survive.

    He is a wild animal, its in his nature to hunt and kill … he is a animal… remember?

    Its the trainer that knew the risk of being killed, and yet they still put themselves directly in the water with the whale. Its tragic, but its certainly not surprising. We all must remember - these are wild animals … if you don't want to be killed, then don't get in a water and swim with them.

    Don't hate the whale for doing what is in its nature.

  12. 12

    i'm sorry for the whale, a poor animal that was supposed to live his life as it's supposed to be, but was put in a cage for the amusement of the idiots, and now is being accused of a crime it doesn't even slightly understand. This was never suppose to happen if people had any kind of respect and morals; we, with our poorly educated minds are all responsible for such unfortunate event and for all the darkness in the world because we are the ones who don't have respect for anything, including other human beings. shame on us.

  13. 13

    How sad this animal needs to be put back in the Ocean where it belongs

  14. 14

    They can still stay open after the law suit?

  15. 15

    He's killed people before and likely will again. Time to return the whale to the ocean. Seriously.

  16. 16

    Throw that piece of shit Mario in the tank and watch ORCA take care of business.

  17. 17

    Sorry but the animal needs to be put down like a rabid dog. He/She is clearly unhappy after 15+ years in captivity. So funny how PETA is so anti fur but allows animals to be a source of amusement confined in small spaces such as circuses and aquatic spectacles. At least if you wear fur or leather the animal is already dead. I guess they don't have a problem with animals in captivity dying a slow and painful death through boredom. Keep suporting PETA and being named whatever it was they called you. Another reason you are a hipocrite.

  18. missB says – reply to this


    Whales belong on the ocean, dumb fucks.

  19. 19

    I'm glad they didn't put the whale to sleep. It is never the animals fault. The whale was behaving the way a 2 ton animal who was once free and is now forced to live in a tiny tank and perform tricks is going to behave: cranky and pissed off. He is a wild animal, and doesn't know any better. He belongs in the ocean, so they should let him be and just set him free.

  20. 20

    Send the poor whale into the wild.
    It obviously isn't too fond of being trapped.

  21. 21

    Sea World sends thoughts to Corporate Profits.

  22. 22

    These animals do not belong in captivity. Set them free! They're not clowns in the circus, and I believe they HATE their trainers.

  23. 23

    They need to put the whale to sleep or let him out into the ocean.

  24. 24

    Feed the whale Dick Cheney's head.

  25. annam says – reply to this


    I do wonder though how many others whales have been involved with the deaths of 3 people? This poor whale may be emotionally overtaxed from years of performing and may need to at least be retired. So tragic for everyone involved…including Tillikum

  26. 26

    No wrong, its not about punishment but safety. If a dog jumps and nips a postal worker out of playfulness but none the less BAD training he gets put down. The whale has accidentally killed three people. I'd say let him go free but I doubt if he will survive.

    This should be a lesson that whales do not belong in captivity, but this one should still be put down.

  27. 27

    Just fucking kill yourselves now…

  28. 28

    And you reported the incident did not occur during a performance. Check your sources (copy-paste). It did! In front of children!

  29. 29

    Of course they're keeping the whale…they would lose precious money if they didn't.

  30. 30

    This a a tragedy for the trainer and the whale as well. Dawn in the end died doing what she loves, which is noble albeit tragic. The whale is not at fault, and it is sad for everyone involved. The whole idea of putting the whale in the ocean is not feasible, as Orcas live in family pods, and a "foreign" whale would not be accepted and would ultimately be killed by its peers. It's so sad to see these animals in captivity, but the US is nothing compared to aquariums overseas who keep animals in horrifc conditions and tiny pools. While I may not agree with animals in captivity, Sea World does contribute to research and rescue. There intentions are noble, if misguided.

  31. 31

    This poor animal needs to be in the ocean and not locked inside a pool. He has already killed two trainers. The poor thing does not know how to say let me out, but actions speak louder than words.

    This poor animal needs to be in the ocean and not locked inside a pool. He has already killed two trainers. The poor thing does not know how to say let me out, but actions speak louder than words.

    This poor animal needs to be in the ocean and not locked inside a pool. He has already killed two trainers. The poor thing does not know how to say let me out, but actions speak louder than words.

    This poor animal needs to be in the ocean and not locked inside a pool. He has already killed two trainers. The poor thing does not know how to say let me out, but actions speak louder than words.

    This poor animal needs to be in the ocean and not locked inside a pool. He has already killed two trainers. The poor thing does not know how to say let me out, but actions speak louder than words.

  32. 32

    This killer whale is responsible for three peoples lives, I'm not saying that it should be killed or hurt, but It's pretty obvious that it's a danger to people, so it needs to be released back into the Ocean, where it BELONGS.

  33. 33

    MY thoughts are with the whale, who, as a baby, could swin up to 11 miles a day. Now, in captivity, he can swin a FEW YARDS, get frustrated and kill THREE people.

  34. 34

    i have to wonder that if a TRAINER accidentally killed TWO Killer Whales, would they be allowed to continue working at Sea World???? I think not. With that said, i do not agree however, with the way these institutions capture & train animals that belong in the wild. Evidently, this recent tragedy only confirms that this lifestyle is not meant for them.

  35. 35

    The whale killed 3 people, I say blow him up

  36. 36

    The real question is, what trainer is gonna have the massive balls to swim with the whale???

  37. 37

    Re: DebDebs – uh did you read their letter? Because by the sound of their letter you and them have the same concept!

    uh DUH!


  38. 38


  39. 39

    The LEAST they should do is release the whale back into the waters, where it ACTUALLY belongs…

  40. 40

    She, and every other animal 'trainer' out there deserves to die. Animals do not exist for OUR amusement. They should have the right to live their own lives for themselves in their own natural habitats. I hope more will die.

  41. 41

    If this animal has been in captivity all its life, it might not know how to survive in the wild. The trainer that got killed was probably breaking a safety rule about handling this animal, or accepted that she would one day be killed by a big fish. Yep, the only answer is to keep it where it is and to be a lot more careful. She got careless - very few people get killed by whales - shit happens.

  42. 42

    Actually, for everyone saying it needs to be released into the wild, that's incorrect. This animal was born in captivity in Canada, and knows nothing of life outside of a pool. It would be like sending a house cat into the forest. They don't know how to hunt for themselves, and they don't know how to migrate like wild killer whales should. The best thing for ALL parties involved (including the whale's) would be to keep him at SeaWorld, but not include him in training/performing. They do it with many whales, and manatees as well, so why not with this whale? The whale has been involved in two other "accidental" deaths. The reason we call them accidental is because the whale doesn't have the brain capacity to understand what it's doing. It's literally just being an animal, not premeditating these deaths.

  43. 43

    They have natural habitats for these creatures, protected oceans for the whales and dolphins…that is where he should go…that is where they all should go…..Sea World does not provide enough space for these creatures to roam around, they are swimming in circles for the rest of their lives…its not right.

  44. 44

    Re: Forza Juventus – You are wrong! PETA does not want animals to be kept in captivity. They DO fight this. This is a killer whale (it's even in it's name). That young lady clearly loved this creature and the animal loved her back, but animals are unpredictable. Unfortunately, the whale can't go back to sea after so many years of captivity. It's too domesticated. You can't anthropomorphize the whale either. It's an animal. It's not responsible for its behavior. You can't punish it. You just need to keep it away from performing and remember how dangerous a 15,000 pound animal is.

  45. 45

    The whale is above the law?! Doesnt Florida have the death penalty? At least release him…such a legibility

  46. 46

    Tilikum needs to be retired, and allowed to live out his life without daily, weekly or monthly performances.

  47. 47

    i believe he shouldn't be in live shows but like for veiwing like they do some animals. cause if would of decided to kill him PETA will never shut up and if they let it back into the wild ocean it will die. the only thing to do is to take it out of live shows before either that or keep on going like nothing happen, when a tourist gets killed by that whale they will want to do something then

  48. 48

    Kaitsue #42 - Thank you!! Finally, a well thought out response. I agree!

  49. 49

    This is why wild animals shouldn't be kept in captivity. They're WILD animals, they are supposed to be in the WILD. You can't blame this animal for killing people, it probably didn't mean to kill these people (like a cat who bites and scratches while playing), and even if it "did" it still doesn't understand what it's doing. Animals shouldn't be put down because of humans stupidity. I honestly don't know what they should do ith this poor animal, as it cannot be put into the ocean, and shouldn't be kept for performance, but they clearly need to do something in the best interest of this animal. And those of you saying "blow him up" and "put him down" and "kill him" go to hell. And don't drag PETA into this. Peta and anyone who associates with them or agrees with what they do is, for lack of a better word, stupid. They kill more animals than they save, and the way they promote their message is despicable. If you really love animals, don't associate with PETA in any way.

  50. 50

    BS!!! The whale has killed THREE PEOPLE!!! and its still in f-ing shows!!!! He had it out to get her- he pulled her into the water! They fucking thing should be shot!

  51. 51

    It was NO ACCIDENT!!!! The whale grabbed her and pulled her in!! He's killed two others before and seaworld is like "derrrrr….we are trying to do more for safety but don't know what yet…." I used to work for the company and I clearly know more than you Perez so STFU

  52. 52

    Just an FYI the whale was not born in captivity. It was captured in the ocean by the Canadians. After their "zoo" went under all 3 of the whales were sold to sea world and sea world was informed in his involvement in the other trainers death. They were not supposed to be in the pool or close enough to be pulled into the pool with this whale because he was so large and unmanageable when he wanted to be. There is video of her actually swimming with him about 10 minutes before she was killed. Obviously safety measures and protocols were not being used. When you get complacent with a wild animal bad things happen, they will never not be wild. You can not tame a wild animal, even your dog could turn on you in a heart beat.

    (I speak from experience, I have some nice scars from an arctic fox!)

  53. Lucas says – reply to this


    Okay - if this were a dog, and said dog killed 2-3 people, would we all sit around and say "oh, poor doggie"…the bad bad people made him do it.


    This KILLER whale is a trained killer. Period. Put him out to sea, or put him out altogether. I'll never go to another sea world show.

  54. 54

    Ok for all of those who say he killed three people, that is incorrect. He only killed two. The third person the media is trying to involve him in was an incident in which a mentally disabled man fell in the pool. The autopsy results showed that he died of hypothermia, not drowned. And the least they can do is put him in a safe area that is not inclosed with glass. Poor thing needs to be free and safe. And Florida is stupid, its an animal, not a human!

  55. 55

    Re: kaitsue – I agreed with you until you said that it couldn't know it was killing the trainer. It's an animal… it knows when it's killing something. Born in captivity or not… it knows that.

  56. 56

    The aquarium people obviously have prioritized making $$ over the safety of the trainers and the sanity of the whale. I live in Victoria BC where this whale killed the first person, and after that incident the whale got shipped to a new location like a touchy Catholic priest. Not cool.

  57. 57

    A perfect example of why these beautiful creatures should not be held in captivity. This whale has killed before, and it will continue to do so. It's not the whales fault. I feel awful for the trainer though, that's a shame. At least she was able to live her dream while she could.

  58. ozmed says – reply to this


    Is Sea World that hard up for money they have to keep him??? That whale needs to be shashimi on my plate. Seriously this whale is a work hazard any trainer that continues working with the animal is an idiot and deserves to be thrashed around. Where is OSHA in all of this??

  59. 59


  60. 60

    I am so sick of these places holding these kind of animals or any kind of animals in captivity for entertainment, it's disgusting and a sin and most of all it's a shame…
    One things for sure, God did not put a fucking killer whale on this earth for ASSHOLES to stick them in a tank.!!!!!

  61. 61

    thats 3 people its killed perez it should go back to the wild - if it stays i hope it eats you one day
    btw how is it being released a punishment? thats its natural habitat!

  62. 62

    I tend to agree that this whale needs to be in it's natural environment. How many trainers does it need to kill until sea world takes notice

  63. 63

    Free willy!

  64. 64

    "No the whale should not be mixed with mayo and served on crackers" That delicacy should be made of the money hungry people behind sea world. A killer whale is just that - a killer whale - and belongs in the ocean not being humilated by doing stupid tricks for money. It's no better than those poor dancing bears or monkeys. I don't care how many spin stories sea world puts on this, if they want to study sea animals fine but do it without keeping massive creatures in small pools of water forcing them to perform.

  65. 65

    I don't go to any zoos, SeaWorld or any other kind of animal shows. It depresses me to see them in captivity. This whale is meant to roam free in the ocean. Of course he's killing people. Just like when the tiger went off on Roy of Siegfried and Roy and almost killed him. DUH He wants to be in the jungle, not performing onstage in friggin Las Vegas. If people didn't support these dog and pony shows, they would have to let the animals go and find another way to make money.

  66. 66

    Bitch got what she deserved. Next.

  67. 67

    he's not gonna be "punished" like where he is right now isn't punishment already

  68. 68

    Shame on Seaworld,how would like to be a big creature and live in a bathtub.Team Whale Bring Tillkum back home to Vancouver Island where he belongs.Where is Peta when you need them

  69. 69

    Re: Forza Juventus

    Whales are not "pets" that suddenly turn on their owners or that are raised by cruel humans to be mean.

    They are wild animals that have not been bred for domestication. He does not need to be put down. He needs to go back into the wild where he can live according to his genetics and instincts.

    Oh, and PETA is a hypocritical organization. They may once had believed in a purpose, but that purpose now is pushing an agenda without conscience.

  70. 70

    this whale should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law!

    ha! ha!

  71. 71

    You're an idiot.
    The poor whale is ALREADY being punished by being CONFINED to a fucking swimming pool!!
    Can you imagine spending your life stuck in a bathtub????
    Fucking moron.

  72. 72

    Re: kaitsue
    NO. It was NOT born in captity you idiot.
    It was captured in Iceland. Get your facts straight. No animal deserves to be confined in such a tiny space when it's NATURAL HABITAT is the FUCKING OCEAN!!!
    Try spending a whole day in your bathtub… I bet you'd be ready to kill someone, too if you did.

  73. 73

    Re: Sexsai

    SEXSAI - - - thank goodness it is not up to you.

    Clearly, your intellectual depth is like bathroom sink shallow. Does the word "killer whale" and "wild animal confined in a small space" mean anything to you? Tilikum should be free, swimming the vast oceans. Instead, he is a prisoner for someone else's profit.

    May be you should be the one mixed with mayo and served on crackers. You're clearly a total waste of earthly space.

  74. 74

    Re: kaitsue – I agree with you and you cant just put him back in the water. I just think we shouldnt have places like Sea World. As a child I loved zoos and sea world but now I just think animals should be free to live their lives like they were born to do. It would be incredibly frustrating to be a big animal in a small pool.

  75. m.j says – reply to this


    Wth do you mean "your glad". A woman lost her life to a KILLER WHALE. I dont give a flying flip that its a "wild animal", it still took someone's life. I say blow it up.
    Oh yeah, and animal activist are a joke-seriously. Some of them actually want to take this whale's side! I sometimes wonder if a house was burning down and they had to choose between a person or a dog they'd actually think about it!
    I agree, it shouldnt of been in captivity in the first place but it's already taken two other people's lives. It obviously cant be released in the wild because it may not make it so do the humane thing and put it out of its "bathtub prison". :/

  76. 76

    stop trying to force wild animals to perform, that is not what they are meant to do

  77. 77

    Once in captivity, animals won't be able to survive in the wild, so putting the whale back in the ocean won't do a thing but cause him to die, especially since orcas (killaer whales) live in family units called pods, they can't survive in the wild without it. And as for putting him down, I don't think he should be. He is a wild animal and all animals, even tame ones, can be unpredictable. The trainer most likely knew this before going into the profession.

  78. 78

    It is disgusting that SeaWorld continues to exploit these creatures. But we can't put all the blame on SeaWorld - if people didn't keep coming to see these exploitative shows, they would have stopped a long time ago.

  79. 79

    its a cash cow they cant afford to put it down

  80. 80

    The KEY WORD here is WILD!

    No wild animal should be held captive for these shows, circuses, etc.

    IT is barbaric and archaic. They are slave drivers.

  81. 81

    COME ON …at least out of respect for Dawn's family .. they should CLOSE THE PARK a week or do something respectful. It's all about money with Sea World. They opened right away to get the curiosity seekers. HOW SAD!!! Like her life meant nothing.
    What a shame. Killer he is .. and don't let them fool you .. he should be turned free and his God Given instincts how to hunt and eat would happen.

  82. 82

    Re: missB – i believe you ment to say * in * the ocean…. DUMB FUCK!!!

  83. 83


  84. 84

    DAT IS STUPID… WHO IS GONNA TAKE THEIR FAMILIES 2 C A WHALE DAT KILLED SOME1… WAT IF IT KILLS SOME1 ELSE?! i no it was an accident but sumthin should b happenin.

  85. 85

    we don't have to kill it but at least put it back to the ocean. it killed THREE people already

  86. 86

    sad story, but maybe it's about time humans stopped keeping giant wild animals in captivity? it's the 21st century. just a thought…

  87. 87

    i wish michael jackson were still here to sing us "will you be there"

  88. 88

    Well they have to keep it there - they can't just turn it loose after so many years in captivity. It wouldn't survive. Seaworld created this situation by imprisoning a wild animal so they have to take responsibility for it.

  89. 89

    well what the heck where they supposed to do put it to sleep like a small dog or cat for gods sake its a wild creature that should have remained in the wild…oh but wait we are systematically ruining their natural habitat so they are either killed because we humans are hunting them or polluting their homes..its sad that this happened but u cant fain surprise its bound to happen….sad for this young women that lost her life doing something she loved and sad that this poor animal is being kept in a fishbowl when it should be in the ocean…and even if it was in the wild it probably would not survive as long as it has already

  90. 90

    Why does everyone keep calling this animal a killer whale? It's an Orca, and to call it by the prior name is to perpetuate the cruel and inaccurate stereotype of the creature. Also, there has not been one documented incident of an Orca attacking a human in the wild. Not to say I believe the Orca should be released. It certainly no longer possesses the skills it would need to survive in the wild.

  91. 91

    I agree with Jack Hanna on this issue….

  92. 92

    it wasn't an accident. she didn't fall in. my sister was there and has a video. the whale pulls her in and pins her to the bottom of the pool and you can see the water turn red from all the blood. it's horrific and seaworld changed their statement to prevent the release of the video. it was no accident

  93. 93

    "Not subject to any punishment"? That animal is in prison. Sea World is a gathering of whores.

  94. 94